How to Use Finger
people who read this Guide wonder "where do you put the
commands?" Sorry, but I wrote this back when it seemed like
everyone and his brother had a "shell account." If
you are using an ordinary Internet Service provider or America
Online, forget this Guide. If you really, really want to delve
into the mysteries of finger, you need to either be able to get
online with Linux or else get a shell account.
you aren't likely to find many finger programs that will let
you break into a computer -- unless you use the old and still
valid trick of fingering for user names and then looking for
some poor chump who made his password the same as his user name.
However, you never know what new things one might discover...
if you admin a Unix type computer, please turn finger off, or
you will suffer the slings and arrows of countless code kiddies.
GUIDE TO (mostly) HARMLESS HACKING
Vol. 1 Number 3
How finger can be used to crack into an Internet host.
Before you get too excited over learning how finger can be
used to crack an Internet host, will all you law enforcement
folks out there please relax. Im not giving step-by-step
instructions. Im certainly not handing out code from those
publicly available canned cracking tools that any newbie could
use to gain illegal access to some hosts.
What you are about to read are some basic principles and techniques
behind cracking with finger. In fact, some of these techniques
are fun and legal as long as they arent taken too far.
And they might tell you a thing or two about how to make your
Internet hosts more secure.
You could also use this information to become a cracker. Your
choice. Just keep in mind what it would be like to be the girlfriend
of a cell mate named Spike.
Newbie note #1: Many people assume hacking and cracking
are synonymous. But cracking is gaining illegal entry
into a computer. Hacking is the entire universe of
kewl stuff one can do with computers, often without breaking
the law or causing harm.
What is finger? It is a program which runs on port 79 of many
Internet host computers. It is normally used to provide information
on people who are users of a given computer.
For review, lets consider the virtuous but boring way
to give your host computer the finger command:
This causes your computer to telnet to port 79 on the host
boring.ISP.net. It gets whatever is in the .plan and .project
files for Joe Blow and displays them on your computer screen.
More fun with finger--->>