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 More How to Hack Windows 95/98...

How to Break into a Win 95 Box Using a Boot Disk

Step one: shut down your computer.

Step two: put boot disk into A: drive.

Step three: boot up.

Step four: at the A:\ prompt, give the command: rename c:\windows\*.pwl c:\windows\*.zzz.

Step four: boot up again. You can enter anything or nothing at the password prompt and get in.

Step five: Cover your tracks by renaming the password files back to what they were.

Wow, this is just too easy! What do you do if you want to keep your prankster friends out of your Win 95 box? Well, there is one more thing you can do. This is a common trick on LANs where the network administrator doesn't want to have to deal with people monkeying around with each others' computers. The answer -- but not a very good answer -- is to use a CMOS password.

How to Mess With CMOS #1

The basic settings on your computer such as how many and what kinds of disk drives and which ones are used for booting are held in a CMOS chip on the mother board. A tiny battery keeps this chip always running so that whenever you turn your computer back on, it remembers what is the first drive to check in for bootup instructions. On a home computer it will typically be set to first look in the A: drive. If the A: drive is empty, it next will look at the C: drive.

On my computer, if I want to change the CMOS settings I press the delete key at the very beginning of the bootup sequence. Then, because I have instructed the CMOS settings to ask for a password, I have to give it my password to change anything.

If I don't want someone to boot from the A: drive and mess with my password file, I can set it so it only boots from the C: drive. Or even so that it only boots from a remote drive on a LAN.

So, is there a way to break into a Win 95 box that won't boot from the A: drive? Absolutely yes! But before trying this one out, be sure to write down *ALL* your CMOS settings. And be prepared to make a total wreck of your computer. Hacking CMOS is even more destructive than hacking system files.

Step one: get a phillips screwdriver, solder sucker and soldering iron.

Step two: open up your victim.

Step three: remove the battery .

Step four: plug the battery back in.

Alternate step three: many motherboards have a 3 pin jumper to reset the CMOS to its default settings. Look for a jumper close to the battery or look at your manual if you have one.
For example, you might find a three pin device with pins one and two jumpered. If you move the jumper to pins two and three and leave it there for over five seconds, it may reset the CMOS. Warning -- this will not work on all computers!

Step five: Your victim computer now hopefully has the CMOS default settings. Put everything back the way they were, with the exception of setting it to first check the A: drive when booting up.

You can get fired warning: If you do this wrong, and this is a computer you use at work, and you have to go crying to the systems administrator to get your computer working again, you had better have a convincing story. Whatever you do, don't tell the sysadmin or your boss that "The Happy Hacker made me do it"!

Step six: proceed with the A: drive boot disk break-in instructions.

Does this sound too hairy? Want an easy way to mess with CMOS? There's a program you can run that does it without having to play with your mother board.

How to Mess with CMOS #2

Boy, I sure hope you decided to read to the end of this GTMHH before taking solder gun to your motherboard. There's an easy solution to the CMOS password problem. It's a program called KillCMOS which you can download from http://www.koasp.com. (Warning: if I were you, I'd first check out this site using the Lynx browser, which you can use from Linux or your shell account).

Now suppose you like to surf the Web but your Win 95 box is set up so some sort of net nanny program restricts access to places you would really like to visit. Does this mean you are doomed to live in a Brady Family world? No way.

There are several ways to evade those programs that censor what Web sites you visit.

Now what I am about to discuss is not with the intention of feeding pornography to little kids. The sad fact is that these net censorship programs have no way of evaluating everything on the Web. So what they do is only allow access to a relatively small number of Web sites. This keeps kids form discovering many wonderful things on the Web.

As the mother of four, I understand how worried parents can get over what their kids encounter on the Internet. But these Web censor programs are a poor substitute for spending time with your kids so that they learn how to use computers responsibly and become really dynamite hackers! Um, I mean, become responsible cyberspace citizens. Besides, these programs can all be hacked way to easily.

The first tactic to use with a Web censor program is hit control-alt-delete. This brings up the task list. If the censorship program is on the list, turn it off.

Second tactic is to edit the autoexec.bat file to delete any mention of the web censor program. This keeps it from getting loaded in the first place.

But what if your parents (or your boss or spouse) is savvy enough to check where you've been surfing? You've got to get rid of those incriminating records whowing that you've been surfing Dilbert!

It's easy to fix with Netscape. Open Netscape.ini with either Notepad or Word Pad. It probably will be in the directory C:\Netscape\netscape.ini. Near the bottom you will find your URL history. Delete those lines.

But Internet Explorer is a really tough browser to defeat.
Editing the Registry is the only way (that I have found, at least) to defeat the censorship feature on Internet Explorer. And, guess what, it even hides several records of your browsing history in the Registry. Brrrr!

Newbie note: Registry! It is the Valhalla of those who wish to crack Windows. Whoever controls the Registry of a network server controls the network -- totally. Whoever controls the Registry of a Win 95 or Win NT box controls that computer -- totally. The ability to edit the Registry is comparable to having root access to a Unix machine.

More Beginners' Guide #3--->>

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