Friday, March 27, 2009

Alternatives to a Boot Disk

There are alternatives to using a boot disk to locally gain access to a computer.


This is my paper on gaining access to a computer connected to a secure network locally. Firstly I would like to state that simply getting a boot disk would be simple to do and would be good to use however there is a problem with doing this which I will come to later.

What is the point?

Maybe you want to access the computers personal hard disk for various reasons. However if a computer is connected to a network and requires a username and password to login then this is stopping you gaining access to the computers personal hard drive.

So how can this problem be turned around?

Well firstly we need to access how the computer is connected to the network there are really only two ways. A wireless connection and a wired connection. It is important to understand that whilst the computer is connected to the network any activities can be logged.

Here is my example. I was in college talking to What_a_legend on msn, i started looking through the c drive (local drive) for rats. Then i stuck my memory stick in and it detected a port scanner. Two hours later i had been banned from the network. So i went to the head admin and asked why? He told me the reason was because he had monitored everything i did remotely.

Therefore its important to disconnect from the internet. Simply turn off the computer an unplug the Ethernet cable because if you think logically this is the only cable connected to the computer with the exception of i/o devices and also the power source. If the computer is wireless which is very rare unless it’s a laptop so really we don’t need to go into how wireless can be disconnected before login.

So now we are disconnected

When the computer was connected to the network it could drag information such as login etc from a server. So logically before it was disconnected you would expect to log in with a username and password which is authenticated against what is on the server.


User types in username “122406” user types in password “27162729292” the username and password is sent over the network and is compared to the username “122406” to see if the password matches.

What do we expect?

At this point three things could happen, firstly the computer will just log in without any password screen. Secondly nothing will log you in. Thirdly anything can log you in.

So if the operating system just loads without username and password log in everything is good and you can’t be monitored as you have disconnected. If nothing logs you in, you try something else. If anything logs you in then this is practically the same as not having to log in.

So we have the problem of still not being able to log in.

There are three ways around this, all being simple.

1. Boot from disk (if you don’t know how to do this then you shouldn’t be reading this in the first place.)

2. Boot with safe mode (if you cant do this either then you fail.)

3. Download a DSL stick onto a flash memory drive and boot from that, you will have access to local drive etc.

Damn Small Linux

Basically Linux on a stick. Everything you need for it can be found here…