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Hack-a-Firewall-HOWTO

Written By: Tom on February 21, 2002 1,616 Comments

Did I mention that I had to help a customer hack into their firewall because they couldn’t remember their password? Oh, I guess I didnt. Well, yesterday, I got a phone call from one of my customers (whom shall remain nameless) telling me that their ISP came over and changed the way their DSL connection works and needs to change the network configuration on their firewall. The IT manager at their location didn’t know anything about managing their firewall that’s why they called me! Unfortunately, neither of us knew the password to the box (they chose the password originally and I don’t make a point of remembering customer’s passwords unless they ask me to do so). It was 12:30PM, I had an interview with a reporter at 2:30 and they were 45 minutes away. Even if it only took me 10 minutes to fix the problem, I didn’t feel comfortable with getting back so close to the interview. The only solution, lead a semi non-technical person with no Linux/Unix experience through the process of breaking into their box and resetting the root password. I won’t go into the gory details, but we did it (it’s actually quite easy since we had physical access to the box). What a positive moment!

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