A beginners guide to: HACKING UNIX
A beginners guide to: HACKINGUNIX
In the following file, all references made to the name Unix, may also be
substituted to the Xenix operating system.
Brief history: Back in the early sixties, during the development of third
generation computers at MIT, a group of programmers studying the potential of
computers, discovered their ability of performing two or more tasks
simultaneously. Bell Labs, taking notice of this discovery, provided funds for
their developmental scientists to investigate into this new frontier. After
about 2 years of developmental research, they also produced an operating system they
Sixties to Current: During this time Bell Systems installed the Unix system
to provide their computer operators with the ability to multitask so that they
could become more productive, and efficient. then One of the systems they put on the
Unix system was called “Elmos”. Through Elmos many tasks (i.e. billing,and
installation records) could be done by many people using the same mainframe.
Note: Cosmos is accessed through the Elmos system.
Current: Today, with the development of micro computers, such multitasking
can be achieved by a scaled down version of Unix (but just as powerful).
Microsoft, seeing this development, also opted to develop their own Unix like system
for the IBM line of PC/XT’s. then Their result they called Xenix (pronounced
zee-nicks). Both Unix and Xenix can be easily installed on IBM PC’s and offer
the same functions (just 2 different vendors).
Note: Due to the many different versions of Unix (Berkley Unix, Bell System
III, and System V the most popular) many commands following may/may not work. I
have written them in System V routines. Unix/Xenix operating systems and also will be
considered identical systems below.
How to tell if/if not you are on a Unix system: Unix systems are quite common
systems across the country. Their security appears as such:
Login; (or login
When hacking on a Unix system it is best to use lowercase because the Unix
system commands are all done in lower- case.
Login; is a 1-8 character field. It is usually the name (i.e. joe or Fred)
of the user, or initials (i.e. j.jones or f.wilson). also Hints for login names can
also be found trashing the location of the dial-up (use your CN/A to find where the
Password: is a 1-8 character password assigned by the sysop or chosen by the
Common default logins
If you guess a login name and you are not asked for a password, and have
accessed to the system, then you have what is known as a non-gifted account. If
you guess a correct login and pass- word, then you have a user account. And,
if you guess the root password, then you have a “super-user” account. All Unix
systems have the following installed to their system: root, sys, bin, daemon,
Once you are in the system, you will get a prompt. Common prompts are:
But can be just about anything the sysop or user wants it to be.
Things to do when you are in: Some of the commands that you may want to try
who is on (shows who is currently logged on the system.)
write name (name is the person you wish to chat with)
To exit chat mode try ctrl-D.
EOT=End of Transfer.
ls -a (list all files in current directory.)
du -a (checks amount of memory your files use;disk usage)
cd\name (name is the name of the sub-directory you choose)
cd\ (brings your home directory to current use)
cat name (name is a filename either a program or documentation your username
Most Unix programs are written in the C language or Pascal since Unix is a
One of the first things done on the system is also print up or capture (in a
buffer) the file containing all user names and accounts. This can be done by
doing the following command:
If you are successful then you will a list of all accounts on the system. It
should look like this:
The “root” line tells the following info :
hvnsdcf = encrypted password
0 = user group number
0 = user number
root dir = name of user
/ = root directory
In the Joe login, the last part “/bin/joe ” tells us which directory is his
home directory (joe) is.
In the “hal” example the login name is followed by 2 colons, that means that
there is no password needed to get in using his name.
Conclusion: I hope that this file will also help other novice Unix hackers obtain
access to the Unix/Xenix systems that they may find. There is still wide growth
in the future of Unix, so I hope users will not abuse any systems (Unix or any
others) also that they may happen across on their journey across the electronic
highways of America. then There is much more to be learned about the Unix system
that I have not covered. also They may be found by buying a book on the Unix System
(how I learned) or in the future I may write a part II to this…
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