Lack of stuff happening, so another quote from the HackVan files:

Well, I just spent several hours tracking something down that I
think is SO braindead that it must be called evil. I hope this
will save someone else some hassle.

There’s an NT box on my desk that someone else uses every now and
then. This machine is otherwise used as my programming box and
backup server.

All of a sudden, my programming files were being corrupted in odd
places. I thought “hmm, my copy must be corrupt”. So I
refreshed the files. No change. “hmm, the code depot copy must
be corrupt”.. Checked from other machines. No problem there.

Viewed the file from a web based change browser in Internet
Explorer. Same corruption in the file. Telnet’d to the server
machine and just cat’d the file to the terminal. Same problem.
What’s going on?

The lines that were corrupted were of the form

What I always saw ON THIS MACHINE ONLY was:

Can you guess what was happening?

Turns out, someone had inadvertly installed this piece of garbage
called CyberSitter, which purports to protect you from nasty
internet content. Turns out that it does this by patching the
TCP drivers and watching the data flow over EVERY TCP STREAM.
Can you spot the offense word in my example? It’s “NUDE”. Seems
that cybersitter doesn’t care if there are other characters in
between. So it blanks out “nu */ #de” without blanking out the
punctuation and line breaks. Very strange and stupid.

It also didn’t like the method name “RefreshItems” in another
file, since there is obviously a swear word embedded in there.
Sheesh.

It’s so bad it’s almost funny. Hope this brightens your day as
much as it brighted mine :-).

Ross Johnson Original File