I'm back! After taking a short hiatus in February (because 28-day challenges don't make sense on THIS blog), I decided to take on a challenge a friend and I have been talking about for a while: a 30-Day Hacking Challenge. For legal purposes, ALL hacks will be performed on systems I personally own and/or administer.
Let's go through a quick background of my technological prowess, shall we? I received my first computer as a birthday gift when I was 10 years old. The specs? From what I remember, the box had a 486 processor, Windows 3.1, 4 MB of RAM (yes MEGAbytes, kids take shit for granted today), 3.5-inch floppy drive AND a 5.25-inch disk drive (this was even pre-CD-ROM days), and I think around an 80 MB hard drive. There's probably more raw processing power in your car key fob that unlocks your doors.
I started with simple Batch programming in DOS, then HTML, then moved on to C++. Eventually I learned to program in COBOL, Java, and PHP with mySQL. Most recently I've taken up Python scripting since switching exclusively to a Linux operating system on my laptop. But, even with this background, I really haven't pushed my limits into the "black hat" world of hacking... until this month. The real purpose is to make you aware how truly unsecure your electronic devices are, and later show tips and tricks to secure your computers and phones.
Bypassing Windows Passwords
A friend of mine moved to Atlanta and was emptying his garage. He was about to throw out an old computer system which had crapped out on him due to a bad power supply ($30-$40 fix).
I asked if he minded if I took the system to scrap for parts and pull out what was still usable. He obliged. Luckily I had a spare power supply and threw swapped the working one out for the burned out one. Eureka! The computer booted, but then I was prompted for a password. Several back-and-forth text messages later with possible password combinations and he stated, "I don't know, man. I forgot the password. Sorry."
Instead of bricking the machine, it was time to hack the password. Here's how:
What You Will Need
- Physical access to the system.
- Hiren's BootCD (downloaded and burned to a disk)
- BIOS that has CD/DVD in higher priority than the hard drive — or an unprotected BIOS that will allow you to change the boot order
Let the hacking begin: