In Level13 we are given the following code:

#include <stdlib.h>
#include <unistd.h>
#include <stdio.h>
#include <sys/types.h>
#include <string.h>
#define FAKEUID 1000
int main(int argc, char **argv, char **envp)
  int c;
  char token[256];
  if(getuid() != FAKEUID) {
    printf("Security failure detected. UID %d started us, we expect %d\n", getuid(), FAKEUID);
    printf("The system administrators will be notified of this violation\n");
  // snip, sorry :)
  printf("your token is %s\n", token);


Well the code is missing the token but it is clear that is reading the user UID anc comparing it with 1000, so the only way to get our token is to fake that our UID is 1000.

You can run strings on the binary and get the encrypted token 8mjomjh8wml;bwnh8jwbbnnwi;>;88?o;9ob but this is not about crypto, so lets use a different approach.

I used Hopper to dissasmble the ELF binary and look for the UID comparision:

{% img /images/flag13hopper.png %}

The code is calling getuid() and comparing the result stored in EAX with 0x3e8 that is 1000 in decimal. All we need to do is change the value using a debugger:

[email protected]:/home/flag13$ gdb flag13  -q
Reading symbols from /home/flag13/flag13...(no debugging symbols found)...done.
(gdb) break main
Breakpoint 1 at 0x80484c9
(gdb) run
Starting program: /home/flag13/flag13

Breakpoint 1, 0x080484c9 in main ()
(gdb) x/20i main
(gdb) x/20i main
   0x80484c4 <main>:	push   %ebp
   0x80484c5 <main+1>:	mov    %esp,%ebp
   0x80484c7 <main+3>:	push   %edi
   0x80484c8 <main+4>:	push   %ebx
=> 0x80484c9 <main+5>:	and    $0xfffffff0,%esp
   0x80484cc <main+8>:	sub    $0x130,%esp
   0x80484d2 <main+14>:	mov    0xc(%ebp),%eax
   0x80484d5 <main+17>:	mov    %eax,0x1c(%esp)
   0x80484d9 <main+21>:	mov    0x10(%ebp),%eax
   0x80484dc <main+24>:	mov    %eax,0x18(%esp)
   0x80484e0 <main+28>:	mov    %gs:0x14,%eax
   0x80484e6 <main+34>:	mov    %eax,0x12c(%esp)
   0x80484ed <main+41>:	xor    %eax,%eax
   0x80484ef <main+43>:	call   0x80483c0 <[email protected]>
   0x80484f4 <main+48>:	cmp    $0x3e8,%eax
   0x80484f9 <main+53>:	je     0x8048531 <main+109>
   0x80484fb <main+55>:	call   0x80483c0 <[email protected]>
   0x8048500 <main+60>:	mov    $0x80486d0,%edx
   0x8048505 <main+65>:	movl   $0x3e8,0x8(%esp)
   0x804850d <main+73>:	mov    %eax,0x4(%esp)
(gdb) break *main + 48
Breakpoint 2 at 0x80484f4
(gdb) cont

Breakpoint 2, 0x080484f4 in main ()
(gdb) p $eax
$1 = 1014
(gdb) set $eax = 1000
(gdb) p $eax
$2 = 1000
(gdb) cont
your token is b705702b-76a8-42b0-8844-3adabbe5ac58
[Inferior 1 (process 1572) exited with code 063]

And there we go, the token is b705702b-76a8-42b0-8844-3adabbe5ac58. We can now log in as flag13 user:

[email protected] ~> ssh [email protected]

      _   __     __          __
     / | / /__  / /_  __  __/ /___ _
    /  |/ / _ \/ __ \/ / / / / __ `/
   / /|  /  __/ /_/ / /_/ / / /_/ /
  /_/ |_/\___/_.___/\__,_/_/\__,_/

For level descriptions, please see the above URL.

To log in, use the username of "levelXX" and password "levelXX", where
XX is the level number.

Currently there are 20 levels (00 - 19).

[email protected]'s password:
Welcome to Ubuntu 11.10 (GNU/Linux 3.0.0-12-generic i686)

 * Documentation:
Your Ubuntu release is not supported anymore.
For upgrade information, please visit:

New release '12.04.3 LTS' available.
Run 'do-release-upgrade' to upgrade to it.

The programs included with the Ubuntu system are free software;
the exact distribution terms for each program are described in the
individual files in /usr/share/doc/*/copyright.

Ubuntu comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by
applicable law.

[email protected]:~$ id
uid=986(flag13) gid=986(flag13) groups=986(flag13)
[email protected]:~$ getflag
You have successfully executed getflag on a target account


A different approach is using crypto, the token is encrypted using XOR and as we can see in the disassembly, the key is 0x5a (dec 90)

{% img /images/flag13main.png %}

The following script will decrypt it for us:

def xor_string_int(s, i):
	array = []
	for c in s:
		array.append(chr(ord(c) ^ i))
	xored = "".join(array)
	print xored

xor_string_int("8mjomjh8wml;bwnh8jwbbnnwi;>;88?o;9ob", 90)
[email protected] ~/Desktop> python