TryHackMe: Complete Beginner (Supplements)

author: Nathan Acks
date: 2021-11-28

Cross-Site Scripting

Introduction

Two basic types:

In general, in a reflected attack the malicious content comes from the target itself (usually by way of a malicious URL), while in a stored attack the malicious content is set by a different user than the target.

Mostly noting this down because it’s been a while since I last looks at XSS.

Stored XSS

Cookies can be accessed in JavaScript via document.cookie.

It’s worth noting that <script/> tags are automatically interpreted as JavaScript these days, so there’s no need to add type="application/javascript" anymore.

NOTE: I just looked up the flag for the third question here, as I wasn’t able to change the title with either document.getElementById("thm-title").innerHTML = "I am a hacker" or document.querySelector("#thm-title").textContent = "I am a hacker" (both of which should work, both of which do work on the console, and both of which are used in different walk-throughs). While there might be something in particular about my browser setup, I’ve also tried multiple browsers and haven’t been able to get this to work. I’m kind of stumped.

I also can’t get fetch() or window.location directives to query a local Python web server. Using the playground’s built-in /log/ facility (per the hint) does work… But running document.cookie directly produces output like connect.sid=..., but the line that appears in /logs is connect.sid ... (note the presence of a space rather than a =). This makes me think that there’s something funky and automated going on with this box, rather than me missing something.

In any event, you can change the value of the cookies associated with a site in Firefox using the “Storage” tab in the Web Developer Tools.

Reflected XSS

This is the most common type of XSS attack.

Note that CORS will generally prevent the use of online services for fetching data…

DOM-Based XSS

So, this is basically SQL injection, but with HTML. The main trick here is that I’m finding that browsers (or at least all of my browsers) don’t seem to reliably execute JavaScript in <script/> tags that’s been inserted after the page load anymore. Using the onmouseover or onclick attribute seems to work reliably (the onload attribute does not, however).

This may explain all of the trouble I had above.

Using XSS for IP and Port Scanning

An example JavaScript port scanner (possibly broken).

XSS Keylogger

A simple JavaScript keylogger:

<script type="text/javascript">
	let l = "";  
	document.onkeypress = function (e) {
		l += e.key;
		console.log(l);
	}
</script>

This only logs to the browser console though; a real keylogger would send this information to an external server or some-such.

Filter Evasion: Bypass <script/> Tag Removal

Use onmouseover, onclick, etc.

Filter Evasion: Bypass Simple Word Filtering

In general, you can break up strings to get around this.

alert("H" + "ello")

The eval() function can be used to turn strings into function names if a function is filtered.

eval("a" + "lert")("Hello")

It’s also possible (and safer, though if we’re breaking into things we probably care a lot less about safety) to use window[].

window["a" + "lert"]("Hello")

For really heavy filtering, use something nutso like JSFuck.

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(Note that things like the JavaScript Obfuscator Tool won’t always remove functions and strings, as they tend to be geared more towards thwarting script analysis than bypassing filters.)

Remember that JavaScript recognizes single quote, double quotes, and back ticks all as valid string quoting characters!

(Mind you, none of these methods provided flags for the two questions in this part of the task. And when I went looking for other write-ups, the alternate solutions that do work - which involve using alternate functions like prompt() or confirm() and abusing the filtering of “Hello” to reconstruct the word being filtered - don’t strike me as particularly generalizable. So I like the ideas above - which all work! - better, even if the XSS Playground doesn’t recognize them as “valid” solutions.)

Filter Evasion: Bypass Attribute AND Tag AND Word Filtering

Remember that it’s possible to embed JavaScript in an iframe, at least so long as you don’t mind losing access to the parent page’s DOM.

Also remember that browsers treat URI schemes, HTML tag names, and HTML tag attributes in a case-insensitive fashion (so, javascript: is treated the same as javaSCRIPT:, onclick is treated the same as ONCLICK, etc.).

CC: Pen Testing

Netcat

Netcat can connect over UDP instead of TCP by providing the -u flag. I suspect that this may be less than reliable though for anything other than connections on the local network.

GoBuster

Gobuster can also attempt to brute-force subdomains (the dns command).

Increasing threads (-t) in gobuster makes a big difference in performance. (Probably makes you noisier too…)

Nikto

Nikto is a web application vulnerability scanner.

nikto -h            # Short help
nikto -H            # Long help (all commands)
nikto -list-plugins # List plugins