Pentest Limited's SecuriCTF Write up

Saturday, May 20. 2017

From time to time, I have time to look at and try some CTF (Capture the Flag) VMs to try to get root on. These are purpose built VMs to challenge people to break in. For the Securi-Tay 2017 conference, Pentest Limited released a CTF VM, and even though the solution was posted I decided to give it a go to see how I faired. The VM was aimed at the novice level, so I was in with a chance.

Once the VM was booted in virtualbox, I was presented with the IP address of the VM from inside the console screen. In this case my target was My attacking machine (Kali Linux) was sitting on As this is my virtualbox network, I knew that there shouldn't be anything else on the LAN, so I did a ping sweep to confirm, using nmap. The nmap command is

nmap -sP


Keybase on Kali Linux

Wednesday, May 10. 2017
Linux Security is a great platform for sharing PGP keys and verifying your identity online. The Linux tools the platform works with, however, don't run with Kali Linux out of the box. The reason is simple: Root (UID: 0) isn't supported. So how do you over come this limitation? In my case, my laptop is only used by me, and no one else.

NB, you should be using a dedicated machine to store your private keys. If not, you do run the risk of administrators being able to try to break in to keys / steal your keystrokes / etc. 

Vulnhub - Fristileaks walkthrough.

Saturday, April 9. 2016

Over at, there are a load of virtual machines ready to be broken, hacked or used as a learning tool. I like a challenge, so I thought I would have a go. All that is required is a suitable VM player, such as virtualbox. For my first challenge, I chose the Frisileaks VM . The Challenge is aimed at a beginner, and is pitched to take around 4 hours.

Once the OVA is downloaded, it is simple to import into virtualbox. I chose to use Kali linux for my host machine, which I would also be launching attacks from. I modified the setttings of the VM, to use a host-only adapter, as I like to have control over what my VMs are doing. Especially when I have just downloaded a random VM from the internet. One that is made for Hackers no-less. Finding out that it did something nasty wouldn't be great, especially as part of the challenge is to have minimal information about the vm before you start.

I also start my VMs headless, so as I later realised, the DHCP IP assigned IP address was sitting on the console for me. The main reason for starting headless is to lower my impatence and not cheat by rooting the vm straight out the box. So my first task was to identify what IP address the VM had been assigned. Fortunately, this vm responds to ICMP pings, so discovery was as simple as running:

nmap -sP


Monday, March 2. 2015

"Shellshock" is the name of a range of 6 vulnerabilities with the BASH command shell in linux. Details about the vulnerability can be found here (wikipedia).

When running the security Onion (see previous post), I noticed that people were trying various files to find a vulnerability on my webserver. Being the curious type, this prompted me to think, what is being queried and can I log it, following on to what would the malware do if I respond to it, if there is a pattern with the filename.

In order to try to find out more about this, I modified my 404 page (a php script) to include a file, which will record the information for us.

Security Onion

Thursday, February 26. 2015

The other day, I came across an interesting looking security suite called Security Onion. The author doesn't like the term distro, as it is more based on Ubuntu with extra packages, than a custom distribution like Kali. The main purpose of the distribution is a quick and easy distributed NSM platform.

NSM, or Network Security Monitor, is like an IDS. It differs by using multiple sources of information, and different analysis tools to find the bad packets. in addition, Security Onion is meant to become an IPS, so the rule-sets are never "dumbed down". This means you always see the alert, even if you do nothing. A false positive on an IPS is bad, but it may mean you miss something.

In Security Onion, there are three different types of  deployment, Standalone, Sensor or Server. A Standalone installation contains both a server and one or more sensors. After the break, I'll describe the parts in a bit more detail.

What is Karma?

Sunday, January 19. 2014
Security Wifi

"KARMA is a set of tools for assessing the security of wireless clients at multiple layers. Wireless sniffing tools discover clients and their preferred/trusted networks by passively listening for 802.11 Probe Request frames. From there, individual clients can be targeted by creating a Rogue AP for one of their probed networks (which they may join automatically) or using a custom driver that responds to probes and association requests for any SSID.  Higher-level fake services can then capture credentials or exploit client-side vulnerabilities on the host." -

 So, running Karma on your wifi router allows you to entice users on your network. Once onyour network, the real fun can begin.

Wifi Pineapple

Saturday, January 18. 2014
Security Wifi

Over Christmas, I decided to buy a new Wifi Pineapple from Hak5's hakshop. For the uninitiated, the wifi pineapple is a tool for pen testing wireless. 

Essentially, the tool is a wifi router with twin 802.11 radios, running openwrt supporting karma and a variety of modules ready to use.

  • CPU: 400 MHz MIPS Atheros AR9331 SoC.

  • Memory: 16 MB ROM, 64 MB DDR2 RAM

  • Disk: Micro SD support up to 32 GB, FAT or EXT, 2 GB Included

  • Mode Select: 5 DIP Switches - 2 System, 3 User configurable

  • Wireless: Atheros AR9331 IEEE 802.11 b/g/n + Realtek RTL8187 IEEE 802.11 a/b/g

  • Ports: (2) SMA Antenna, 10/100 Ethernet, USB 2.0, Micro SD, TTL Serial, Expansion Bus

  • Power: DC in Variable 5-12v, ~1A, 5.5mm*2.1mm connector, International Power Supply

  • Status Indicators: Power LED, Ethernet LED, Wireless 1 LED, Wireless 2 LED