OffSec Live: PEN-200

author: Nathan Acks
date: 2022-08-05

Today on OffSec Live we’ll be covering Linux privilege escalation.

File Permissions

Oh, I hadn’t noticed this before, but the *NIX read/write/execute bits are represented in that order in the permission bitmask, which is why r is 4, w is 2, and x is 1. (Or, an easier mnemonic might be “they’re read in descending order”.)

When using symbolic permissions with chmod, leaving off the ugo bit will result in the permission being applied to all three categories. For more complex expressions, different permission changes can be separated with a comma (,) - for example, chmod ug+x,o-w file.txt.

The SUID & SGID Bits

Find SUID files: find / -type f -perm -u=s -ls 2>/dev/null

Not sure if a binary is normally SUID? Compare the results of the above command with the same output on your local (Linux) box.

The presence of the SUID/SGID bit only allows a program to elevate its privileges to match its user/group - a call to setresuid() and/or setregid() (or work-alikes) is still required to actually perform the (presumably legitimate) privilege escalation!

Exploiting the SUID Bit

In the output of the id command, the euid and egid are the effective user and group IDs.

When exploiting binaries that call other binaries, look for places where the absolute path has not been used and then see if you can manipulate the PATH so that a binary you control is called instead!