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Mar. 30, 1999
See the Happy Hacker web site at http://www.happyhacker.org
URL of the day: http://otter.happyhacker.org

***  Melissa News
***  Wargame News
***  Mac Users -- You Can Have it Both Ways -- Free!
***  Help for AOL Users
***  So you Want to Become a Computer Security Professional?
***  Help for Win98 Startup, Shutdown Screen Changes
***  Free Internet Access, Free PCs!
 ***  Melissa News

Melissa virus news: http://www.zdnet.com/zdnn/special/melissavirus.html

You've probably heard of the Melissa virus by now.  First detected March 26,
it has crashed quite a few mail servers across the Internet through its
trick of using a macro embedded in an MS Word document to make MS Outlook
email copies of itself under your name to the first 50 people in each
address list you keep in Outlook.

Early victims of the onslaught have included Microsoft, Intel, parts of the
US Air Force and some military contractors.  Does this suggest a
"hacktivist" pattern in which the first copies of the virus were released
into organizations the coder wanted to crash?

The virus is embedded in a long list of X-rated Web sites along with
supposedly valid user names and passwords.  It also has been reported to be
embedded in other documents.  Many Melissa mutations and copycats are also
running loose.

This virus and its mutants are almost harmless to your own computer -- if
you don't mind copies of other documents you write and attach to email
being, in some cases, copied to other people.  The majority of its damage is
done against the email systems of the Internet.  

Don't want to be part of the Melissa mess?

1) Don't use Windows or any MS Office 97 or 2000 products.

2) OK, you're a sucker and use Microsoft stuff.  Your next recourse is to
never open an attached file with an MS Office application.  I (Carolyn) use
Wordpad, which won't run macros.

3) You may already be infected.  Find out whether you are with this free
online scan at http://www.mcaffee.com. Want to get rid of Melissa?  Help is
at http://www.zdnet.com/swlib/hotfiles/virus399.html.

Are you a sysadmin?  Are you just an ordinary user but want to help your ISP
avert crashes of its mail system?  If you have a shell account, you may be
able to keep a watch on this problem and alert tech support when things get
into trouble.  Try these commands:

~ > df /var/spool/mail
Filesystem         1024-blocks  Used Available Capacity Mounted on
                     2053515 1884995   161675     92%   /var/spool/mail

~ > df /var/spool/mqueue
Filesystem         1024-blocks  Used Available Capacity Mounted on
/dev/sd0f             294439  108908   156088     41%   /var

If you see disk usage going close to 100% on either of these -- call tech
support!   If you are tech support, you may want to write a script that will
grep mqueue and mail for the code from the virus.  Here's a sample segment
of the virus code: 

BreakOffASlice.Subject = "Important Message From " &
         BreakUmOffASlice.Body =
            "Here is that document you asked for ... don't show anyone else ;-)"

 ***  Wargame News

* Koan.happyhacker.org changes hands yet again!  The new owners have
announced on koan's web site http://koan.happyhacker.org:

Added By: grue & whenback
04:58:48 March 27, 1999

The owners of the Koan supervisor apartment have been evicted.
It was quite a civilized eviction, but the matter is probably not
settled once and for all. The previous tenants 'tg0d' might very well
decide to move in again. Only time will tell. Your new landlords
wish you a continued pleasant stay. :)

Koan.happyhacker.org is a FreeBSD box with a guest account with a really
stupid password -- even a stupid person can guess it!  When you break in,
try these commands for lots of fun:

netstat -a
netstat -r
ps -auxw

You can even hack the guest web site!

*  Tg0d rules otter.happyhacker.org!  For a good time, check out
http://otter.happyhacker.org. Otter is a 486 running Slackware Linux 2.3.5
with a 2.0.34 kernel.  Their web site has an invitation for all of us:

We now are running an IRC server on otter. That is otter.happyhacker.org:6667.
Come here to discuss hacking in general and to meet all of your buddies.

This IRC server has attracted a superstar --  John Vranesevich of
http://www.antionline.com.  You can also meet the Wargame administrators on
Otter IRC, for example Corey Gallatin, who runs the wargame routers; Diode,
who built meyer.happyhacker.org and is the Happy Hacker Webmaster; and me.

*  Want to learn how to break into wargame computers?  In addition to tg0d's
server on otter, you may use the Undernet server, channel #koan.  This is
usually a polite and helpful channel, thanks to the many volunteers who op
it.  Don't know how to use IRC?  See the GTMHH on IRC at

*  Technical tip:  Having trouble ftping code into the wargame?  To get past
our firewall, when you first make your ftp connection, give the "passive"

* Sorry, folks, but I (Carolyn Meinel) decided to nuke
fishbone.happyhacker.org.  It was an OpenBSD box.  For a long time it had
some secret tenants (or at least they *thought* they were secret).  They had
installed a rootkit that appeared to be almost perfect.  Only flaw I could
see was that /tmp looked strangely empty.  However, they couldn't hack the
Cisco router, which dutifully kept records of the comings and goings from
fishbone, revealing activities that were hidden from the process table,
netstat, wtmp etc.  

I would have been happy to let the "secret" visitors remain, except that
they consistently attempted to use fishbone as a platform to commit computer
crime. While we like to think that we are good enough to block all attempts
by the baddies to use our wargame as a platform to commit crime, no one is
perfect.  So I finally decided to terminate them.

So... since the *only* reliable way to boot nasty guests off a computer is
to reinstall the operating system and other programs from trusted sources, I
decided to reincarnate fishbone as a NT box.  Right now it's being used and
tested elsewhere, but expect to see my attempt to run a hardened NT box on
the wargame soon.

* Meyer.happyhacker.org also has a secret root d00d.  We would appreciate it
if people who root wargame boxes would please put up web sites to advertise
their existence.  As long as you try to remain secret, you run the risk that
if we see what looks like attempts to commit crime coming out of your box,
we just might replace the operating system and take root back from you.
However, if we know how to contact you, preferably by phone, if we see nasty
stuff being attempted from your box, we will contact you when the baddies
are being busy bees.  This gives you a better chance of getting rid of them
yourself.  Also, we are happy to help you out by rebooting any wargame
computer you may control.  (Hint: try "kill (pid) HUP" first.)  We have an
800 number you may call for wargame tech support.  Sorry, you have to prove
you are root before you get the 800 number:):)

* dmz.happyhacker.org is a router.  You don't need a user name to get in --
just guess the password.  Hint: the password is fined up beyond all
recognition.  The fellow who owns it is Corey Gallatin.

* Want step-by-step instruction with screen shots for the basics of how to
break into computers?  Buy the Happy Hacker book 2nd edition, now in its
second printing. It is 400 pages (up from 260 in the first edition), a large
format paperback book. You can read about it at the Happy Hacker bookstore,
http://www.happyhacker.org/bookstore.html. You can order "The Happy Hacker"
book, second edition (paperback, 400 pages) from anywhere in the world at
the American Eagle bookstore at http://www.logoplex.com/resources/ameagle
(or phone toll-free in the US 800-719-4957); or you can get an autographed
copy shipped to anywhere in the world  by sending a check or money order,
made out to "Happy Hacker" to PO Box 1520, Cedar Crest NM 87008.  Its price,
including shipment by Priority or Airmail delivery, is:
US: $39.95; Canada, Mexico, Ireland, Great Britain, Western Europe: US$46.90
Everywhere else: US$48.90
If you live outside the US, just ask your bank to make out a money order for

 ***  Mac Users -- You Can Have it Both Ways -- Free!

Do you want to be able to go online with the security of Mac OS, but be able
to shift to the power of Linux when you're ready to hack?  If you have a
Power PC Mac, you can have some serious fun.  At http://www.linuxppc.com you
can find out how to get LinuxPPC Live. This is a free demonstration version
of LinuxPPC which you can run from your Mac OS hard disk without having to
partition it.


 *** Help for AOL Users

If you use America Online (AOL), it is possible that nothing in this chapter
will work for you.  This is because AOL is not an Internet Service Provider,
but an online service which lets you use some carefully selected parts of
the Internet.  Some versions of the AOL software won't let you use many
hacking tools, for example telnet, ftp, or ping.  

Here are some ways you can solve your problem.

1) Get a real Internet Service Provider (ISP), preferably one that will give
you a Unix shell account.  You can locate ISPs (including the many that
offer shell accounts) anywhere in the world at http://celestin.com/pocia.

2) If you live in the US, Netzero.com will give you a free dialup account
with true Internet connectivity.  Warning: I discovered that every time I
dial in, Netzero resets the advanced preferences on your Web browser to
enable Java and Javascript.  Because there are so many ways to use Java and
Javascript to crash or steal information from you computer, you need to turn
them off before going to suspicious Web sites.

3)  Can you find an old AOL installation floppy disk?  If you install from
one of those, when you log on to AOL you should get an online connection
that will allow you to use all the hacker tools of this chapter.  However,
the CD-ROM AOL installation disk will NOT let you hack.

 ***  So you Want to Become a Computer Security Professional?

If you get on hacker mailing lists,  or hang out on IRC, you see people
claiming that you can learn lots about computer security by attending
conventions such as Rootfest or Def Con.  Er, maybe, but I get the
impression most security professionals go there to see what computer
criminals look and act like.  Those cons are great for law enforcement
professionals who want to get positive identities the people they are trying
to arrest.

OK, it is true that the tattoos and fangs set, the Goth fashion plate types
who dominate the hacker cons do get jobs in computer security.  But they
only can do so if they are superstars.  Who knows whether these d00dz will
still be able to hold on to their jobs 5 or 10 years from now?  But if you
want good jobs now that will turn into a solid profession -- learn computer
security at the conferences where the elite meet.  Here are some I recommend:
SANS99 The Eight National Conference on Systems Administration, Networking
and Security 
May 7 - 14, 1999   The Hyatt Regency Inner Harbor and 
Baltimore Convention Center, Baltimore, MD

Usenix: 1st Workshop on Intrusion
                    Detection and Network
                    Monitoring (ID)

                    April 9-12, 1999
                    Santa Clara Marriott Hotel
                    Santa Clara, California, USA 


*** Help for Win98 Startup, Shutdown Screen Changes

Keydet89 reports that many people are asking him how to change the startup
and shutdown screens for Win98.  Duh!  Here's what works for me.  Just
follow exactly the same instructions as for Win 95.  No c:\logo.sys?  Create
one anyhow.  Enough said.

        *** Free Internet Access, Free PCs

In the US you can get a free dialup connection to the Internet from
http://www.netzero.com.  Get a free PC to go with it from http://www.Free-PC.com


This is a list devoted to *legal* hacking! If you plan to use any
information in this Digest or at our Web site to commit crime, go away!
Foo on you! Don't email us bragging about any crimes you may have committed.
We mean it. 

For Windows questions, email keydet89@yahoo.com or editor@cmeinel.com
For Unix questions, contact unixeditor@cmeinel.com.
For Macs, email Strider <s.corinth@iname.com> 

Happy Hacker staff: Unix editor, <unixeditor@cmeinel.com>;
Windows editor, Keydet89 <editor@cmeinel.com>; postmasters Jonathan D.
Zerulik and William Lewis <>; Hacker Wargame Director,
Vincent Larsen <vincent@sage-inc.com>; Wargame Sysadmin, Satori
<Satori@rt66.com>; Webmaster, Diode <webmaster@happyhacker.org>; Clown
Princess: Carolyn Meinel <>

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