OverTheWire Natas Wargame Solutions 7-10

Let’s continue our progression through the Natas wargame server. The challenges ahead are slightly more difficult than the previous challenges which is why I chose to break where I did. Nevertheless, they are not impossible. Some entry level knowledge of PHP would go a long way here. Examine my solutions below:

Natas 6->7

Here we have an insecure PHP login form. Looking at the source, we can see that whatever we enter as the input secret is being compared to variable $_POST, within the PHP script. We also see the file “include/secret.inc is mentioned. We can tac that on to the end of our URL to see what it contains. Immediately, we will see it holds the secret variable “FOEIUWGHFEEUHOFUOIU”. Our script uses this variable to compare the input secret to, which means it is our password. Remember you need to change the URL to Natas7 to get access.



Natas 7->8

Now we are presented with a very nondescript web page containing two tabs, home and about. If we travel to the about page, and examine the source, we see a huge clue. It’s an HTML comment telling us that the password is held in /etc/natas_webpass/natas8. Awesome. But if you tac it on to the end of the URL like we have previously been doing it will not redirect you there. You need to tac it on the end of the”page=” variable.



Natas 8->9

Moving along we come across another PHP login form. Viewing the source we something that should catch your interest, the variable: $encodedSecret = “3d3d516343746d4d6d6c315669563362”;. This is going to be our password, insecurely stored, but encoded nevertheless. It is encoded with the function “encodeSecret” shown below.

Natas 8
The script Base64 encodes the secret->reverses that->then calls bin2hex() on that. We can actually use this script, in reverse order to get our secret. Create the script in a .php file like so:

<!--?php echo base64_decode(strrev(hex2bin("3d3d516343746d4d6d6c315669563362"))); ?-->

There are a couple of ways to run the script. If you are on some Linux flavor, and have PHP installed. You can run it inside your shell like this:

 php -f natas8.php

Or, if you have some web server like XAMPP or Apache/HTTPD installed, you can throw the script in /htdocs and simply navigate to the script. You will see the password as soon as you land on the page. It’s worth noting having a local web server is useful for many reasons.


Natas 9->10

Natas 9 presents us with a search form. Examining the source code, we see another PHP script.







We are not concerned with the fact that the form searches a dictionary file called dictionary.txt. Rather, we are interested in the fact the search form executes commands on the server. So, how can we leverage this?

We see that the script is greping the dictionary file. A little known fact about executing commands in this fashion is that we can chain commands together by using the shell command separator ;. Thinking back to Natas 7, we learned that the passwords are stored in /etc/natas_webpass/respectiveLevel. Let’s construct a chained command using this knowledge:

grep -i ; cat /etc/natas_webpass/natas10 # dictionary.txt

We used an additional argument in our command chain, the # operator.  That is used to comment anything after that operator. Thus, restricting our search to only /etc/natas_webpass/natas10. Finally, we are presented with our password:


OvertheWire Natas Wargame Solutions 0-6

The Natas series of games presents us with some challenges you might encounter while auditing serverside web-security. For the most part, they are examples of what programmers and administrators should not do. I will break up the challenges into small groups since there are 27 of them and it would be a great deal of writing. Serverside web-security is relevant to us because it is something users encounter most often. Every time you browse the web and interact with web applications, you are conversing with these protection mechanisms. Let’s take a look at the solutions to the following Natas challenges:

Natas 0->1

This one is easy enough, the password is on the page it says. View source and we can see the password in an html comment:

<!--The password for natas1 is gtVrDuiDfck831PqWsLEZy5gyDz1clto -->

Natas 1->2

The password for this one is found via the same method, except right-clicking has been blocked. It is blocked via JavaScript, so either disabling JavaScript in your browser or if you are like me and use a browser plugin like NoScript, you will be able to right-click anyway.

<!--The password for natas2 is ZluruAthQk7Q2MqmDeTiUij2ZvWy2mBi -->

Natas 2->3

Finding the password for Natas 3 requires us to explore a little more. Viewing the source, we see a couple of things: our Natas 2 pass embedded in some JavaScript and a link to a pixel image. We are not interested in the image itself, but the directory it is in. We can append /files to the end of our url and see the directory is readable. If we navigate to the users.txt file, we will see the password for Natas 3:


Natas 3->4

Viewing the source of this problem we can see an HTML comment “No more information leaks!! Not even Google will find it this time”. We can take that to mean the robots.txt file that is meant to disallow web bots from viewing certain directories within websites, if they decide to follow the rules… Navigating to /robots.txt we can see that the directory /s3cr3t/ is disallowed. Luckily for us, it is readable when navigating to it. Within you will see the users.txt file with the password for Natas 4:


Natas 4->5

Natas 4 presents us with a referral issue. It is blocking users being referred from anything other than http://natas5.natas.labs.overthewire.org/. For this we will use a Firefox browser plugin RefControl (You are using Firefox aren’t you?). Open up the RefControl options, add new site: http://natas4.natas.labs.overthewire.org/. Add a custom option with this in it: http://natas5.natas.labs.overthewire.org/. Press okay and refresh the page. We are magically presented with an access granted message and the password for Natas 5:


Natas 5->6

Now we are presented with a nondescript message ” Access disallowed. You are not logged in”. What could this really mean? If you guessed it has something to do with cookies, you were right. For problems like this, I use the awesome Firefox extension Firebug . Firebug now comes with the extension Firecookie, which allows on-the-fly viewing and editing of cookies in your browser. Install Firebug, right-click the page, and click on the cookies tab. You will see a cookie named “loggedin” for the natas5 domain. We can see it’s value is set to “0”. Let’s edit that and set it’s value to true or “1”. Do that, refresh the page, and we can now see the message “Access granted. The password for natas6”