What's New!

Chat with

How to Defend
Your Computer 

The Guides
to (mostly) 
Harmless Hacking

Happy Hacker 
Digests (old stuff) 

Hacker Links 


Meet the 
Happy Hacksters 

Help for 



It Sucks 
to Be Me!

How to Commit
Computer Crime (not)! 

What Is a 
Hacker, Anyhow? 

Have a 
Great Life! 

News from the 
Hacker War Front

More How to be a Hero in School Computer Lab...

How to Break into Absolutely any School Computer

As you know from our tutorial on how to break into Windows from the console, you can break into any computer running any operating system to which you have physical access. The trick is to figure out, once you have complete control, how to disable whatever program is giving you a hard time.

There are only a few possible ways for these programs to work. Maybe all you need to do is control-alt-delete and remove it from the list of active programs that brings up.

If this doesn't work, if you can get into DOS, you can edit any files. Or you may need to access regedit.exe, or the startup list, etc. You can run it from either DOS or,depending on how good your problem program is, from Windows.

Once you can edit files, the ones you are likely to need to alter are autoexec.bat, config.sys, anything with the extension .pwl or .lnk, \windows\startm~1\programs\startup, and the Registry. Look for lines with suspicious names that remind you of the name of the program you want to disable.

You can get punched in the nose note: Of course you could do something obvious like "format c:" and reinstall only what you want on that box. But this will make your teachers throw fits. Mega fits. If you want to be a hero, make sure that you can always return any school computer to the way it was before you hacked it.

When you are done, turn the victim computer off and then back on again instead of a reboot with power still on. This will get rid of anything lingering in RAM that could defeat your efforts.

Keep Clueless Kiddie Hackers from Messing up Your School Computers

Now that you have shown your teachers that you can break absolutely any security on any box to which you have physical access, what next? Do you just leave your teachers feeling awed and helpless? Or do you help them?

There is a reason why they have security systems on your school's computers. You would be amazed at all the things clumsy or malicious users can do.

You can do your school a world of good by using your hacking skills to fix things so that security works much better. Here are some basic precautions that you can offer to your teachers to lock down school computers. (See the chapter on how to break into Windows computers for instructions on how to do most of these.)

1) Disable all boot keys.

2) Password the CMOS. If it already has a password, change it. Give your teacher the new password.

3) Remove any programs that allow the user to get to regedit or dos.

4) Programs that allow hot keys to circumvent security should be changed, if possible, to disable them.

5) Remove programs that can't be made safe.

6) Don't make it possible for Win95/98 computers to access sensitive data on a network disk. (The passwords can be easily grabbed and decoded.)

7) Try really, really hard to persuade the school administration to replace Win95 with WinNT or Win2000.

With experimentation you will figure out much more for yourself.

Since Win95/98 is a totally insecure operating system, this will be a losing battle. But at least you will be able to keep secure enough that those students who do break in will know enough to not do anything disastrous by accident. As for malicious school hackers, sigh, there will always be kewl d00dz who think "format c:" shows they are, ahem, kewl d00dz.

You may also have a problem with school administrators who may feel that it is inconvenient to set up such a secure system. They will have to give up the use of lots of convenient programs. Upgrading to WinNT or Win2K will cost money. Try explaining to them how much easier it will be to keep those wannbe hacker vandals from trashing the school computers or using them to visit bianca's Smut Shack.

Are you ready to turn your hacking skills into a great reputation at school? Are you ready to have the computer lab teachers begging to learn from you? Are you ready to have the entire school computer system under your control--legally? You will, of course, only use the tricks of this chapter under the supervision of an admiring teacher, right? It sure is more fun than expulsion and juvenile court!

Carolyn's most
popular book,
in 4th edition now!
For advanced
hacker studies,
read Carolyn's
Google Groups
Subscribe to Happy Hacker
Visit this group

Return to the index of Guides to (mostly) Harmless Hacking!

© 2001 Happy Hacker All rights reserved.