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ZDNet UK: Back to school to learn to hack

Apr 20, 2001, 17:00 (3 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by David Raikow)

ZDNet asks the $100,000 question: How do you predict the actions of a criminal? The answer is to get into his or her head, work out what makes them tick and learn the techniques they have at their disposal. This includes noting some of the most common mistakes individuals can make when securing their Linux system:

"We are each given a laptop running both Windows NT 4 and Mandrake Linux (via VMWare's Workstation app). But we are not given passwords -- instead, our instructors inform us that we are expected to break in. Many students are nervous at first, but within two or three minutes most students have guessed their way on to their machines."

"This turns out to be an object lesson in the problem of weak passwords. The NT and Linux account passwords are the two most commonly used on laptops: 'password' and blank."

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