HackTheBox Walkthrough : Canape

Now that the HackTheBox.eu CANAPE challenge has been retired, security researcher @DRX_Sicher can publish his walkthrough.

HackTheBox Walkthrough : Canape

Now that the HackTheBox.eu CANAPE challenge has been retired, security researcher @DRX_Sicher can publish his walkthrough.

Could I hack my best fan Homer Simpsons ? Let's see how I did it...


The following writeup shows the process I used to capture the user and root flags on Canape machine at @  This document contains my field notes I took when I was working through the box.

My way of thinking

The first step consists of the reconnaissance phase as ports scanning, banner grabbing, misconfigurations and so on. The second one to find the weakness, then, the attack itself, finally the privileges escalation called “post exploitation phase”.

Homer’s challenge

Personal note

I am a very huge fan of the Simpson, so I wondered myself what could be this box. I loved to work on this box. My favorite people of the cartoon are Homer and Moe!! So, let’s roll to the resolution of this huge box.

Ports scanning

During this step we are going to identify the target to see what we have behind the IP address.BTW, the results are above:

The nmap output


  • The remote system is on Linux
  • On the system we have a web server under Apache 2.4.18
  • A Git repository with the source code of the Simpsons

With these elements in hands, we are going to check these services to confirm or not our findings. To do that, we opened our browser and a Linux terminal to catch the git repository.

Step 1.1 The Web server

The result of our browsing is simple page with some nice information.

Welcome page

Identification of the server

Let’s take look at the headers on the web server

The info of the webserver

So, we have a webserver under Apache. Let’s check the source code to see if we could find some creds and so one.

The source code of the webpage 1
The source code of the webpage 2

The source code doesn’t show some leak information. Let’s continue with the GIT repository.

Step 1.2 The Git repository

The all git repository
Info in the log directory
Info git LOG commit
__init__.py source code

Let’s talk about the code. Ok, let’s go in deep.We can see the all WHITELIST and the option “submit” of the website. Then, we can remark a nice function call “app. route”.The function “app.route” uses a parsing library calls “ Cpickle”.

With some research on the internet, the library Cpickle used in python presents a huge weakness……We are going to see the function “submit” after in this review of homer’s CTF.EnumerationAt this point of the challenge, we know more about the machine and the source. So, we enumerated some directories of the website in browsing the website.

The Quotes directory
The Submit directory

Further enumeration

The directory enumeration phase reveals some very interesting folders.

Bellow the directories browsed:

Here is the resume of all technology of the website used.

The summary of technology

Investigation on the submit form

Let’s dig into the submit form to see how it works. To do that, we used burp. We launched the request and we see that the first character is “homer”, and that there is bullshit calls “quote” with some letters and numbers….

That’s all bullshit is parse with “PICKLE” ……. (cf source code above). In this parsing, we can put whatever we want (a reverse shell) and no check-in in the code, so it’s our weakness.

Submit form under action

The Weakness : How we get in

In this part, we are going to find the weakness to get the intrusion.

The vulnerability is Pickle (cf the source code)For more information please refer to this link:


Let’s craft our python script with pickle, then execute it in the submit form.

We are going to explain the exploit code  to understand the work under the shell.

So, we need these libraries:

  • OS: To communicate with the remote machine (Reverse Shell) + system commands
  • Cpickle: The flaw of your parsing websiteRequest: To communicate with the URL

Here the brute code:

The source code

Explanation of the code:

The first lines are for the importation of libraries. Then we can use the functions of our program. The other line, is just the arguments. The specification of the script. To use it, we must enter the local IP and the port we wanna to be connected with.

The most interesting part of the code

We created a class called “Exploit”, then we crafted the malicious strain. To do this, we just add a reverse shell in manual ’cause we did not know if the target runs Netcat or other stuff like that.Then,

We called a function “ CalPayload”  to call our future shellcode. We include our weakness “PICKLE” in it… In other word, the reverse shell is the shellcode.

The requests functionalities We put all in the URL we found (submit function) in our recon process to parse our shellcode with the exact stuff found in the source code of the website. To finished, we send all to the cheek function (check) with the errors code (Work or not).

After this explanation of the exploit code, we gonna execute to get the reverse connection.

Exploitation: Houston we have a nice shell

We have a shell and we can make our intrusion on the remote system. We are going to enter by the website.

So, let’s screw up the box ;)

The Intrusion on the box

We have executed the exploit with our local IP (the attacker) and the port we wanna be connected to the box. Let's explain what we see !

On the right “The exploit” and on the left “the reverse shell”.The next step is to get the user of the box.

It’s our friend HOMER. In this box, we have to get priv to catch his flag…

We are in, that’s great ;)

Privilege Escalation

Once in we had to find some flags. The first one was the user flag, and the second one, the root flag of the machine.

  • The user flag was easy because we found the user directory and the text file were in it.
  • The root flag (system admin), more complex! One indication was given ;)Catch the user flag

When we got in, we were at the root of the website. So, the only solution for me was to find the user directory and to catch the flag. Always know where you are and where you want to go!! Ok, so we wanna Homer so, the reflex is to find his process.

The process under Homer user

Just for fun, we can see the log of our intrusion:

The log of our intrusion

We can see on this capture called “The process under Homer user” that he runs a datebase software call “CouchDB”. Let’s investigate on it.I’ve made some researches on the internet about CouchDB because I’ve never work on it. So, let’s type some commands.

For more details, please look at this link:


The vision of the all database

Next, we cheeked the user “Homer” who is the main stuff off our CTF CANAPE.

The database for Homer

Then, after knowing the info of Homer, we gonna cheek if Homer is admin of the database.

The check of Homer

We would like to know the info relatives to the database

Basic info about the Database

At this point, we have enough info about the Database. The huge info we get is the version of the CouchDB. After some researches we found a local vulnerability on it that allow us to add a user with password to control the all database.

The local exploit used is:https://www.exploit-db.com/exploits/44498/

To use it, I just copied and past on the target, then launched it.

So, let’s talk about it:

The source code of the local exploit

After the presentation of the source code, we gonna use it to have a foot onto the database. So, I added my nickname and a password. Let’s see it in the picture.

NB: I called the exploit “ totopapy”, The french guy is in the place hahaha ;) just for fun.

The local exploit executed

Then, we are able to catch the credentials by connecting as a legitim user hahahahah. We founded the services with passwords and so on.

The huge credential of the database

With the credential we’ve got, we can connect under Homer’s account. We have the password (“REF SSH” in the above picture°).

Before to SSH we gonna configurated our shell. So, let’s go:

The Spawning Shell

We spawned the shell to have a nicer one and that we allow us to catch the ssh.

The SSH under homer account and the Flag caught.

After being under Homer account, it had been possible to catch it flag.

Homer home ;)

We are Homer ahahaha

The Homer ID

Ok, that’s good, the last step is to root the box! So, let’s roll to the way of root

Catch the root flag

In this last part we gonna see how to get root. Let’s talk about this topic.The first thing we can do, is to see what is it behind sudo!!

The sudo command

As you can see there is something interesting from homer. He can use or install “PIP”. So, if can execute PIP with Homer, we are getting root!!!! So that we gonna do!! To do this we gonna fake the installation of PIP.

So, I put the script into setup.py then run the script as root!!

I used this script from another member of HACKTHEBOX


Let’s detail the stuff:

The fake PIP program

Let’s explain a little the interesting stuff of the script.After the echo, we encode our reverse shell in 64 base in order to bypass the security level ;)

So, this is in plain text what I’ve used:

The plan text and encodes reverse shell.

Let’s run it to be root of the box and catch the root flag.

We are root and caught the root flag.

We have rooted the Homer's box !! We can now have a nap in his canape ;)

The awesome artwork used in this article is called 'Homer Rampage' and it was created by Denis Sokolov.