Author Archives: Alexandru Cuciureanu

About Alexandru Cuciureanu

A really geeky dude.

My Linux Access Recovery Technique on Linux CentOS

Some time ago I got an idea on granting access to my Linux machine which had the passwd and shadow files CRC protected, the SSH and Single User Mode both disabled.

To apply this method, the user needs some sort of physical access to the machine. So, finally I put together a script – all the other instructions are included in description (see below the link from the end of this article). You may also want to read the following post too: http://www.techtipsforsmartchicks.com/recover-root-password-single-user-mode-disabled/

Before going ahead with the reading, please also read the disclaimer below.

DISCLAIMER: This technique is presented for educational purposes only and you take full responsibility for all your actions.

You can download the script from here: http://pastebin.com/pbJ5iCJR

How to Extend Windows XP Update

I read an article yesterday which describes how and why the Windows XP/2003 update period can be extended by doing a simple registry hack. It appears that the modification from Windows Registry makes the Windows appear as Windows Embedded POSReady 2009.

So, the idea is that the following registry key has to look as below:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\WPA\PosReady] 
“Installed”=dword:00000001

Great stuff, huh?! :-O OK, the good part is that Windows Embedded POSReady 2009 receives updates until April 2019. At least, that’s what the article says.

Girl on the phone.

Today, while I was waiting for my wife and kid in the railway station, I saw this girl who was on the phone and thought it was a great moment to get a beautiful shot. I am very sorry that I didn’t have the DSLR on me, so I had to rely on the iPhone (with max zoom). Anyway, I didn’t miss the shot and cought the moment.

Copyright @ Alexandru Cuciureanu

Copyright @ Alexandru Cuciureanu

Newshosting application update error

Before reading this further, please note that the information below is provided for educational purposes only and you take full responsibility for all your actions.

Today I noticed that the UseNet search application from NewsHosting failed to apply the update, but fortunately I managed to find some evidence in the Windows Event Application log:

MsiInstaller,11714,None,Product: Newshosting — Error 1714. The older version of Newshosting cannot be removed.  Contact your technical support group.  System Error 1612.

After trying many things like: uninstalling manually the Newhosting app (which failed!), downloaded then the app from their website hoping that it’ll remove the old application and reinstall successfully, I did some research and found a workaround.

So, this worked for me (don’t forget to do a registry backup before bringing any modifications to it, if you don’t know what you’re doing contact their support first).

1. Opened “RegEdit” as Administrator.

2. Navigated to: HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Installer\Products\3FF79ACD9E0B37B4FAD448750FECA00C

*** please note that 3FF79ACD9E0B37B4FAD448750FECA00C might be unique on each system, so basically I had to navigate through each registry key until I found the one which belonged to Newshosting.

3. Once the registry key was identified, I have altered the name of the following registry key 3FF79ACD9E0B37B4FAD448750FECA00C by adding a “minus” in front of it.

For example, the path to the registry key became like this:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Installer\Products\-3FF79ACD9E0B37B4FAD448750FECA00C

4. After the registry key was altered, I ran again the Newhosting app, the update window popped and then the it was successful.

I have tested this only on Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1.

Hope this will help someone. :)

UPDATE: I sent my workaround to Newshosting Support and they said thanks! Nice guys. :)

thank-you

iPhone 4 – A horrible user experience with iOS 7

The user experience provided by my iPhone 4 was very good until the gotofail bug was dicovered and then I had no choice but upgrading to iOS 7. Why? Well, because somebody thought that it might have been a great idea to provide the user with a lag-ish user experience.

I know, I know… there are lots of tutorials out there showing how you can tune-up the iOS 7 by disabling animations, disable background app refresh, disable iCloud Documents (Whoa?!?! :O ) and many other things such as “let’s recalibrate the home button because it’s freaking slow”. Apple, seriously? I mean, I know that iphone 5, 5s are really great, but why did you give iOS 6.1.6 only to the 3GS users and forgot about those who still use iPhone 4?

Here’s a vid that says a lot:

Why did Apple destroy our iPhone 4 experience?

UPDATE: I deployed the jailbreak from evasi0n and then installed the application NoSlowAnimations. Everything is back to normal now :)

UPDATE: I have risked and upgraded to iOS 7.1 after reading several articles about how it behaves on iPhone 4. The iTunes said that iOS 7.1 fixes the performance issues for iPhone 4, and IT REALLY DOES. So, I recommend to upgrade.

Udemy.com Cheap Trainings for 19$

Wow, I’ve just found out that Udemy.com is running a promotion. So you can buy any training from their promotion page at 19$ if the coupon code TOP19 is used. The offer will end at 11:59 pm PST on March 14, 2014.

There are many nice-to-have trainings such as: “Youtube Secrets: How I make $2,000 A Month – And No Filming!”, “Learn Java Script Server Technologies From Scratch”, “Become a Certified Web Developer”, “Introduction to Data Structures & Algorithms in Java”, “Programming for Complete Beginners in C#” and many other interesting courses. Enjoy! :)

 

How to recover root password when single user mode is disabled

Before reading this further, please note that the information below is provided for educational purposes only and you take full responsibility for all your actions.

I have decided to write this article after doing some research for a personal security project. Basically, the goal was to change the root password of a machine which was running Linux and had the Single User mode disabled.

Below you can find the steps that describe how I achieved what I had in my (very sick) mind. Before going ahead, it is important for you to burn a Clonezilla Live CD ISO on a optical-disk or on a USB stick and once you’re all set, do the following:

–        When the Linux machine boots up, let is boot from the Clonezilla Live CD/USB.

–        Choose “Clonezilla live” when the Clonezilla Boot Menu appears and hit ENTER.

Clonezilla Boot Menu

Clonezilla Boot Menu

–        When you are asked to choose a language, select whatever language you wish (I chose English) and then select <OK>.

Choose Language

Choose Language

–        In the “Configuring console-data” window, select “Don’t touch keymap” and then <OK>

Configuring console-data

Configuring console-data

–        When the “Start Clonezilla” window shows up, choose “Enter_shell” and then <OK>

Start Clonezilla

Start Clonezilla

–        Then within the “Choose mode” window, select “cmd” and then <OK>

Choose mode

Choose mode

–        Now Clonezilla returns a Linux user shell “$”, but we want to run everything as “root”. So, we will have to use the following command to make ourselves “root”: sudo su -

Running: sudo su -

Running: sudo su -

–        Ok, so now that we’re “root” (we have administrator privileges) we want to have a look at the partitions of the Linux machine (NOT the Clonezilla Live CD, but the Linux machine that we want to change the “root” password from). Therefore, one way to achieve this is running the following command: fdisk -l |grep /dev/sd

fdisk command

fdisk command

–        Then we have to check which partition contains the File System. One way to find this out is by trying to mount each partition at a time and then check what it contains.

In the example above, we have /dev/sda2 (which was the Linux Swap, so this is excluded from the very beginning) and then there are /dev/sda1 and /dev/sda3. I used the following steps to check what kind data those partitions were holding:

mount /dev/sda1 /mnt (this mounted the /dev/sda1 in /mnt)

ls /mnt (shows what /mnt contains)

umount /dev/sda1 (unmounted /dev/sda1)

mount /dev/sda3 /mnt (mounted the /dev/sda3 in /mnt)

ls /mnt (now this showed the correct file system)

(u)mount examples

(u)mount examples

–        After the File System is mounted, then the File System of Clonezilla has to be changed to the File System of the actual Linux machine (the one that was mounted in /mnt above). For that type: chroot /mnt (you can then check if you’re on the right file system to be on the safe side).

–        Once you are sure that the File System was correctly changed, the “root” password can be changed by using the “passwd” command.

Changing file system

Changing file system+reboot

–        Once the “root” password was changed, reboot and check if the new “root” password works.

I hope you found this useful. If you did, please share this article with your friends.

PEACE!