HackTheBox: Forensics Challenge – Reminiscent

Link: https://app.hackthebox.com/challenges/reminiscent

Our unzipped folder gives us a Resume.eml, imageinfo.txt and flounder-pc-memdump.elf memory dump file.

Let’s check out the email message. I ran cat Resume.eml which nets us:

Return-Path: [email protected]
 Delivered-To: [email protected]
 Received: (qmail 2609 invoked by uid 105); 3 Oct 2017 02:30:24 -0000
 MIME-Version: 1.0
 Content-Type: multipart/alternative;
 Date: Mon, 02 Oct 2017 22:30:24 -0400
 From: Brian Loodworm [email protected]
 To: [email protected]
 Subject: Resume
 Organization: HackTheBox
 Message-ID: [email protected]
 X-Sender: [email protected]
 Received: from mail.madlab.lcl (HELO mail.madlab.lcl) (
  by mail.madlab.lcl (qpsmtpd/0.96) with ESMTPSA (ECDHE-RSA-AES256-GCM-SHA384 encrypted); Mon, 02 Oct 2017 22:30:24 -0400
 Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
 Content-Type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII
 Hi Frank, someone told me you would be great to review my resume..
 Could you have a look?
 resume.zip [1]

We can see a link to a zip file on a remote server from the email. It is named resume but the extension is a .zip instead of a .docx or .pdf which should have been the first indicator to leave the attachment alone.

Next inside our package was an imageinfo.txt that provides information on the flounder-pc-memdump.elf memory file:

          Suggested Profile(s) : Win7SP1x64, Win7SP0x64, Win2008R2SP0x64, Win2008R2SP1x64_23418, Win2008R2SP1x64, Win7SP1x64_23418
                     AS Layer1 : WindowsAMD64PagedMemory (Kernel AS)
                     AS Layer2 : VirtualBoxCoreDumpElf64 (Unnamed AS)
                     AS Layer3 : FileAddressSpace (/home/infosec/dumps/mem_dumps/01/flounder-pc-memdump.elf)
                      PAE type : No PAE
                           DTB : 0x187000L
                          KDBG : 0xf800027fe0a0L
          Number of Processors : 2
     Image Type (Service Pack) : 1
                KPCR for CPU 0 : 0xfffff800027ffd00L
                KPCR for CPU 1 : 0xfffff880009eb000L
             KUSER_SHARED_DATA : 0xfffff78000000000L
           Image date and time : 2017-10-04 18:07:30 UTC+0000
     Image local date and time : 2017-10-04 11:07:30 -0700

We can use the Volatility framework to investigate this file.

# view running processes
$ vol.py pslist --profile=Win7SP1x64 -f flounder-pc-memdump.elf

We see two powershell.exe processes running from the above command. One at 496 and one at 2752.

# scan the active network connections
$ vol.py netscan --profile=Win7SP1x64 -f flounder-pc-memdump.elf
0x1fc04010         TCPv6    -:0                            6890:8300:80fa:ffff:6890:8300:80fa:ffff:0 CLOSED           2752     powershell.exe
0x1fc04490         TCPv4          CLOSED           2752     powershell.exe
0x1fc15010         TCPv6    ::1:2869                       ::1:49237            ESTABLISHED      4        System
0x1fc3d320         TCPv4          CLOSED           2752     powershell.exe

We can see a few closed connections to the same IP that the file was downloaded from on the PID 2752, powershell.exe process.

# search for resume files open
$ vol.py filescan --profile=Win7SP1x64 -f flounder-pc-memdump.elf | grep resume
Volatility Foundation Volatility Framework 2.6.1
0x000000001e1f6200      1      0 R--r-- \Device\HarddiskVolume2\Users\user\Desktop\resume.pdf.lnk
0x000000001e8feb70      1      1 R--rw- \Device\HarddiskVolume2\Users\user\Desktop\resume.pdf.lnk

We do have two files open, lets dump the files and see what we can derive from them:

# dump files at the specified offset to the current directory
$ vol.py dumpfiles --profile=Win7SP1x64 -f flounder-pc-memdump.elf -Q 0x000000001e8feb70 -D .

We can use strings on the files and a bunch of base64 appears. I threw the output into cyberchef and it returns a command with period delimitation and another base64 string:

from base64

After a quick google search, the period can be a sign of UTF-16(LE) encoding, according to this StackOverflow post. So, if we pass this through a Decode Text – UTF-16LE (1200) module, it removes the periods and we can copy the new base64 string and paste it.

After decoding the new string, we see the actual powershell code. Down near the very bottom is a $flag variable with our flag.


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