Padding Oracle Walkthrough


Our goal is to gain access to admin account by padding oracle attack. Application allows us to register accounts then encrypted cookie is used to authenticate.

This VM can be found on PentesterLab or VulnHub

  1. I started with analyzing length of blocks. I registered many accounts increasing their names’ length. I wrote the script which registers accounts and displays authentication cookie and its size. Starting from 1 character and ending with 20 characters, I noticed that block size is 8 bytes.

  2. When I knew length of each block I was able to start decrypting cookies. I wrote another script which takes authentication cookie and decrypts every block except the first one.
    This result was what I had expected. Cookie contained username, probably without any other authentication information.

  3. What I already learned gave me an idea to register an account using some username very similar to ‘admin’ (with one character changed - ‘bdmin’ in my case) and change it into ‘admin’. I wrote last script which takes ‘bdmin’ cookie and modifies first character until valid admin cookie is generated.

  4. In my browser I replaced authentication cookie with the new one. As the result, I gained access to an admin account.