Oregon State University Security Club



Our monitoring systems noticed some funny-looking DNS traffic on one of our computers. We have the network logs from around the time of the incident. Want to take a look?

Files: netlogs.pcap


Opening the PCAP up in wireshark shows that there are quite a few (37991) DNS packets, as well as a smattring of others (Statistics > Protocol Hierarchy). Let’s look at the remaining packets first, as there are only a few of them:

  • There’s 1 mDNS packet, which appears to have no consequence.
  • There are 8 DHCP packets that also appear inconsequential
  • There are quite a few FTP packets, from which we can glean a username and password goodag and howdy respectively.
  • There are 3 FTP-DATA packets, which include a PGP Public and Private keys, as well as a directory listing (see below).

PGP Public Key PGP Private Key Directory Listing:

drwxr-xr-x    2 1000     1000         4096 Nov 26 21:37 Desktop
drwxr-xr-x    2 1000     1000         4096 Nov 26 21:37 Documents
drwxr-xr-x    2 1000     1000         4096 Nov 26 21:37 Downloads
drwxr-xr-x    2 1000     1000         4096 Nov 26 21:37 Music
drwxr-xr-x    2 1000     1000         4096 Nov 26 21:37 Pictures
drwxr-xr-x    2 1000     1000         4096 Nov 26 21:37 Public
drwxr-xr-x    2 1000     1000         4096 Nov 26 21:37 Templates
drwxr-xr-x    2 1000     1000         4096 Nov 26 21:37 Videos
-rw-r--r--    1 1000     1000         8980 Nov 24 21:15 examples.desktop
-rw-------    1 1000     1000         3589 Nov 27 03:20 priv
-rw-------    1 1000     1000         1698 Nov 27 03:20 pub

This directory listing does not look to have much interesting to it, but the PGP keys do.

Now we turned our attention to the 37991 DNS packets. These each contain a query to a site in the format x6U3gvbExVWkk4U1gzWVU2L2FnRVNYMW5ZTHRjZ0d5b1NiNENYNlFOTVE-tamu1e100net, where the prefix (x6U3gvbExVWkk4U1gzWVU2L2FnRVNYMW5ZTHRjZ0d5b1NiNENYNlFOTVE) looks to be base64 data, and these packets are all in a sequence.

Let’s look at the first packet: it contains base64 data LS0tLS1CRUdJTiBQR1AgTUVTU0FHRS0tLS0tClZlcnNpb246IEdudVBHI that decodes to

Version: GnuPG

This script extracts all that data (and ignores repeated packets and mDNS packet) and contactenates it into message.pgp.

Then, we need to remove the second layer of nested doll, and extract the message:

$ gpg --import public-key 
gpg: key 18ABAFED3849EB2E: "Ol' Rock <olrock@aggie.network>" not changed
gpg: Total number processed: 1
gpg:              unchanged: 1

$ gpg --import private-key 
gpg: key 18ABAFED3849EB2E: "Ol' Rock <olrock@aggie.network>" not changed
gpg: key 18ABAFED3849EB2E: secret key imported
gpg: Total number processed: 1
gpg:              unchanged: 1
gpg:       secret keys read: 1
gpg:  secret keys unchanged: 1

$ gpg --output out --decrypt message.pgp
gpg: encrypted with 2048-bit RSA key, ID C5372B2EB5E56F58, created 2019-11-27
      "Ol' Rock <olrock@aggie.network>"

To decrypt, the password howdy is used when prompted. We get out, which file tells us is a gzip archive.

cp out out.gz
gunzip -c out.gz > ./out-2

This creates out-2, which again is passed to file which tells us it is a tar archive.

cp out-2 out-2.tar
tar -xvf out-2.tar 

This extraction creates a bunch of weird files:


Funky! Let’s see what these are. They are each about 156K large (they seem to have 157696 characers each), and all contain data that looks like more base64 data. To make sense of these, we put them into CyberChef, and looked for any indication of what these were. Of all of them, we identified that ……..encoded starts with jpeg magic bytesCyber Chef Link. We convert this to a jpeg using an online tool, and get 8dot_out.jpg:


That may look like a shark, but it’s actually a nesting doll (what do you know!). I use stegsolve to examine the image. In stegsolve, under Analyze > File Format (which you know has something interesting when stegsolve hangs for a second when opening), we can see that, indeed, there’s quite a bit here:

End of Image 
Additional bytes at end of file = 57524 
Dump of additional bytes: Hex: 

89 50 4e … That looks like PNG Magiv Bytes :). We need to chop the PNG off the end of this JPG, we do that using extract_png.py, and we get out.png.


~CaptainGeech, Lyell Read


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