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Accidental Hacking?

CmdrTaco posted more than 15 years ago | from the you-gotta-be-kidding dept.

News 47

Just Testing writes " Here is a story story by a guy who was testing pcANYWHERE and managed to connect to somebody else's PC and how he tried to tell the guy about it..." Kinda funny, but mostly just odd.

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47 comments

Hacker - Cracker (1)

Telcontar (819) | more than 15 years ago | (#2015310)

At least here, I expect to have it right.
But don't start the usual discussions/flames about that topic unless you really, really want to :)

This isn't anything new... (1)

Chas (5144) | more than 15 years ago | (#2015311)

He happened to find someone with their box not properly secured.

Like the Win* file sharing hole. (Which I lost a Win9x based IRC server to once on the day I got wise about it.)

You can do the same thing with Laplink if you don't set passwords too.

I don't see what the humongous hype is about.

I've said it before. If you're going to use it, set it up and use it properly. Actually take some time do do other than drop the prog on your system.

Otherwise you get what you deserve.


Chas - The one, the only.
THANK GOD!!!

Only 3 attempts? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2015312)

I must get at least ten a day now with my Videotron cable modem. People are going nuts scanning for open fileshares and for dummies running open wingates. It doesn't stop there too, I've seen people trying to get in with rsh, rlogin, the works. Thank god my whole lan is firewalled in with my Linux box.

this isn't hacking it's someone being an idiot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2015313)

there are better ways to tell people about
that sort of thing without freaking them out like that while they are talking with their girlfriend.
dont you think?

PC Anywhere "unsecure"? Nope. (1)

Caelum (2341) | more than 15 years ago | (#2015314)

An X server can work exactly like at the console
too, just run the window manager remotely. And it
works over ssh for secure key based data transmission.
And even if it's better than telnet, it's not
better than ssh, which everyone who knows anything
is running.

Tales from the Network 'hood (1)

KevCo (2333) | more than 15 years ago | (#2015315)

same thing happened when I first got my cable modem. I had a dozen or so other machines listed in the network neighborhood. Most of them had passwords. Some were read-only. One guy had his whole machine comletely open. I left him a readme on his desktop, too. I also mapped to his printer and printed the message out for him. :-)

Linux beware! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2015316)

"It seems taht an unsecured '95/'98 box doesn't
stand a chance. What a shame!!"

I think you mean, "It seems that an unsecured *COMPUTER*
doesn't stand a chance."

What difference does it make what OS is running
on it if it's not secured? Far as I can tell,
unix gives you plenty of ways to shoot yourself
in the foot, judging from all the cracks/hacks on
rootshell.com.

-thomas

hack? (1)

kfort (1132) | more than 15 years ago | (#2015317)

I think the author means cracker in the context he used it in. Someone should tell him the difference. I couldn't find his email address.

On Mark Gibbs's trail.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2015318)

I went to several search engines, including InfoSeek and AltaVista, and I found lots of dud leads (dead links and near misses). But eventually I hit pay dirt. I found a Web site and discovered what Ralph looks like (he has a picture of himself eating lobster) and that he is a scriptwriter.
This made me think. Why not track down the author (um. .Hacker) of this article. And here is my trail...

On the CNN article. I clicked on the "Network World Fusion - IGT.net Site". Hmm.. From there I typed his name into the search box on the top left hand corner. Searched......

What? A password dialog??? Well, blah.. I typed cyberpunks/cyberpunks to bypass this and got several articles linked to his name..

Clicked on the first.. clicked on "Get sensible about securing your internet", saw a link to www.gibbs.com.. hmmm I didnt bother going there...

Instead did a whois on gibbs.com and came up with..
Gibbs & Co (GIBBS-DOM) 266 North Glen Ellen Drive Dept. RTNI Ventura, CA 93003 US
Billing Contact: Gibbs, Mark (MG140) mgibbs@GIBBS.COM (805) 643-4999 (FAX) (805) 641-7711
Hmm phone number eh? Lets find out where he is.. so following his path, i went over to switch board.com and did a person find for a mark gibbs from ventura, CA. and got the following.. Mark Gibbs Info [switchboard.com]

It has his phone number, address and whatnots.. do you need his blood group type?

doomy too lazy to login...

No Subject Given (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2015319)

Happenend to me to, I was playing with AS/400's connected to the Internet, I did get a hard-attack when I was QSECOFR at a very large AS/400 site in seconds.

Like experience with Citrix Winframe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2015320)

I went to a _large_ promoter of Citrix's WinFrame.
I downloaded the client, launched File Manager, and -just as advertised- I had full control of their NT server just like it was my own PC. Because of their file sharing setup, I could also get to just about every file on their network. The default config was a huge security hole. I email their Sys Admin and it took them four days to semi-secure it, but even then I could get to some stuff I wouldn't have made available.

PC Anywhere (1)

Spud Zeppelin (13403) | more than 15 years ago | (#2015321)

Notice that he said he was logging in via DSL. Some DSL implementations pretend to be ethernet to a connecting machine, so I wouldn't be surprised if the other computers he was able to see were not, in fact, on his LAN at work, but rather were on the same DSL provider as he was. Something I presume that pcanywhere probably was neither built to expect, nor thoroughly tested on... just a guess, but when I read "DSL" in his article, my ears pricked up...


Umm, one is Free and supports Free systems... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2015322)

...and the other is proprietary crapware for proprietary systems only. Need I say more? I think not...

- RF (dfelker@cnu.edu)

Accidental Spying? (Was: Wannabe hacker from CNN) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2015323)

Exactly what I was thinking, but put into the perfect words! An insecure entrance is not an invitation to explore someone's house. If you care, you mention to the guy the next day that you noticed his door ajar, that's all... Where he went wrong: "Aha! Let's see if anyone forgot to set a password on his or her copy" (Sure, I walk down the street jiggling doorknobs all the time, nobody cares) depending on the neighborhood... How do cars get broken into? First, the thief tries the door handle.

As for the information he managed to dig up on the guy (good tips if you're a stalker),

It's pretty easy to get most sliding glass windows out w/o breaking them. I have had to let myself in this way in the past... Stalkers already know the habits of the person they're stalking, etc. No new enlightening information here for them.

What would you do if your house appeared to be broken in, but your insurance adjuster asked you about that extension ladder the thief used to climb into one of your unsecured upstairs windows, the ladder that you always left outside in the back yard, and thus refused to pay, citing your negligence?

nbtstat (1)

Frederic54 (3788) | more than 15 years ago | (#2015324)

when win95 was born (1995) it was easy to have HD of other people "mounted" on yours computer, using nbtstat and net... it still works i think, even in win98.
--

OOPS! I'm in! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2015325)

I don't know about PCAnywhere, but the widespread distribution of MS NetMeeting has been pritty fun. There is a MS LDAP server with the IP addresses of potental targets for the NetMeeting buffer overflow bug. And, unlike Back Orific, MS NetMeeting can also be used to remotely run code on a machine using NT as an OS. It also seems that since NT users have to login as administrator to install NetMeeting, they also try NetMeeting out for the first time as NT administrator! Back-dooring couldn't be made any easier.

re: redhat security (1)

gavinhall (33) | more than 15 years ago | (#2015326)

Posted by stodge:

As I have a web/ftp server permanently connected to the internet running Redhat 5.2, how open is it to hacking/cracking/whatevering??? Is there anything I should do to the default accounts it creates?

Maybe I shouldnt ask this incase anyone who reads this tries to find it!!! ;)

No doubt! (1)

Ben Hutchings (4651) | more than 15 years ago | (#2015327)

Great! Now your computer can reboot without warning due to an off-by-one error. How about getting the 2.2.1 patch and applying it right now?

Accidental Spying? (Was: Wannabe hacker from CNN) (1)

CNN writer (17801) | more than 15 years ago | (#2015328)

Ever wonder how hard it is to become a secret agent? I can tell you firsthand it's probably easier than you may think.

It all started when I was walking on the street from my office. Imagine my surprise when I've seen that somebody forgot his clef into the doorlock. Wonder of wonders, way cool and very impressive. Suddenly I was alone in his house and drinking all his beer and eating some pizza. I found some phone numbers snapped on the wall, so I called there, it was his wife but she though I was a stupid bastard little kid trying to make fun of her so she hang up on me.

I should let him know he had a security problem, so I broke everything in his house and I pee all over the floor etc... To get his attention, I wrote some insanity on the wall. Next day the owner came back at home. I felt bad. I'd freaked him out, and there was no opportunity to explain.

I explained who I was ("Uh-huh," he said), I assured him that I wasn't a secret agent, ("Uh-huh"), that I hadn't done anything to his house ("Uh-huh"), and that he should secure his doorlock ("Uh-huh"). I explained that a secret agent could have had a field day ("Uh-huh") and, well, I hardly got a response. Ho-hum.

It was such a simple door in his house and one that I could have open without him having a clue what was going on. On the other hand, he probably wouldn't have been of much interest to a real secret agent. Frightening.

I would never have guessed that being a secret agent was so easy.

Ask Kevin Mitnick's persecutors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2015329)

In the US, consider Kevin Mitnick's persecution. (persecution, not prosecution). He's been in jail, without trial, for four years and counting. His alleged offense, the reason for the nationwide manhunt? Parole violation.

(N.B.; I'm not defending Mitnick's alleged actions. But the "war on hackers," like the "war on drugs," raises some damn embarassing questions about the true costs of the battle. There are damn few non-violent cases so complex that a four year pretrial period is justified. By the time that the trial finally concludes, with Kevin be sentenced to prison for five years, then immediately released for time served?! That absurd possibility can't be dismissed.)

2600 Magazine [2600.com] reports numberous other abuses of civil liberties once the "H" word is raised. On President's Day, it's embarassing to be an American.

Regarding US laws; my advice (after reading 2600 for five years, and having been threatened by numerous people I've tried to help) is

  1. Never print a note to shared files,
  2. Never modified a shared file system,
  3. Never even look, and
  4. Don't even warn the idiots.
The ruthless reason is that if anything goes wrong then you will be considered the prime suspect. And when you are running a genuinue Microsoft-brand quality shitware®, things are always going wrong. It's a hell of a lot easier to blame that "hacker" who sent you a message "boasting" about how easy it was to break into your system than to fight tech support.

If the guy has money or connections, he may even be able to make you pay for your "crimes"...

Scour.net will scan your machine (1)

Sethb (9355) | more than 15 years ago | (#2015330)

I've got some MP3's and other junk shared using Windows Networking here on our campus, and I've noticed that if you don't password protect your folders (I just leave mine read-only so that people can copy stuff) that a nice little agent from Scour.net comes along and catalogs your machine, then all of a sudden you wind up with about 30 people at once downloading your files using Scour's Media Agent. It gets rather annoying, so those scans may have been by Scour.net, not a hacker/cracker or even a Green Bay Packer.

pee cee anywho (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2015331)

anyone can hack nearly anything with PCA. My friend and I tried to connect to his server at work for the honest purpose of uploading his CAD files. The server crashed almost every time.

@Home users (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2015332)

I have a 486 IP MASQ'ing my @Home and as such, I consistently see SMB traffic in my logs. At first I wasn't sure what it was, so I tried nslookups and telnetting to the addresses. Finally I tried doing a "Find Computer" in Win95 (I only use it for games...really) and lo and behold, someones fully shared machine. I was nice and only dropped a text file in their directory explaining how to secure their machine, but still, if I had wanted I could have been evil (pronounced eville ... Obi Wan Kenobi style)

re: redhat security (1)

sammy baby (14909) | more than 15 years ago | (#2015333)

Sure, you're vulnerable. :)


Most non-denial of service attacks focus on either

  • exploiting a bug in a program running on a computer
  • exploiting someone being stupid about access to the system (bad passwords, for example).

Before you assume that there couldn't be any possible holes in the software you're running, consider that Rootshell [rootshell.org] reports that a couple very popular FTP daemons (including, probably, yours) can give up root access.

If you aren't sure, assume you're vulnerable. If you are sure, you're probably wrong.

RE: Tee-hee (1)

Alron (12242) | more than 15 years ago | (#2015334)

I know the feeling, I'v had multiple ISP's try
try to kill my pay accounts for the simple act
of me trying to point out that they have security
holes and where they are... and how to fix them
why must people be so paranoid about people who
try to help?

Tales from the Network 'hood (1)

Mooset (9986) | more than 15 years ago | (#2015335)

Ah yes, what fun it is to exploit idiots. I found that leaving a message on their desktops usually has no effect (not that I'm suprised, most commercial Windows systems now adays have desktops almost completely covered with icons out of the box). It's much easier to get all the files from their "Windows\All Users\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook Express\Mail" and read around in them until you figure out their e-mail address and send them a letter about it. Not that I would advocate violating someone's security...

Accidental hacking of www.dvdempire.com (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2015336)

Last summer I ordered 5 dvd's from http://www.dvdempire.com . After adding some dvd's to my shopping cart, I had to fill out my personal data and choose a username / password.

I chose a password containing a single quote ('). After submitting, this trapped some asp scripting error in some odbc module.

As a just had programmed an online
reservation system for a hotel (using mysql and php), I knew what problem they had overlooked :

They hadn't escaped (or quoted) my ' char, so it appeared as the delimiter of a field in SQL.

Imagine choosing something like :

piece_of_password'); delete from customers; insert into('

As they didn't escape any single quotes (and probably other SQL chars), you could easily insert extra SQL commands.

This kind of basic security is nowadays standard on scripting languages such as PHP, but MS still has to learm some basic concepts about decent security.

I mailed my whole story to dvdempire, but they didn't respond (only a simple reply from a sales representattive who said he'd forward it the sysops).

You mean "NT-whoo" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2015337)

Sadly, PC anywhere works by replacing chunks of the kernel display driver to allow it to hook in

cable modems & dumb customers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2015338)

I remember when Suburban Cable [suburban-cable.com] first put their Superstream [superstream.net] cable modem service online a few years ago. Many clueless Windows 95 folks were on there. The whole county was one flat ethernet segment. Many were running NetBEUI, sharing their hard drives, and some even had anonymous write access enabled to their hard drives.

I could have been a dirty prick. Instead I chose to creatively tell them how open their systems were. I would send printouts to their shared printers letting them know what was going on and just how much I could see on their systems. Within a couple of weeks I think everyone had tightened down the security as much as could be expected on Win95.

But I'll tell you it was great for awhile, being able to suck down all those dirty JPG's on the same ethernet segment as me. The sustained throughput was awesome. :-)

timbuktu (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2015339)

I freaked a friend out that way once. I had just got a copy of Timbuktu, so I went to his place to try it out. Of course, I had to install it on his machine, too, and at one point we configured some passwords so we could try controlling mine using his, then controlling his using the window on mine (it got real slow, kinda recursive-looking around the edges, and we quit in fear). Later that night I wanted to get in touch with him, but I didn't know his phone number, so I grabbed control of his machine. Fortunately, he was using it, but he got freaked out when a find file dialog opened, and in the filename box it said "what is your phone #?" Then I realized how sketchy it looked for a computer to be trying to pick someone up, and wrote my name.

VNC (1)

drwiii (434) | more than 15 years ago | (#2015340)

Back Orifice + a hacked-up version of VNC + a fast connection = better potential

Just remember to redist the modifications you make to VNC when you upload it to the BO'ed computer ;>

sigh (1)

dangerboy (95056) | more than 15 years ago | (#2015341)

crap like that gives ex-crackers like myself who would actually modify 'ps' and utmp/wtmp source by hand, just to be able to explore in peace. sigh. cracking has gone point-and-dick.

PC Anywhere (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2015342)

Ah, the strange world of windows remote access.

For those of you who are wondering, since NT does not allow multiuser or remote access, the way PCAnywhere works is to allow you to get access of the console...meaning if you were to walk up to the screen you could watch someone move the mouse and open windows. And you can fight their use of the mouse by grabbing the physical mouse right their and over-ridign their remote use of the mouse.

Its quite amusing what people will hack up. Its a testiment to NT's crapitude. Of course, its unsecure.

Oh geez .. (1)

Splat (9175) | more than 15 years ago | (#2015343)

This unfortunately is incredibly way TOO common. Since we're on the subject here, can someone tell me what are the differences between pcAnywhere and VNC? The only one I am aware of is I believe pcAnywhere can run over IPX and VNC can not.

Windows beware! (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 15 years ago | (#2015344)

A quick scan of my logs the other day made me really glad to be a Linux user. It seems that ipchains had logged at least three attempts by different people to scan my system (on a dynamic IP) for SMB shared resources.

It seems taht an unsecured '95/'98 box doesn't stand a chance. What a shame!!

that's a DISadvantage. (1)

DunbarTheInept (764) | more than 15 years ago | (#2015345)

  • It has many benefits over X servers, one being that it works exactly as if I'm sitting at the machine in question.

Uhhh - that's a disadvantage, not an advantage. You see, two people can't comfortably use the mouse and keyboard and screen at the same time, but two people *can* do remote X off the same machine at the same time.

even better (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2015346)

I wrote a little program to check each IP to see if it is shareable for windows networking, and 9 out of 10 who allowed full access had no password nor security at ALL.

Tee-hee (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2015347)

What's even more amusing is finding GROSS violations of security, pointing them out, and then having the UNIX sysadmin disable your account and report you to the dean of students for "hacking".
... they shoot messengers here ...

PC Anywhere (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2015348)

If your PCAnywhere client is not set up to go to a specific IP, it will broadcast on the local subnet for hosts running PC Anywhere. Of course, anyone using PCAnywhere should have the port blocked by their firewall (assuming they're smart enough to be running Linux on at least one machine which many aren't).

Ares, who is not anonymous just lazy

PC Anywhere "unsecure"? Nope. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2015349)

I hate Microsoft, but PCanywhere is not a
testiment to NT's "crapitude." It has many
benefits over X servers, one being that it works
exactly as if I'm sitting at the machine in question.

It works great for tech support, too, where clients
are running windoze and don't know what the hell
they are doing.

"Of course, its unsecure."

No, not really. You must have missed this:
"Let's see if anyone forgot to set a password
on his or her copy."

It's only unsecure if you don't secure it. It's just any unix machine running telnet. Actually,
it's better because it allows you to use public
keys and built-in cryptography to secure the
connection's data transfer.

-thomas

If you are a student, DONT LOG INTO WINDOWS LAB (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2015350)


NetBus is (or was) all over my school's computer
lab.

There is nothing the underpaid administrators
can do about NetBus.

Windows security is non-existent. And with these
tools (NetBus and BO), even a 7 year old can steal
passwords.

An unattended Windows Machine on a network can
be hacked in seconds by even your local janitor.

Tales from the Network 'hood (1)

luge (4808) | more than 15 years ago | (#2015351)

When I was still a windows user and used to surf the school's LAN for mp3s, I frequently found people whose entire hard drives were on the network with read/write access. At least twice, I left word docs on their desktops titled "PLEASE READ" with dire warnings about the results of their stupidity, and even instructions on how to change the situation. Result: they deleted the files and left the passwords unset. Yet more reason for dumb people to give their brand new PII's to me...

re: redhat security (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2015352)

Turn off unnecessary services...start in /etc/inetd.conf

Don't write CGI's that use shell commands from the form input. Don't ever pass unchecked data to a CGI.

Don't put command shells or interpreters (PERL, REXX, BASH, etc) in your cgi-bin directory. (DUH!)

Missing index files can give an outsider a listing of your website...you may not want this. Be sure to have an 'index.html' for every web directory.

again...don't run unnecesary services. Run an exhaustive port scan on your machine to ensure you aren't running stuff you don't know about.

Those are the main ones on a web server that I can think of....if you aren't running your own nameservers, I'd seriously check out how secure your ISP is too. Why hack your box, when they can simply nuke the nameserver and redirect traffic to a different site?

PC Anywhere (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2015353)

"NT does not allow multiuser or remote access"? Guess that must mean that all of the telnetds, rshd, and things don't work. The multiuser/remote access support certainly isn't as good as UNIX, but it DOES exist and it DOES work. Did someone say FUD?

Scary for ISP's (1)

rtfm (8337) | more than 15 years ago | (#2015354)

I allready get inundated by customers who are complaining about threats and other misdemeanors by 3l33t n00b Hax0rs (... yeah right) who are spending their after-scool time prowling around mIrc. After explaining to my "user-knowledgeable" clients that the Internet is very much like real-life. There are just some neighbourhoods that you don't tread into lightly, or without some sort of protection. I can now see this as a problem with Joe. Q. Internet who is going on vacation and wants to access his email via his computer through a remote acess connection. Then my tech guys get the call of him complaining that someone accessed his entire C drive and replaced all his recipes for meat loaf with pics from pron sites. All I can hope for is some sort of literature accompanying this software stating. "WARNING: Do not use if you don't know the difference between left and right mouse buttons!"
-- But then again I could be wrong

Mac Surfing (1)

nikonius (17796) | more than 15 years ago | (#2015355)

I audit our university mac Network all the time.
Too many people leave their Guest access wide open on their machines.

I always get about the same response as this guy.

"What do you mean your in my hard drive????"

Laws (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2015356)

I was wondering what the rules/laws are for unauthorized access - i.e. is it wrong/illegal to scan for servers/services that happen to not have passwords/etc? -- Can I assume that if people set up servers that it is there for everyone to use (or at least be password protected at which time I look elsewhere)? I can almost see someone setting up a web server or pcanywhere or something and then suing those that access it. I guess my main question is: are servers such as pcanywhere/ftp/etc less public than html servers?
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