Dumb readers for philez

Discussion in 'Computer Support' started by Tester, Aug 21, 2007.

  1. Tester

    Tester Guest

    It seems to me that there is a need for dumb interpreters to view
    possibly malicious files written by people you don't know from Adam.
    (or maybe the serpent)

    Some years ago, I read how a Linux user with Display Postscript had
    looked at a picture on the web -- which started to eat his files. He
    had given permission to the author of the "picture" to use the entire
    power of Display Postscript, including file manipulation. A cripled
    version of Display Postscript would have been more appropriate.

    Right now, there is a flood of Greeting-Card trojan spam. (The latest
    social engineering story is that you joined Pet World or Free
    Ringtones or something and here is your membership info. The previous
    story was to go to the website for "hot" pictures.) If you download
    http://255.254.253.252 (fake IP) the reaction of the "web server"
    depends on your user agent string.

    If you claim to be running IE7 under Windows NT 6.0 (Vista) (and it's
    easy to send a fake string to test it - some download programs have
    the option), for example, you get a bunch of Javascript designed to
    install the Trojan. If you use a download program or a dumb browser
    like Lynx (text only, no Javascript) you just get a screen which says
    download and install this troj er um fine program which you need for
    this site.


    I'm told you also get Javascripted if you are running Firefox but not
    Opera. This discrimination by the criminals may be fixed in the next
    version so don't depend on it.


    And, of course, you don't really want to look at some strange M$Word
    or Excel file with Word BASIC or VBA available.

    Some programs have a safe mode for viewing files - you can turn your
    security level up for a website. But it's probably better if the tools
    used by the malicious ain't available in the first place.
     
    Tester, Aug 21, 2007
    #1
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  2. Tester

    Whiskers Guest

    On 2007-08-21, Tester <> wrote:
    > It seems to me that there is a need for dumb interpreters to view
    > possibly malicious files written by people you don't know from Adam.
    > (or maybe the serpent)
    >
    > Some years ago, I read how a Linux user with Display Postscript had
    > looked at a picture on the web -- which started to eat his files. He
    > had given permission to the author of the "picture" to use the entire
    > power of Display Postscript, including file manipulation. A cripled
    > version of Display Postscript would have been more appropriate.


    It was pretty daft to use 'Display Postcript' with any unknown file; it
    was probably using it that gave the embedded script permission to function.
    He should have used the 'cat' or 'less' commands or a text editor to
    examine the contents - and of course, not made the suspect file
    'executable' at all, and certainly not been using root privileges at the
    time. Basic stuff, I'm surprised a Linux user worked so hard to be so
    silly. If the tale has any substance at all.

    [...]

    > Some programs have a safe mode for viewing files - you can turn your
    > security level up for a website. But it's probably better if the tools
    > used by the malicious ain't available in the first place.


    Use a text editor or viewer to view suspect files, if you must view them.
    Don't be using Windows.

    --
    -- ^^^^^^^^^^
    -- Whiskers
    -- ~~~~~~~~~~
     
    Whiskers, Aug 21, 2007
    #2
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  3. Tester

    Mitch Guest

    In article <>, Tester
    <> wrote:

    > It seems to me that there is a need for dumb interpreters to view
    > possibly malicious files written by people you don't know from Adam.
    > (or maybe the serpent)


    Clever enough, but your teen use of "philez" instead of "files"
    suggests that you mean this for pirates and thieves.

    Let 'em stand on the risk.
     
    Mitch, Aug 22, 2007
    #3
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