Wallet Mining - DamnVulnerableDeFi v3 #13

Wallet Mining Thumbnail


This challenge consists of two main exploits to solve the challenge.

  1. Replaying the deploying of Gnosis Safes Master Copy and factory to get code deployed at the predefined addreses
  2. Bricking the implementation AuthorizerUpgradeable contract to pass the checks in the WalletDeployer contract

The full coded solution for this challenge is available on my GitHub .

My YouTube walkthrough is also available.

Part 1: Getting that 20 million DVT

To get the 20 million tokens located at the deposit address we first need to deploy the factory and mastery copy of the Gnosis Safe. If we look up the relevant addresses on etherscan , we can see that these are the addreses of the 1.1.1 version of gnosis safe and factory.

Looking at the transaction history of that deploying wallet. We see that we can replay this exact transaction using the raw transaction hex since this is already a signed transaction from the deploying wallet and nonce but on the hardhat eth chain. Since CREATE (as oppposed to CREATE2) contracts are a function of (msg.sender, nonce) we can create it at the exact same address but on our network.

We can do this for the proxy factory as well since that is the third tx that is made by the same wallet. But we will need to send the 2nd tx aswell to increase the nonce for that wallet. Note that we need to fund the deploying address before doing any of these transactions.

// Fund deployer address
const tx = {
    value: ethers.utils.parseEther("1")
await player.sendTransaction(tx);

// Replay safe deploy transaction with same data from mainnet
// Contract address will equal 0x34CfAC646f301356fAa8B21e94227e3583Fe3F5F
// https://etherscan.io/tx/0x06d2fa464546e99d2147e1fc997ddb624cec9c8c5e25a050cc381ee8a384eed3
//  Nonce 0
const deploySafeTx = await (await ethers.provider.sendTransaction(data.DEPLOY_SAFE_TX)).wait();
const safeContractAddr = deploySafeTx.contractAddress;
log("Replayed deploy Master Safe Copy at", safeContractAddr);

// Do same thing but with nonce 1
const randomTx = await (await ethers.provider.sendTransaction(data.RANDOM_TX)).wait();

// Replay factory deploy transaction with same data from mainnet
// Contract address will equal 0x76E2cFc1F5Fa8F6a5b3fC4c8F4788F0116861F9B 
// https://etherscan.io/tx/0x75a42f240d229518979199f56cd7c82e4fc1f1a20ad9a4864c635354b4a34261
// Nonce 2
const deployFactoryTx = await (await ethers.provider.sendTransaction(data.DEPLOY_FACTORY_TX)).wait();
const factoryContractAddr = deployFactoryTx.contractAddress;
log("Replayed deploy safe factory at", factoryContractAddr);

Then to get access to the DEPOSIT_ADDRESS we have to guess a little bit. Taking into account the name of the challenge Wallet Mining and now that we have the Proxy Factory at a specified address that can create new contracts, we can postulate that the address will be one of the proxies created by this address at a specified nonce.

let nonceRequired = 0
let address = ""
while (address.toLowerCase() != DEPOSIT_ADDRESS.toLowerCase()) {
   address = ethers.utils.getContractAddress({
         from: factoryContractAddr,
         nonce: nonceRequired
   nonceRequired += 1;
console.log(`Need to deploy ${nonceRequired} proxies to get access to 20mil`);

And whatdaya know exactly 44 proxies to get the DEPOSIT_ADDRESS (note that this means the tx we are after is one with nonce=43, since tx=1; nonce=0).

Since we have complete ownership of this Gnosis Safe Proxy at this address, we can then simply run an execTransaction on the Gnosis Wallet to transfer all the tokens to the player address and get the 20 million.

I wont go into detail on how that is done, but in a nutshell you sign the transaction hash generated by the Gnosis Safe. If you use the eth_sign method, you need to increase the v value by 4 and then run execTransaction. Check out the code to see how this is implemented.

Part 2: Bricking the UUPS Proxy

To get the remaining 43 tokens we need to take a look at the contracts provided. Working backwards we need to call the drop() function on the WalletDeployer contract, which will deploy a proxy and if we are allowed (the can() function) we will get 1 token transfered to us.

The can function in the WalletDeployer is in assembly to mess with us I believe. But it is a fancy way of calling the can() function of the AuthorizerUpgradeable.sol. We will come back to this.

So taking a look at the AuthorizerUpgradeable, the interesting part here is that it is implemented as proxy UUPS contract. Since the contract is already initialized the only function we can interact with is the can() function, which is a view function which isn’t exactly helpful to us. We also cannot call upgradeToAndCall() since we are not the owner of the contract.

So why is this implemented as proxy? Well turns out there is a security issue with UUPS contracts if you don’t lock down the initializer function properly. You can read the details of it here but essentially, if you don’t lock down the initializer function to only be called by proxies and not by the implementation contract, you can mess things up real bad.

So we can get the implementation contract address from the proxy, by reading the slot storage at the specific address provided by EIP-1967 . Then we can interact with that contract by calling the initialize() function of the implementation contract meaning we take ownership of the implementation contract.

function init(address[] memory _wards, address[] memory _aims) external initializer {

    for (uint256 i = 0; i < _wards.length;) {
        _rely(_wards[i], _aims[i]);
        unchecked {

Right now this isn’t that helpful, since all state is still located in the proxy contract, and the proxy contract simply uses the implementation contract just for it’s logic. So we can only abuse this if we can mess with the logic of the contract. But with contracts being immutable, thats not exactly a good sign. However if you read through the rest of the vulnerbility post mortem above, it mentions that if you run a selfdestruct on the contract you can delete the contract from existance.

We do this through the upgradeToAndCall() function on the implementation contract since we are the owner of it! We create a new contract ourselves with a single function that calls selfdestruct. We also will need to implement a PROXY_UUID to make it pass the UUPS upgradeable check. Then when we upgrade to that contract, it will delegatecall selfdestruct and destory the contract.

So how does this help us? This is where we come back to the assembly code in the WalletDeployer.sol. Here is an overview of what each line is doing.

// Explanation of GAS code
// TODO(0xth3g450pt1m1z0r) put some comments
  function can(address u, address a) public view returns (bool) {
      assembly { 
          // Authorizer Upgrader proxy address (mom storage variable)
          let m := sload(0)
          // Ensure m has code
          if iszero(extcodesize(m)) {return(0, 0)}
          // load free memory address at 0x40 into p
          let p := mload(0x40)
          // store [p + 0x44] at 0x40 to update free memory pointer
          // store at p the sighash for the can() function in AuthorizeUpgrader
          // store at p + 0x04 the imp address
          // store at p + 0x24 the aim address
          // Static call the function and check return is > 0
          if iszero(staticcall(gas(),m,p,0x44,p,0x20)) {return(0,0)}
          // Check return data size is NOT zero AND return data is 0 then return false 0
          if and(not(iszero(returndatasize())), iszero(mload(p))) {return(0,0)}
      return true;

The can() function has 3 main checks which will fail the can() check and execution will cease.

if iszero(extcodesize(m)) {return(0, 0)}
if iszero(staticcall(gas(),m,p,0x44,p,0x20)) {return(0,0)}
if and(not(iszero(returndatasize())), iszero(mload(p))) {return(0,0)}

Firstly, m (which is the address of the AuthorizerUpgradeable contract) must be a contract with bytes > 0. But didn’t we just selfdestruct meaning it is zero? Nope, m is pointing to the proxy, not the implementation, so that will still have data!

Secondly, when we staticcall the AuthorizerUpgradeable contract it should be successful (not the result, just that the call was successful). Since when using a low level call, function existance checks don’t happen, nothing happens, therefore the call is a success!

Finally the return data size needs to be = 0 OR the return data must not be zero (this is where is does the actual check of the result of the call). Since there is no return data, we bypass this check as well!

This results in true being returned and we collect our tokens! We do this 43 times and we have solved the challenge

Closing Notes

Learning Points from this challenge

  • Cross chain replay attacks, and how to prevent them
  • Signing Gnosis Safe transactions
  • Uninitialized UUPS implementation contract vulns
  • That call* methods do not check function existance and return success if they don’t exist

Other Info

You can heavily optimise this exploit by reducing the number of transactions required by firstly bricking the contact and then deploying the 43 proxies through the deployer contract to gain acccess to the DEPOSIT_ACCOUNT. But I didn’t do this since it is easier to follow this way :).

This challenge was based off or similar to the Optimisim 20 million token hack that happened not too long ago that suffered a similar issue.

Initially when solving this challenge, I fell down multiple rabbit holes. Including how Gnosis uses CREATE2 to deploy contracts at the same address for multiple chains using a deterministic deployment proxy to account for EIP-155.