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school needs help stopping hackers


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#1 liquidmonkey

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Posted 05 October 2005 - 02:00 PM

i work as a math teacher (90%) and computer guy (10%) at a school and on our computers we are using windows XP which is run from another company on a network. in order to access the computers you must login and your own password. i'm sure you know the login screen. without this you cannot access anything OR so i thought.
kids have been getting into the computers, reseting the BIOS passwords, putting in Power Up passwords and such, one kid even installed a totally different version of windows. this is a problem and i would like to know a technical solution on 1) how to stop the kids from doing this and 2) how are they able to do this?
i'm no hacker / cracker and only work on the computers at the school 2 hours a week so i don't have a lot of time to deal with these problems in depth.
can someone out there please help me?
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#2 keystrokes

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Posted 05 October 2005 - 02:21 PM

Wow you got a big problem on your hand when the students know a little more than you, buts thats why were here.

1) When you log on are you logging on locally or on a domain?

2) There is a way to change the local admin password and its very easy. There is a disk that they boot from change the password then log on as the administrator.

3) If your computers are not on a domain go to www.technet.com and search for article ID 293655. This will allow the students to get one id and the administrator another ID. Under the students ID you will have to restrict there options. The article discuss it in further detail.

4) If they are getting into the bios and changing the password you need to reset the password in the bios. Make sure you disable boot from floppy drive and usb drive if its there. Create a new password and cross your fingers.

I support a couple of labs and have the same problem but with adults. I used option 2 since we didnt put them on a domain and it has helped alot.

Hope that helps a little

#3 Carz n Compz

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Posted 05 October 2005 - 05:15 PM

My school uses something called "Deep Freeze". It seems to work pretty nicely as I never see/have been able to get in and change anything. It always resets EVERYTHING in Windows to whatever is set by the admin. Such as if I student installs a prog, puts an icon somewhere when the comp is restarted everything returns to normal, the way the admins set it.

#4 acklan

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Posted 05 October 2005 - 06:52 PM

4) If they are getting into the bios and changing the password you need to reset the password in the bios. Make sure you disable boot from floppy drive and usb drive if its there. Create a new password and cross your fingers.

In the computer (inside the case) there is anJ7 jumper. By unplugging it or removing the mother board battery the BIOS password can be reset, along with all the BIOS settings. Do that and enter a new password. Then padlock the case so the kids have a harder time access these setting. Use as many numbers and letters as practical in you passwords. Set your boot in the BIOS to hard drive only.
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#5 rigel

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Posted 05 October 2005 - 08:37 PM

Hi liquidmonkey,

I work at a school district so I understand how you feel.

Deep freeze is a wonderful thing. My district too uses the product. That is the only thing I have found that will keep your computer clean without as much classroom management.

4) If they are getting into the bios and changing the password you need to reset the password in the bios. Make sure you disable boot from floppy drive and usb drive if its there. Create a new password and cross your fingers.
 

Biggie there! I agree keystrokes. Change you setup password and secure the case.

Soap Box time... please forgive me.

No matter how hard you try, no matter what you do (short of a deep freeze solution) NOTHING will make a difference without having proper classroom management. Clean them up, monitor them, and have consequences if you cross that line. Administrators, teachers, and technicians have to be solid on that. If you don't, the student knows there are no repercussions and they will do anything they want to break into your systems. The student claims ownership.

Okay... with that off my chest :thumbsup:

Look into Deep Freeze. It is a great product that is passive in protection. Students can delete files, change desktops, download the MEANEST malware and once the system is rebooted, everything is back to the way it was.
Carz n Compz called it right.

One final word... take a look at your computer security policies. You can tweak settings in the registry that will not allow access to certain places. We set policies through student logins.

I wish you well and invite you to become a permanent fixture here at BleepingComputer. The help here is awesome. :flowers:

Good luck,

Rigel

Edited by rigel, 05 October 2005 - 08:39 PM.

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