Motivated by a combination of curiosity and laziness, I want to gain root privileges on an Ubuntu 10.04 machine (which belongs to me). I'm pretty sure I failed to apply any security updates, so hopefully there are some unpatched holes. I have an account which I can log in to, but I have forgotten my password so I can no longer sudo. It's not easy to physically access the machine, so I can't boot to single user mode. I have found sites which provide exploit code, but the exploits seem to be crippled in a highly responsible way. Where are the non-crippled versions?
I'm running the latest LTS version of Ubuntu on my hosting provider's cloud VPS service. I recently noticed a series of weird, spammy looking messages in my server's mail.log file. Tech support at my hosting provider says it does not appear to be compromised; are they wrong? [more inside]
I am attempting to play a video file that has come from a security camera, under Ubuntu. I think it's a codec problem, but I'm not sure of the solution. [more inside]
Will installing a Linux Operating System onto an old Windows laptop fully erase the contents of the hard drive? [more inside]
What is the best and easiest security methods to use when encrypting and storing important text files on Ubuntu? [more inside]
What would be the best wifi & network security auditing tools to run on a plug computer (ie Shiva, Guruplug) running Ubuntu? [more inside]