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Being without computer and net access for a week is a blow for me. Having to see happy faces of other guests with laptops by the pool is cruel. But I survived and I'm not even complaining, it has been our special week.

But on the last day, when we were waiting for out ride to airport I cracked. I had two excuses - I had to check my work email to see what's waiting for me at work and check who won the 2007 US Grand Prix. We took bought 15 minutes of access for 1.5 EUR and we both manage to quickly check for more... But paying 1.5 EUR for 15 minutes of net access is unacceptable. It's not even 1/3 of a price of a beer on Santorini, but it's "information should be free" time.  And the challenge was born!

IMG_6135_C

Here is how I did it (remember, that I'm a developer and my OS knowledge is limited. I know it could be done in other, easier way)...

Computer screen in the Internet Cafe was locked by some Greek company's software. They have blocked CTRL+ALT+DEL and Windows key. But CTRL + ESC did the trick so I was able to see installed programs and run them.

Next problem was that "Run..." command was blocked, but I could run "Command Prompt" which is even better.

So I could run the programs, but I was able to access them. The "Internet Cafe" program was always on top. I could switch between the programs with ALT+TAB, but I could see what was going on. I remembered good old times of DOS. There is no "Always on top" in text mode. So I switched to full screen text mode with ALT+ENTER while in "Command Prompt" windows. It worked.

So the next goal was obvious. I had to get rid of "Internet Cafe" windows and I would be able to surf. If I would have PSTools (or Google so I could learn about TASKKILL.exe) at this time it would be trivial, but I didn't. I did have my USB key with me. So I browsed through c:\Windows\System32 until I found qprocess.exe which listed running processes. I found out that client.exe was my target.

qprocess

I didn't know any way to kill a program for command line (I really on PSTools for all my task killing needs) and I soon found a promising name tskill.exe. I used it to shut down client.exe and my mission was accomplished!

tskill

I was surfing for free. I was thrilled so my new wife had to listen to very detailed description what I just did and I image flight back was not a picnic for her. But that's what you get if you marry a computer obsessed person! 

Please note: Nobody got hurt, no information was stolen and after this episode I returned the computer in the state I found it (I just run client.exe). I also sent an email to a company that produces the "Internet Cafe" software, so they can improve it.

Posted on Monday, June 25, 2007 2:38 PM | Filed under: Stuff Software System Internet |

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# re: Free Internet Cafe Access or How I hacked my way to digital land 6/25/2007 7:19 PM Lexicon Software
NetCredit is our software that you saw on that Internet Cafe.
Its a full customizable program that have many option to disable or enable functions.
The command prompt is disabled by default.
Maybe the client forget to disable it after some maintance who maybe did.
Also maybe he has an older version, because in our new version there are many tasks running who watch NetCredit Client if it running and if it not the start it again.
But in every version when a client stops working, the server sending a notice to a logserver or an email telling that the specified client its not working any more.
So the Internet Cafe manager knew about your cheating but he didn't told you anything, leaving you and your new wife at last be happy for something.

# re: Free Internet Cafe Access or How I hacked my way to digital land 6/25/2007 9:03 PM David
Thank you for your reply!

It's definetely possible that manager knew something was wrong, but didn't have time to solve it. He had a really busy morning.

# re: Free Internet Cafe Access or How I hacked my way to digital land 6/25/2007 10:44 PM Janko S
Great job! And you made the internet cafe a safer place for everybody :)

My girlfriend also has to put up with my "geek" talk from time to time - but she got used to it.

# re: Free Internet Cafe Access or How I hacked my way to digital land 6/26/2007 9:54 AM Carlitos
Good job, gospod!

And also you've been priden in telling them about the hole.

Did I sense a bit of a hurt pride in the first comment to this post? ;-)



# re: Free Internet Cafe Access or How I hacked my way to digital land 6/26/2007 11:06 AM Megagoose
There are a lots of internet cafe softwares (i use ClubControl @ http://www.vaosoft.com), which are secured enough to leave not a single chance for intruders... But as said, often they are simply misused.

# re: Free Internet Cafe Access or How I hacked my way to digital land 6/26/2007 6:43 PM vasija
tocno to finto sem pred leti uporabu... mislim, da je bil nek podoben internet cafe sowtware - lame do konca... se posebi pa mi se zdi, da bi internet moral biti za free - se posebi, ce je v kaksni ustanovi, baru itd... pac naj krije to gostitelj - ali pac? kakorkoli - respect!

# re: Free Internet Cafe Access or How I hacked my way to digital land 9/3/2007 2:13 PM sandeep kumar
i am studying degree final year. i want to doing part time in net cafe

# re: Free Internet Cafe Access or How I hacked my way to digital land 12/23/2007 8:42 AM shobhit
u got brain man!

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