Hack the Box (HTB) machines walkthrough series — Celestial

Today, we will be continuing with our exploration of Hack the Box (HTB) machines as seen in previous articles. This walkthrough is of an HTB machine named Celestial.

HTB is an excellent platform that hosts machines belonging to multiple OSes. It also has some other challenges as well. Individuals have to solve the puzzle (simple enumeration plus pentest) in order to log into the platform and download the VPN pack to connect to the machines hosted on the HTB platform.

Note: Only write-ups of retired HTB machines are allowed. The machine in this article, named Celestial, is retired.

The walkthrough

Let’s start with this machine.

1. Download the VPN pack for the individual user and use the guidelines to log into the HTB VPN.

2. The Celestial machine IP is

3. We will adopt the same methodology of performing penetration testing as we’ve used previously. Let’s start with enumeration in order to gain as much information about the machine as possible.

4. As usual, let’s start with the nmap scan to gather more information about the services running on this machine. [CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE]
<<nmap -sC -sV -oA Celestial>>

5. As we can see, only port 3000 is listed with Node.js on it. Let’ start enumerating this.

6. Below is the message that we received after browsing port 3000.

7. Let’s start Burp and see if something interesting is going on in the requests.

8. It looks like there is a cookie set named “profile.” The end of its value is rather interesting since %3D%3D is ==.

9. Copying and base64-decoding that reveals the following JSON. From the cookie decoded value, it looks like the cookie value is parsed and presented, which is “2” here. Along the same lines, (Read more...)

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