Hack The Box - SolidState

We are going to pwn SolidState from Hack The Box.

Link : https://www.hackthebox.eu/home/machines/profile/85

Lets Begin with our Initial Nmap Scan.

Nmap Scan Results:

22/tcp   open  ssh         OpenSSH 7.4p1 Debian 10+deb9u1 (protocol 2.0)
| ssh-hostkey: 
|   2048 77:00:84:f5:78:b9:c7:d3:54:cf:71:2e:0d:52:6d:8b (RSA)
|   256 78:b8:3a:f6:60:19:06:91:f5:53:92:1d:3f:48:ed:53 (ECDSA)
|_  256 e4:45:e9:ed:07:4d:73:69:43:5a:12:70:9d:c4:af:76 (ED25519)
25/tcp   open  smtp        JAMES smtpd 2.3.2
|_smtp-commands: solidstate Hello nmap.scanme.org ( []), 
80/tcp   open  http        Apache httpd 2.4.25 ((Debian))
|_http-server-header: Apache/2.4.25 (Debian)
|_http-title: Home - Solid State Security
110/tcp  open  pop3        JAMES pop3d 2.3.2
119/tcp  open  nntp        JAMES nntpd (posting ok)
4555/tcp open  james-admin JAMES Remote Admin 2.3.2
Warning: OSScan results may be unreliable because we could not find at least 1 open and 1 closed port
Aggressive OS guesses: Linux 3.12 (95%), Linux 3.13 (95%), Linux 3.16 (95%), Linux 3.18 (95%), Linux 3.2 - 4.9 (95%), Linux 3.8 - 3.11 (95%), Linux 4.8 (95%), Linux 4.4 (95%), Linux 4.2 (95%), ASUS RT-N56U WAP (Linux 3.4) (95%)
No exact OS matches for host (test conditions non-ideal).
Network Distance: 2 hops
Service Info: Host: solidstate; OS: Linux; CPE: cpe:/o:linux:linux_kernel


The Webpage looks useless, Nothing Special.


Nmap Scan reveales James which is an mail server.

Apache James, a.k.a. Java Apache Mail Enterprise Server or some variation thereof, is an open source SMTP and POP3 mail transfer agent and NNTP news server written entirely in Java.

I searched for any exploits available in Searchsploit.


The Exploit revealed Default credentials of Port 4555

# credentials to James Remote Administration Tool (Default - root/root)
user = 'root'
pwd = 'root'

So I logged in with these credentials

HELP command reveals we can see the list of users and we can even change the mail password. I changed mindy mail password.

So Password is reset for user mindy.

We Changed User’s mail password and POP3 is Open, So we can view the mails received by user mindy using telnet

Post Office Protocol is an application-layer Internet standard protocol used by e-mail clients to retrieve e-mail from a mail server. POP version 3 is the version in common use.

This Article helps me to use POP3 in command line.


First Message doesn’t have anything useful but Second messange give me SSH password for mindy.


mindy : P@55W0rd1!2@

Got User Flag!!.

We can see that we have rbash which is Restricted Bash so we are restricted to use some commands. So I googled about how to escape rbash and found this. We can also use bash –noprofile in ssh.

--noprofile Do not read either the system-wide startup file /etc/profile or any of the personal initialization files ~/.bash_profile, ~/.bash_lo‐ gin, or ~/.profile. By default, bash reads these files when it is invoked as a login shell.

Another Method:

We already found an exploit which runs the payload if someone logs in.

I changed the payload to give us reverse shell.

Run the exploit and started my nc listener on another terminal and Logged in SSH.

Now we have normal bash shell.

Privilege Escalation:

My Enumeration Script revealed there is a file with writeable permission in /opt/tmp.py which is running as root. Maybe its a cronjob.

I changed the script and gave SETUID to /bin/sh

SETUID make the executable /bin/sh to run as root because the script is running as root.

So When I use run sh I will get root shell

I’m Root!!


Instead of using telnet command line for pop3, We can use Thunderbird Mail Client.

All we need to do is, Open ThunderBird -> Add Email -> Login

Now we can view the mail in better GUI