Ethernaut Challenge Level 1

Ethernaut Challenge Level 1


Hey everyone, here is the second article of my series on Ethernaut journey. It's going well for now at least hahaha.

NOTE: You don't need to read through the entire article if you are looking for some solution to your problem. Head down to the challenges section and see if I encountered the same challenge as you.


I found this particular challenge a little easy as I knew one or two things about fallback functions like receive(). Well, basically this function is called from the EVM when there is for empty calldata with some ETH has been sent to the contract.

Let's Start

The task here was to either claim ownership of the contract or successfully withdraw ETH from the contract. Obviously, when you want to claim ownership of a solidity contract, the first thing you look into is the usage of owner property and look for places where it has been updated after deployment.

This property was updated in two places, one is the contribute function and the other in the receive function

function contribute() public payable {
    require(msg.value < 0.001 ether);
    contributions[msg.sender] += msg.value;
    if(contributions[msg.sender] > contributions[owner]) {
      owner = msg.sender;
receive() external payable {
    require(msg.value > 0 && contributions[msg.sender] > 0);
    owner = msg.sender;

The first thought in my mind was to just transfer enough ether so that my contribution becomes greater than the owner as the contribute function renounces the ownership of that logic. Well, it turns out that in the constructor, the contribution of the owner is set to 1000 Ether. I am not that rich even on the Goerli testnet hahaha.

Anyway, I then saw the receive function and it became very clear what was needed to be done to claim ownership.

  1. Contribute some eth using the contribute function, keeping in mind the constraint on value in the function i.e. I should send <0.001 ether.

  2. Invoke the receive function and voila.

  3. Of course, call the withdraw function to get my money back haha.

How to call the contribute function you ask?

await contract.contribute({value:toWei("0.001")})

The function expects some eth to be sent, and the above call specifies how to. You might be wondering about the usage of toWei function and where even in the contract is it defined. Actually, this is not a function of the contract but rather a function provided on the console by openzeppelin.

Tip: Type help() to know what other functions are available.

After a successful transaction, it's now time to become the owner of the contract. I called the send (or sendTransaction) function available directly on EVM and sent some eth again. This time the contract will invoke the receive function and voila, I became the OWNERRRRR!!!!.

Below is a screenshot of how to call the function

As I say, never let go of the money, calling the withdraw function I got all my eth back.

CONGRATULATIONS to me!!!! I successfully hacked the contract.


The challenges I faced while solving were:

  1. How to call a function of the contract and send ETH to it?

    Solution: In the function, parenthesis send an object with the key as value and value as the eth amount in Wei.

    TIP: Use toWei to quickly convert to Wei.

  2. How to invoke the receive function of a contract?

    Solution: Just use the method send or sendTransaction with the contract and pass on eth as I did above.


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