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More fun with finger...

But the Happy Hacker way is to first telnet to boring.ISP.net port 79, from which we can then run its finger program:

telnet boring.ISP.net 79

If you are a good Internet citizen you would then give the command:


or maybe the command:

finger Joe_Blow

This should give you the same results as just staying on your own computer and giving the command “finger Joe_Blow@boring.ISP.net.”

But for a cracker, there are lots and lots of other things to try after gaining control of the finger program of boring.ISP.net by telnetting to port 79.

Ah, but I don’t teach how to do felonies. So we will just cover general principles of how finger is commonly used to crack into boring.ISP.net. You will also learn some perfectly legal things you can try to get finger to do.

For example, some finger programs will respond to the command:

finger @boring.ISP.net

If you should happen to find a finger program old enough or trusting enough to accept this command, you might get something back like:

Login Name TTY Idle When Where
happy Prof. Foobar co 1d Wed 08:00 boring.ISP.net

This tells you that only one guy is logged on, and he’s doing nothing. This means that if someone should manage to break in, no one is likely to notice -- at least not right away.

Another command to which a finger port might respond is simply:


If this command works, it will give you a complete list of the users of this host. These user names then can be used to crack a password or two.

More fun with finger--->>

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