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Prison Escape⚓︎

Direct link: Escape terminal



Escape from a container. Get hints for this challenge from Bow Ninecandle in the Elfen Ring. What hex string appears in the host file /home/jailer/.ssh/jail.key.priv?

Tinsel Upatree

Hiya hiya, I'm Tinsel Upatree!
Check me out, I'm working side-by-side with a real-life Flobbit. Epic!
Anyway, would ya' mind looking at this terminal with me?
It takes a few seconds to start up, but then you're logged into a super secure container environment!
Or maybe it isn't so secure? I've heard about container escapes, and it has me a tad worried.
Do you think you could test this one for me? I'd appreciate it!



When users are over-privileged, they can often act as root. When containers have too many permissions, they can affect the host!

Mount Up and Ride

Were you able to mount up? If so, users' home/ directories can be a great place to look for secrets...


Welcome message
Greetings Noble Player,

You find yourself in a jail with a recently captured Dwarven Elf.

He desperately asks your help in escaping for he is on a quest to aid a friend in a search
for treasure inside a crypto-mine.

If you can help him break free of his containment, he claims you would receive "MUCH GLORY!"

Please, do your best to un-contain yourself and find the keys to both of your freedom.

As with many CTFs and real life pentesting engagements, everything starts with some good reconnaissance. Having a solid understanding of the environment we're trying to break into, or in this particular case break out of, is crucial. From a permissions perspective we can verify if there are any elevated permissions we've been granted using sudo -l. This tells us that our user samways is allowed to run any command as the root account. We can either prepend sudo to every command going forward or simply use sudo su to drop into a privileged root shell.

Elevating privileges

Based on the hint referencing the mount command and the request to read a file stored on the host file system, we can check if any block storage devices are available to mount or connect to our container. lsblk is typically used to list this information, but that particular command isn't available. Instead, we can use fdisk -l or find /dev -type b.

Find storage devices

Mounting the /dev/vda block device to the /mnt folder using the command mount /dev/vda /mnt will make the content of the storage device accessible in our container and allows us to show the hex string via cat /mnt/home/jailer/.ssh/jail.key.priv.


Channeling our inner Captain Hindsight, solving this challenge really only requires 2 commands:

Terminal commands to solve the challenge
sudo mount /dev/vda /mnt  # mount /dev/vda to /mnt
cat /mnt/home/jailer/.ssh/jail.key.priv  # print the hex string




Tinsel Upatree

Great! Thanks so much for your help!
Now that you've helped me with this, I have time to tell you about the deployment tech I've been working on!
Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment pipelines allow developers to iterate and innovate quickly.
With this project, once I push a commit, a GitLab runner will automatically deploy the changes to production.
WHOOPS! I didn’t mean to commit that to
Unfortunately, if attackers can get in that pipeline, they can make an awful mess of things!