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As the title states, I'm wondering if someone could give me an in-depth description of how to gain admin access to servers.

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An in-depth guide on how to do every mission can be found here: Just go into chapter three and select the mission you are doing. – Ronan Dec 28 '11 at 11:59
up vote 8 down vote accepted

When you hack a system, especially early on, you're already gaining admin access. Simply get a valid log-in for the "admin" account. There are other types of accounts on banks and government registries.

The problem is, your log-in credentials might be revoked when the company next checks for security breaches. This can happen if:

  • The trace was more than 50% complete when you disconnected, or you were caught. (Password is revoked immediately when disconnecting.)
  • They find suspicious logs left behind by you, such as logging in as an administrator, or maybe copying their research.
  • You disable any of their security systems, and they notice it.
  • Their file server was wiped.
  • Their system was destroyed completely.

However, gaining administrator access for setting up a bounce is typically not worth it. I'm not entirely sure whether it's a certain number of bounces, or if it's just that the bounce logs are suspicious (because of passive traces), but sooner or later your admin access will be revoked if you abuse the system as a proxy.

Exceptions which will let you keep your admin access indefinitely are:

  • Uplink Test Machine
  • Uplink Internal Services Machine

InterNIC also never changes passwords, but for some reason does not count as an admin access bounce node.

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I've always presumed the reason InterNIC doesn't count as admin access is because you don't actually log in as "admin" - it's a password field only. – Iszi Jul 26 '12 at 19:41

It's actually not that difficult; All I do is buy the password breaker software, bounce through to the target system, and use the breaker on max CPU output. It automatically hacks the admin account for you.

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