I’m getting ready soon to do a presentation on hacking my works laptops. I was giving the green light on a spare laptop we had purchased for corporate use. So in this case my test bed was a HP Folio 9470m, decent little guy for most basic office work. Like most places we run Windows, staying with the latest updates it was configured for Windows 10.
I won’t get into to much technical details as I’ll save that for the Long Con coming up this November. However, like most security and hacks there are many layers involved and the windows login just happens to be one of them.
Now I am already an admin on these systems, however I assume the role of a perpetrator and choose to find ways to break in as if I was not a current admin. This is where my mind got blown!
Alright, so the basic thing you need to break into windows is…. Windows! lol, well ok, you can actually pull this trick off with other… (Yup, just tested with lubuntu 17 against my Windows 7 imaged laptop)… OSes, but in this case we’ll stick with using your windows install media, as you likely already have this on hand in whatever form you may need it (CD/DVD, USB… or ughhhh unno whatever).
Once in the System32 Directory simply run the following:
move Utilman.exe Utilman.exe.bak copy cmd.exe Utilman.exe
That is pretty much it, reboot. When you are prompted in login, press the Windows Key + U and marvel at how you get a elevated command prompt, then type lusrmgr in the command window to get the local users and groups windows and alter account, create accounts, change passwords to your hearts content.
Remember the bare minimum you need is any OS that can read NTFS (Usually for most Windows installations) and physical access to the system you are attempting to get into (given the boot options are not locked down by the UEFI/BIOS) which is the next layer I’ll talk about in my next blog post.
If you need a bit more “hold my hand” guidance in pulling this off here is a good source. This of course was using the Windows 7 installation media, against a Windows 7 machine, but the general concept of the trick, replacing UtilMan.exe with the cmd.exe can be done in many ways, then when the Windows image boots and you are at the login screen literally clicking the accessibility icon, or CTRL + U will open an elevated command prompt.
Util next time… Keep fit and have fun. 😛