Writeup for Zombie from NahamCon CTF 2023

NahamCon CTF 2023 Zombie Writeup

Published on June 18, 2023 by 0xRar

Writeups CTF Misc

2 min READ

NahamCon CTF 2023 ! it was a great CTF where we were fighting for the 5th place for couple of hours, but ended getting tied with the 6th place, and got 7th out of 2518 teams.



  • Category: Misc
  • Difficulty: Easy


Author: @JohnHammond#6971

Oh, shoot, I could have sworn there was a flag here. Maybe it’s still alive out there?


For this challenge, we are given the credentials to connect to a machine via ssh and we have to find the flag somehow, so there is a file that had the flag in it but we can’t access it in the meantime.

After connecting to the machine listing all the files in the home directory will allow us to see a hidden shell script (.user-entrypoint.sh)

user@zombie:~$ ls -la
total 24
drwxr-sr-x    1 user     user          4096 Jun 16 12:37 .
drwxr-xr-x    1 root     root          4096 Jun 14 17:52 ..
-rwxr-xr-x    1 user     user          3846 Jun 14 17:52 .bashrc
-rw-r--r--    1 user     user            17 Jun 14 17:52 .profile
-rwxr-xr-x    1 root     root           131 Jun 14 17:52 .user-entrypoint.sh

.user-entrypoint.sh content:


nohup tail -f /home/user/flag.txt >/dev/null 2>&1 & # 

rm -f /home/user/flag.txt 2>&1 >/dev/null

bash -i

After searching about some of the commands used here i got interested in the nohup command which is a command used to keep processes running even after exiting the shell or terminal

and listing the proceses will confirm that:

user@zombie:~$ ps
    1 root       0:00 /usr/sbin/sshd -D -e
    7 root       0:00 sshd: user [priv]
    9 user       0:00 sshd: user@pts/0
   10 user       0:00 {.user-entrypoin} /bin/bash /home/user/.user-entrypoint.sh
   11 user       0:00 tail -f /home/user/flag.txt
   13 user       0:00 bash -i
   21 user       0:00 ps

So now its clearly something to do with a process so i did some reading on Process-Specific Subdirectories (/proc)

Quoting docs.kernel.org: “The directory /proc contains (among other things) one subdirectory for each process running on the system, which is named after the process ID (PID).”

And Looking into the Process specific entries there is fd: Directory, which contains all file descriptors, A file descriptor is an unsigned integer used by a process to identify an open file so now that we know the pid and what entry to look at we can read tail -f /home/user/flag.txt from the file descriptor for that process.

user@zombie:~$ cd /proc
user@zombie:/proc$ cd 11
user@zombie:/proc/11$ cd fd
user@zombie:/proc/11/fd$ cat *


Flag: flag{6387e800943b0b468c2622ff858bf744}

Thank You For Reading ❤