Sysadmin cracked military PC’s security by reading the manual

All it took was a three-fingered salute and some autoexec.bat action

On-Call Welcome once more to On-Call, The Register’s attempt to make Fridays tolerable by bringing you fellow readers’ tales of terrifying tech support jobs they somehow survived.

This week, meet “Guy”, who told On-Call he grew up in the golden age of the microcomputer, meaning that by the time he joined his local Army National Guard unit he was familiar with machines like the TRS-80, Ti-99/4A, C-64 and Apple II.

One day National Guard HQ delivered a new PC to Guy’s unit. His prior experience meant he was given the job of making it work.

His problems started immediately because Guy’s superior “explained that the guys from HQ had set everything up, but had forgotten to give them the password to get into the system.”

The PC in question was a Zenith Data Systems 286 that Guy powered up after “throwing the big toggle switch on the side, waiting a while for a lovely green screen with a menu would pop up.”

Source: Sysadmin cracked military PC’s security by reading the manual

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