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Snatching the EIP

So we found that through a buffer overflow of the right length, we could modify the return address of some function and jump to code of our choice. It would seem natural then, for us to do something like the following:

Since the buffer size is 256 bytes (we figure that out by experimentation, slowly growing and shrinking the address= line length until we home in on the exact number of characters that cause it to crash) the above string will fill the buffer with 256 periods, overwrite EBP with 0x34333231 and set EIP to 0x00ZZYYXX, since the string ends with a null terminator. This lets us point to wherever we want in the stack because guess what, we're allowed 1 NULL at the very end!

In some cases, this works fine. But in other cases, the buffer is either too small for this to work and do something useful, or the buffer is first munged by a bunch of string ops or parsing. In many cases, putting the code AFTER the return address is a better idea, as follows:

In this case, you often get a lot more code space to work with for writing your exploit, but we don't get the added benefit of getting a free null character to form our stack jump address. Turns out that putting the code after the return address is what we'll need to do for this exploit. The stuff before the return address is destroyed before we get a chance to work with it. We end up jumping to 0xZZYYXXWW, where neither WW,XX,YY, or ZZ can be invalid chars. So where do we go? Somewhere that can take us where we want to go.

First, turn on your realtime debugger and put in an exploit string that will surely cause the thing to crash. Something that points to a blatantly bad address (set 0xZZYYXXWW to equal 0x34333231 for example. No code is in memory there, instant page fault). Now run it and let your debugger kick in. Examine the state, and see what you have to work with. In the case of this exploit, we find that ESP is the only register that points to anything anywhere near our exploit code. In fact, it points to the location where we blew over the saved EBP, plus 16 bytes. Ok... So what exactly are we trying to do?

We want to jump the stack. In fact, simply jumping to ESP should be sufficient. A clever way to do this is to set the 0xZZYYXXWW to point to a piece of code in memory that does a "jmp esp" or a "call esp" or something like that. But, to complicate issues, it has to be in a piece of code where no byte in the address is a "bad byte", especially 0x00. We find our magic code in MSCONF.DLL, loaded at 0x6A600000, offset 2A76:

.00002A76: 54                           push   esp
.00002A77: 2404                         and    al,004
.00002A79: 33C0                         xor    eax,eax
.00002A7B: 8A0A                         mov    cl,[edx]
.00002A7D: 84C9                         test   cl,cl
.00002A7F: 740F                         je    .000002A90   
.00002A81: 80E930                       sub    cl,030  ;"0"
.00002A84: 8D0480                       lea    eax,[eax][eax]*4
.00002A87: 0FB6C9                       movzx  ecx,cl
.00002A8A: 42                           inc    edx
.00002A8B: 8D0441                       lea    eax,[ecx][eax]*2
.00002A8E: EBEB                         jmps  .000002A7B
.00002A90: C20400                       retn   00004
This code doesn't look like it jumps to esp, but that's because it doesn't. It returns to ESP. The PUSH ESP happens, the jmps 2A7B happens once, then the JE 2A90 kicks in and pops us to a RET. This effectively jumps us to ESP. Heh. So all is well. MSCONF.DLL is loaded, and we can expect that this code is going to be in the same place all the time because we only have one version of MSCONF.DLL to worry about, and it has a fixed DLL base address. So our value of 0xZZYYXXWW is 0x6A602A76. No nulls, no bad chars, no bullshit. We have now snatched the EIP. The processor is ours. Now to do something useful...

Ooh! Exploit!

Back it up, I missed something.