Timelapse hackthebox

HackTheBox- Timelapse

Hello folks,

This blog focuses on a machine called “Timelapse” within HackTheBox. It has been classified as an easy machine. It is based on the Windows Operating System. You will be learning about Windows Enumeration and Privilege Escalation. Let’s proceed without any delay and begin the penetration testing process.

You can find the machine in the retired category of HackTheBox over here.

First of all let’s start the machine by clicking on “Join Machine” and scan the obtained IP using “NMAP”.

sudo nmap -sS <Machine_IP>

1 Nmap Scan

We can see that there are many ports open such as DNS (53), Kerberos (88), LDAP (389), SMB (445), etc. which confirms that this machine is a Domain controller in an Active Directory environment. Let us move further and start the enumeration process with SMB.

Firstly, we will see the available shares and their permissions with the help of smbmap tool using the following command.

smbmap -H <Machine_IP> -u “CyberiumX”

Here, I have provided any username like CyberiumX which will be treated as a guest account. We get an available share with Read permission named “Shares

After that we can use smbclient to connect with the available share.

smbclient \\\\<Machine_IP>\\Shares

2. SMBclient and smbmap

Now, we will check what content we have here on the “Shares” share using dir command. We will find some directories here, so let us visit them one by one and look for some critical files. After looking into the Dev directory we found a file named winrm_backup.zip which looks very interesting. Let’s download it using following command and look for some other important files:

get winrm_backup.zip

3. download files

We got nothing special in the other directory, so let us exit from here and try to unzip the compressed file using the following command:

unzip winrm_backup.zip

We will find that there is a pfx file inside the zip file but we cannot decompress it because it requires a password. So in order to get the password of it we need to generate the password hash out of the zip file using zip2john tool as follows:

zip2john winrm_backup.zip > zip_password.txt

4. Zip file pass hash

We have the password hash of the zip file. Now we can simply use john the ripper on our zip_password.txt file which contains the hash of the zip file using the following command:

john –wordlist=/usr/share/wordlists/rockyou.txt zip_password.txt

And then we can simply decompress the file with the password we just obtained using the following command:

unzip winrm_backup.zip

It will decompress a file with the name “legacyy_dev_auth.pfx”. Here legacyy or legacyy_dev looks like a username.

5. password for zip file


Getting Foothold on Timelapse

Now using the pfx file we can generate .pem and .crt files which will help us to take access to the Windows machine using WinRM. In order to generate the pem file, we can simply use the following command: (This will require a password that we do not know. Let us check.)

openssl pkcs12 -in legacyy_dev_auth.pfx -nocerts -out CyberiumX_key.pem

6. invalid password

We got an error as invalid password as we do not have access to the password of the pfx file.

Now we need to get the password hash of the pfx file using a tool named pfx2john. This tool is located at /usr/share/john. In order to get the hash, we need to copy the pfx file to /usr/share/john and then we need to run the following command:

sudo ./pfx2john.py legacyy_dev_auth.pfx > /home/CyberiumX/pfx_hash.txt

7. passhash of

This will provide us with the hash of the pfx file. Now, we will again use john the ripper tool to get the password of the pfx file using the following command:

john –wordlist=/usr/share/wordlists/rockyou.txt pfx_hash.txt

8. Pass of pfx file

John the ripper successfully provided us the password of pfx file and now we can finally generate pem file using the same command as follows:

openssl pkcs12 -in legacyy_dev_auth.pfx -nocerts -out CyberiumX_key.pem

It asked for a pass phrase which we can set of our choice.

9. pem file

Next, we will generate the crt file using the same tool openssl and pfx file as follows:

openssl pkcs12 -in legacyy_dev_auth.pfx -clcerts -nokeys -out CyberiumX_cert.crt

We can see that we have both the files here.

10 crt file

Now we have to generate a pem file with RSA asymmetric encryption signature because it will be used to take the remote shell using WinRM. So, we will use the following command to create it:

openssl rsa -in CyberiumX_key.pem -out CyberiumX_rsa.pem

11 rsa file

Okay. So, now after everything we have done we will use Evilwinrm tool to get the remote access of the target machine. We will provide Machine’s IP, username as legacy, CyberiumX_rsa.pem as Key file with RSA signature and CyberiumX_cert.crt as our certificate file as follows:

evil-winrm -i <Machine_IP> -u legacyy -k CyberiumX_rsa.pem -c CyberiumX_cert.crt –S

Great!!! We got our foothold on Timelapse. We can go to User’s Desktop and look for User.txt file.


Now after trying different methods to escalate the privileges, we found password for a user named svc_deploy in the history of Powershell using following command:

cat $env:APPDATA\Microsoft\Windows\PowerShell\PSReadLine\ConsoleHost_history.txt

13. Creds looting

Let’s take the access of svc_deploy user on Timelapse using Evilwinrm tool as follows:

evil-winrm –I <Machine_IP> -u svc_deploy -p ‘<password>’ -S

14. svc deploy user shell


Privilege Escalation on Timelapse

Now, we need to find our way to get Administrative access on Timelapse.
In the Documents folder of svc_deploy user, we are getting a directory named AdmPwd.PS.

15. admpw

So, I researched this directory on Google and heard about LAPS (Local Administrator Password Solution) which provides a solution to manage local account passwords of domain joined computers. Hence the name of machine is Time-LAPS

16. about LAPS

You can check out the article by HackTricks about LAPS Penetration Testing.
Now let us check if the following registry is set or not:

reg query “HKLM\Software\Policies\Microsoft Services\AdmPwd” /v AdmPwdEnable

This is set on the target machine. Let us confirm that is there any group related to LAPS using the following command:

net groups /domain

17. Confirming LAPS

So, we have a group named LAPS_Readers which is a domain group.
Now let us finally confirm whether we are a member of this group using the following command:

net groups “LAPS_Readers” /domain

18. Permission to read the LAPS

Great!!! We are a member of this group. Now we need to find a way to get the password of Administrator users using LAPS.
After searching a lot on the internet I finally found one command which requires the name of the DC as an argument. So let’s first get the name of DC using the following command:


19. name of DC

We will find that the name of the DC is dc01. So using this name we can now run our final command which will extract the password for the admin user and show it to us on the screen. The command is as follows:

Get-ADComputer dc01 -Properties ms-Mcs-AdmPwd

20. admin password

Hurray!!! We got the password of the administrator user. Let us again use evilwinrm tool to get access to the administrator user using the looted credentials. The command is as follows:

evil-winrm -i <Machine_IP> -u administrator -p ‘<password>’ –S

21. Got Admin access

Yeah!!! We have administrative access here. Now we need to read the contents of root.txt file which we could not find in the Administrator directory. So I checked the Users folder and there we have another user named TRX. So, I checked the Desktop of the TRX user and there I found the root.txt file which we can read with the help of the type command.


So, this was all about the Timelapse machine by HackTheBox. We learned about some new terms here like How to get the password hash of a pfx file and how to crack it, how to get access using key and crt files, about LAPS, etc.

You can checkout out other blogs on HackTheBox machines here.

Happy Pentesting!!!

Team CyberiumX

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