[nSLUG] Breaking into a server

Robert McKay robert at mckay.com
Tue Nov 18 19:03:08 AST 2008

On Tue, Nov 18, 2008 at 11:32 PM, Jim Haliburton <jim at on-site.ns.ca> wrote:
> Good day all;
> I have a client with a problem.  Client has lost admin access to their
> IBM hardware Linux OS box.  They have the machine but no longer have root
> or admin access because of password issues.
> At this point I do not yet know the version of Linux it uses.  I do know
> they would like to gain access to it.  The server is on their premises
> and it really is theirs.
> My question is what are the suggested ways to regain access to the system
> as root to reset the passwords.
> I am open to all suggestions
> I have never had to do this in all my time running Linux systems, so am
> at a loss as to where to start.
> Thank
> Jim Haliburton

If you can append additional boot parameters to the kernel in grub or
lilo, it's usually just a case of adding


That should drop you into a root shell.

If that doesn't work, I'd just get a boot cd; boot from that, mount
the hard drive and edit the password out of /etc/shadow.



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