Tuesday, 5 April 2016

CTF Writeup - Nuit du Hack CTF Quals 2016 - Matryoshka (50+100+300+500)


  • Name - Matryoshka
  • Category - Reverse Engineering
  • Points - 50+100+300+500
  • Description - n/a
  • Binary - Download here

I found the RE challenges in this CTF to be quite easy, apart from the last one which is surprisingly hard considering the ease with which I've completed the previous ones. The 4 Matryoshka levels depend on each other and require you to complete the previous one to advance.

Level 1


Running the ELF 64-bit:

root@kali: ~/Desktop
root@kali:~/Desktop# ./stage1.bin Usage: ./stage1.bin <pass> root@kali:~/Desktop# ./stage1.bin vulnerablespace Try again... root@kali:~/Desktop#


Looking at it in IDA we get our answer straight away:


We input the password:

root@kali: ~/Desktop
root@kali:~/Desktop# ./stage1.bin Much_secure__So_safe__Wow Good good! c3RhZ2UyLmJpbgAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAADAwMDA3NTUAMDAwMTc1 .. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA== root@kali:~/Desktop#


Apart from the success message, the binary outputs a long base64 string which translates to the binary used for the next stage.

Level 2


Running the binary we are greeted with the same message so let's go straight to the debugger. The password checks reside in sub_4006F2 which looks like this:


if ( 42 * (strlen(*(const char **)(a2 + 8)) + 1) != 504 )
    goto LABEL_31;
v4 = 1;
if ( **(_BYTE **)(a2 + 8) != 80 )
    v4 = 0;
if ( 2 * *(_BYTE *)(*(_QWORD *)(a2 + 8) + 3LL) != 200 )
    v4 = 0;
if ( **(_BYTE **)(a2 + 8) + 16 != *(_BYTE *)(*(_QWORD *)(a2 + 8) + 6LL) - 16 )
    v4 = 0;
v3 = *(_BYTE *)(*(_QWORD *)(a2 + 8) + 5LL);
if ( v3 != 9 * strlen(*(const char **)(a2 + 8)) - 4 )
    v4 = 0;
if ( *(_BYTE *)(*(_QWORD *)(a2 + 8) + 1LL) != *(_BYTE *)(*(_QWORD *)(a2 + 8) + 7LL) )
    v4 = 0;
if ( *(_BYTE *)(*(_QWORD *)(a2 + 8) + 1LL) != *(_BYTE *)(*(_QWORD *)(a2 + 8) + 10LL) )
    v4 = 0;
if ( *(_BYTE *)(*(_QWORD *)(a2 + 8) + 1LL) - 17 != **(_BYTE **)(a2 + 8) )
    v4 = 0;
if ( *(_BYTE *)(*(_QWORD *)(a2 + 8) + 3LL) != *(_BYTE *)(*(_QWORD *)(a2 + 8) + 9LL) )
    v4 = 0;
if ( *(_BYTE *)(*(_QWORD *)(a2 + 8) + 4LL) != 105 )
    v4 = 0;
if ( *(_BYTE *)(*(_QWORD *)(a2 + 8) + 2LL) - *(_BYTE *)(*(_QWORD *)(a2 + 8) + 1LL) != 13 )
    v4 = 0;
if ( *(_BYTE *)(*(_QWORD *)(a2 + 8) + 8LL) - *(_BYTE *)(*(_QWORD *)(a2 + 8) + 7LL) != 13 )
    v4 = 0;
if ( v4 )
    result = sub_40064D(*(const char **)(a2 + 8));
else
LABEL_31:
    result = fprintf(stdout, "Try again...\n", a2);


The goal here is to make it to sub_40064D and hence we need to satify each equation. These state that:
  • Line 1 - Password length = 11 characters
  • Line 4 - password[0] = 'P'
  • Line 6 - password[3] = 'd'
  • Line 8 - password[6] = password[0] - 32 = 'p'
  • Line 11 - password[5] = (len(password) * 9) - 4 = '_'
  • Line 13 - password[1] = password[7]
  • Line 15 - password[1] = password[10]
  • Line 17 - password[1] = password[0] + 17 = 'a'
  • Line 19 - password[3] = password[9]
  • Line 21 - password[4] = 'i'
  • Line 23 - password[2] - password[1] = 13
  • Line 25 - password[8] - password[7] = 13

Solving the equations we end up with Pandi_panda

Level 3


Decoding the base64 from the previous stage gives us the ELF for Matryoshka Level 3. The binary uses signals and interrupts to jump from one check to another. The first instance can be seen below:


The handler function for the first interrupt is sub_4007FD. IDA will complain about the SIGSEGV signal received but this is all part of the challenge so select "Yes (pass to app)" when prompted. The handler contains the following code:


void sub_4007FD()
{
    signed int v0; // ecx@1

    v0 = 1000 * dest;
    if ( v0 / 68 > 999 && v0 / 68 <= 1000 )
        signal(11, handler);
}


The function checks if dest, which points to the start of our input string, is equal to 68 decimal, i.e. 0x44, i.e. 'D'. The signal handler points to the 2nd signal handler, sub_4008C7 which has the following code:


void sub_4008C7()
{
    signed int v0; // ecx@1

    v0 = 1000 * byte_6040C2;
    if ( v0 / 100 > 999 && v0 / 100 <= 1000 )
        signal(11, (__sighandler_t)sub_400926);
}


This checks if the 2nd character of the input string is equal to 'i'. Going through all the signal handlers we get the flag:
Did_you_like_signals?

Level 4


This stage proved to be tough and had me resort to technologies I've never used before. The reason is this:

root@kali: ~/Desktop
root@kali:~/Desktop# file stage4.bin stage4.bin: DOS/MBR boot sector root@kali:~/Desktop#


An MBR boot sector ?? What am I suppose to do with it ? After some research I thought I'd tackle it using Bochs and IDA which, to be fair, did get me the final flag, but not without it's fair share of pain and sufferance. To get it working I roughly followed this guide. I'll still be explaining the procedure from the beginning as I felt it was quite an achievement when I saw it run the MBR.

Create a Hard Disk image by running bximage.exe found in the Bochs folder. Stick to the default settings by pressing Enter at each stage. Make sure to run the binary from a writeable folder as the files are created there by default.

Now we need to create a bochsrc file for Bochs to load which references our newly created hard disk. Create a file called ndh.bochsrc containing the following lines:

memory: guest=512, host=256
ata0-master: type=disk, path="c.img", mode=flat
boot: disk


The 1st line is there only for IDA to recognise that the file is a bochsrc. The 2nd line is copied from the end of the bximage.exe wizard and the 3rd line tells Bochs to start booting from disk. The next step is to overwrite the first sectors of c.img with the MBR. I'm sure this can be done using dd but I've opted to use the following python script:


    # open image file
    f = open("c.img", "r+b")
    if not f:
         print "Could not open image file!"

    # open MBR file
    f2 = open("stage4.bin", "rb")
    if not f2:
        print "Could not open mbr file!"

    # read whole MBR file
    mbr = f2.read()
    f2.close()

    # update image file
    f.write(mbr)
    f.close()


Run C:\path\to\bochs\bochs.exe -f ndh.bochsrc, click Start and you should get a retro VM executing the MBR sectors:



Opening ndh.bochsrc with IDA we get the option to interpret the file as a "Bochs configuration file". Without the first line in the configuration IDA does not recognise it as a Bochs conf file and hence we do not get this option.


The issue I found here is that IDA interprets the instructions as being 16-bit. To get around this I viewed the Segments while the program was suspendeded and manually edited their bitness. I tried choosing a different processor architecture when opening the bochsrc file but that didn't work. If anyone has a better solution to this please send me a message!

The first routine that stands out when running the program is the following:

debug001:00000E67 push    edi
debug001:00000E68 push    eax
debug001:00000E69 push    esi
debug001:00000E6A push    ebx
debug001:00000E6B
debug001:00000E6B loc_146B:
debug001:00000E6B
debug001:00000E6B cmp     eax, 0
debug001:00000E6E jz      short loc_1489
debug001:00000E70 mov     cl, [edi]
debug001:00000E72 mov     dl, [esi]
debug001:00000E74 xor     cl, dl
debug001:00000E76 mov     [edi], cl
debug001:00000E78 dec     eax
debug001:00000E79 dec     ebx
debug001:00000E7A inc     edi
debug001:00000E7B inc     esi
debug001:00000E7C cmp     ebx, 0
debug001:00000E7F jg      short loc_146B
debug001:00000E81 pop     ebx
debug001:00000E82 push    ebx
debug001:00000E83 sub     esi, ebx
debug001:00000E85 jmp     short loc_146B


This function decrypts the messages used in the program and encrypts our input.

The messages before decryption:


The messages after decryption:


Our input before encryption:


Our input after encryption:


The key used in these operations is the following:


6C 53 05 6A 5C FC FB 0E AD 4A B9 93 AD .. .. ..

I found the program to be hard to follow instruction by instruction and after a while I got tired of pressing F7 so I've created a Read/Write Hardware breakpoint on the input buffer. After a few breakpoint I've arrived at what looked something promising:



Following it through we get Good_Game_!. The string displays the success message in the VM but was rejected when I submitted it to the CTF. I got a bit frustrated at this as I was pretty tired. Luckily the answer was not far off. I continued monitoring the read/write accesses to the input string and got to another set of comparisons:


These compare out enrypted string to a set of fixed values. Once again we collect all the bytes and we get:

28 37 77 5b 31 90 d4 68 df 2c b9


Using the pre-found key and this we compute the magic word:

   +---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
   |  Result  |  28  |  37  |  77  |  5B  |  31  |  90  |  D4  |  68  |  DF  |  2C  |  B9  |
   |----------+------+------+------+------+------+------+------+------+------+------+------+
   |    Key   |  6C  |  53  |  05  |  6A  |  5C  |  FC  |  FB  |  0E  |  AD  |  4A  |  B9  |
   |----------+------+------+------+------+------+------+------+------+------+------+------+
   | Hex Word |  44  |  64  |  72  |  31  |  6D  |  6C  |  2F  |  66  |  72  |  66  |  00  |  
   +---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+


The hex words translate to Ddr1ml/frf which give us the success message and also worked when submitting it to the CTF:


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