By Josh Vinny Introduction: There are folders on your computer that Microsoft has tried hard to keep secret. Within these folders you will find two major things: Microsoft Internet Explorer has been logging all of the sites you have ever visited — even after you ” ve cleared your history, and Microsoft’s Outlook Express has been logging all of your e-mail correspondence — even after you ” ve erased them from your Deleted Items bin. (This also includes all incoming and outgoing file attachments. ) And believe me, that’s not even the half of it. When I say these files are hidden well, I really mean it. If you don’t have any knowledge of DOS then don’t plan on finding these files on your own.
Say this because these files / folders won’t be displayed in Windows Explorer a tall — only DOS. (Even after you have enabled Windows Explorer to ‘view all files.’ ) And to top it off, the only way to find them in DOS is if you knew the exact location of them. Basically, what I’m saying is if you didn’t know the files existed then the chances of you running across them is slim to slimmer. It’s interesting to note that Microsoft does not explain this behavior adequately at all. Just try searching on microsoft. com.
I know there are some people out there that are already aware of some of the things I mention. I also know that most people are not. The purpose of this tutorial is teach people what is really going on with Microsoft’s products and how to take control of their privacy again. This tutorial was written by me, so if you see a mistake somewhere then it is my mistake, and I apologize. Thanks for reading. INDEX: 1) DEFINITIONS AND ACRONYMS 2) WHY YOU SHOULD ERASE THESE FILES 3) HOW TO ERASE THE FILES ASAP 3.
... (SMTP) 2. Use Microsoft Windows Explorer to create the new folder that is to contain the log files, for example, C: ... FilesExchsrvrExServer 1. log, the folder inherits the folder and file permissions from the parent folder (C: /Program Files). You can view these ... Server is not installed under the default Program Files folder, the file permissions are Everyone with Full Control. Share permissions ...
1) If You Own Microsoft Internet Explorer 3. 2) Clearing Your Registry 3. 3) If You Own Outlook Express 3. 4) Slack files 3. 5) Keeping Microsoft’s Products 4) STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE THROUGH YOUR HIDDEN FILES (For the savvy. ) 1.
DEFINITIONS AND ACRONYMS Well, the best definition I have been able to come up with is the following: I) A ‘really hidden’ file / folder is one that cannot be seen in Windows Explorer after enabling it to ‘view all files,’ and cannot be seen in MS-DOS after receiving a proper directory listing from root. a) There is at least one loophole to enabling Windows Explorer to see them. b) There is at least one loophole to enabling MS-DOS to see them. (Interesting to note that the ‘Find: Files or Folders’ utility cannot even search through one of these folders. It doesn’t even exist on the [Browse]menu. ) II) Distinguishes ‘really hidden’ file / folders from just plain +h[id den] ones, such as your ‘MSDOS.
SYS’ or ‘Sysbckup’ folder. III) Distinguishes from certain ‘other’ intended hidden files, such as a file with a name with high ascii characters (eg, ‘”Y”e”i”oe’).
DOS = Disk Operating System MSIE = Microsoft Internet Explorer TIF = Temporary Internet Files (folder) HD = Hard Drivers = Operating System 2. WHY SHOULD I ERASE THESE FILES? Just from one of these files I would be able to tell you which web sites you previously visited, what types of things you search for in search engines, and probably gather your ethnicity, religion, and sexual preference. Needless to say, one can build quite a profile on you from these files. It has the potential to expose and humiliate — putting your marriage, friendship, and corporation at risk.
Here’s one good example of the forensic capabilities… I’ve been reading your article as I have a problem with an employee of mine. He has been using the works pc for the internet and using it to chat and look at porn sites. He was then deleting the cookies and history in order to cover his tracks. A friend of mine pointed me in the direction of this site and your article. I have found it to be incredibly useful, …
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.’ — Concerned Boss, 8/24/01 3. HOW TO ERASE THE FILES ASAP Step by step information on how to erase these files as soon as possible. This section is recommended for the non-savvy. Further explanation can be found in Section 4. 0.
Please note that following these next steps will erase all your cache files and cookies files. If you use the offline content feature with MSIE, it will remove this as well. It will not erase your bookmarks. 3. 1.
IF YOU OWN A COPY OF MICROSOFT INTERNET EXPLORER 1) Shut your computer down, and turn it back on. 2) While your computer is booting keep pressing the [F 8] key until you are given an option screen. 3) Choose ‘Command Prompt Only’ This will take you to real DOS mode. ME users must use a boot disk to get into real DOS mode. 4) When your computer is done booting, you will have a C: > followed by a blinking cursor. Type in this hitting enter after each line (sans parenthesis): C: WINDOWSSMARTDRV (Loads smart drive to speed things up.
) CD DELTREE/Y TEMP (this line removes temporary files. ) CD WINDOWS DELTREE/Y COOKIES (This line removes cookies. ) DELTREE/Y TEMP (This removes temporary files. ) DELTREE/Y HISTORY (This line removes your browsing history. ) DELTREE/Y TEMPOR~1 (If this last line doesn’t work then type this: ) CDWINDOWSAPPLIC~1 DELTREE/Y TEMPOR~1 (If this doesn’t work then type this: ) CDWINDOWSLOCALS~1 DELTREE/Y TEMPOR~1 (If this still does not work, and you are sure you are using MSIE 5. x, then please e-mail me.
Finding the location of these may be difficult and I’d certainly like to know where else MSIE likes to hide its cache. I believe older versions of MSIE keep them under ‘windows content’. ) This last one will take a ridiculous amount of time to process. The reason it takes so incredibly long is because there is a ton of semi-useless cache stored on your HD.
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3. 2. CLEARING YOUR REGISTRY It was once believed that the registry is the central database of Windows that stores and maintains the OS configuration information. Well, this is wrong.
Apparently it also maintains a bunch of other do-dah that has absolutely nothing to do with the configuration. I won’t get into the other stuff, but for one, your Typed URLs are stored in the registry. HKEY USERS/Default/Software/Microsoft/Internet Explorer/TypedURLs/HKEY CURRENT USER/Software/Microsoft/Internet Explorer/TypedURLs/These ‘Typed URLs’ come from MSIE’s auto complete feature. It records all URLs that you ” ve typed in manually in order to save you some time filling out the address field. By typing ‘ama’ the auto complete feature might bring up ” amazon.
com’ for you. Although, I find it annoying, some people prefer this feature. One thing is for sure, however — it’s an obvious privacy risk. Youwouldn’t want a guest to type ‘ama’ and have it auto complete’. com’ now would you? You can clear your Typed URLs out of your registry by doing going to Tools >Internet Options > Content > [Auto Complete] > and finally [Clear Forms] under MSIE.
If you do not like the Auto Complete feature then un check the appropriate boxes here. 3. 3. IF YOU HAVE OUTLOOK OR OUTLOOK EXPRESS INSTALLEDMicrosoft’s e-mail clients DO NOT delete your messages until a) you really know how, and b) you go through the redundant process. And besides this, there’s the glaring e-mail virus problems (in which virtually all other e-mail client’s are immune to. ) This, alone, should be enough to want to strangle Slick Willy — as I like to call him.
My suggestion? 1) Install another e-mail program like Eudora or Pegasus Mail. Make sure everything is setup correctly. (web / web) 2) Backup any e-mail and address books that you wish to save by making use of the export / import features. 3) Uninstall Outlook. Warning: Simply uninstalling Outlook does not erase any of your e-mail correspondence. The database files are still there on your hard drive.
To find them open up a DOS window and type this: dir . max /s / p The files you are looking for are: INBOX. MBXOUTBOX. MBXSENTIT~1. MBXDELETE~1.
MBXDRAFTS. MBXIf these files come up they should be listed in either of these folders: C: Windows Application DataMicrosoftOutlook ExpressMailC: Program Files internet mail and news%USER%mail Now type either of the following (depending on the location of your. max files… ) Remember, this will erase all your e-mail correspondence so backup what you want to keep. By now you should have already imported your mail into Eudora, or Pegasus Mail. CDWINDOWSAPPLIC~1 MICROS~1 OUTLOOK~1 DELTREE/Y MAILorCDPROGRA~1 INTERN~1%USER% (replace ‘%user%’ with the proper name.
... the attacker’s malicious PDF file on the external Web server. The e-mail message is finely tuned to ... cause an organization to have a wide vulnerability window since it is still unfamiliar of how to ... how does this relate to an organization’s vulnerability window? a. A Zero Day attack is an ... attacker does not include the malicious PDF file as an e-mail attachment, because such attacks are more likely ...
) DELTREE/Y MAIL If you have newer versions of Outlook or Outlook Express the databases are . d bx, or . pst files. Five times as creepy as the . max files. I recommend that you take a look at them yourself.
) 3. 4. SLACK FILES As you may already know, deleting files only deletes the references to them. They are in fact still sitting there on your HD and can still be recovered by very motivated person.’ u BC Wipe is a nice program that will clear these files.
(web).’ u For you DOS buffs, there’s a freeware file wiper on simmel. net that I use. (web).’ u If you are using PGP then there is a ‘Freespace Wipe’ option under PGP tools.’ u The latest version of Norton Utilities has a nice file wiping utility.’ u You might want to check out Evidence Eliminator’s 30 day trial. This is probably the best program as far as your privacy goes. (web) 3.
5. KEEPING MICROSOFT’S PRODUCT SIf you insist on using Microsoft Internet Explorer then I strongly recommend that you check out at least one of these programs: ‘u Purge IE (web) ‘u Cache and Cookie Cleaner for IE (web) ‘u Anonymizer Window Washer (web) Other programs that claim to clear your history don’t seem to work, although haven’t run any tests in a while. And if you insist on using Outlook or Outlook Express then you should get in the habit of compacting your mailboxes. You can do this by going to File > Folder > Compact All if you have Outlook Express.
or Tools > Options > Other tab > [Auto Archive] if you have Outlook. Make sure to set things up here. 4. STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE THROUGH YOUR HIDDEN FILES This next section is for those of you who are more interested in learning the ins and outs of your computer. This section is intended for the savvy user.
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The most important files to be paying attention to are your ‘index. dat’ files. These are database files that reference your history, cache and cookies. The first thing you should know is that the index. dat files is that they don’t exist in less you know they do.
They second thing you should know about themis that some will not get cleared after deleting your history and cache. The result: A log of your browsing history hidden away on your computer after you thought you cleared it. To view these files, follow these steps: In MSIE 5. x, you can skip this first step by opening MSIE and going to Tools >Internet Options > [Settings] > [View Files]. Now write down the names of your alphanumeric folders on a price of paper. If you can’t see any alphanumeric folder names then start with step 1 here: 1) First, drop to a DOS box and type this at prompt (in all lower-case) to bring up Windows Explorer under the correct directory…
c: windows explorer /e, c: ~1 content. ie 5 You see all those alphanumeric names listed under ‘content. ie 5?’ (left-hand side. ) That’s Microsoft’s idea of making this project as hard as possible. Actually, these are your alphanumeric folders that was created to keep your cache. Write these names down on a price of paper.
(They should look something like this: 6 YQ 2 GSW F, QM 7 KL 3 F, U 7 YHQKI 4, 7 YM 516 U, etc… ) If you click on any of the alphanumeric folders then nothing will be displayed. Not because there aren’t any files here, but because Windows Explorer has lied to you. If you want to view the contents of these alphanumeric folders you will have to do so in DOS. (Actually, this is not always true. Sometimes Windows Explorer will display the contents of the alphanumeric folders — but mostly it won’t.
I can’t explain this. ) 2) Then you must restart in MS-DOS mode. (Start > Shutdown > Restart i nMS-DOS mode. ME users use a boot disk. ) Note that you must restart to DOS because windows has locked down some of the files and they can only be accessed in real DOS mode. 3) Type this in at prompt: CDWINDOWSTEMPOR~1 CONTENT.
... folder from launching. Better Caching Performance Platform: Windows 95 User Level: Advanced Submitted by: Jeff T.Goto Control Panel - System Tab - File ... You are now using the Windows Explorer to view the contents. Old File Manager Platform: Windows 95/98/NT User ... key. Explorer will not display the directories contents.Instant Windows Explorer Platform: Windows 95 User Level: Beginner Submitted by: ...
IE 5 CD %alphanumeric% (replace the ‘%alphanumeric%’ with the first name that you just wrote down. ) DIR/The cache files you are now looking at are directly responsible for the mysterious erosion of HD space you may have been noticing. One thing particularly interesting is the ability to view some your old e-mail if you happen to have a hot mail account. (Oddly, I’ve only been able to e-mail, and not e-mail from my other web-based e-mail accounts. Send me your experiences with this.
) To see them for yourself you must first copy them into another directory and then open them with your browser. Don’t ask me why this works. A note about these files: These are your cache files that help speed up your internet browsing. It is quite normal to use this cache system, as every major browser does.
On the other hand. It isn’t normal for some cache files to be left behind after you have instructed your browser to erase it.