Skip to main content
  1. Posts/
  2. DownUnderCTF/

DownUnderCTF helpless

·252 words·2 mins·
Table of Contents

Prompt #

I accidentally set my system shell to the Python help() function! Help!!

The flag is at /home/ductf/flag.txt.

The password for the ductf user is ductf.

ssh -p 30022

Solution #

After connecting to the target, the following shell is spawned:

$ ssh -p 30022's password: ductf

Last login: Sun Sep  3 09:24:32 2023 from

Welcome to Python 3.10's help utility!

If this is your first time using Python, you should definitely check out
the tutorial on the internet at

Enter the name of any module, keyword, or topic to get help on writing
Python programs and using Python modules.  To quit this help utility and
return to the interpreter, just type "quit".

To get a list of available modules, keywords, symbols, or topics, type
"modules", "keywords", "symbols", or "topics".  Each module also comes
with a one-line summary of what it does; to list the modules whose name
or summary contain a given string such as "spam", type "modules spam".


This is a Python feature of an interactive help shell, which spawns a less child process of the documentation for known objects. You can enter to a less by entering a name of a Python object you know, such as True.

According to the awesome resource GTFOBins, less can switch the file shown on screen without having to kill the main process. This can be done by typing :e /home/ductf/flag.txt into the current less session, which would display the flag DUCTF{sometimes_less_is_more} in a child less process.