Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Hacking Windows XP

Under normal circumstances, a user cannot run code as System, only the operating system itself has this ability, but by using the command line, we will trick Windows into running our desktop as System, along with all applications that are started from within.

Getting SYSTEM

I will now walk you through the process of obtaining SYSTEM privileges.
To start, lets open up a command prompt (Start > Run > cmd > [ENTER]).
At the prompt, enter the following command, then press [ENTER]:

Code:at

If it responds with an “access denied” error, then we are out of luck, and you’ll have to try another method of privilege escalation; if it responds with “There are no entries in the list” (or sometimes with multiple entries already in the list) then we are good. Access to the at command varies, on some installations of Windows, even the Guest account can access it, on others it’s limited to Administrator accounts. If you can use the at command, enter the following commands, then press [ENTER]:

Code:at 15:25 /interactive “cmd.exe”

Lets break down the preceding code. The “at” told the machine to run the at command, everything after that are the operators for the command, the important thing here, is to change the time (24 hour format) to one minute after the time currently set on your computers clock, for example: If your computer’s clock says it’s 4:30pm, convert this to 24 hour format (16:30) then use 16:31 as the time in the command. If you issue the at command again with no operators, then you should see something similar to this:

When the system clock reaches the time you set, then a new command prompt will magically run. The difference is that this one is running with system privileges (because it was started by the task scheduler service, which runs under the Local System account). It should look like this:

You’ll notice that the title bar has changed from cmd.exe to svchost.exe (which is short for Service Host). Now that we have our system command prompt, you may close the old one. Run Task Manager by either pressing CTRL+ALT+DELETE or typing taskmgr at the command prompt. In task manager, go to the processes tab, and kill explorer.exe; your desktop and all open folders should disappear, but the system command prompt should still be there.
At the system command prompt, enter in the following:

Code:explorer.exe

A desktop will come back up, but what this? It isn’t your desktop. Go to the start menu and look at the user name, it should say “SYSTEM”. Also open up task manager again, and you’ll notice that explorer.exe is now running as SYSTEM. The easiest way to get back into your own desktop, is to log out and then log back in.

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