The Return of Click

I needed to up the page view count of some new pages I put up. It did not matter whether these were legitimate page views. All I wanted was it to appear like the pages were viewed a lot of times. To do this I pulled out an old program I had written called Click.

So what happened? Things were going fine for the first 250 visits to my web site. Then Google redirected me to another page, preventing my page view count from increasing. It seems Google had blocked me. They said that my query looked similar to automated requests. Duh. They were automated.

Google did not always enforce non-automation. This must be some new defense against the Black Arts. I tried to delete my cookies. Still blocked. Then I deleted all cached info in my browser. No luck. I even tried switching to another browser. Google still would not let me view the pages I had automatically visited.

As a last resort, I went to a web proxy site. From there I was able to view my web pages. What's a programmer to do? I need to code web proxy use into my program. That's what. When I am done, I will release my program here. Perhaps we shall call this The Return of Click. See you soon.

Freehackers Union

Some time back I read a rant on the web from Zed Shaw. He was planning to start up the Freehackers Union. This would be a meeting of like minded hackers in big cities around the world. You had to present some hacker project of interest to be able to attend the meetings. He was fed up with the business people getting in the way of true hacking.
Zed is an outspoken guy who lives in New York. Not surprisingly the first Freehackers Union meeting was held in New York. Zed is known for previously working in the financial markets. I think he was an employee at Bear Sterns. He was previously associated with Ruby (and maybe Ruby on Rails). I think he got into too many arguments with the powers that be in the RoR world. Zed talks like a tough guy. This may be due to his surroundings (New York), or perhaps because he knows some martial arts, or maybe even because he thinks he is a tough guy,

Enough about Zed. I listened to the first Freehackers Union audio broadcast from Zed’s web site. It seemed like a big rant about ideas. I guess that was the whole point of the meetings. Most people in the crowd did not present anything that day. There seemed to be a rule that you could not present using PowerPoint (remember that this was about rallying against the business guys).

One presenter had written an Objective C program for the iPhone. He got a lot of applause. There were a bunch of other technical presentations. I heard that there were plans to have such a meeting near my house. Initially it sounded exciting. Doesn’t everyone want to be part of some cool underground and elite group? Unfortunately it appears that the Freehackers Union did not really materialize past the initial New York meeting. Oh well. Maybe it is time to look around for a local 2600 Magazine meetup.

More Crypto API

This week I finished my college course on Java programming. I am hoping this will free up some time to get back to my Black Hat projects. Specifically I have some ideas about the Windows Task Manager control which I have previously written about. I may be posting a new program to enable and disable Task Manager silently. However for now I thought I would talk some more about the Windows Crypto API.

I have written at length regarding Crypto API details that I have reverse engineered by browsing the C header files provided by Microsoft. In addition, I discovered some Crypto API documentation in the Microsoft Developer Network web site. So without further ado, let’s get into some Crypto API details.

The Crypto API supports PKCS #7. Recall that this is a standard published by RSA Laboratories, a division of RSA Data Securities. PKCS #7 covers cryptographic message syntax (CMS) structures. Going back to terminology, a digest is the result of applying a hash to data. The digest is sometimes called the hash itself.

Although “message” is a generic term, it has a more specific meaning within the Crypto API and security. A message is data that has already been encoded. Normally this data has been signed. It includes a certificate.

One goal of the Crypto API are to provide simplified message functions. The functions are very high level. They in turn wrap many lower level messages. They shorten the code required to accomplish security purposes.

Finally I want to define some file extensions used by the Crypto API. The “.cat” files are those with a digital thumbprint. And a “.stl” is a file with a certificate trust list. On that note, I may provide another Crypto API post in the future which covers certificate services. For now I bid you a good day.