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More on Telnet: the Number One Hacker Tool

Windows 2000 works pretty much like Unix. See Figure 1 for an example of a Win 2000 telnet login. Not shown on the screen was the command "telnet 10.0.0.10", which I gave at the Command (MS-DOS) prompt.

Figure 1: Telnet using Windows 2000

If you have Windows 95, 98 or NT, to telnet, bring up the MS-DOS prompt (Start --> Programs --> MS-DOS).

Click "connect" then "remote system…". In the host name box place the host name or IP address of the computer to which you wish to telnet. Leave the Port and Term Type boxes alone for now.

Here is a really important point. Every day people email me complaining that some computer won't let them telnet into it. They ask what they are doing wrong. They aren't doing anything wrong:

  • Maybe the computer they are trying to reach no longer exists.
  • Maybe the computer they are trying to reach doesn't allow telnet logins. For example, whois.internic.net no longer allows telnet logins on port 23 (the default port). Click here to learn how to telnet into whois.internic.net on the right port for that particular server.
  • Maybe a firewall is blocking them.
  • Or maybe they make a telnet connection and the remote computer asks for a user name and password they don't have. Then they email me asking for how to get a login name and password that will work.

Newbie note: The owners or administrators of any Internet host computer decide who gets user names and passwords. Believe it or not, about once a week someone emails me asking what user name and password their own online service provider has assigned them for a telnet login. That's why I'm telling people the obvious -- if you want to telnet into any computer, and you don't have a user name and password, you must ask the owner, administrator of tech support for that system for a user name and password. If they won't give that to you, they don't want you to have it!

You can go to jail warning: If you guess the user name and password, or use a computer breakin technique to get or create them, or if someone other than an owner or administrator or a legitimate user on that system gives you a user name and password, it is against the law to use them. Many computer criminals give out user names and passwords that they obtained illegally.

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