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More how to get a good shell account...

How to Keep from Losing Your Shell Account

So now you have a hacker's dream, an account on a powerful computer running Unix. How do you keep this dream account? If you are a hacker, that is not so easy. The problem is that you have no right to keep that account. You can be kicked off for suspicion of being a bad guy, or even if you become inconvenient, at the whim of the owners.

Meinel Hall 'O Infamy Top Five Ways to Get Kicked out of Your Shell Account

1) Abusing Your ISP
Let's say you are reading Bugtraq and you see some code for a new way to break into a computer. Panting with excitement, you run emacs and paste in the code. You fix up the purposely crippled stuff someone put in to keep total idiots from running it. You tweak it until it runs under your flavor of Unix. You compile and run the program against your own ISP. It works! You are looking at that "#" prompt and jumping up and down yelling "I got root! I got root!" You have lost your hacker virginity, you brilliant dude, you! Only, next time you go to log in, your password doesn't work. You have been booted off your ISP. NEVER, NEVER ABUSE YOUR ISP!

You can go to jail warning: Of course, if you want to break into another computer, you must have the permission of the owner. Otherwise you are breaking the law.

2) Ping Abuse.
Another temptation is to use the powerful Internet connection of your shell account (usually a T1 or T3) to ping the crap out of the people you don't like. This is especially common on Internet Relay Chat. Thinking of ICBMing or nuking that dork? Resist the temptation to abuse ping or any other Internet Control Message Protocol attacks. Use ping only as a diagnostic tool, OK? Please? Or else!

3) Excessive Port Surfing
Port surfing is telnetting to a specific port on another computer. Usually you are OK if you just briefly visit another computer via telnet, and don't go any further than what that port offers to the casual visitor. But if you keep on probing and playing with another computer, the sysadmin at the target computer will probably email your sysadmin records of your little visits. (These records of port visits are stored in "messages," and sometimes in "syslog" depending on the configuration of your target computer -- and assuming it is a Unix system.)

Even if no one complains about you, some sysadmins habitually check the shell log files that keep a record of everything you or any other user on the system has been doing in their shells. If your sysadmin sees a pattern of excessive attention to one or a few computers, he or she may assume you are plotting a break-in. Boom, your password is dead.

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