Kioptrix 1.2 is a Boot to Root CTF available here on Vulnhub. It’s difficulty is rated as Beginner. This VM is the third in the Kioprtix series and the third VM in my OSCP preparation series based off abatchy’s blog post.

The VM and my Kali instance are set up with NAT networking, so to discover the IP address of the VM I run netdiscover

Once I obtain the IP, I then run a nmap scan and find the following ports: 22 and 80.

As per the instructions from Vulnhub, I add the IP address and host name ( to my hosts file and then visit the web page. The webpage consists of a blog, a gallery and a login panel.

I concurrently run a nikto scan against the site and discover that there is a phpmyadmin page being hosted.

I visit the phpmyadmin page and attempt some default logins. I successfully get access using the username ‘admin’ and no password. However, I only have access to the information schema and therefore this is no use to me.

Back on the login panel, I attempt a few SQLI techniques with no success so I go to research the CMS that is hosting the site - Lotus CMS. I find that there is a metasploit module for Lotus CMS so I give this a shot.

The metasploit module was successful and I gain a meterpreter shell. I drop into a standard shell and run ‘uname -a’ to get the version of linux that is running.

I research this version of Linux and see that it is vulnerable to the Dirty Cow exploit. I had previously used this exploit with success so I decided I would try it again. Like last time, the exploit seemed to hang whilst running it, but it had created the new user with root level permissions and I was able to SSH in as the new user (The exploit did complete fully, I was just too impatient to wait - but still got the result through SSH).

I navigated to the home directory for the Root user and found a file titled Congrats.txt. Success!