Web Exploitation Engine 0.1 Release

So, you might remember my short writeup on exploiting command injection vulnerabilities – http://insecurety.net/?p=403 – and note that the tool used, GWEE, was a bit outdated and often would not compile correctly on modern versions of Linux using GCC.

Had you ever messed with the tool, you might also notice one of the authors was Sabu, so as a matter of principle, I was going to avoid using it whenever possible.

So, many attempts were made at re-implementing the tool in Python, most of them absolute failures, totally rubbish, or otherwise “clunky” and inelegant.

Anyways, much messing about later, I stumbled across a piece of code by @LaNMaSteR53 named “rce.py”. You can download it here: rce.py (the original one).

My main problem when writing my implementations (prior to seeing LaNMaSteR53’s implementation) was handling the POST data. How the hell would I get it from the commandline to the tool itself without having the user editing some config file of some kind. To me, this was a major stumbling block.

So, when I saw Tim’s implementation, passing it “just like a GET, but telling the parser it was POST”, I had to borrow it. A quick bit of replacing the urllib stuff with requests.get and requests.post, and I had a decent base to build from.

While the retooled version of rce.py itself was pretty cool as it was, I felt it could be taken a lot further. The original beta had built in reverse shells (12 or so varieties), however it tended to crash and such a lot. No error handling whatsoever, and some of the payloads simply failed to function at all.

Eventually, I wrote the “payloads” module. A slimmed down version of it is included in the wee.tar.bz2 archive, as I have not finished the thing yet. Currently the public release contains only a python reverse shell, however it is extremely easy to expand upon.

Anyway, on with the show.

we.py has only one mandatory arguement, the –url arg. You simply (for a GET request, the default), put in –url=’http://victim.com/vuln?vuln=<rce>&otherparams=otherparams’
For a POST request, you put them in just like a GET request, and specify –method=post as an argument to tell the tool to parse them as POST parameters.

By default, it gives you the “rce.py” style inline shell prompt. However, using the –shell argument, you can specify it to use a reverse shell instead like so: –shell=reverse.

By default, the reverse shell will use and 4444 as its lhost and lport, so you can change this with –lhost=LHOST and –lport=LPORT.

So, here is a screenshot of it in action:

Poppin' shells

Poppin’ shells

This tool is still being developed, so report any bugs you find in it and make suggestions :)

You may download it here: wee.tar.bz2 :)

Remember, use with care, etc.

I expect:// a shell!

This blog post covers a fascinating method of leveraging Local File Inclusion to gain Remote Code Execution on a vulnerable host. It has several downfalls, but overall is one of the more interesting methods I have found, and I have not found any references to it anywhere that I looked online.

PHP has many “wrappers” to parse certain types of things. For example, the php://input or php://filter wrappers, which have been used in the past for both code execution and information disclosure – notably the PHP-CGI Arguement Injection exploit, which uses the php://input wrapper to inject code after making modifications to PHP.ini directives.

One of the more entertaining ones I stumbled across is how PHP handles the expect:// “wrapper”. For those who do not know, “expect” is a program/scripting language of sorts that one can use to interact with other interactive programs. Some of you may be familiar with pexpect from Python, which is used to interact with SSH sessions for automation. It is a rather powerful utility, and is often used by sysadmins to automate procedures which would normally require human interaction.

As it happens, amongst PHP’s many wrappers, there is an “expect://” wrapper. I stumbled across it by accident while looking up the correct way to use php://filter to read files via LFI (I will document that method later, it deserves a post of its own). I knew expect looked familiar, so when I looked more into it, I found examples of people using it in PHP scripts to automate things like ssh-ing to remote boxes, etc.

After a while it dawned on me that something interesting might just happen if I passed expect://ls to an include() call in a PHP script, so I decided to see what would happen.

I used the following vulnerable (to LFI) PHP script, and called test.php?hax=expect://ls

$code = $_GET[‘hax’];

It provided me with a directory listing of my webroot.

expecting shell

remote code execution

After a few minutes of thinking “oh, this is interesting”, I decided to see if I could knock up an interactive shell in Python to automate the whole procedure.

First off, I decided to see could I get it all to work out using Pythons “requests” module…

Seeing as it worked, now it was time to write a “shell”.


got shell :)

Yes, I now had a somewhat interactive “shell” on the vulnerable host (localhost…). I considered releasing the proof of concept right there, however further messing about was warranted first, obviously. I needed to see how far I could “push” this vuln, and how cool I could possibly make the PoC tool before releasing it to the wild, where someone would doubtlessly give me much abuse about my python :P

So, without further ado, here is the video demo of it. It now checks if the host is vuln (very rudimentary check), and offers the “inline shell” or a reverse shell :) Download links at bottom :)

// Err, the video is on its way, I did not have time to clean it up sadly. I will edit this post in a day or so with the finished video, I promise :)

download link

Local File Inclusion to RCE, abusing tempfiles and phpinfo()

“If you want to win a race condition, you best cheat”.

The following article demonstrates a fascinating method of exploiting Local File Inclusion vulnerabilities first thought up of by the guy who runs Gynvael.Coldwind.pl . It is further documented at Insomnia Security

To start, when you are exploiting a Local File Inclusion, in order to gain remote code execution you must “write” some PHP code somewhere on disc that you can “include”. Normally this means injecting into logfiles, or the /proc/self/environ interface.
In the event you cannot locate the logfiles, or access them, most people simply give up and claim “Yep, it is unexploitable”.
This is not true.

When you upload files via HTTP POST to a webserver running PHP, during the upload it creates a tempfile for the files data, normally in /tmp. This file is “randomly named” (I do not trust the PRNG PHP uses), and is stored for the duration of the upload.

Now, it just so happens that it will create this file irrespective of whether or not you are legitimately uploading (i.e. the webapp is accepting an upload) or not, and the file is deleted when the “upload” finishes.

Because these files are randomly named, and there are no wildcards that we can use on Linux (more on this later!), you might think “So, how does this help me at all?”.

Normally, you would be right. Unless you find a flaw in the PRNG that allows you to predict the “dummy name” of the file, this is not so useful to you. What we need is an information disclosure bug that displays the PHP variables at that particular time…

… Enter PHPinfo(). The phpinfo() call, often found in /phpinfo.php or other such files (often forgotten and not removed on webservers), displays the PHP variables as they are at that point in time… Including the “Dummy Filename” that is currently in use.

So, if we are to send a file upload, containing our evil PHP code, and then include() it (via the LFI), using the path given to us by the PHPinfo page, we gain code execution on the remote server.

Yes, but not quite.
The file exists there for mere fractions of a second, so we lengthen the duration of the upload (we upload to the phpinfo file) by padding it with trash data. The insomniasec paper (linked at bottom) explains this better than I will, so I advise reading it! This is a race condition, so to further enhance our chances, we use multiple threads and multiple attempts. One of them will succeed, normally within short order (averages at 30 seconds, see the demo video!). If you have LFI and a phpinfo() page, you WILL gain code execution on the server.

The PHP code you “upload” and execute via include() effectively acts as a “Dropper”, dropping some malicious code that is stored in /tmp with a filename you have set. You then simply include() this dropped file via the LFI bug to execute code, as per normal LFI.

The InsomniaSec guys released, along with their paper, a demo script to show how it works. imax, the mantainer of Fimap (which I also develop) released a Fimap plugin that exploits this vulnerability, and that is what I am about to demonstrate. imax’s code drops a file named “eggshell” which is essentially a stripped down version of the Fimap payload.

The Fimap module is extremely reliable, giving me shells in short order. I have never had an issue with it to date, and normally on remote boxes it takes a minute or so to pop a shell.

Demo Video

Next week I will be releasing a demo of doing this against Windows targets without the lovely PHPinfo bug. A much “truer” race condition :)

Whitepaper (InsomniaSec)

A few exploits…

So, lately I have been experimenting a lot with the “Requests” module for python. It makes creating and sending HTTP GET and POST requests so incredibly easy, that I had to use it to write some incredibly simple PoC exploits.

First off, recently there was an advisory about a PHPTax remote code execution vulnerability. So, naturally, I wrote a quick and nasty PoC for it. There is a better one in the Metasploit framework, but I simply wrote this to stave off boredom one evening. This one simply throws you a reverse shell (if the moon, sun and Andromeda galaxy are correctly lined up).


Using “requests”, you can send a GET request using just requests.get(url)
It is that simple.

The second was an earlier exploit I wrote, before I remembered I could simply inject a reverse shell.

It was an exploit for an Xoops RCE bug. I simply had my exploit wget a shell from a remote server.


There are others in that SVN repo to look at, just have a look :)

I will likely write more later on “Rapid Proof of Concept Creation using ‘requests'” if I could be bothered, there are more vulns to exploit in the meanwhile ;)