Windows95 and Passwords

Posted on 1999-01-09
Last Modified: 2010-05-03
Is there a way to write a secure Password Program in windows95? I know that you can press the F8 key and get in via "Safe Mode". There is the Ctrl-Alt-Delete method too. How many backdoors does Windows95 have anyway ? Can this be done, how many backdoors, what is the best way to go if you want to keep virtually everyone out of a personal computer using visual basic 5.0 ? (I know, hackers can get into anything)
Thanks For Any Input !
Question by:stimpe

Expert Comment

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As for how you are implementing the password checking scheme, I will leave that up to you.  But here are the backdoors I know of if that helps any (and how to close them).

1.Hitting F8 to get boot menu, then going into safe mode

You can disable this by adding the line "BootKeys = 0" to the MSDOS.SYS file.

2. Ctrl-Alt-Delete

This is not really a backdoor.  It only allows you to get around poorly written screen savers.  Most newer screen savers are written to block this.  It wont allow someone from getting past a login password.  However if you are writting your own login then I would suggest disabling this key sequence until after the user is logged in.  At least that way they cant get to the task manager at all.  There is an API call called SystemParametersInfo that does the trick for this.

Possibilities other than writing a custom login

3. Using the Windows Login

You CANT securely use the default login.  It simply cant be secured.  You have to create some kind of proprietary login to actually secure things (you seem to have figured this out already :).

4. Policy Editor

This one is interesting and I have used it before.  It doesnt actually keep anyone out of the system, however it IS possible to make a unrestricted profile for a particular user and then make the defualt user profile so restrictive that a person logging in with any other username cant do ANYTHING but log back out.  But it is very dangerous.  If you forget your password you are pretty much screwed.


Accepted Solution

dpuckett earned 30 total points
Comment Utility
Your answer is NO, win'95 is not a secure os, nor is FAT or FAT32 secure filing systems, nothing you can do in VB will fix that.

If you want to keep people out of your machine, take it with you.

or, but not as secure..

Install a keylock on-off switch, Set a BIOS boot password, Use a data encryption system like PGP available from to encrypt sensitive files and email documents,

del %windir%\yourname.pwl when you leave your machine, your passwords to net resources can be stored there and someone could use it to gain access to network files.

Keep your backup tapes (if you have any) secure.


Author Comment

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Thanks alot people ! I wondered why there weren't that many good Password schemes out there. I have written one that should keep the everyday user at bay using most of what was discussed. That should just keep the children out. Then again, maybe the adults (tee hee).
Thanks Again

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