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HyperTerminal

Published: December 27, 2004

This section provides information about:

  • The benefits of HyperTerminal

  • How HyperTerminal communicates with sites on the Internet

  • How to control HyperTerminal to prevent the flow of information to and from the Internet

On This Page

Benefits and Purposes of HyperTerminal
Overview: Using HyperTerminal in a Managed Environment
How HyperTerminal Communicates with Sites on the Internet
Controlling HyperTerminal to Prevent the Flow of Information to and from the Internet
Related Links

Benefits and Purposes of HyperTerminal

HyperTerminal is a program that you can use to connect to other computers, Telnet sites, bulletin board systems (BBSs), online services, and host computers. HyperTerminal connections are made using a modem, a null modem cable (used to emulate modem communication), or an Ethernet connection.

HyperTerminal has capabilities beyond making connections to other computers. It can, for example, transfer large files from a computer onto your portable computer using a serial port rather than requiring you to set up your portable computer on a network. It can help debug source code from a remote terminal. It can also communicate with many older, character-based computers.

HyperTerminal records the messages passed to and from the computer or service on the other end of your connection. It can therefore serve as a valuable troubleshooting tool when setting up and using your modem. To make sure that your modem is connected properly or to view your modem's settings, you can send commands through HyperTerminal and check the results. HyperTerminal also has scroll functionality that enables you to view received text that has scrolled off the screen.

Note   HyperTerminal is designed to be an easy-to-use tool yet it is not meant to replace other full-featured tools. You can use HyperTerminal as described in this subsection, but you should not attempt to use HyperTerminal for more complex communication. For more information about HyperTerminal, see “Related Links,” later in this section.

Overview: Using HyperTerminal in a Managed Environment

In a managed environment, you might choose to disable HyperTerminal. With Windows XP Service Pack 1 (SP1), you can disable HyperTerminal in different ways:

  • You can use Group Policy to prevent users from running Hypertrm.exe—that is, from starting HyperTerminal.

  • You can remove visible entry points to HyperTerminal during unattended installation by creating an answer file.

Following are a few security issues to consider when deciding how to configure HyperTerminal for your organization:

  • Viruses: Incoming files might contain viruses or malicious programs that could compromise or destroy data on your computer. To reduce this risk, use virus-scanning software and ensure that incoming files are from a reliable and trusted source.

  • ID and password: HyperTerminal cannot automatically provide your login ID and password when you make a connection. If you provide a password when using HyperTerminal for a Telnet session, be aware that this password will be sent to the remote computer using plaintext (as with all Telnet connections).

  • Automatic download: The automatic download feature of the Zmodem protocol can pose a security risk by allowing remote users to send files to your computer without your explicit permission. To avoid this risk, you should select a protocol other than Zmodem in the Receive File dialog box or you should clear the Allow remote host-initiated file transfers check box on the Settings tab of Connection Properties.

Complete information about concepts and procedures associated with using or configuring HyperTerminal is beyond the scope of this white paper. For more information, start HyperTerminal, click Help, and then click Help Topics.

How HyperTerminal Communicates with Sites on the Internet

The exchange of information that takes place during the HyperTerminal connection is as follows:

  • Specific information sent or received: When using HyperTerminal for Telnet connectivity, the user ID and password are sent in plaintext format (as with all Telnet connections). If files are being transmitted, only the protocol, terminal emulation data, and file-specific binaries are sent. The computer running HyperTerminal is identified by its IP address when the connection type is TCP/IP. The computer is not uniquely identified when the connection type is not TCP/IP.

  • Default settings: HyperTerminal is installed by default on computers running Windows XP Professional with SP1. To remove or uninstall HyperTerminal, see "Controlling HyperTerminal to Prevent the Flow of Information to and from the Internet," later in this section.

  • Triggers: When HyperTerminal is set to automatically answer incoming connections, a file transfer can be initiated if the Zmodem transfer protocol is used. Otherwise, communication through HyperTerminal is only triggered when the user deliberately initiates it.

  • User notification: After a user starts a HyperTerminal connection session, the status of the connection that is currently open within HyperTerminal is displayed in the HyperTerminal title bar. The status of the file and text transfer is displayed in the HyperTerminal window during the transfer process. HyperTerminal does not display connection or transfer status information when the automatic download feature of the Zmodem protocol is used. For more information about the HyperTerminal automatic download feature, see "Overview: Using HyperTerminal in a Managed Environment," earlier in this section.

  • Encryption: Information sent or received by HyperTerminal is not encrypted.

  • Transmission protocol and port: The protocols used are Kermit, Xmodem, Xmodem-1K, Ymodem, Ymodem-G, and Zmodem transmissions protocols on port 23.

  • Ability to disable: You can disable HyperTerminal by using the procedures in "Controlling HyperTerminal to Prevent the Flow of Information to and from the Internet," later in this section.

Controlling HyperTerminal to Prevent the Flow of Information to and from the Internet

HyperTerminal is installed by default on all computers running Windows XP with SP1. The following procedures provide steps for disabling HyperTerminal.

To Prevent Users from Starting HyperTerminal by Using Group Policy

  1. As needed, see Appendix B, "Learning About Group Policy and Updating Administrative Templates," and then edit an appropriate GPO.

  2. In Group Policy, click User Configuration, click Administrative Templates, and then click System.

  3. In the details pane, double-click Don’t run specified Windows applications.

  4. Click Enabled, click Show, click Add, and then type the executable name:

    Hypertrm.exe

To Exclude HyperTerminal During Unattended Installation by Using an Answer File

  1. Using the methods you prefer for unattended installation or remote installation, create an answer file for the computers you plan to install. For more information about unattended and remote installation, see Appendix A, "Resources for Learning About Automated Installation and Deployment."

  2. In the [Components] section of the answer file, include the following entry:

    hypertrm = Off

Related Links

  • For more information about unattended and remote installation, see Appendix A, "Resources for Learning About Automated Installation and Deployment."

  • For more information about what HyperTerminal does and does not support, see the following two Web sites:

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