Hacking Essay, Research Paper
This file will be divided into four parts:
Part 1: What is Hacking, A Hacker’s Code of Ethics, Basic Hacking Safety
Part 2: Packet Switching Networks: Telenet- How it Works, How to Use it,
Outdials, Network Servers, Private PADs
Part 3: Identifying a Computer, How to Hack In, Operating System
Part 4: Conclusion- Final Thoughts, Books to Read, Boards to Call,
Part One: The Basics ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
As long as there have been computers, there have been hackers. In the 50’s
at the Massachusets Institute of Technology (MIT), students devoted much time
and energy to ingenious exploration of the computers. Rules and the law were
disregarded in their pursuit for the ‘hack’. Just as they were enthralled with
their pursuit of information, so are we. The thrill of the hack is not in
breaking the law, it’s in the pursuit and capture of knowledge.
To this end, let me contribute my suggestions for guidelines to follow to
ensure that not only you stay out of trouble, but you pursue your craft without
damaging the computers you hack into or the companies who own them.
I. Do not intentionally damage *any* system. II. Do not alter any system
files other than ones needed to ensure your
escape from detection and your future access (Trojan Horses, Altering
Logs, and the like are all necessary to your survival for as long as
possible.) III. Do not leave your (or anyone else’s) real name, real
handle, or real
phone number on any system that you access illegally. They *can* and
will track you down from your handle! IV. Be careful who you share
information with. Feds are getting trickier.
Generally, if you don’t know their voice phone number, name, and
occupation or haven’t spoken with them voice on non-info trading
conversations, be wary. V. Do not leave your real phone number to
anyone you don’t know. This
includes logging on boards, no matter how k-rad they seem. If you
don’t know the sysop, leave a note telling some trustworthy people
that will validate you. VI. Do not hack government computers. Yes,
there are government systems
that are safe to hack, but they are few and far between. And the
government has inifitely more time and resources to track you down than
a company who has to make a profit and justify expenses. VII. Don’t use
codes unless there is *NO* way around it (you don’t have a
local telenet or tymnet outdial and can’t connect to anything 800…)
You use codes long enough, you will get caught. Period. VIII. Don’t be
afraid to be paranoid. Remember, you *are* breaking the law.
It doesn’t hurt to store everything encrypted on your hard disk, or
keep your notes buried in the backyard or in the trunk of your car.
You may feel a little funny, but you’ll feel a lot funnier when you
when you meet Bruno, your transvestite cellmate who axed his family to
death. IX. Watch what you post on boards. Most of the really great
hackers in the
country post *nothing* about the system they’re currently working
except in the broadest sense (I’m working on a UNIX, or a COSMOS, or
something generic. Not “I’m hacking into General Electric’s Voice Mail
System” or something inane and revealing like that.) X. Don’t be afraid
to ask questions. That’s what more experienced hackers
are for. Don’t expect *everything* you ask to be answered, though.
There are some things (LMOS, for instance) that a begining hacker
shouldn’t mess with. You’ll either get caught, or screw it up for
others, or both. XI. Finally, you have to actually hack. You can hang
out on boards all you
want, and you can read all the text files in the world, but until you
actually start doing it, you’ll never know what it’s all about. There’s
no thrill quite the same as getting into your first system (well, ok,
I can think of a couple of bigger thrills, but you get the picture.)
One of the safest places to start your hacking career is on a computer system
belonging to a college. University computers have notoriously lax security, and
are more used to hackers, as every college computer depart-ment has one or two,
so are less likely to press charges if you should be detected. But the odds of
them detecting you and having the personel to committ to tracking you down are
slim as long as you aren’t destructive.
If you are already a college student, this is ideal, as you can legally
explore your computer system to your heart’s desire, then go out and look for
similar systems that you can penetrate with confidence, as you’re already
familar with them.
So if you just want to get your feet wet, call your local college. Many of
them will provide accounts for local residents at a nominal (under $20) charge.
Finally, if you get caught, stay quiet until you get a lawyer. Don’t vol-
unteer any information, no matter what kind of ‘deals’ they offer you. Nothing
is binding unless you make the deal through your lawyer, so you might as well
shut up and wait.
Part Two: Networks ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The best place to begin hacking (other than a college) is on one of the
bigger networks such as Telenet. Why? First, there is a wide variety of
computers to choose from, from small Micro-Vaxen to huge Crays. Second, the
networks are fairly well documented. It’s easier to find someone who can help
you with a problem off of Telenet than it is to find assistance concerning your
local college computer or high school machine. Third, the networks are safer.
Because of the enormous number of calls that are fielded every day by the big
networks, it is not financially practical to keep track of where every call and
connection are made from. It is also very easy to disguise your location using
the network, which makes your hobby much more secure.
Telenet has more computers hooked to it than any other system in the world
once you consider that from Telenet you have access to Tymnet, ItaPAC, JANET,
DATAPAC, SBDN, PandaNet, THEnet, and a whole host of other networks, all of
which you can connect to from your terminal.
The first step that you need to take is to identify your local dialup port.
This is done by dialing 1-800-424-9494 (1200 7E1) and connecting. It will spout
some garbage at you and then you’ll get a prompt saying ‘TERMINAL=’. This is
your terminal type. If you have vt100 emulation, type it in now. Or just hit
return and it will default to dumb terminal mode.
You’ll now get a prompt that looks like a @. From here, type @c mail
and then it will ask for a Username. Enter ‘phones’ for the username. When it
asks for a password, enter ‘phones’ again. From this point, it is menu driven.
Use this to locate your local dialup, and call it back locally. If you don’t
have a local dialup, then use whatever means you wish to connect to one long
distance (more on this later.)
When you call your local dialup, you will once again go through the TERMINAL=
stuff, and once again you’ll be presented with a @. This prompt lets you know
you are connected to a Telenet PAD. PAD stands for either Packet
Assembler/Disassembler (if you talk to an engineer), or Public Access Device (if
you talk to Telenet’s marketing people.) The first description is more correct.
Telenet works by taking the data you enter in on the PAD you dialed into,
bundling it into a 128 byte chunk (normally… this can be changed), and then
transmitting it at speeds ranging from 9600 to 19,200 baud to another PAD, who
then takes the data and hands it down to whatever computer or system it’s
connected to. Basically, the PAD allows two computers that have different baud
rates or communication protocols to communicate with each other over a long
distance. Sometimes you’ll notice a time lag in the remote machines response.
This is called PAD Delay, and is to be expected when you’re sending data through
several different links.
What do you do with this PAD? You use it to connect to remote computer
systems by typing ‘C’ for connect and then the Network User Address (NUA) of the
system you want to go to.
An NUA takes the form of 031103130002520
| | |
| | |____ network address
| |_________ area prefix
This is a summary of DNIC’s (taken from Blade Runner’s file on ItaPAC)
according to their country and network name.
DNIC Network Name Country DNIC Network Name Country __________
| 02041 Datanet 1 Netherlands |
03110 Telenet USA 02062 DCS Belgium | 03340
Telepac Mexico 02080 Transpac France | 03400 UDTS-
Curacau Curacau 02284 Telepac Switzerland | 04251 Isranet
Israel 02322 Datex-P Austria | 04401 DDX-P Japan
02329 Radaus Austria | 04408 Venus-P Japan 02342
PSS UK | 04501 Dacom-Net South Korea 02382
Datapak Denmark | 04542 Intelpak Singapore 02402
Datapak Sweden | 05052 Austpac Australia 02405
Telepak Sweden | 05053 Midas Australia 02442 Finpak
Finland | 05252 Telepac Hong Kong 02624 Datex-P
West Germany | 05301 Pacnet New Zealand 02704 Luxpac
Luxembourg | 06550 Saponet South Africa 02724 Eirpak
Ireland | 07240 Interdata Brazil 03020 Datapac Canada
| 07241 Renpac Brazil 03028 Infogram Canada |
09000 Dialnet USA 03103 ITT/UDTS USA | 07421
Dompac French Guiana 03106 Tymnet USA |
There are two ways to find interesting addresses to connect to. The first
and easiest way is to obtain a copy of the LOD/H Telenet Directory from the
LOD/H Technical Journal #4 or 2600 Magazine. Jester Sluggo also put out a good
list of non-US addresses in Phrack Inc. Newsletter Issue 21. These files will
tell you the NUA, whether it will accept collect calls or not, what type of
computer system it is (if known) and who it belongs to (also if known.)
The second method of locating interesting addresses is to scan for them
manually. On Telenet, you do not have to enter the 03110 DNIC to connect to a
Telenet host. So if you saw that 031104120006140 had a VAX on it you wanted to
look at, you could type @c 412 614 (0’s can be ignored most of the time.)
If this node allows collect billed connections, it will say 412 614 CONNECTED
and then you’ll possibly get an identifying header or just a Username: prompt.
If it doesn’t allow collect connections, it will give you a message such as 412
614 REFUSED COLLECT CONNECTION with some error codes out to the right, and
return you to the @ prompt.
There are two primary ways to get around the REFUSED COLLECT message. The
first is to use a Network User Id (NUI) to connect. An NUI is a username/pw
combination that acts like a charge account on Telenet. To collect to node 412
614 with NUI junk4248, password 525332, I’d type the following: @c 412
614,junk4248,525332 9999 in that prefix, making a note of all the carriers you
find. There is software available to do this for nearly every computer in the
world, so you don’t have to do it by hand.
Part Three: I’ve Found a Computer, Now What? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This next section is applicable universally. It doesn’t matter how you found
this computer, it could be through a network, or it could be from carrier
scanning your High School’s phone prefix, you’ve got this prompt this prompt,
what the hell is it?
I’m *NOT* going to attempt to tell you what to do once you’re inside of any
of these operating systems. Each one is worth several G-files in its own right.
I’m going to tell you how to identify and recognize certain OpSystems, how to
approach hacking into them, and how to deal with something that you’ve never
seen before and have know idea what it is.
VMS- The VAX computer is made by Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC),
and runs the VMS (Virtual Memory System) operating system.
VMS is characterized by the ‘Username:’ prompt. It will not tell
you if you’ve entered a valid username or not, and will disconnect
you after three bad login attempts. It also keeps track of all
failed login attempts and informs the owner of the account next time
s/he logs in how many bad login attempts were made on the account.
It is one of the most secure operating systems around from the
outside, but once you’re in there are many things that you can do
to circumvent system security. The VAX also has the best set of
help files in the world. Just type HELP and read to your heart’s
Common Accounts/Defaults: [username: password [[,password]] ]
SYSTEM: OPERATOR or MANAGER or SYSTEM or SYSLIB
SYSMAINT: SYSMAINT or SERVICE or DIGITAL
FIELD: FIELD or SERVICE
GUEST: GUEST or unpassworded
DEMO: DEMO or unpassworded
DEC-10- An earlier line of DEC computer equipment, running the TOPS-10
operating system. These machines are recognized by their
‘.’ prompt. The DEC-10/20 series are remarkably hacker-friendly,
allowing you to enter several important commands without ever
logging into the system. Accounts are in the format [xxx,yyy] where
xxx and yyy are integers. You can get a listing of the accounts and
the process names of everyone on the system before logging in with
the command .systat (for SYstem STATus). If you seen an account
that reads [234,1001] BOB JONES, it might be wise to try BOB or
JONES or both for a password on this account. To login, you type
.login xxx,yyy and then type the password when prompted for it.
The system will allow you unlimited tries at an account, and does
not keep records of bad login attempts. It will also inform you
if the UIC you’re trying (UIC = User Identification Code, 1,2 for
example) is bad.
1,2: SYSLIB or OPERATOR or MANAGER
UNIX- There are dozens of different machines out there that run UNIX.
While some might argue it isn’t the best operating system in the
world, it is certainly the most widely used. A UNIX system will
usually have a prompt like ‘login:’ in lower case. UNIX also
will give you unlimited shots at logging in (in most cases), and
there is usually no log kept of bad attempts.
Common Accounts/Defaults: (note that some systems are case
sensitive, so use lower case as a general rule. Also, many times
the accounts will be unpassworded, you’ll just drop right in!)
sysadmin: sysadmin or admin
Prime- Prime computer company’s mainframe running the Primos operating
system. The are easy to spot, as the greet you with
‘Primecon 18.23.05′ or the like, depending on the version of the
operating system you run into. There will usually be no prompt
offered, it will just look like it’s sitting there. At this point,
type ‘login ‘. If it is a pre-18.00.00 version of Primos,
you can hit a bunch of ^C’s for the password and you’ll drop in.
Unfortunately, most people are running versions 19+. Primos also
comes with a good set of help files. One of the most useful
features of a Prime on Telenet is a facility called NETLINK. Once
you’re inside, type NETLINK and follow the help files. This allows
you to connect to NUA’s all over the world using the ‘nc’ command.
For example, to connect to NUA 026245890040004, you would type
@nc :26245890040004 at the netlink prompt.
PRIME PRIME or PRIMOS
PRIMOS_CS PRIME or PRIMOS
SYSTEM SYSTEM or PRIME
HP-x000- This system is made by Hewlett-Packard. It is characterized by the
‘:’ prompt. The HP has one of the more complicated login sequences
around- you type ‘HELLO SESSION NAME,USERNAME,ACCOUNTNAME,GROUP’.
Fortunately, some of these fields can be left blank in many cases.
Since any and all of these fields can be passworded, this is not
the easiest system to get into, except for the fact that there are
usually some unpassworded accounts around. In general, if the
defaults don’t work, you’ll have to brute force it using the
common password list (see below.) The HP-x000 runs the MPE operat-
ing system, the prompt for it will be a ‘:’, just like the logon
MGR.TELESUP,PUB User: MGR Acct: HPONLY Grp: PUB
FIELD.SUPPORT,PUB user: FLD, others unpassworded
MAIL.TELESUP,PUB user: MAIL, others unpassworded
FIELD.HPPl89 ,HPPl87,HPPl89,HPPl96 unpassworded
IRIS- IRIS stands for Interactive Real Time Information System. It orig-
inally ran on PDP-11’s, but now runs on many other minis. You can
spot an IRIS by the ‘Welcome to “IRIS” R9.1.4 Timesharing’ banner,
and the ACCOUNT ID? prompt. IRIS allows unlimited tries at hacking
in, and keeps no logs of bad attempts. I don’t know any default
passwords, so just try the common ones from the password database
VM/CMS- The VM/CMS operating system runs in International Business Machines
(IBM) mainframes. When you connect to one of these, you will get
message similar to ‘VM/370 ONLINE’, and then give you a ‘.’ prompt,
just like TOPS-10 does. To login, you type ‘LOGON ‘.
Common Accounts/Defaults are:
AUTOLOG1: AUTOLOG or AUTOLOG1
CMSBATCH: CMS or CMSBATCH
MAINT: MAINT or MAINTAIN
OPERATNS: OPERATNS or OPERATOR
NOS- NOS stands for Networking Operating System, and runs on the Cyber
computer made by Control Data Corporation. NOS identifies itself
quite readily, with a banner of ‘WELCOME TO THE NOS SOFTWARE
SYSTEM. COPYRIGHT CONTROL DATA 1978,1987′. The first prompt you
will get will be FAMILY:. Just hit return here. Then you’ll get
a USER NAME: prompt. Usernames are typically 7 alpha-numerics
characters long, and are *extremely* site dependent. Operator
accounts begin with a digit, such as 7ETPDOC.
Decserver- This is not truly a computer system, but is a network server that
has many different machines available from it. A Decserver will
say ‘Enter Username>’ when you first connect. This can be anything,
it doesn’t matter, it’s just an identifier. Type ‘c’, as this is
the least conspicuous thing to enter. It will then present you
with a ‘Local>’ prompt. From here, you type ‘c ‘ to
connect to a system. To get a list of system names, type
’sh services’ or ’sh nodes’. If you have any problems, online
help is available with the ‘help’ command. Be sure and look for
services named ‘MODEM’ or ‘DIAL’ or something similar, these are
often outdial modems and can be useful!
GS/1- Another type of network server. Unlike a Decserver, you can’t
predict what prompt a GS/1 gateway is going to give you. The
default prompt it ‘GS/1>’, but this is redifinable by the
system administrator. To test for a GS/1, do a ’sh d’. If that
prints out a large list of defaults (terminal speed, prompt,
parity, etc…), you are on a GS/1. You connect in the same manner
as a Decserver, typing ‘c ‘. To find out what systems
are available, do a ’sh n’ or a ’sh c’. Another trick is to do a
’sh m’, which will sometimes show you a list of macros for logging
onto a system. If there is a macro named VAX, for instance, type
The above are the main system types in use today. There are
hundreds of minor variants on the above, but this should be
enough to get you started.
Unresponsive Systems ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Occasionally you will connect to a system that will do nothing but sit there.
This is a frustrating feeling, but a methodical approach to the system will
yield a response if you take your time. The following list will usually make
*something* happen. 1) Change your parity, data length, and stop bits. A
system that won’t re-
spond at 8N1 may react at 7E1 or 8E2 or 7S2. If you don’t have a term
program that will let you set parity to EVEN, ODD, SPACE, MARK, and NONE,
with data length of 7 or 8, and 1 or 2 stop bits, go out and buy one.
While having a good term program isn’t absolutely necessary, it sure is
helpful. 2) Change baud rates. Again, if your term program will let you
baud rates such as 600 or 1100, you will occasionally be able to penetrate
some very interesting systems, as most systems that depend on a strange
baud rate seem to think that this is all the security they need… 3) Send
a series of ’s. 4) Send a hard break followed by a . 5) Type a series
of .’s (periods). The Canadian network Datapac responds
to this. 6) If you’re getting garbage, hit an ‘i’. Tymnet responds to this,
a MultiLink II. 7) Begin sending control characters, starting with ^A –>
^Z. 8) Change terminal emulations. What your vt100 emulation thinks is garbage
may all of a sudden become crystal clear using ADM-5 emulation. This also
relates to how good your term program is. 9) Type LOGIN, HELLO, LOG, ATTACH,
CONNECT, START, RUN, BEGIN, LOGON, GO,
JOIN, HELP, and anything else