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I found this chall very interesting because it has the same vulnerability as a previous post I wrote about a personal project of mine.

In this chall, you have pages to create both a shortened link to another URL or a Pastebin where you can write anything. They are both safe against XSS.

The problem arises in the API backend. At first, links you shorten should only start with http:// or https://. But in the request to create them, you can add the field type, meaning you can use the CreatePaste API route to create a link by changing type to “link”. This is possible because the object that is added to the database is created as follows:

database.addData({ type: 'paste', ...req.body, uid });

When req.body is spread, if it contains the field type, it will overwrite type: 'paste'. Now we can create an entry of type “link” without the check for https?://. By itself, this can’t do much. However, one of the members of my team found a way to exploit it and get the flag.

In view.html, the page where you go when you open a link/pastebin, there is this line:

if (type === 'link') return window.location = data;

And by using the previous spread operator exploit, you can create a link with the following data:


This special link executes javascript in the browser. So by sending it to the admin bot, it will execute a fetch to a site of our control containing his cookies. By checking the request on our page, it shows the admin’s cookies, and we have the flag.