Sam Trenholme's webpage
This article was posted to the Usenet group alt.hackers in 1995; any technical information is probably outdated.

What is the problem with Finger?

Article: 7543 of alt.hackers
From: (marlowe)
Newsgroups: alt.hackers
Subject: What is the problem with Finger?
Date: 26 Mar 1995 21:46:45 GMT
Organization: Illuminati Online
Lines: 36
Approved: Democrats-R-Us
Message-ID: 3l4nc5$
X-Newsreader: TIN [version 1.2 PL2]
Status: RO

I received this from my system administrator at

: From helpdesk@TENET.EDUSat Mar 25 09:56:35 1995
: Date: Sat, 25 Mar 1995 08:58:44 -0600 (CST)
: From: Helpdesk Account <helpdesk@TENET.EDU>
: Subject: Re: Finger Command

: Finger was removed from the system by the administrators as a possible
: security hole.

:                                       Kenneth Scott
:                                       TENET Help-Desk

So, I'll bite. Does anyone know what the security hole is in finger? I
can understand not wanting to have anyone be able to finger in, but why
wouldn't the admins what me to finger out?


The stereo in my dorm room was pretty inconviently located. When someone
called on the phone, I had to climb over the furniture, turn down the
stereo, climb back over the furniture, and answer the phone. Lord knows,
I couldn't hear the phone with the music going. (This was in the
pre-remote days. Jeez, I'm old.)

I was at Radio Shack one day when I noticed an Emergency Stop button.
Designed to work with security systems, it was a mountable momentary switch.

I mounted the switch near the phone and wired it to the headphone jack.
The stereo would turn off the speakers if it detected a headphone plugged

Now when someone called, I would press the emergency button until I
determined whether I wanted to talk to the joe or not.


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