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Re: Insufficient Authentication vulnerability in Acer notebooks


Just came to securityfocus.com and found that there are some answers on my post about Insufficient Authentication vulnerability in Acer notebooks.

Is not that a simple design decission? (truly brain-dead, but a conscious decission).

David, it's very bad design decision. As for Microsoft (if we will be claiming that it's hole in Windows XP), as for Acer (because they use their own program for first OS initialization process, so it's definitely vulnerability in Acer).

And also for Asus - recently I wrote to bugtraq about similar vulnerability in Asus notebook.

That is I standard issue with Windows XP.

Dave, this is not standard issue for all versions Windows XP. It can be only issue of XP Home Edition (because I found such cases only in XP HE), but I'm investigating it now to be completely sure in it.

In all Windows XP (in all versions with which I worked from 2001), after installation the default Administrator account's password was always set equal to first admin's password.

I used a lot of different Windows XP (XP Professional and also XP Home on my
two notebooks). And in all versions from original (Gold) to SP1 and SP2
(didn't work with XP's installations with SP3) it was the same behavior
(except these two notebooks with XP Home). So normal behavior for Windows XP
is to set default admin's password equal to first admin's password.

With any installation of it you have to boot in safe mode and manually set a password on the hidden admin account.

In XP Professional default admin account is not hidden, only in XP Home Edition. And default admin password can be changed not only in safe mode, but in normal mode from any admin account (in both XP Professional and XP HE). Particularly it can be done in command prompt with "net" command.

Try the "net user password ..." command (from the CMD prompt). That'll save you from having to do it in safe mode.

Garrett, you mean the next command:

net user Administrator password


If in XP Professional you can use GUI or command prompt to change default admin's password, then in XP HE you can only use command prompt (due to Windows XP HE limitations).


People, I'm not subscribed to bugtraq, so if you want to answer me, than write directly to my email.

Best wishes & regards,
Administrator of Websecurity web site