[hackspacebristol] Celeron PCs accessing the BIOS

Merlin . mmmerlin at hotmail.com
Tue May 24 11:14:33 UTC 2011

You don't need to fdisk! (Although you might want to anyway!)

For anyone who fancies doing some "hacking" in the computational sense of the word, there are many and interesting things you can do with computers running Windows for which you don't have the password. Easiest and least interesting is to get a "live CD" or a USB stick with either a live copy of Windows or a version of Linux with the right tools, and you can just reset the Windows password without messing up the OS at all. This way you have a usable version of Windows which now has your own password.

For those a little more up for a challenge and something a little more interesting and a look into the world of security exploits, Windows passwords can be obtained directly from the disk, without resetting the password, though this is a little more involved, but for real-world hacking is certainly a lot more useful (people tend to notice if you reset their passwords!). For this you will need a live USB stick, another laptop, physical access to the machine (which we obviously have) and a rainbow table specific to the "LM hash" which Windows uses for password hashing, whose sizes vary depending on the potential password space.

I'm note sure I have all of these things quite yet, but if people would be interested in doing this then I would be happy to try to get my stuff to a state where we can try to extract the passwords from the machines without resetting them on Thursday.

Any thoughts?


From: patrick at neavey.net
Date: Tue, 24 May 2011 11:13:33 +0100
To: hackspacebristol at lists.aktivix.org
Subject: [hackspacebristol] Celeron PCs accessing the BIOS

If anyone is having problems getting past the BIOS password on the Celeron PCs that were donated to Hackspace last week, try using:
in all caps. It worked for me and I was able to remove the original BIOS password. Of course there is still the Windows password, but fdisk can get rid of that. :-)
Kind Regards,
Patrick Neave
patrick at neavey.net

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