Monday, October 04, 2004


Cracktalk Newsletter 10-01-4

Crack Talk 10-01-4
Terry Blount
Jpeg of Death - Personal hacking has arrived!
This is truly the "backdoor" to Windows that everyone has either wishedfor or worried that was coming.
The corrupted JPEG images are INDISTINGUISHABLE from other images butcontain a slightly modified version of recently released exploit codefor the JPEG vulnerability called the "JPEG of Death" exploit. The JPEGof Death uses a JPEG file formatted to trigger an overflow in a commonWindows component called the GDI+ JPEG decoder, which is used byWindows, Internet Explorer, Outlook and many other Windows applications.
When opened by Win XP users, the infected JPEGs try to install a copy ofRadmin, a legitimate software application that allows users to remotelycontrol their computers. In this case, however, the program is beingused by the remote attacker as a Trojan horse program. Infected Windowsmachines are also programmed to report back to an IRC (Internet relaychat) channel.
Antivirus software, in combination with the Windows patch, is currentlythe only known protection from attacks that use this vulnerability.
A patch has been issued for the JpegOfDeath hole. But so what? No onebelieves every single user of Microsoft's Internet Explorer is going toapply it, and this means the door is wide open for hackers.
It's here if you are one of the few users who may actually patch it.
Note... DON'T get the whole 93 meg service pack... unless you want it.Get WindowsXP-KB833987-x86-ENU 1.35 MB

Instant Message programs and web sites may also be used to install thecode... and it will send messages to other people on your contact listto visit the site and also get hacked.
The malicious code is embedded in a JPEG image and exploits a securityflaw in the way many Microsoft applications process such images.Microsoft identified and patched the flaw on Sept. 14, but severalapplications, including Office and Windows, require separate patches.
Quick and dirty perl code to detect djpeg can be found here:
The code is floating around in the "wild" for anyone to download andmodify. This makes it very easy for any amature programmer to hack thecode and use as they wish - and take over the computer of anyone theysend a picture to. When I say "take over" I mean use the computer justlike you are sitting at the keyboard. You can browse through their filesand find personal information, turn on their sound and camera, or usetheir computer to send spam, hack other computers... the possibilitiesare endless.
All the attacker has to do is simply change image extension from .jpg to.bmp or .tif or whatever and stupid Windows XP will still treat the fileas a JPEG. Also the fact is this vulnerability is exploitable withoutthe victim clicking a link. For instance you send them the image witha 1,1 width,height and then' they can't see it in Outlook Express, sothere like man this image has a cool name so I'll try to open theattachment, then they're are screwed.
You can find the source code here: here:,39878.0.htmlOr here: just Google "John Bissell A.K.A. HighT1mes" and you'll find thesource code posted on dozens of web sites and discussion boards.
I have a feeling that before his bug is gone people won't care what youlook like and you'll seldom be asked to send your picture.
What to do if your security is lame?
If you are Microsoft you $ charge $ Hotmail users to download their email into Outlook. In the past, people could download e-mail fromHotmail into Microsoft Outlook and Outlook Express for free. But nowonly people who had paid an annual subscription fee will be able toaccess their messages without opening a browser window.
The stated purpose of this fee is to curb spam. How will keeping peoplefrom reading their email help reduce spam? Hotmail already limits you tosending ~100 messages/day. They're clearly using spam as a scapegoatbecause you can still use Hotmail Popper and any POP3 email client (evennon-Microsoft ones... Oh, the humanity!) to access their account, andeven send messages through it. (It's onthe 120 gig drive... just about everything that is good is on it.)
Underground Files Site:
What to do when your product is crappy?
If you are Microsoft you teach your customers to run it in "safe" mode.
It's relatively easy to add a Safe Mode option to the Win XP Boot menu.Follow these steps:
I suspect this is an advertising gimmick.
California company gives away 100 GByte email accounts... and promises 1tetra byte to first person to fill it.
Hackers use Google to Access Photocopiers
Making copies of something important? Photocopiers are the latestnetworked devices to fall prey to hackers armed with nothing more thanGoogle's search engine "You don't have to be a genius to do this," saidJason Hart, security director at Whitehat UK. "You can see what peopleare photocopying on your monitor. You just have to search for onlinedevices on Google.",39020345,39167848,00.htm
Carlo's Bootleg RSS Feedpalooza
Carlo builds RSS feeds for sites that don't offer them. And for a coupledollars he will personally build a RSS feed for any site you want.
Saudi Edict Bans Mobile Phone Cameras
Saudi Arabia's highest religious authority has issued an edict barringthe use of cell phones with built-in cameras, blaming them for"spreading obscenity" as a final resort after a ban on their sale andimport to the kingdom failed to dent their popularity.
Someone explain this to me... You can't photo a nude woman in SaudiArabia but a victim of rape must produce four witnesses in order toprove her accusation against the rapist. Something is flawed in thislogic. If I were an abused female I would just say he used his cameraphone.
Jail Time for Downloaders
The House of Representatives passes a bill that would sic the feds onpeople using peer-to-peer networks to swap songs or movies. Copyrightinfringers may face up to three years in prison.,1412,65122,00.html
Linux: A Vehicle for Pirating Windows
PCs running Linux are growing in popularity in part because they can beloaded with a pirated copy of Windows. A consulting firm issued a reporton Wednesday stating that about 40 percent of Linux PCs will be modifiedto run an illegal copy of Windows, a bait-and-switch maneuver thatlowers the cost of obtaining a Windows PC.
Price, of course, is a huge motivator in piracy. All of the componentsinside PCs have dropped in price in the past several years, exceptWindows. Windows accounted for around 5 percent to 6 percent of the costof building a "professional"-level PC in 1996. Now, the operating systemaccounts for 12 percent to 15 percent of the cost.
Your Book Sucks! That'll Be $350
The previously reputable and even harsh Kirkus Reviews has decided thatfor the honor of receiving a review from their sacred work force youshould pay a modest $350 (US) fee.;sid=04/09/27/18055910
Once you are in ... you are in.
More than 40 percent of the Pentagon's $900 billion in prime contractsduring the past six years have been awarded without competitive bidding.,55236305,3498,f/
ACLU and EFF strike down part of PATRIOT Act
EFF has helped the ACLU overturn one of the worst elements of the USAPATRIOT Act, the "National Security Letters," which were secret warrantsthat the Justice Department could write for itself without judicialoversight and then bind the recipients to indefinite silence. That'sright: secret, no-oversight warrants with perpetual gag-orders. The ACLUbrought suit against the DoJ on this one, and we filed briefs on theirside, and today, a federal court struck down this part of PATRIOT asunconstitutional.
Judge Says No More Secret Access To ISP Records
A judge has declared part of the Patriot Act unconstitutional,suggesting that the FBI shouldn't have powers to look over the privaterecords of a company's customers without the company being allowed totell anyone.
Nokia Enters Video Surveillance Business
Unlike most systems that send video to mobile handsets, the cell phonegiant's new Nokia Remote Camera bypasses the Internet altogether throughits own integrated GSM transceiver.
Derek Writes:
I was looking for a cd boot so I can access my NTFS drives in DOS andstumbled upon this.
Jay Writes
If you're running Windows XP networked, you can use a little-knownapplication to talk to other available users on the network. AtStartRun, enter "winchat" without the quotes. Click on Conversationsand Dial, select the computer to call and click OK. This will ring theuser and invite him or her to chat with you.
Package your applications for installation on other computers by usingWindows XP IExpress. It creates a simple self-extracting,self-installing package of applications. To launch IExpress, clickStartRun and enter "iexpress" without the quotes. A Wizard will talkyou through the procedure from there.
PC Micro stocks this IDE Drive to USB 2.0 adapter item PCMS-IDE2USBfor $18 + shipping. It is basically the guts of an external enclosure,useful for quick hot-swapping between drives.
Wanna quit smoking? ..just get tossed in jail in California.
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill to ban tobaccoproducts in state prisons. (What will the prisoners use for currency?)
The company that first popularized the concept of a PC that fits in yourhand will launch its first model next month, after two years of delays.
OQO will launch its tiny computer Oct. 14. The upstart has created afull-fledged Windows XP computer, called OQO model 01, that is about thesame size and shape as a Palm organizer or Pocket PC. The unit can alsobe inserted into a docking station.
Microsoft announced several new efforts this week to make it easier toconnect digital cameras to PCs. Until this is available you have toinstall software on a pc to get the images off your camera. The MTP is astandard that will be incorporated into XP updates.
Video Cameras at Movies Would Be Crime
Using video cameras to record films in movie theaters would become afederal crime punishable by up to six years in prison under a billpassed Tuesday by the House.,55108804,1466,f/
No Tan for You
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill on Friday barring childrenunder 14 from going to tanning salons. California lawmakers backed thelegislation in May citing concerns by dermatologists who blame theartificial light in tanning booths for contributing to a rise in skincancer. Violators could be liable for a fine of up to $2,500. Teenagersbetween the ages of 14 and 18 need a note from their parents to go to atanning salon.
(They still don't need a note to buy crack and heroin on the streets.)
Ed Writes:
Dilbert's Ultimate House (DUH) is the product of the combined wisdom ofthousands of Dilbert readers, plus the help of real world experts, andit's online for viewing at
You can see the "redneck" input on this project when you note that theyhave a special closet that stores the decorated Christmas tree all yearlong and it simply rolls out on wheels.
DVDs could hold '100 times more'
Imperial College London researchers in the UK are developing a new wayof storing data that could lead to discs capable of holding 1,000gigabytes .
Airlines Could Save Millions
Officials at American, the largest U.S. carrier, believe they can save$11.2 million a year by fixing the less efficient in the 726-plane fleet- sometimes with mechanical adjustments, other times by smoothing outsmall dings that affect a plane's aerodynamics - as part of a largerplan to save $118 million in fuel a year. Also, fueling up at locationswhere aviation fuel is cheaper can save as much as $400 on the next trip.,55140132,6622,f/
This shows you can prove anything with statistics
According to a recent study, women could be faster 100-meter sprintersthan men by the 2156 Olympics. Scientists at Oxford University inEngland reached this conclusion after studying records that revealedthat women have been improving their times faster than men.
Using Maggots to Heal Wounds
Technology and drugs aren't enough to help some patients with woundsthat don't heal properly. Dead flesh is often difficult and painful toremove, and doctors sometimes can't help but take away healthy skin --including scar tissue -- in the process. Leaving the flesh there isn't agood option, either.
Enter the maggots, which are happy to gorge themselves, usually withoutdoing much damage unless they slip into healthy tissue. They also killbacteria, which can be a bonus in patients infected with bacteria thatare resistant to antibiotics.,1286,65117,00.html?tw=rss.TOP
Wanna hear what that "breast-enlarging" ringtone sounds like?
Admit it, even though you know it's totally bogus and totally crass,you've got to be curious to actually hear what that breast-enlargingringtone they've been selling in Japan. You can hear it here. These guysrecorded it to mp3 and after listening all morning they said "we mustnow run out to get our first training bras."
This Will Never Make it to the Market
Researchers at the University of Florida have developed a gene therapythat employs hammerhead ribozymes to inhibit herpes viral replication.When administered by a single injection after the initial infection, thetherapy provides life-long inhibition of recurring outbreaks.
This Won't Hurt a Bit
An Israeli scientist has invented a device that could put an end toinjections and the widespread fear of needles. Among those expected tobenefit eventually are millions of diabetics and children needing shotsfor immunization or anesthetics. The SonoPrep is a hand-held ultrasounddevice that painlessly opens microscopic pores in a small area of theskin, allowing medication to pass into the bloodstream.
48 AA Batteries $8.99 has the Panasonic 48 pack of AA Digital Alkalinebatteries for only $8.99 Pick up in store and save $14 shipping charge.
The End

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