November 15, 2009

In my boredom as of late I'm finding myself searching through Twitter's public wall to see what sort of "juicy" information I can find. Not surprisingly, people are openly sharing all sorts of information that I would consider to be "private."

I've seen user statuses that include information ranging from cell phone numbers to their mother's maiden name. I'm pretty sure that "What is my mother's maiden name?" is still a commonly used security question for various websites. As for publicly sharing your cell phone number, I hear "SMS Bombing" is a fairly common attack nowadays...

Here are some of my search queries thus far (If I come up with any other decent ones, I'll add them here):

"text me at"

"call me at"

"maiden name" + "first pet"

"won't be home"

"won't be home" + "til"

November 2, 2009

NetLibrary is a web site that allows for access to a large digital library of books that can be viewed from the comfort of your own web browser. The library at the college I attend has a membership with NetLibrary, allowing students to be able to access a wide variety of books in order to aid with research papers and the like. In order to access this site through the college's account, you must log into it from an IP address that is associated with the college. Thankfully, the college library has set up a proxy server that allows students to log into NetLibrary from home. [The proxy server clearly deserves some dedicated research of its own...]

Out of boredom, I decided to see what sort of books I could access on NetLibrary. Naturally, I did a search for "hack" and surprisingly got a large number of results. Results ranging from Johnny Long's Google Hacking books to some on cyber terrorism. I just had to read some of the books I found.

While viewing some of these books, I noticed that every time I clicked to go to the next page, a PDF file was being loaded into my browser. Were these PDF files actually being downloaded onto my computer and then loaded into my browser? A quick look into my Temporary Internet Files directory showed me just what I wanted, PDF files galore. Could it be possible for someone to get free ebooks from a college resource? No way!

One problem existed though, every page in a book loads as its own PDF file. This means that a 200 page book will result in 200 PDF files (bummer). After some Googling around, I found just what I needed: PDF Split and Merge. I had to test this out.

After loading, and then saving, 300-something PDF files (Yikes!), I managed to have every page in the book I chose. I fired up PDFSAM and loaded every single PDF file into it and clicked to merge them all into one file. I wasn't certain at all if PDFSAM would be able to handle so many PDF files at once, did. Success! With only some good old time and effort, I now had a complete ebook.

Note: This blog post does not encourage the reader to commit piracy. This research was done for purely academic reasons. DO NOT follow what was listed here in order to obtain ebooks.
Subscribe to RSS Feed Follow me on Twitter!