win2k and dorm room security

Max-Powers

Gawd
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Jan 9, 2005
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in an army barracks, got my comp and all... when I dont use it i just lock it. my room mate says he can bypass the lock or password. i was wondering if this is true and if so what can i do to prevent it? what other security things would i need? how do i lock individual files? dont want him geting into my stash...
dunno what info you need. win2k 5.00.2195 service pack 4.
 

UMCPWintermute

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If you use the Windows feature "Lock Workstation", you need to enter the password of an administration account to unlock the computer. If you enter the password of the account that locked it, you're returned to your desktop exactly where you left it. If you enter another administrator's account, you log out the current user and are brought to the login screen.

Assuming that you've got passworded accounts set up, auto-login disabled, you should be okay.

However, if your roommate is determined to get into your machine, I'd kick his ass first off, but second, there's not much you can do to stop him. If he can power down your machine and boot to another device (floppy, CDROM, USB memory stick, etc.), he can change/crack your password and access your files. Having physical access to a system means you pretty much own it.

If you have more questions, feel free to ask here or over PM.
 

TekieB

[H]ard|Gawd
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or if you have auto login turned on (like stored password) a nice reboot will solve that lock right up (or at least return him to the win2k logon screen) cause thats what we have to do at school (when we forget our passwords of course :rolleyes: )
 

bealzz

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Jun 4, 2003
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545
UMCPWintermute said:
If you use the Windows feature "Lock Workstation", you need to enter the password of an administration account to unlock the computer. If you enter the password of the account that locked it, you're returned to your desktop exactly where you left it. If you enter another administrator's account, you log out the current user and are brought to the login screen.

Assuming that you've got passworded accounts set up, auto-login disabled, you should be okay.

However, if your roommate is determined to get into your machine, I'd kick his ass first off, but second, there's not much you can do to stop him. If he can power down your machine and boot to another device (floppy, CDROM, USB memory stick, etc.), he can change/crack your password and access your files. Having physical access to a system means you pretty much own it.

If you have more questions, feel free to ask here or over PM.

password protect your bios. change boot order to go hard drive, cd, floppy
or turn off the other boot devices and youre fine
 

compslckr

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bealzz said:
password protect your bios. change boot order to go hard drive, cd, floppy
or turn off the other boot devices and youre fine

unless someone knows anything about a computer and how you can just reset the bios with a simple jumper. you could lock the side panel of your computer on, that would help prevent unauthorized access to the motherboard/bios reset jumper
 

bealzz

Gawd
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Messages
545
compslckr said:
unless someone knows anything about a computer and how you can just reset the bios with a simple jumper. you could lock the side panel of your computer on, that would help prevent unauthorized access to the motherboard/bios reset jumper

but if he knows how to use bolt cutters he could just cut the lock and get in anways.
and most people dont know that you can reset the bios by resetting jumpers. id be suprised if half the forum here knew about it, since it doesnt concern most people.
 

[MS]

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Max-Powers said:
in an army barracks, got my comp and all... when I dont use it i just lock it. my room mate says he can bypass the lock or password. i was wondering if this is true and if so what can i do to prevent it? what other security things would i need? how do i lock individual files? dont want him geting into my stash...
dunno what info you need. win2k 5.00.2195 service pack 4.

One of the immutable laws of computer security
Anyone with physical access to a computer can take control of that computer[, regardless of any software on it].

Offhand;
One of the aims of the trusted computing proposals is to remove this law, but with the proper lab equipment and enough time even such hardware security set up by the user can be bypassed.



Some quick examples…
Each counter measure has drawbacks though, some are cost, others are hardware damage, others are usability. These are examples only, don't go putting epoxy on your motherboard or taking an xacto knife to it...

Threat: OS is left unlocked
Counter Measure: Always lock the workstation when away, and have the workstation lock after a couple minutes of idle time

Threat: OS account passwords are weak
Counter Measure: use strong passwords. Upper case, lower case, numbers, and symbols, without any real words in it, at least 8 characters long.

Threat: system can boot to removable media, bypassing OS security
Counter Measure: Keep the case unreachable. Change the bios to not allow removable media in the boot sequence

Threat: bios can be reset, bypassing bios security
Counter Measure: Lock the case, keep it physically safe. Cut motherboard traces to the reset jumper

Threat: Bios can be removed and reprogrammed, bypassing bios security
Counter Measure: keep system locked away in a secure location. Secure Bios in place with epoxy, covering pins, after removing the write enable pin.

Threat: physical keystroke logger\video surveillance on keyboard
Counter Measure: Keep keyboard in secure location when not in use, along with all cabling. Disallow login with password only, set the system to also require a smartcard or thumbprint ID (requires some additional hardware). Check for system tampering before logging into any remote service which requires user authentication

Threat: Hard drive is transferred to another system, bypassing OS security.
Counter Measure: encrypt valuable data, store key in a separate, secure location (not on the same system)
 

Steel Chicken

Supreme [H]ardness
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Jan 29, 2001
Messages
4,798
put a logger on there (turn on security logging in the system events), and if he gets on, kick his ass

free for you, and a good lesson for him
 

Orinthical

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Everything above is some good advice though from a legal aspect you may want to note that;

1. Ask him not to use your computer without first asking permission and/or you being present.

2. If he then does this he is breaking a fundamental law and is gaining illegal access of your computer system. He may not (necessarily) be hacking into your computer but he is still gaining unauthorized access to your personal property.

3. If he continues, consult your CO since you're in the military. Even if this is not an army system they may be able to do something about it. If it is a military computer than even better, contact your computer security officer.
 

Max-Powers

Gawd
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Messages
558
bealzz said:
but if he knows how to use bolt cutters he could just cut the lock and get in anways.
and most people dont know that you can reset the bios by resetting jumpers. id be suprised if half the forum here knew about it, since it doesnt concern most people.
my room mates was telling me about that. he knows thies tricks. i doubt he would try it. he is really cool. im just curious. i think its really neet
 

lukeh182

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Jan 17, 2003
Messages
616
i'm not sure if they make one for any computer, but my mobo came with the Secure IDE thing and you can actually use a "key" (looks like a firwire/jumpdrive mixed) to protect your hard drive. it basically uses hardware encryption. it is very difficult to bypass. you have to have the key to do just about anything. but like i said i'm not sure if there is one for just any computer
 
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