Talk:1247: The Mother of All Suspicious Files
LNK and ZDA...Link and Zelda? 18.104.22.168 13:43, 5 August 2013 (UTC)
The IP address 22.214.171.124 geolocates to a Starbucks just outside the beltway in Washington. DC.
Someone mentioned you see the word Hackers as well as a pirated movie... In fact the pirated movie is the 1995 movie named Hackers. Edited it to make the reference clear. -- Sonofaresiii (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
Fixed .O.H - these are file extensions with C compilers and C headers, respectively.BlackHatm
.tar.gz stands for tarred and gzipped (archive) files; here .co. was introduced to make it look like a domain name .obj can also be a http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Relocatable_Object_Module_Format cia-bin is a play on cgi-bin Sebastian --126.96.36.199 15:06, 5 August 2013 (UTC)
After the reference to the FBI in the (currently) final paragraph I was thinking of adding something like the following:
- This would also 'explain' the initial directory structure of "/PUB/CIA-BIN/ETC", something like an FTP /pub/ directory for publicly open files, and conflating the CIA with /cgi-bin/ as a somewhat common location for dynamic web-pages, then /etc/ which is another Linux/Unix directory reference, strangely stored underneath a doubley-referenced 'tilde' directory, what with ~foo as the root directory generally redirecting to the home directory for user "foo". These are all usually lower-case (and case-sensitive), but if the INIT.DLL has anthing to do with it it might mean it's an uppercase-dominated and yet actually case-insensitive Windows-based system, with that Windows Dynamically Linked Library as a dynamic responder.
...but I've rushed that and it looks messy/may have errors in it, so feel free to clean it up if it inspires you. Or not... 188.8.131.52 16:34, 5 August 2013 (UTC)
> Agreed. The capitalization and brackets are the standard formatting in pirated movie titles, and before a movie release, Screeners (much better quality than theater cams) are excellent bait on fake downloads. Updated in the wiki. Daemonf (talk) 23:09, 5 August 2013 (UTC)
I edited the line on the 'save' button being greyed out. This doesn't change with HTTPS, but is instead a modern browser feature preventing a user from agreeing indiscriminately or with a mistaken click. I hope I didn't step on anybody's toes. 184.108.40.206 00:12, 6 August 2013 (UTC)
- That's incorrect, the web server can identify if it's a secure connection or not and render the content of the page depending on this.--Dgbrt (talk) 06:48, 6 August 2013 (UTC)
What is the joke?That the prescence of a huge number of extensions makes this file extremely suspicious?And the punch is that he is suggesting a secure connection to download this file?--220.127.116.11 01:24, 6 August 2013 (UTC)
- Yes, this is a joke. I it is a comic. 18.104.22.168 05:06, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
"...CO - looks like a top-level domain. Many countries use .co.tld in front of their main TLD, e.g. .co.uk...." Aha! I always thought co.uk meant "Cornwall, United Kingdom." And I couldn't figure out why all their domains were mediated through Cornwall. Every day, I meet a new opportunity to feel clueless... -- 22.214.171.124 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
- Well... traditionally many of our transatlantic communications links (starting back with telegraph cables) came ashore at Porthcurno, in Cornwall. However, that's just a historic co-inky-dink. ;)
- (I was going to say as how most of the secondary-level-domains to .uk were two-letters (as opposed to .com.au, for example), with a few exceptions that I could name, except that I've just looked it up and found that .co(mpany) and .ac(ademic) are actually the only historic ones (and .me.uk coming along later). Of course, those (the first two) were the only ones that ever bothered me (along with things under the .gb TLD), twenty years or so ago. And now we've got Police and Parliament as verbose SLDs. Not that this is relevent, but I just find it interesting to be reminded of how much things seem to have changed...) 126.96.36.199 05:37, 9 August 2013 (UTC)
On a scale of 'party' to 'judge' in the 'Sketchiness' scale ( http://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php?title=Sketchiness ), how sketchy is this file? Greyson (talk) 13:38, 6 August 2013 (UTC)
It is probably important to explain that:
- The information in that dialog box gives absolutely no indication of what the file being downloaded will be actually named (let alone what is inside), including its extension: it can just as well be downloaded into a harmless text file named "anything.txt" by default. The server may as well just silently ignore anything after "?", especially if INIT.DLL library does not expect an argument named "FILE". (If INIT.DLL even exists - see below)
- Normally, with such a syntax (DLL-file in a cgi-bin-like directory with a "?" query), "init.dll" should be viewed as benign, as it should execute on the server instead of itself getting downloaded. If it was called "init.exe" nothing would have changed. However if the server is not configured to execute that file, by default it will in fact get simply downloaded as a file, and in that case everything after "?" is completely ignored by the server.
- Please note that "normally" the URL indicates that on the server somewhere there are nested folders called "~TILDE","PUB","CIA-BIN" and "ETC", last one with a file "INIT.DLL" inside. However it is a perfectly normal practice for a server to interpret that part of URL arbitarily, i.e. there may be only one file named "whatever.php" on the server, and it then may be configured to execute or allow download of that file when anyone tries to request whatever is mentioned in the comic, or request anything at all from that server, or even if anyone types more than 10 "A" letters after the server name, whatever.
- Thus, the point of this comic is largely that the depicted warning message is almost completely useless: unless a user can somehow make sure that they trust this particular URL, there is no way to know if the file being downloaded could or could not be malicious by looking at its extension because that extension is not displayed.
Could anyone please rephrase some of the above and add it into the article? Because I am new here and dislike digging through all the guidelines before posting. Leftload (talk) 18:52, 6 August 2013 (UTC)
I also noticed that the requested path ("/~TILDE(...)A.OUT.EXE") is exactly 255 characters long. This could be a joke on 255-character path limitation on windows, however the actual file path should have ended with "?", and even if it somehow did not, there would be no extra space for the drive letter then. Leftload (talk) 18:52, 6 August 2013 (UTC)
I think a significant and unexplained element of the joke is the fact that by switching to https, the download would not be scanned by many anti-virus gateway products on the market, because the scanner is unable to inspect the content within the encrypted stream. By clicking on "Save" (if it weren't greyed out) without switching to https, the file is likely to be scanned for virus/malware signatures. By switching to https, this scanning is not available.
Also, I think the 255 character size is important, either as an attempt to overflow a buffer, or as as a means to bypass a scanner (as some scanning systems limit their scope to only the start of a file, where virus signatures are generally found, to maintain throughput). Perhaps if the Windows filename limit is 255 characters, then a 256 character filename might not be detected as having a .EXE extension, thus bypassing a gateway scanner.
188.8.131.52 09:19, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
- When you save the file to your file system it is not encrypted any more. The virus scanner will test this file. The length of the file name is 250 characters because "FILE=" is not part of the name.--Dgbrt (talk) 10:48, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
I think the grayed out save button is a reference to Firefox behavior, which doesn't let you to immediately save the file after dialogue pops up. 184.108.40.206 16:46, 8 August 2013 (UTC)