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Table of Contents

  1. How do I access the password file under UNIX?
  2. How do I crack UNIX passwords?
  3. What is password shadowing?
  4. Where can I find the password file if it's shadowed?
  5. What is NIS/yp?
  6. What are those weird characters after the comma in my passwd file?
  7. How do I access the password file under VMS?
  8. How do I crack VMS passwords?
  9. What can be logged on a VMS system?
  10. What privileges are avaliable on a VMS system?
  11. How do I break out of a restricted shell?
  12. How do I gain root from a SUID script or program?
  13. How do I erase my presence from the system logs?
  14. How do I send fakemail?
  15. How do I fake posts and control messages to Usenet?
  16. How do I hack ChanOp on IRC?
  17. How do I modify the IRC client to hide my real username?
  18. How do I change to directories with strange characters in them?
  19. What is ethernet sniffing?
  20. What is an Internet Outdial?
  21. What are some Internet Outdials?
  22. What is this system?
  23. What are the default accounts for XXX?
  24. What port is XXX on?
  25. What is a trojan/worm/virus/logic bomb?
  26. How can I protect myself from virii and such?
  27. Where can I get more information about viruses?
  28. What is Cryptoxxxxxxx?
  29. What is PGP?
  30. What is Tempest?
  31. What is an anonymous remailer?
  32. What are the addresses of some anonymous remailers?
  33. How do I defeat copy protection?
  34. What is
  35. How do I post to a moderated newsgroup?
  36. How do I post to Usenet via e-mail?
  37. How do I defeat a BIOS password?
  38. What is the password for [encrypted file]?
  39. Is there any hope of a decompiler that would convert an executable program into C/C++ code?
  40. How does the MS-Windows password encryption work?

(Italic indicates updated questions, while bold indicates new questions.)

1. How do I access the password file under UNIX?

In standard UNIX the password file is /etc/passwd. On a UNIX system with either NIS/yp or password shadowing, much of the password data may be elsewhere. An entry in the password file consists of seven colon delimited fields:

Encrypted password (And optional password aging data)
User number
Group Number
GECOS Information
Home directory

Sample entry from /etc/passwd:

will:5fg63fhD3d5gh:9406:12:Will Spencer:/home/fsg/will:/bin/bash

Broken down, this passwd file line shows:

          Username: will
Encrypted password: 5fg63fhD3d5gh
       User number: 9406
      Group Number: 12
 GECOS Information: Will Spencer
    Home directory: /home/fsg/will
             Shell: /bin/bash

2. How do I crack UNIX passwords?

Contrary to popular belief, UNIX passwords cannot be decrypted. UNIX passwords are encrypted with a one way function. The login program encrypts the text you enter at the "Password:" prompt and compares that encrypted string against the encrypted form of your password.

Password cracking software uses wordlists. Each word in the wordlist is encrypted and the results are compared to the encrypted form of the target password.

The best cracking program for UNIX passwords is currently Crack by Alec Muffett. For PC-DOS, the best package to use is currently CrackerJack.

3. What is password shadowing?

Password shadowing is a security system where the encrypted password field of /etc/passwd is replaced with a special token and the encrypted password is stored in a separate file which is not readable by normal system users.

To defeat password shadowing on many (but not all) systems, write a program that uses successive calls to getpwent() to obtain the password file.

Example: unshadow.c

4. Where can I find the password file if it's shadowed?

UNIX                  Path                            Token
AIX 3                 /etc/security/passwd            !
                      /tcb/auth/files/[first letter   #
                            of username]/[username]
A/UX 3.0s             /tcb/files/auth/?/*
BSD4.3-Reno           /etc/master.passwd              *
ConvexOS 10           /etc/shadpw                     *
ConvexOS 11           /etc/shadow                     *
DG/UX                 /etc/tcb/aa/user/               *
EP/IX                 /etc/shadow                     x
HP-UX                 /.secure/etc/passwd             *
IRIX 5                /etc/shadow                     x
Linux 1.1             /etc/shadow                     *
OSF/1                 /etc/passwd[.dir|.pag]          *
SCO UNIX #.2.x        /tcb/auth/files/[first letter   *
                            of username]/[username]
SunOS4.1+c2           /etc/security/passwd.adjunct    ##username
SunOS 5.0             /etc/shadow
                      [optional NIS+ private secure maps/tables/whatever]
System V Release 4.0  /etc/shadow                     x
System V Release 4.2  /etc/security/* database
Ultrix 4              /etc/auth[.dir|.pag]            *
UNICOS                /etc/udb                        *

5. What is NIS/yp?

NIS (Network Information System) in the current name for what was once known as yp (Yellow Pages). The purpose of NIS is to allow many machines on a network to share configuration information, including password data. NIS is not designed to promote system security. If your system uses NIS you will have a very short /etc/passwd file with a line that looks like this:


To view the real password file use this command:

ypcat passwd

6. What are those weird characters after the comma in my passwd file?

The characters are password aging data. Password aging forces the user to change passwords after a system administrator-specified period of time. Password aging can also force a user to keep a password for a certain number of weeks before changing it.

Sample entry from /etc/passwd with password aging installed:

will:5fg63fhD3d,M.z8:9406:12:Will Spencer:/home/fsg/will:/bin/bash

Note the comma in the encrypted password field. The characters after the comma are used by the password aging mechanism.

Password aging characters from above example:


The four characters are interpreted as follows:

  1: Maximum number of weeks a password can be used without changing.
  2: Minimum number of weeks a password must be used before changing.
3&4: Last time password was changed, in number of weeks since 1970.

Three special cases should be noted:

If the first and second characters are set to '..' the user will be forced to change his/her passwd the next time he/she logs in. The passwd program will then remove the passwd aging characters, and the user will not be subjected to password aging requirements again.

If the third and fourth characters are set to '..' the user will be forced to change his/her passwd the next time he/she logs in. Password aging will then occur as defined by the first and second characters.

If the first character (MAX) is less than the second character (MIN), the user is not allowed to change his/her password. Only root can change that users password.

It should also be noted that the su command does not check the password aging data. An account with an expired password can be su'd to without being forced to change the password.

                        Password Aging Codes
|                                                                        |
| Character:  .  /  0  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H |
|    Number:  0  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 |
|                                                                        |
| Character:  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z  a  b |
|    Number: 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 |
|                                                                        |
| Character:  c  d  e  f  g  h  i  j  k  l  m  n  o  p  q  r  s  t  u  v |
|    Number: 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 |
|                                                                        |
| Character:  w  x  y  z                                                 |
|    Number: 60 61 62 63                                                 |
|                                                                        |

7. How do I access the password file under VMS?

Under VMS, the password file is SYS$SYSTEM:SYSUAF.DAT. However, unlike UNIX, most users do not have access to read the password file.

8. How do I crack VMS passwords?

Write a program that uses the SYS$GETUAF functions to compare the results of encrypted words against the encrypted data in SYSUAF.DAT.

Two such programs are known to exist, CHECK_PASSWORD and GUESS_PASSWORD.

9. What can be logged on a VMS system?

Virtually every aspect of the VMS system can be logged for investigation. To determine the status of the accounting on your system use the command SHOW ACCOUNTING. System accounting is a facility for recording information about the use of the machine from a system accounting perspective (resource logging such as CPU time, printer usage, etc.), while system auditing is done with the aim of logging information for the purpose of security. To enable accounting:

$ SET ACCOUNTING [/ENABLE=(Activity...)] 

The following activities can be logged:

BATCH                   Termination of a batch job
DETACHED                Termination of a detached job
IMAGE                   Image execution
INTERACTIVE             Interactive job termination
LOGIN_FAILURE           Login failures
MESSAGE                 Users' messages
NETWORK                 Network job termination
PRINT                   Print Jobs
PROCESS                 Any terminated process
SUBPROCESS              Termination of a subprocess

To enable security auditing use:

$ SET AUDIT [/ENABLE=(Activity...)]

The /ALARM qualifier is used to raise an alarm to all terminals approved as security operators, which means that you need the SECURITY privileges. You can determine your security auditing configuration using $ SHOW AUDIT /ALL

The security auditor can be configured to log the following activities:

ACL                     Access Control List requested events
AUTHORIZATION           Modification to the system user
                        authorization file SYS$SYSTEM:SYSUAF.DAT
BREAKIN                 Attempted Break-ins
FILE_ACCESS             File or global section access
INSTALL                 Occurrence of any INSTALL operations
LOGFAILURE              Any login failures
LOGIN                   A login attempt from various sources
LOGOUT                  Logouts 
MOUNT                   Mount or dismount requests

10. What privileges are avaliable on a VMS system?

ACNT            Allows you to restrain accounting messages
ALLSPOOL        Allows you to allocate spooled devices
ALTPRI          Allot Priority.  This allows you to set any priority
BUGCHK          Allows you make bug check error log entries
BYPASS          Enables you to disregard protections
CMKRNL          Change to executive or kernel mode.  These privileges
                allow a process to execute optional routines with KERNEL
                and EXECUTIVE access modes.  CMKRNL is the most powerful
                privilege on VMS as anything protected can be accessed
                if you have this privilege.  You must have these
                privileges to gain access to the kernel data structures
DETACH          This privilege allow you to create detached processes of
                arbitrary UICs
DIAGNOSE        With this privilege you can diagnose devices
EXQUOTA         Allows you to exceed your disk quota
GROUP           This privilege grants you permission to  affect other
                processes in the same rank
GRPNAM          Allows you to insert group logical names into the group
                logical names table.
GRPPRV          Enables you to access system group objects through
                system protection field
LOG_IO          Allows you to issue logical input/output requests
MOUNT           May execute the mount function
NETMBX          Allows you to create network connections
OPER            Allows you to perform operator functions
PFNMAP          Allows you to map to specific physical pages
PHY_IO          Allows you to perform physical input/output requests
PRMCEB          Can create permanent common event clusters
PRMGBL          Allows you to create permanent global sections
PRMMBX          Allows you to create permanent mailboxes
PSWAPM          Allows you to change a processes swap mode
READALL         Allows you read access to everything
SECURITY        Enables you to perform security-related functions
SETPRV          Enable all privileges
SHARE           Allows you to access devices allocated to other users.
                This is used to assign system mailboxes.
SHMEM           Enables you to modify objects in shared memory
SYSGBL          Allows you to create system wide permanent global
SYSLCK          Allows you to lock system wide resources
SYSNAM          Allows you to insert in system logical names in the
                names table.
SYSPRV          If a process holds this privilege then it is the same as
                a process holding the system user identification code.
TMPMBX          Allows you to create temporary mailboxes
VOLPRO          Enables you to override volume protection
WORLD           When this is set you can affect other processes in the

To determine what privileges your process is running with issue the command:

$ show proc/priv   

11. How do I break out of a restricted shell?

On poorly implemented restricted shells you can break out of the restricted environment by running a program that features a shell function. A good example is vi. Run vi and use this command:

:set shell=/bin/sh

then shell using this command:


If your restricted shell prevents you from using the "cd" command, FTP into your account and you may be able to cd.

12. How do I gain root from a SUID script or program?

1. Change IFS.

If the program calls any other programs using the system() function call, you may be able to fool it by changing IFS. IFS is the Internal Field Separator that the shell uses to delimit arguments.

If the program contains a line that looks like this:


and you change IFS to '/' the shell will them interpret the proceeding line as:

bin date

Now, if you have a program of your own in the path called "bin" the suid program will run your program instead of /bin/date.

To change IFS, use this command:

IFS='/';export IFS      # Bourne Shell
setenv IFS '/'          # C Shell
export IFS='/'          # Korn Shell

2. link the script to -i

Create a symbolic link named "-i" to the program. Running "-i" will cause the interpreter shell (/bin/sh) to start up in interactive mode. This only works on suid shell scripts.


% ln -i
% -i

3. Exploit a race condition

Replace a symbolic link to the program with another program while the kernel is loading /bin/sh.


nice -19 suidprog ; ln -s evilprog suidroot

4. Send bad input to the program.

Invoke the name of the program and a separate command on the same command line.


suidprog ; id

13. How do I erase my presence from the system logs?

Edit utmp (usually /etc/utmp), wtmp (usually /usr/adm/wtmp), and lastlog (usually /usr/adm/lastlog). These are not text files that can be edited by hand with vi, you must use a program specifically written for this purpose.

Example: erase.c

14. How do I send fakemail?

Telnet to port 25 of the machine you want the mail to appear to originate from. Enter your message as in this example:

From: (The Voyager)
Subject: Clipper

	Please discontinue your silly Clipper initiative.

On systems that have RFC 931 implemented, spoofing your "MAIL FROM:" line will not work. Test by sending yourself fakemail first.

For more information read RFC 822 (Standard for the format of ARPA Internet text messages).

15. How do I fake posts and control messages to Usenet?

From: Anonymous (Pretending to be: (David C Lawrence))
Subject: FAQ: Better living through forgery
Date: 19 Mar 1995 02:37:09 GMT

Anonymous netnews without "anonymous" remailers

Inspired by the recent "NetNews Judges-L" events, this file has been updated to cover forging control messages, so you can do your own article canceling and create and destroy your own newsgroups.

Save any news article to a file. We'll call it "hak" in this example.

Edit "hak", and remove any header lines of the form

From some!random!path!user   (note: "From ", not "From: "!!!)

Shorten the Path: header down to its LAST two or three "bangized" components. This is to make the article look like it was posted from where it really was posted, and originally hit the net at or near the host you send it to. Or you can construct a completely new Path: line to reflect your assumed alias.

Make some change to the Message-ID: field, that isn't likely to be duplicated anywhere. This is usually best done by adding a couple of random characters to the part before the @, since news posting programs generally use a fixed-length field to generate these IDs.

Change the other headers to say what you like---From:, Newsgroups:, Sender:, etc. Replace the original message text with your message. If you are posting to a moderated group or posting a control message, remember to put in an Approved: header to bypass the moderation mechanism.

To specifically cancel someone else's article, you need its message-ID. Your message headers, in addition to what's already there, should also contain the following with that message-ID in it. This makes it a "control message." NOTE: control messages generally require an Approved: header as well, so you should add one.

Subject: cmsg cancel (
Control: cancel (

Newsgroups are created and destroyed with control messages, too. If you wanted to create, for instance,, your control headers would look like

Subject: cmsg newgroup
Control: newgroup

Add on the string "moderated" at the end of these if you want the group to be "moderated with no moderator" as with alt.hackers. Somewhere in the body of your message, you should include the following text, changed with the description of the group you're creating:

For your newsgroups file:               We don't do windows

To remove a group, substitute "rmgroup" for "newgroup" in the header lines above. Keep in mind that most sites run all "rmgroup" requests through a human news master, who may or may not decide to honor it. Group creation is more likely to be automatic than deletion at most installations. Any newsgroup changes are more likely to take effect if they come from me, since my name is hardwired into many of the NNTP control scripts, so using the From: and Approved: headers from this posting is recommended.

Save your changed article, check it to make sure it contains NO reference to yourself or your own site, and send it to your favourite NNTP server that permits transfers via the IHAVE command, using the following script:


If your article doesn't appear in a day or two, try a different server. They are easy to find. Here's a script that will break a large file full of saved netnews into a list of hosts to try. Edit the output of this if you want, to remove obvious peoples' names and other trash.


Once you have your host list, feed it to the following script:


If the above script is called "findem" and you're using csh, you should do

findem < list >& outfile

so that ALL output from telnet is captured. This takes a long time, but when it finishes, edit "outfile" and look for occurrences of "335". These mark answers from servers that might be willing to accept an article. This isn't a completely reliable indication, since some servers respond with acceptance and later drop articles. Try a given server with a slightly modified repeat of someone else's message, and see if it eventually appears.

Sometimes the telnets get into an odd state, and freeze, particularly when a host is refusing NNTP connections. If you manually kill these hung telnet processes but not the main script, the script will continue on. In other words, you may have to monitor the finding script a little while it is running.

You will notice other servers that don't necessarily take an IHAVE, but say "posting ok". You can probably do regular POSTS through these, but they will add an "NNTP-Posting-Host: " header containing the machine YOU came from and are therefore unsuitable for completely anonymous use.


16. How do I hack ChanOp on IRC?

Find a server that is split from the rest of IRC and create your own channel there using the name of the channel you want ChanOp on. When that server reconnects to the net, you will have ChanOp on the real channel. If you have ServerOp on a server, you can cause it to split on purpose.

17. How do I modify the IRC client to hide my real username?

Note: This FAQ answer was written by someone else, but I do not know who. If you know who originally wrote this, please e-mail me.

[Begin quoted text.]

Applying these changes to the source code for your ircII client and recompiling gives you a new ircII command: /NEWUSER. This new command can be used as follows:

/NEWUSER [new_username] [new_IRCNAME]
    [new_username] is a new username to use and is required
    [new_IRCNAME] is a new IRCNAME string to use and is optional

This will disconnect you from your server and reconnect using the new information given. You will rejoin all channel you are currently on and keep your current nickname.

The effect is basically changing your username/IRCname on the fly. Although you are disconnected from your server and reconnected, the ircII client is never exited, thus keeping all your state information and aliases intact. This is ideal for bots that wish to be REALLY obnoxious in ban evasion. ;)

As this is now a new command in ircII, it can be used in scripts. Be aware that the reconnect associated with the NEWUSER command takes time, so TIMER any commands that must immediately follow the NEWUSER. For example... ban evasion made easy (but beware infinite reconnects when your site is banned):


Or just to be annoying . . . a /BE [nickname] alias that will assume a person's username and IRCNAME:


Now . . . in order to add this command to your ircII client, get the latest client source (or whatever client source you are using). cd into the source directory and edit the file "edit.c". Make the following changes:

Locate the line which reads:

extern  void    server();

Insert the following line after it:

static  void    newuser();

This pre-defines a new function newuser() that we'll add later.

Now, locate the line which reads:

        "NAMES",        "NAMES",        funny_stuff,            0,

Insert the following line after it:

        "NEWUSER",      NULL,           newuser,                0,

This adds a new command NEWUSER to the list of valid IRCII commands, and tells it to call our new function newuser() to perform it.

Finally, go the bottom of the file and add the following code as our new function newuser():


[End quoted text.]

/NEWUSER will not hide you from a CTCP query. To do that, modify ctcp.c as shown in the following diff and set an environment variable named CTCPFINGER with the information you would like to display when queried.


18. How do I change to directories with strange characters in them?

These directories are often used by people trying to hide information, most often warez (commercial software).

There are several things you can do to determine what these strange characters are. One is to use the arguments to the ls command that cause ls to give you more information:

From the man page for ls:

-F   Causes directories to be marked with a trailing ``/'',
     executable files to be marked with a trailing ``*'', and
     symbolic links to be marked with a trailing ``@'' symbol.

-q   Forces printing of non-graphic characters in filenames as the
     character ``?''.

-b   Forces printing of non-graphic characters in the \ddd
     notation, in octal.

Perhaps the most useful tool is to simply do an "ls -al filename" to save the directory of the remote ftp site as a file on your local machine. Then you can do a "cat -t -v -e filename" to see exactly what those bizarre little characters are.

From the man page for cat:

-v  Causes non-printing characters (with the exception of tabs,
    newlines, and form feeds) to be displayed.  Control characters
    are displayed as ^X (<Ctrl>-x), where X is the key pressed with
    the <CTRL> key (for example, <CTRL>-M is displayed as ^M).  The
    <DEL> character (octal 0177) is printed as ^?.  Non-ASCII
    characters (with the high bit set) are printed as M-x, where
    x is the character specified by the seven low order bits.

-t  Causes tabs to be printed as ^I and form feeds as ^L.  This
    option is ignored if the -v option is not specified.

-e  Causes a ``$'' character to be printed at the end of each line
    (prior to the new-line).  This option is ignored if the -v
    option is not set.

If the directory name includes a <SPACE> or a <TAB> you will need to enclose the entire directory name in quotes. Example:

cd "..<TAB>"

On an IBM-PC, you may enter these special characters by holding down the <ALT> key and entering the decimal value of the special character on your numeric keypad. When you release the <ALT> key, the special character should appear on your screen. An ASCII chart can be very helpful.

Sometimes people will create directories with some of the standard stty control characters in them, such as ^Z (suspend) or ^C (intr). To get into those directories, you will first need to user stty to change the control character in qustion to another character.

From the man page for stty:

Control assignments

control-character C
                  Sets control-character to C, where control-character is
                  `erase, kill, intr (interrupt), quit, eof, eol, swtch
                  (switch), start, stop or susp.

                  start and stop are available as possible control char-
                  acters for the control-character C assignment.

                  If C is preceded by a caret (^) (escaped from the
                  shell), then the value used is the corresponding con-
                  trol character (for example, ^D is a <CTRL>-D; ^? is
                  interpreted as DELETE and ^- is interpreted as unde-

Use the "stty -a" command to see your current stty settings, and to determine which one is causing you problems.

19. What is ethernet sniffing?

Ethernet sniffing is listening (with software) to the raw ethernet device for packets that interest you. When your software sees a packet that fits certain criteria, it logs it to a file. The most common criteria for an interesting packet is one that contains words like "login" or "password."

Many ethernet sniffers are available, here are a few that may be on your system now:

OS              Sniffer          Availability
~~              ~~~~~~~          ~~~~~~~~~~~~
4.3/4.4 BSD     tcpdump          Available via anonymous FTP
FreeBSD         tcpdump          Available via anonymous FTP at
NetBSD          tcpdump          Available via anonymous FTP at
DEC UNIX        tcpdump          Available via anonymous FTP
DEC Ultrix      tcpdump          Available via anonymous FTP
HP/UX           nettl (monitor)
              & netfmt (display)
                nfswatch         Available via anonymous FTP
Linux           tcpdump          Available via anonymous FTP at
SGI Irix        nfswatch         Available via anonymous FTP
Solaris         snoop
SunOS           etherfind
                nfswatch         Available via anonymous FTP
                tcpdump          Available via anonymous FTP
DOS             ETHLOAD          Available via anonymous FTP as
                The Gobbler      Available via anonymous FTP
                Netzhack         Available via anonymous FTP at
Macintosh       Etherpeek

Here is source code for an ethernet sniffer: Esniff.c

20. What is an Internet Outdial?

An Internet outdial is a modem connected to the Internet than you can use to dial out. Normal outdials will only call local numbers. A GOD (Global OutDial) is capable of calling long distance. Outdials are an inexpensive method of calling long distance BBS's.

21. What are some Internet Outdials?

This FAQ answer is excerpted from CoTNo #5:

                        Internet Outdial List v3.0
                         by Cavalier and DisordeR


There are several lists of Internet outdials floating around the net these days. The following is a compilation of other lists, as well as v2.0 by DeadKat (CoTNo issue 2, article 4). Unlike other lists where the author just ripped other people and released it, we have sat down and tested each one of these. Some of them we have gotten "Connection Refused" or it timed out while trying to connect...these have been labeled dead.
                           Working Outdials
                            as of 12/29/94

NPA          IP Address                   Instructions
---          ----------                   ------------
215                modem

217       atdt x,xxxXXXXX

218              atdt9,xxxXXXX

303 3020

412 2600    Press D at the prompt

412            tn3270, 

413        Ctrl } gets ENTER NUMBER: xxxxxxx


502                connect kecnet
                                          @ dial: "outdial2400 or out"

602        atdt8,,,,,[x][yyy]xxxyyyy



713               atdt x,xxxXXXX

714            atdt[area]0[phone]

804           connect hayes, 9,,xxx-xxxx

804      connect telnet
                                          connect hayes

                           Need Password

206    This is an unbroken password
303          yuma.ACNS.ColoState.EDU      login: modem
404                .modem8|CR
415          annex132-1.EECS.Berkeley.EDU "dial1" or "dial2" or "dialer1"
514          cartier.CC.UMontreal.CA      externe,9+number
703          dial2400 -aa

                          Dead/No Connect

201          idsnet
204         "dial12" or "dial24"
212          B719-7e.NYU.EDU              dial3/dial12/dial24
212          B719-7f.NYU.EDU              dial3/dial12/dial24
212          DIALOUT-1.NYU.EDU            dial3/dial12/dial24
212          FREE-138-229.NYU.EDU         dial3/dial12/dial24
212          UP19-4b.NYU.EDU              dial3/dial12/dial24
215      "atz" "atdt 9xxxyyyy"
218               "cli" "rlogin modem"
                                          at "login:"  type "modem"
218              Hayes 9,XXX-XXXX
307               Hayes  0,XXX-XXXX
313                     dial2400-aa or dial1200-aa
                                          or dialout
404       ".modem8" or ".dialout"
416         atdt 9,,,,, xxx-xxxx
416        modem
514          pacx.CC.UMontreal.CA         externe#9 9xxx-xxxx
609 (X= 1 - 4)   Hayes
609  (x = 1 to 4)
614   "dial"
615                  dial2400 D 99k #
615          MATHSUN23.MATH.UTK.EDU       dial 2400  d  99Kxxxxxxx
617                  2400baud
617          isdn3.Princeton.EDU
617          jadwingymkip0.Princeton.EDU
617          lord-stanley.Princeton.EDU
617          mpanus.Princeton.EDU
617          old-dialout.Princeton.EDU
617          stagger.Princeton.EDU
617          waddle.Princeton.EDU
619                  atdt [area][phone]
619              "dialout"
713               "c modem96"  "atdt 9xxx-xxxx"
                                          or "Hayes"
714             atdt 8xxx-xxxx
801              "C Modem"
902             "dialout"
916          connect hayes/dialout
???              (1 - 4)
???                  nue, X to discontinue, ? for Help
???                  ntu            
???           cs8005
???            guest           
???           u349633
???           ?
???          guest           
???            "CALL" or "call"


If you find any of the outdials to have gone dead, changed commands, or require password, please let us know so we can keep this list as accurate as possible. If you would like to add to the list, feel free to mail us and it will be included in future versions of this list, with your name beside it. Have fun...

[Editors note: Updates have been made to this document after the original publication].

22. What is this system?


IBM AIX Version 3 for RISC System/6000
(C) Copyrights by IBM and by others 1982, 1990.

You will know an AIX system because it is the only UNIX system that clears the screen and issues a login prompt near the bottom of the screen.



Once in, type GO MAIN

CDC Cyber


88/02/16. 02.36.53. N265100
CSUS CYBER 170-730.                     NOS 2.5.2-678/3.

You would normally just hit return at the family prompt. Next prompt is:


CISCO Router

                             FIRST BANK OF TNO
                           95-866 TNO VirtualBank
                          REMOTE Router -  TN043R1

                                Console Port

                                SN - 00000866



DECserver 700-08 Communications Server V1.1 (BL44G-11A) - LAT V5.1

(c) Copyright 1992, Digital Equipment Corporation - All Rights Reserved

Please type HELP if you need assistance

Enter username> TNO


Hewlett Packard MPE-XL









Lantronix Terminal Server

Lantronix ETS16 Version V3.1/1(940623)

Type HELP at the 'Local_15> ' prompt for assistance.

Login password>

Meridian Mail (Northern Telecom Phone/Voice Mail System)

                            MMM       MMMERIDIAN
                           MMMMM     MMMMM
                         MMMMMM   MMMMMM
                        MMM  MMMMM  MMM     MMMMM     MMMMM
                      MMM   MMM   MMM     MMMMMM   MMMMMM
                     MMM         MMM     MMM MMM MMM MMM
                    MMM         MMM     MMM  MMMMM  MMM
                   MMM         MMM     MMM   MMM   MMM
                  MMM         MMM     MMM         MMM
                 MMM         MMM     MMM         MMM
                MMM         MMM     MMM         MMM
               MMM         MMM     MMM         MMM
              MMM         MMM     MMM         MMM

                                          Copyright (c) Northern Telecom, 1991

Novell ONLAN

[Control-A aka smiley face]N

To access the systems it is best to own a copy of ONLAN/PC.


[Control-A aka smiley face]P

To access the systems it is best to own a copy of PCAnywhere Remote.



[any text]



Primenet V 2.3  (system)
LOGIN           (you)
User id?        (system)
SAPB5           (you)
Password?       (system)
DROWSAP         (you)
OK,             (system)


ROLM CBXII  RELEASE 9004.2.34 RB295 9000D IBMHO27568
12:38:47 ON WEDNESDAY 2/15/1995





MARAUDER10292  01/09/85(^G) 1 03/10/87  00:29:47


Login: root

Login: browse

Software Version: G3s.b16.2.2

Terminal Type (513, 4410, 4425): [513]


NIH Timesharing

NIH Tri-SMP 7.02-FF  16:30:04 TTY11
system 1378/1381/1453 Connected to Node Happy(40) Line # 12
Please LOGIN





                                          TBVM2 VM/ESA Rel 1.1     PUT 9200

Fill in your USERID and PASSWORD and press ENTER
(Your password will not appear when you type it)
USERID   ===>


Xylogics Annex Communications Server

Annex Command Line Interpreter   *   Copyright 1991 Xylogics, Inc.

Checking authorization, Please wait...
Annex username: TNO
Annex password:

Permission granted

23. What are the default accounts for XXX?


guest           guest


qsecofr         qsecofr         master security officer
qsysopr         qsysopr         system operator
qpgmr           qpgmr           default programmer


ibm             password
ibm             2222
ibm             service
qsecofr         1111111
qsecofr         2222222
qserv           qserv
qsvr            qsvr
secofr          secofr
qsrv            ibmce1



Dynix (The library software, not the UNIX OS)

(Type 'later' to exit to the login prompt)
setup           [no password]
library         [no password]
circ            [Social Security Number]

Hewlett Packard MPE-XL

HELLO           MGR.SYS
MGR             CAROLIAN
MGR             CCC
MGR             CNAS
MGR             CONV
MGR             COGNOS
MGR             HPDESK
MGR             HPWORD
FIELD           HPWORD
MGR             HPOFFICE
MAIL            HPOFFICE
WP              HPOFFICE
MGR             HPONLY
FIELD           HPP187
MGR             HPP187
MGR             HPP189
MGR             HPP196
MGR             INTX3
MGR             ITF3000
MANAGER         ITF3000
MAIL            MAIL
MGR             NETBASE
MGR             REGO
MGR             RJE
MGR             ROBELLE
MGR             SECURITY
MGR             SYS
PCUSER          SYS
MAIL            TELESUP
MGR             TELESUP
SYS             TELESUP
MGE             VESOFT
MGE             VESOFT
MGR             WORD
MGR             XLSERVER

Common jobs are Pub, Sys, and Data.
Common passwords are HPOnly, TeleSup, HP, MPE, Manager, MGR, and Remote.

Major BBS

Sysop           Sysop

Mitel PBX



root            NeXT
signa           signa
me              [null]  (Rumored to be correct, not checked)

Nomadic Computing Environment (NCE) on the Tadpole Technologies SPARCBook3

fax             [no password]


DSA             # Desquetop System Administrator


PBX             PBX
NETOP           [null]

Radio Shack Screen Savers



CBX Defaults

op              op
op              operator
su              super
admin           pwp
eng             engineer

PhoneMail Defaults

sysadmin        sysadmin
tech            tech
poll            tech


1,1/system      (Directory [1,1] Password SYSTEM)
Default accounts for Micro/RSX:

Alternately you can hit ^Z when the boot sequence asks you for the date and create an account using:


(Numbers below 10 [oct] are Priveleged)

Reboot and wait for the date/time question. Type ^C and at the MCR prompt, type "abo at." You must include the . (dot)!

If this works, type "acs lb0:/blks=1000" to get some swap space so the new step won't wedge.

type " run $acnt" and change the password of any account with a group number of 7 or less.

You may find that the ^C does not work. Try ^Z and ESC as well. Also try all 3 as terminators to valid and invalid times.

If none of the above work, use the halt switch to halt the system, just after an invalid date-time. Look for a user mode PSW 1[4-7]xxxx. then deposit 177777 into R6, cross your fingers, write protect the drive and continue the system. This will hopefully result in indirect blowing up... And hopefully the system has not been fully secured.

SGI Irix

4DGifts         [no password]
guest           [no password]
demos           [no password]
lp              [no password]
nuucp           [no password]
tour            [no password]
tutor           [no password]

System 75

bcim            bcimpw
bciim           bciimpw
bcms            bcmspw, bcms
bcnas           bcnspw
blue            bluepw
browse          looker, browsepw
craft           crftpw, craftpw, crack
cust            custpw
enquiry         enquirypw
field           support
inads           indspw, inadspw, inads
init            initpw
kraft           kraftpw
locate          locatepw
maint           maintpw, rwmaint
nms             nmspw
rcust           rcustpw
support         supportpw
tech            field

Taco Bell

rgm             rollout
tacobell        [null]

Verifone Junior 2.05

Default password: 166816


field           service
systest         utep

XON/XON Junior

Default password: 166831

24. What port is XXX on?

The file /etc/services on most UNIX machines lists the port assignments for that machine. For a complete list of port assignments, read RFC (Request For Comments) 1700 (Assigned Numbers).

25. What is a trojan/worm/virus/logic bomb?

This FAQ answer was written by Theora:


Remember the Trojan Horse? Bad guys hid inside it until they could get into the city to do their evil deed. A trojan computer program is similar. It is a program which does an unauthorized function, hidden inside an authorized program. It does something other than what it claims to do, usually something malicious (although not necessarily!), and it is intended by the author to do whatever it does. If it's not intentional, its called a 'bug' or, in some cases, a feature :) Some virus scanning programs detect some trojans. Some virus scanning programs don't detect any trojans. No virus scanners detect all trojans.


A virus is an independent program which reproduces itself. It may attach to other programs, it may create copies of itself (as in companion viruses). It may damage or corrupt data, change data, or degrade the performance of your system by utilizing resources such as memory or disk space. Some virus scanners detect some viruses. No virus scanners detect all viruses. No virus scanner can protect against "any and all viruses, known and unknown, now and forevermore."


Made famous by Robert Morris, Jr. , worms are programs which reproduce by copying themselves over and over, system to system, using up resources and sometimes slowing down the systems. They are self contained and use the networks to spread, in much the same way viruses use files to spread. Some people say the solution to viruses and worms is to just not have any files or networks. They are probably correct. We would include computers.

Logic Bomb

Code which will trigger a particular form of 'attack' when a designated condition is met. For instance, a logic bomb could delete all files on Dec. 5th. Unlike a virus, a logic bomb does not make copies of itself.

26. How can I protect myself from virii and such?

This FAQ answer was written by Theora:

The most common viruses are boot sector infectors. You can help protect yourself against those by write protecting all disks which you do not need write access to. Definitely keep a set of write protected floppy system disks. If you get a virus, it will make things much simpler. And, they are good for coasters. Only kidding.

Scan all incoming files with a recent copy of a good virus scanner. Among the best are F-Prot, Dr. Solomon's Anti-virus Toolkit, and Thunderbyte Anti-Virus. AVP is also a good proggie. Using more than one scanner could be helpful. You may get those one or two viruses that the other guy happened to miss this month.

New viruses come out at the rate of about 8 per day now. NO scanner can keep up with them all, but the four mentioned here do the best job of keeping current. Any _good_ scanner will detect the majority of common viruses. No virus scanner will detect all viruses.

Right now there are about 5600 known viruses. New ones are written all the time. If you use a scanner for virus detection, you need to make sure you get frequent updates. If you rely on behaviour blockers, you should know that such programs can be bypassed easily by a technique known as tunnelling.

You may want to use integrity checkers as well as scanners. Keep in mind that while these can supply added protection, they are not foolproof.

You may want to use a particular kind of scanner, called resident scanners. Those are programs which stay resident in the computer memory and constantly monitor program execution (and sometimes even access to the files containing programs). If you try to execute a program, the resident scanner receives control and scans it first for known viruses. Only if no such viruses are found, the program is allowed to execute.

Most virus scanners will not protect you against many kinds of trojans, any sort of logic bombs, or worms. Theoretically, they _could_ protect you against logic bombs and/or worms, by addition of scanning strings; however, this is rarely done.

The best, actually only way, to protect yourself is to know what you have on your system and make sure what you have there is authorised by you. Make freqent backups of all important files. Keep your DOS system files write protected. Write protect all disks that you do not need to write to. If you do get a virus, don't panic. Call the support department of the company who supplies your anti-virus product if you aren't sure of what you are doing. If the company you got your anti-virus software from does not have a good technical support department, change companies.

The best way to make sure viruses are not spread is not to spread them. Some people do this intentionally. We discourage this. Viruses aren't cool.

27. Where can I get more information about viruses?

This FAQ answer was written by Theora:

Assembly lanaguage programming books illustrate the (boring) aspect of replication and have for a long time. The most exciting/interesting thing about viruses is all the controversy around them. Free speech, legality, and cute payloads are a lot more interesting than "find first, find next" calls. You can get information about the technical aspects of viruses, as well as help if you should happen to get a virus, from the virus-l FAQ, posted on comp. virus every so often. You can also pick up on the various debates there. There are alt.virus type newsgroups, but the level of technical expertise is minimal, and so far at least there has not been a lot of real "help" for people who want to get -rid- of a virus.

There are a lot of virus experts. To become one, just call yourself one. Only kidding. Understanding viruses involves understanding programming, operating systems, and their interaction. Understanding all of the 'Cult of Virus' business requires a lot of discernment. There are a number of good papers available on viruses, and the Cult of Virus; you can get information on them from just about anyone listed in the virus-l FAQ. The FTP site is a pretty reliable site for proggies and text.

28. What is Cryptoxxxxxxx?

This FAQ answer is excerpted from: Computer Security Basics by Deborah Russell and G.T. Gengemi, Sr.

A message is called either plaintext or cleartext.  The process of
disguising a message in such a way as to hide its substance is called
encryption.  An encrypted message is called ciphertext.  The process
of turning ciphertext back into plaintext is called decryption.

The art and science of keeping messages secure is called cryptography,
and it is practiced by cryptographers.  Cryptanalysts are
practitioners of cryptanalysis, the art and science of breaking
ciphertext, i.e. seeing through the disguise.  The branch of
mathematics embodying both cryptography and cryptanalysis is called
cryptology, and it's practitioners are called cryptologists.

29. What is PGP?

This FAQ answer is excerpted from: PGP(tm) User's Guide Volume I: Essential Topics by Philip Zimmermann.

PGP(tm) uses public-key encryption to protect E-mail and data files.
Communicate securely with people you've never met, with no secure
channels needed for prior exchange of keys.  PGP is well featured and
fast, with sophisticated key management, digital signatures, data
compression, and good ergonomic design.

Pretty Good(tm) Privacy (PGP), from Phil's Pretty Good Software, is a
high security cryptographic software application for MS-DOS, UNIX,
VAX/VMS, and other computers.  PGP allows people to exchange files or
messages with privacy, authentication, and convenience.  Privacy means
that only those intended to receive a message can read it.
Authentication means that messages that appear to be from a particular
person can only have originated from that person. Convenience means
that privacy and authentication are provided without the hassles of
managing keys associated with conventional cryptographic software.  No
secure channels are needed to exchange keys between users, which makes
PGP much easier to use.  This is because PGP is based on a powerful
new technology called "public key" cryptography.

PGP combines the convenience of the Rivest-Shamir-Adleman (RSA)
public key cryptosystem with the speed of conventional cryptography,
message digests for digital signatures, data compression before
encryption, good ergonomic design, and sophisticated key management. 
And PGP performs the public-key functions faster than most other
software implementations.  PGP is public key cryptography for the

30. What is Tempest?

Tempest stands for Transient Electromagnetic Pulse Surveillance Technology.

Computers and other electronic equipment release interference to their surrounding environment. You may observe this by placing two video monitors close together. The pictures will behave erratically until you space them apart.

What is important for an observer is the emission of digital pulses (1s and 0s) as these are used in computers. The channel for this radiation is in two arrangements, radiated emissions and conducted emissions. Radiated emissions are assembled when components in electrical devices form to act as antennas. Conducted emissions are formed when radiation is conducted along cables and wires.

Although most of the time these emissions are simply annoyances, they can sometimes be very helpful. Suppose we wanted to see what project a target was working on. We could sit in a van outside her office and use sensitive electronic equipment to attempt to pick up and decipher the emanations from her video monitor. These emissions normally exist at around 55-245 Mhz and can be picked up as far as one kilometer away.

A monitoring device can distinguish between different sources emitting radiation because the sources emanating the radiation are made up of dissimilar elements and so this coupled with other factors varies the emitted frequency. For example different electronic components in VDUs, different manufacturing processes involved in reproducing the VDUs, different line syncs, etc... By synchronizing our raster with the targets raster we can passively draw the observed screen in real-time. This technology can be acquired by anyone, not just government agencies.

The target could shield the emissions from her equipment or use equipment that does not generate strong emissions. However, Tempest equipment is not legal for civillian use in the United States.

Tempest is the US Government program for evaluation and endorsement of electronic equipment that is safe from eavesdropping. Tempest certification refers to the equipment having passed a testing phase and agreeing to emanations rules specified in the government document NACSIM 5100A (Classified). This document sets forth the emanation levels that the US Government believes equipment can give off without compromising the information it is processing.

31. What is an anonymous remailer?

This FAQ answer was written by Raph Levien:

An anonymous remailer is a system on the Internet that allows you to send e-mail or post messages to Usenet anonymously.

There are two sorts of remailers in widespread use. The first is the style, the second is the cypherpunk style. The remailer at is immensely popular, with over 160,000 users over its lifetime, and probably tens of thousands of messages per day. Its main advantage is that it's so easy to use. The cypherpunks mailers, which provide much better security, are becoming more popular, however, as there is more awareness of them.

The user of the system first needs to get an anonymous id. This is done either by sending mail to somebody who already has one (for example, by replying to a post on Usenet), or sending mail to In either case, penet will mail back the new anon id, which looks like If an123456 then sends mail to another user of the system, then this is what happens:

1.  The mail is transported to, which resides somewhere in
    the vicinity of Espoo, Finland.

2.  These steps are carried out by software running on
    Penet first looks up the email address of the sender in its
    database, then replaces it with the numeric code.  All other
    information about the sender is removed.

3.  Then, penet looks up the number of the recipient in the same
    database, and replaces it with the actual email address.

4.  Finally, it sends the mail to the actual email address of the

There are variations on this scheme, such as posting to Usenet (in which step 3 is eliminated), but that's the basic idea.

Where uses a secret database to match anon id's to actual email addresses, the cypherpunks remailers use cryptography to hide the actual identities. Let's say I want to send email to a real email address, or post it to Usenet, but keep my identity completely hidden. To send it through one remailer, this is what happens.

1.  I encrypt the message and the recipient's address, using the public
    key of the remailer of my choice.

2.  I send the email to the remailer.

3.  When the remailer gets the mail, it decrypts it using its private
    key, revealing as plaintext the message and the recipient's address.

4.  All information about the sender is removed.

5.  Finally, it sends it to the recipient's email address.

If one trusts the remailer operator, this is good enough. However, the whole point of the cypherpunks remailers is that you don't _have_ to trust any one individual or system. So, people who want real security use a chain of remailers. If any one remailer on the "chain" is honest, then the privacy of the message is assured.

To use a chain of remailers, I first have to prepare the message, which is nestled within multiple layers of encryption, like a Russian matryoshka doll. Preparing such a message is tedious and error prone, so many people use an automated tool such as my premail package. Anyway, after preparing the message, it is sent to the first remailer in the chain, which corresponds to the outermost layer of encryption. Each remailer strips off one layer of encryption and sends the message to the next, until it reaches the final remailer. At this point, only the innermost layer of encryption remains. This layer is stripped off, revealing the plaintext message and recipient for the first time. At this point, the message is sent to its actual recipient.

Remailers exist in many locations. A typical message might go through Canada, Holland, Berkeley, and Finland before ending up at its final location.

Aside from the difficulty of preparing all the encrypted messages, another drawback of the cypherpunk remailers is that they don't easily allow responses to anonymous mail. All information about the sender is stripped away, including any kind of return address. However the new alias servers promise to change that. To use an alias server, one creates a new email address (mine is Mail sent to this new address will be untraceably forwarded to one's real address.

To set this up, one first encrypts one's own email address with multiple layers of encryption. Then, using an encrypted channel, one sends the encrypted address to the alias server, along with the nickname that one would like. The alias server registers the encrypted address in the database. The alias server then handles reply mail in much the same way as, except that the mail is forwarded to the chain of anonymous remailers.

For maximum security, the user can arrange it so that, at each link in the chain, the remailer adds another layer of encryption to the message while removing one layer from the email address. When the user finally gets the email, it is encrypted in multiple layers. The matryoshka has to be opened one doll at a time until the plaintext message hidden inside is revealed.

One other point is that the remailers must be reliable in order for all this to work. This is especially true when a chain of remailers is used---if any one of the remailers is not working, then the message will be dropped. This is why I maintain a list of reliable remailers. By choosing reliable remailers to start with, there is a good chance the message will finally get there.

32. What are the addresses of some anonymous remailers?

The most popular and stable anonymous remailer is, operated by Johan Helsingus. To obtain an anonymous ID, mail

The server at does it's best to remove any headers or other information describing its true origin. You should make an effort and try to omit information detailing your identity within such messages as quite often signatures not starting with "--" are including within your e-mail, this of course is not what you want. You can send messages to:

Here you are addressing another anonymous user and your E-Mail message will appear to have originated from

Here you are posting an anonymous message to a whole Usenet group and in this case to which will be posted at the local site (in this case Finland).

If you send a message to this address you will be allocated an identity (assuming you don't already have one). You can also confirm your identity here as well.

You can also set yourself a password, this password helps to authenticate any messages that you may send. This password is included in your outgoing messages, to set a password send E-Mail to with your password in the body of your text e.g.:


For more information on this anonymous server send mail to:

Anonymous Usenet posting is frowned upon by other users of Usenet groups claiming their opinions are worthless. This is because they believe anonymity is used to shield ones self from attacks from opponents, while on the other hand it can be used to protect ones self from social prejudice (or people reporting ones opinions to ones superiors). Also if you are thinking this is a useful tool to use to hid against the authorities then think again, as there was a famous case where a Judge ordered the administrator of the server to reveal the identity of a poster.

To see a comprehensive list on anonymous remailers, finger or point your web browser to

33. How do I defeat copy protection?

There are two common methods of defeating copy protection. The first is to use a program that removes copy protection. Popular programs that do this are CopyIIPC from Central Point Software and CopyWrite from Quaid Software. The second method involves patching the copy protected program. For popular software, you may be able to locate a ready made patch. You can them apply the patch using any hex editor, such as debug or the Peter Norton's DiskEdit. If you cannot, you must patch the software yourself.

Writing a patch requires a debugger, such as Soft-Ice or Sourcer. It also requires some knowledge of assembly language. Load the protected program under the debugger and watch for it to check the protection mechanism. When it does, change that portion of the code. The code can be changed from JE (Jump on Equal) or JNE (Jump On Not Equal) to JMP (Jump Unconditionally). Or the code may simply be replaced with NOP (No Operation) instructions.

34. What is is a loopback network connection. If you telnet, ftp, etc., to it you are connected to your own machine.

35. How do I post to a moderated newsgroup?

Usenet messages consist of message headers and message bodies. The message header tells the news software how to process the message. Headers can be divided into two types, required and optional. Required headers are ones like "From" and "Newsgroups." Without the required headers, your message will not be posted properly.

One of the optional headers is the "Approved" header. To post to a moderated newsgroup, simply add an Approved header line to your message header. The header line should contain the newsgroup moderators e-mail address. To see the correct format for your target newsgroup, save a message from the newsgroup and then look at it using any text editor.

A "Approved" header line should look like this:


There cannot not be a blank line in the message header. A blank line will cause any portion of the header after the blank line to be interpreted as part of the message body.

For more information, read RFC 1036 (Standard for Interchange of USENET messages).

36. How do I post to Usenet via e-mail?

Through an e-mail to Usenet gateway. Send e-mail messages to newsgroup@servername. For example, to post to alt.2600 through, address your mail to

Here are a few e-mail->Usenet gateways:

37. How do I defeat a BIOS password?

This depends on what BIOS the machine has. Common BIOS's include AMI, Award, IBM and Phoenix. Numerous other BIOS's do exist, but these are the most common.

Some BIOS's allow you to require a password be entered before the system will boot. Some BIOS's allow you to require a password to be entered before the BIOS setup may be accessed.

Every BIOS must store this password information somewhere. If you are able to access the machine after it has been booted successfully, you may be able to view the password. You must know the memory address where the password is stored and the format in which the password is stored or you must have a program that knows these things.

The most common BIOS password attack programs are for the AMI BIOS. Some password attack programs will return the AMI BIOS password in plain text, some will return it in ASCII codes, and some will return it in scan codes. This appears to be dependent not just on the password attacker, but also on the version of the AMI BIOS.

To obtain AMI BIOS password attackers, FTP to (/pub/simtelnet/msdos/sysutl).

If you cannot access the machine after if has been powered up, it is still possible to get past the password. The password is stored in CMOS memory that is maintained while the PC is powered off by a small battery, which is attached to the motherboard. If you remove this battery, all CMOS information will be lost. You will need to re-enter the correct CMOS setup information to use the machine. The machines owner or user will most likely be alarmed when it is discovered that the BIOS password has been deleted.

On some motherboards, the battery is soldered to the motherboard, making it difficult to remove. If this is the case, you have another alternative. Somewhere on the motherboard you should find a jumper that will clear the BIOS password. If you have the motherboard documentation, you will know where that jumper is. If not, the jumper may be labeled on the motherboard. If you are not fortunate enough for either of these to be the case, you may be able to guess which jumper is the correct jumper. This jumper is usually standing alone near the battery.

38. What is the password for [encrypted file]?

This FAQ answer was written by crypt <>:

Magazine                        Password
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~    ~~~~~~~~~~~
VLAD Magazine Issue #1          vlad
VLAD Magazine Issue #2          vx
VLAD Magazine Issue #3          virus
NuKE InfoJournal Issue #2       514738
NuKE InfoJournal Issue #3       power
NuKE InfoJournal Issue #4       party

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~    ~~~~~~~~~~~
Sphere Hacker 1.40 & 1.41       theozone
Virus Creation 2000             high level
Virus Construction Lab          Chiba City
Ejecutor Virus Creator          EJECUTOR
Biological Warfare v0.90        lo tek
Biological Warfare v1.00        freak

39. Is there any hope of a decompiler that would convert an executable program into C/C++ code?

This FAQ answer is an excerpt from SNIPPETS by Bob Stout.

Don't hold your breath. Think about it... For a decompiler to work
properly, either 1) every compiler would have to generate substantially
identical code, even with full optimization turned on, or 2) it would
have to recognize the individual output of every compiler's code

If the first case were to be correct, there would be no more need for
compiler benchmarks since every one would work the same.  For the second
case to be true would require in immensely complex program that had to
change with every new compiler release.

OK, so what about specific decompilers for specific compilers - say a
decompiler designed to only work on code generated by, say, BC++ 4.5?
This gets us right back to the optimization issue.  Code written for
clarity and understandability is often inefficient.  Code written for
maximum performance (speed or size) is often cryptic (at best!) Add to
this the fact that all modern compilers have a multitude of optimization
switches to control which optimization techniques to enable and which to
avoid.  The bottom line is that, for a reasonably large, complex source
module, you can get the compiler to produce a number of different object
modules simply by changing your optimization switches, so your
decompiler will also have to be a deoptimizer which can automagically
recognize which optimization strategies were enabled at compile time.

OK, let's simplify further and specify that you only want to support one
specific compiler and you want to decompile to the most logical source
code without trying to interpret the optimization.  What then?  A good
optimizer can and will substantially rewrite the internals of your code,
so what you get out of your decompiler will be, not only cryptic, but in
many cases, riddled with goto statements and other no-no's of good
coding practice.  At this point, you have decompiled source, but what
good is it?

Also note carefully my reference to source modules.  One characteristic
of C is that it becomes largely unreadable unless broken into easily
maintainable source modules (.C files).  How will the decompiler deal
with that? It could either try to decompile the whole program into some
mammoth main() function, losing all modularity, or it could try to place
each called function into its own file.  The first way would generate
unusable chaos and the second would run into problems where the original
source hade files with multiple functions using static data and/or one
or more functions calling one or more static functions.  A decompiler
could make static data and/or functions global but only at the expense
or readability (which would already be unacceptable).

Finally, remember that commercial applications often code the most
difficult or time-critical functions in assembler which could prove
almost impossible to decompile into a C equivalent.

Like I said, don't hold your breath. As technology improves to where
decompilers may become more feasible, optimizers and languages (C++, for
example, would be a significantly tougher language to decompile than C)
also conspire to make them less likely.

For years UNIX applications have been distributed in shrouded source
form (machine but not human readable---all comments and whitespace
removed, variables names all in the form OOIIOIOI, etc.), which has been
a quite adequate means of protecting the author's rights.  It's very
unlikely that decompiler output would even be as readable as shrouded

40. How does the MS-Windows password encryption work?

This FAQ answer was written by Wayne Hoxsie <>:

The password option in MS Win 3.1 is easily defeated, but there are those of us who really want to know how MS does this. There are many reasons why knowing the actual password can be useful. Suppose a sysamin used the same password in the windows screen saver as his root account on a unix box.

Anyway, I will attempt to relay what I have learned about this algorithm.

I will describe the process starting after you've entered the password and hit the [OK] button.

I will make the assumtion that everyone (at least those interested) know what the XOR operation is.

First, the length of the password is saved. We'll call this 'len'. We will be moving characters from the entered string into another string as they are encrypted. We'll call the originally entered password 'plaintext' and the encrypted string(strings--there are two passes) 'hash1' and 'hash2.' The position in the plaintext is important during the process so we'll refer to this as 'pos.' After each step of the hashing process, the character is checked against a set of characters that windows considers 'special.' These characters are '[ ] =' and any character below ASCII 33 or above ASCII 126. I'll refer to this checking operation as 'is_ok.' All indecies are zero-based (i.e. an 8 character password is considered chars 0 to 7).

Now, the first character of 'plaintext' is xor'd with 'len' then fed to 'is_ok'. if the character is not valid, it is replaced by the original character of 'plaintext' before going to the next operation. The next operation is to xor with 'pos' (this is useless for the first operation since 'len' is 0 and anything xor'd with zero is itself) then fed to 'is_ok' and replaced with the original if not valid. The final operation (per character) is to xor it with the previous character of 'plaintext'. Since there is no previous character, the fixed value, 42, is used on the first character of 'plaintext'. This is then fed to 'is_ok' and if OK, it is stored into the first position of 'hash1' This process proceeds until all characters of plaintext are exhausted.

The second pass is very similar, only now, the starting point is the last character in hash1 and the results are placed into hash2 from the end to the beginning. Also, instead of using the previous character in the final xoring, the character following the current character is used. Since there is no character following the last character in hash1, the value, 42 is again used for the last character.

'hash2' is the final string and this is what windows saves in the file CONTROL.INI.

To 'decrypt' the password, the above procedure is just reversed.

Now, what you've all been waiting for. Here is some C code that will do the dirty work for you:


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