Memlabs Memory Forensics Challenges – Lab 3 Write-up

Memlabs is a set of six CTF-style memory forensics challenges released in January 2020 by @_abhiramkumar and Team bi0s. This write-up covers Lab 3 – The Evil’s Den. You can find the rest of my Memlabs write-ups here.

Before starting with the analysis I calculated the MD5 and SHA1 hashes of the memory dump

MD5: ce4e7adc4efbf719888d2c87256d1da3
SHA1: b70966fa50a5c5a9dc00c26c33a9096aee20f624

And determined the correct profile for Volatility: -f MemoryDump_Lab3.raw imageinfo

The imageinfo plugin suggests a few profiles; I used Win7SP1x86_23418 to complete the analysis. To begin with, let’s check the running processes with pstree: -f MemoryDump_Lab3.raw --profile=Win7SP1x86_23418 pstree

There are two notepad.exe processes running (Pid: 3736 & 3432) but nothing else that immediately jumps out. Using the cmdlines plugin we may be able to see which files were opened. -f MemoryDump_Lab3.raw --profile=Win7SP1x86_23418 cmdline -p 3736,3432

That’s a bit more interesting now! Notepad was used to open two files – and vip.txt – let’s try to extract them: -f MemoryDump_Lab3.raw --profile=Win7SP1x86_23418 filescan > filescan.txt
grep -E '\\Desktop\\|\\Desktop\\vip.txt' filescan.txt -f MemoryDump_Lab3.raw --profile=Win7SP1x86_23418 dumpfiles -Q 0x000000003de1b5f0 -D . -n -f MemoryDump_Lab3.raw --profile=Win7SP1x86_23418 dumpfiles -Q 0x000000003e727e50 -D . -n

I used the filescan plugin to list all of the file objects (and their offsets) within the memory image, and redirected the output to a file. Using grep we get the offsets for the files (and also notice that is actually, then the dumpfiles plugin will extract the files to disk for analysis.

import sys
import string

def xor(s):
  a = ''.join(chr(ord(i)^3) for i in s)
  return a

def encoder(x):
  return x.encode("base64")

if __name__ == "__main__":
  f = open("C:\\Users\\hello\\Desktop\\vip.txt", "w")
  arr = sys.argv[1]
  arr = encoder(xor(arr))



So, we have a Python script that works as follows:

  1. Take a string as a command-line argument
  2. Break that string down to its individual characters, and XOR each character with 3
  3. Encode the XOR’d string as Base64
  4. Write the Base64 encoded string to the file vip.txt

We could write another Python script to reverse these steps, but CyberChef is much easier!

Reversing the steps from, CyberChef spits out the first part of our flag:


Now we have the first part of the flag, but we still need to find the second. None of the other running processes look particularly interesting, but the challenge description specifically mentions that steghide is required.

Steghide is a steganography program that is able to hide data in various kinds of image and audio files.

Using grep and my saved filescan output I filtered for common image file extensions, and spotted the following after searching for JPEG files:

grep -E '.jpg$|.jpeg$' filescan.txt | head -f MemoryDump_Lab3.raw --profile=Win7SP1x86_23418 dumpfiles -Q 0x0000000004f34148 -D . -n

After extracting suspision1.jpeg:

We can feed it into steghide to check for any hidden data. Presumably the first part of the flag is the password…

steghide extract -sf suspision1.jpeg
cat secret\ text

And there we go, the second part of our flag.


Put them together, and we have completed the challenge!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *