Today I was looking at my blog stats and I got my attention focused on something, a referrer from experts-exchange.com. Someone links one of my blog post from there; I’m not interested in the link per-se but, I’m interested in the way they used to obscure messages at experts-exchange.com.
The story began some weeks ago when a google search lead me to one of experts-exchange’s page. With my surprise all I got was an abscured series of messages. I remember I solved the problem looking at the source of the page. Yes, the messages are visible inside the source page. Today, I did the same thing looking at the source page but… surprise! There is no way to view the original messages because they are encrypted.
What to do? I tried to understand what kind of encryption is used. English is not my native language and I had some problems figuring out the encryption but, fortunately, I noticed the encrypted word “JU_QROHT”. It doesn’t say too much really but, one of the words inside my blog post (the linked one) is “WH_DEBUG”. Let’s make some char by char comparisons between the 2 words:
J = 0x4A
W = 0x57
0x57 – 0x4A = 0x0D = 13
H = 0x48
U = 0x55
0x55 – 0x48 = 0x0D = 13
After some more tries, I found out that Rot13 is used. Again, it’s possible to see all the messages.
Browsing the net you’ll find some pages talking about this fact, see with your eyes how they solve the problem. If people at experts-exchange.com want to hide their messages I think they should use something else instead of Rot13.
In the end I really don’t know why they need to obscure the messages, knowledge should be free. As it happens in real life this decision will bring to one thing only: people will leave the place moving to another (free) one. Just my two cents…..