Skip to main content

How to Break Into a Windows PC (and Prevent It from Happening to You)

If you're trying to break into a Windows computer—whether you've forgotten your password or are hatching a more sinister plan—you have quite a few options. Here's how to do it, and how to keep your own computer protected.
There are a few methods to breaking into a computer, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. Here, we'll go through three of the best and most common methods, and nail down their shortcomings so you know which one to use—and how to exploit their weaknesses to keep your own computer secure.P

The Lazy Method: Get at the Files with a Linux Live CD

How to Break Into a Windows PC (and Prevent It from Happening to You)If you don't need access to the OS itself, just a few files, you don't need to go through much trouble at all. You can grab any Linux live CD and just drag-and drop files onto a USB hard drive, as you would in any other OS.P
How It Works: Just download the live .iso file for any Linux distribution (like the ever-popular Ubuntu) and burn it to CD. Stick it in the computer you want to access and boot up from that CD. Pick "Try Ubuntu" when it comes up with the first menu, and it should take you right into a desktop environment. From here, you can access most of the hard drive just by going to the Places menu in the menu bar and choosing the Windows drive. It should see any NTFS drives just fine.P
Note that depending on the permissions of some files, you might need root access. If you're having trouble viewing or copying some files, open up a terminal window (by going to Applications > Accessories > Terminal) and type in sudo nautilus, leaving the password blank when prompted. You should now have access to everything.P
How to Beat It: This method can give you access to the file system, but its main weakness is that the malicious user still can't access any encrypted files, even when usingsudo. So, if the owner of the computer (or you) has encrypted their files (or encrypted the entire OS), you won't get very far.P

Break Into Windows, Method One: Clear the Password with the Trinity Rescue KitP

How to Break Into a Windows PC (and Prevent It from Happening to You)If you need access to the operating system itself, the Linux-based Trinity Rescue CD is a good option for breaking in. You'll need to do a bit of command line work, but as long as you follow the instructions closely you should be fine.P
How It Works: Just download the ISO file from the Trinity Rescue web site and burn it to disc. Boot from the disc and wait for everything to load. When you get to the main menu, choose the "Windows Password Resetting" option, and go to "Interactive Winpass."P
Next, just follow the onscreen instructions. Choose the partition you want to edit, select "Edit User Data and Passwords," type in the name of the user you want to edit, and choose option 1: "Clear (Blank) User Password" (option 2 did not work for me). When you're done, you can type an exclamation point (!) to quit that menu, then press q to quit the Winpass menu. Restart your computer and you should be able to enter Windows password-free.P
How to Beat It: Once again, the weakness of this method is that it still can't beat encryption. Wiping the password will disallow you access to those encrypted files, which, if the user has encrypted their entire OS, makes this method pretty useless. If they've only encrypted a few files, though, you'll still be able to access all the unencrypted stuff without a problem. This method also doesn't work with Windows 8 PCs that use Microsoft accounts to log in, though it will work on local accounts.P

Break Into Windows, Method Two: Crack the Password with Ophcrack

How to Break Into a Windows PC (and Prevent It from Happening to You)Where the other methods are vulnerable to encryption, this method will give you full access to everything the user can access, including encrypted files, since this method relies on finding out the user's password instead of bypassing it. It also works on Windows 8 computers even if the user in question authenticates with a Microsoft account.P
How It Works: All you need to do is download and burn the Ophcrack Live CD (use the Vista version if you're cracking a Windows 7 or 8 PC) and boot from it on your computer. It'll take a little bit of time to boot, but eventually it will bring you to a desktop environment and start attempting to crack passwords (if it doesn't, try choosing "Text Mode" from the original menu). This may take a while. You'll see the passwords pop up in the top pane of the window, though, when it finds them (or, if it doesn't find them, it'll notify you). You can then reboot and log in to Windows using those passwords.P
How to Beat It: Ophcrack uses Rainbow Tables to crack the password directly. So, while this method works on encrypted OSes, it can't crack every password out there. To increase your chance of having an uncrackable password, use something complicated and greater than 14 characters. The stronger your password, the less likely Ophcrack will be able to figure it out.


Popular posts from this blog

Melbourne Earthquake?

Image extracted from The Age Was it an earthquake just now? Updates:  4.5 earthquake rocked south Victoria (near Moe) at July 20, 2012 7:11pm News Update:  or ninemsn  or The Age .

Box Hill High School Zone

Parents are struggling with moving into a good reputable school for their kid(s). Here is the zone for Box Hill High School.   Good luck with house hunting!

Restricted enrolment schools (Melbourne Eastern Region)

Due to facility limitations, Eastern Metropolitan Region has a number of schools with enrolments restricted in various ways. These schools are not required to enrol students outside their neighbourhood area unless they have spare places. They are referred to as having an enrolment ceiling and/or a designated neighbourhood area (formerly known as zones).  Any additional students must be enrolled strictly according to Department of Education and Early Childhood Development priority criteria. SCHOOLS WITH AN APPROVED ENROLMENT UNDERSTANDING Designated Neighbourhood Area In some instances the Regional Director may need to restrict new enrolments at a particular school and will therefore specifically designate the neighbourhood area (formerly referred to as a zone).  Children who live outside the Designated Neighbourhood Area cannot be guaranteed a place at that school even if it is their closest neighbourhood school.  The the following schools have an apporved Designated Nei