Xubuntu 6.06.1 desktop i386

Daniel Robitaille robitaille at ubuntu.com
Thu Dec 21 04:30:12 UTC 2006

On 12/20/06, Justin Wong <stryderjzw at gmail.com> wrote:
> That seems a little scary.  Is it really that easy to get passwords?
> Justin

Actually it is relatively difficult to get someone's password (you
have to crack the encrypted version of the password with some special
software, and it doesn't always work depending how good the password
was in the first place).

But it is often very easy to access a computer and change the password
of users (as explained in that previous message)  IF you have physical
access to that computer.

One you have physical access to a computer, you can boot with a Live
CD, and you can do a lot on that system: change the users passwords,
erase files, erase the whole hard drive, install a trojan horse, back
door, etc.

One way around it is to put a password into your BIOS setup  so that
you cannot easily boot from a Live CD unless you know that password.
But not too many people do that (including me...).  One way around
this for a hacker, since he has physical access to your computer, is
to physically open the computer case, take out the hard drive, and put
it into another computer, and once again do whatever he/she wants in
the OS on that hard drive, and  then reinstall the hard drive back
into the original computer.

Nowadays we are starting to see better and more user friendly security
for the truly paranoid users (encrypted filesystems for example),  but
generally if someone knowledgeable really want to get into your
system, and can physically get into the room where the computer is,
they will be able to it in most cases.


> On 12/20/06, Peter Nearing <pnearing at gmail.com > wrote:
> > Don,
> >
> >         It is possible to get login name from the computer with out
> reinstalling the OS.  What you would have to do is reboot into single user
> mode, Ubuntu calls it something else, like safe mode or something, however
> what that will do is give you a text mode root prompt.  From there you would
> cat the /etc/passwd file, 'cat /etc/passwd'.  This will list all the users
> on the system, there will be a bunch of them, but you are looking for a
> username with a user ID of 1000 (the first regular user on a default
> install).
> >
> >         Once you have the username there is no really easy way to recover
> the original password, but you can change it with out knowing it, since you
> are the super user.  That would be done by 'passwd username'  It will prompt
> you to enter the new password twice, just make sure you type it the same way
> both times, and you should be golden.  Then logging out should return you to
> your regular graphical login screen.
> >
> >         I know this works in the default Ubuntu install and I would expect
> that it will work in the Xubuntu distro as well.  Just be careful, when you
> are root, you have the ability to make changes that will cause your system
> to be unbootable.  I hope this helps.
> >
> > Peter N.
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> >
> > From:  Don and/or Mila Trombley <donmila at shaw.ca>
> > Subj:  Re: Xubuntu 6.06.1 desktop i386
> > Date:  Wed Dec 20, 2006 11:08 am
> > Size:  3K
> > To:  The Canadian Ubuntu Users Community <ubuntu-ca at lists.ubuntu.com>
> >
> >
> >    Tee Jay Rosene wrote:
> > Yeah, it might take a little bit of time. I have an older IBM thinkpad
> Laptop (that I'm writing on now!) with 4 gig hard drive, 64 Megs of RAM, and
> A Celeron chip, and it took a couple of hours to install Ubuntu. When I
> installed Xubuntu on it, if I remember correctly, the installation time was
> a little shorter, so that's something to look forward to;) Kubuntu, on the
> other hand, takes centuries to install on legacy software!
> > You'll have to type a bunch of information while installing, where you
> live, time zone, language, etc. and then the installation will just go for a
> while. About half/three quarters of the way into the installation, you might
> be prompted to click the screen resolutions you want to include with the
> installations. Basically Ubuntu will already have detected what your system
> can support, so you should only have to click enter. Nonetheless, if you
> leave your machine over night, go to bed, and are super excited to see your
> new system in the morning, you'll still have to click enter in the morning.
> At this point you're not that far from rebooting your new machine.
> > After that, it's smooth sailing; you'll need to reboot your machine and
> everything should be a go.
> > This is where the fun really begins...Customization, playing around, etc.
> >
> >
> >   Gee, Thank You very much for pointing me to this one!!! Already I am
> > installing the software (having done the selections. Now comes the fun
> > part (twiddling my thumbs, and .......)
> > The problem of RSDP resurfaced, and I tried to type in the command:
> > ACPI=OFF, not knowing the proper Function Key to press for the command,
> > without any success.Boot= (whatever ) comes up, and when I tried
> > deleting the command after the "=" and gotten as far as ACPI= before
> > being able to type in 'OFF", the system kicked in, and started loading
> > the rest of the software. Now, I assume that this will take all night to
> > install itself onto the HD?
> > Don.   9;00 a.m. Finished the loading, now time to reboot. Hooray! It
> woiked...oh, shoot! forgot the login information. Lesson learned: Write down
> critical information. So, have to start all over again!
> > BTW: if ever I forget, or, lose the login info, is there any way for me to
> get that info w/o reloading all that stuff, and losing any critical info?
> > Also, how do I make a floppy reboot disk for emergency?
> >
> >
> >
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> >
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Daniel Robitaille

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