Cùran's life
A Debian Developer's observations

7th October 2011 17:59 (GMT)
MPlayer: and no black bars

After a little pause, I thought I add another entry to my ongoing tips series. Today we'll get rid of the black bars you can most likely observe on a widescreen display, when playing a video DVD with MPlayer.

This little post assumes that you've already inserted the DVD you'd like to watch, your MPlayer setup works with dvd:// style addresses, you know which title from the DVD you want to watch (the examples will use the first title) and you know your monitor's aspect ratio (the examples uses 16:9).

Now all that is needed are the following two steps:

  1. Detect the cropping parameters:

    mplayer -vf cropdetect -monitoraspect 16:9 dvd://1

    The previous line is followed by the usual MPlayer header and output. The film should start playing and after a few seconds you can press q (just wait until the detected values stop changing). Now there should be a few lines looking like:

    [CROP] Crop area: X: 0..719  Y: 76..499  (-vf crop=720:416:0:80).
    A:   1.5 V:   1.5 A-V: -0.000 ct: -0.018  38/ 38  5%  7%  1.0% 0 0
    [CROP] Crop area: X: 0..719  Y: 75..500  (-vf crop=720:416:0:80).
    A:   1.6 V:   1.6 A-V: -0.000 ct: -0.018  39/ 39  5%  7%  1.1% 0 0
    [CROP] Crop area: X: 0..719  Y: 75..500  (-vf crop=720:416:0:80).
    A:   1.6 V:   1.6 A-V: -0.000 ct: -0.018  40/ 40  5%  7%  1.1% 0 0
  2. Play the film with the detected crop values and the correct aspect for the video material (4:3 for PAL and 3:2 for NTSC):

    mplayer -vf crop=720:416:0:80 -monitoraspect 16:9 -aspect 4:3 dvd://1

Of course you can add any other options to the invocation as usual, though you only need to add those to the second invocation (e.g. select the correct audio stream or start in fullscreen mode). Also, you might want to set the monitor aspect permantly in your MPlayer configuration (just add monitoraspect = "16:9"), as the monitor rarely changes for the average machine /etc/mplayer/mplayer.conf.local is probably the best place (make sure your /etc/mplayer/mplayer.conf includes that file at the end).

Now you should be able to enjoy all video DVDs on your widescreen display without black bars at the top and bottom!

Permalink | cheat-sheet, debian.
20th October 2011 16:20 (GMT)
WEB.DE offers Phish

[UPDATE 2011-10-26] The story has developed.[/UPDATE]

Recently I was talking with somebody about the WEB.DE toolbar, and today I finally got around to look something up I was told then. And while I searched for the information on the download page for the WEB.DE toolbar, I stumbled over the download URL for the installer:


There I was magically attracted by the ns_url parameter, because it smelled like something where you could just pass any URL along. And indeed you can: http://wa.ui-portal.de/webde/webde/s?produkte.browserdownload.link.download.ff7&bd_mc=undef_undef&ns_type=pdf&ns_url=http://bundestrojaner.net/inhalt-bundestrojaner-gratis-download-3.html. That should redirect you to http://bundestrojaner.net/inhalt-bundestrojaner-gratis-download-3.html instead of http://dl.web.de/browser/firefox/WEB.DE_MFF7_Setup.exe.

This is a serious flaw, as it might allow an attacker to request a username and password combination from an unsuspecting user. With a harvest page designed to look like another WEB.DE page you should have a high return rate. This is, by the way, a flaw on the OWASP Top 10 (2010 edition).

I've informed somebody working for United Internet and expect the bug to be resolved pretty soon, hopefully it won't work anylonger when you read this.

Permalink | debian, security.
25th October 2011 11:17 (GMT)
Removal of sun-java6 and ElsterOnline

Reading Sylvestre Ledru's announcement, that sun-java6 was removed from the archives, I'd like to point out, that the recommended immediate purge of any binary packages built by sun-java6 should be postponed until you did have time to check, that important applications are working for you with the OpenJDK implementation.

I need to retain sun-java6-plugin until upstream bug #588 for icedtea-plugin is fixed. If you have equal requirements (using ELSTER is required by tax law for me), make sure everything works with OpenJDK/IcedTea, otherwise you need to fetch the latest shipped version from snapshot.debian.org or install something directly from Oracle.

Now, as security issues were mentioned in Sylvestre's post, I'm NOT recommending to have sun-java6-plugin running in your browser on default. Just switch the Java plugins before you really need it. For Iceweasel you can (de-)activate plugins in the add-on manager's plugin tab. Apart from that I'd recommend to not surf with any scripting or plugins active at all, NoScript! is a great way to do this conveniently.

Permalink | debian.
26th October 2011 12:18 (GMT)
comScore/Nedstat: a larger Phish market

You might have read my recent post about an open redirect on WEB.DE's homepage. Now, as it turns out, the spread of this particular bug is far wider, than I first thought.

After posting the previous story, I was surprised, how long it's taking to fix the bug. Then I remembered, that the domain for the redirect wasn't web.de but ui-portal.de. Now, knowing that WEB.DE is owned by United Internet doesn't make it that suspicious, but I was intrigued enough to check what the DNS said about the domain. And, as it turns out, the domain points to an IP owned by comScore/Nedstat:

$ dig @ wa.ui-portal.de

; <<>> DiG 9.7.3 <<>> @ wa.ui-portal.de
; (1 server found)
;; global options: +cmd
;; Got answer:
;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: NOERROR, id: 51273
;; flags: qr rd ra; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 2, AUTHORITY: 3, ADDITIONAL: 3

;wa.ui-portal.de.               IN      A

wa.ui-portal.de.        10      IN      CNAME   wa-ui-portal-de.sitestat.com.
wa-ui-portal-de.sitestat.com. 30 IN     A

wa-ui-portal-de.sitestat.com. 83 IN     NS      glns03.sitestat.com.
wa-ui-portal-de.sitestat.com. 83 IN     NS      glns02.sitestat.com.
wa-ui-portal-de.sitestat.com. 83 IN     NS      glns01.sitestat.com.

glns01.sitestat.com.    24      IN      A
glns02.sitestat.com.    24      IN      A
glns03.sitestat.com.    24      IN      A

;; Query time: 63 msec
;; WHEN: Wed Oct 26 14:27:54 2011
;; MSG SIZE  rcvd: 202

All that is missing now, to confirm everything, is a whois for, which shows Nedstat B.V. as the owner (Nedstat is a part of comScore since 2010).

That was, when I realized, that there are probably a lot more sites offering such links, and as a search for inurl:ns_url=http shows (I'm not yet linking to a result page, but you can look it up yourself, of course), that assumption was correct. There are some big names like Siemens or the Bertelsmann Stiftung, using the click-tracking service by Nedstat, returned by the search. That is a problem, as links looking like they're pointing to a trustworthy site/domain have a high potential for being clicked. Most people won't notice the open redirect, especially not, if the attacker took some time to design a target page, that looks like the original (most likely for phishing) or let the redirect point directly at some installer for malicious software or both.

I've informed Siemens and the Bertelsmann Stiftung too, but I can't inform every affected website operator, so I've informed comScore/Nedstat directly and hope, they'll fix the issue in a timely manner. And not less important: inform their customers immediately.

Permalink | debian, security.
28th October 2011 19:16 (GMT)
Google recommends using OpenStreetMaps/OpenLayers

Maybe you've already heard, that Google is starting to charge a fee for using the Maps API (Google may decide you're an non-profit organization and waive the fees). That is, in my opinion, Google telling you to look for better alternatives. And thanks to the awesome effort of the OpenStreetMaps community, there is such an alternative.

Thus today's addition to the mini-tips series will tell you, how you get an OpenStreetMaps-powered map on your website.

  1. First you need to determine the coordinates, where you want to center, the map. You can do this with OpenRouteService.org. Just search for the address, right-click on the marker highlighting the result, and set it as e.g. your start point, that'll give you the coordinates in the start field on the left. Alternatively you can just move your pointer over a place on the map and have a look at the lower right corner, where the current coordinates for the pointer position are displayed.
  2. Then you need to add a few things to the website, where the card is to be shown:
    • Include the OpenLayers script in the <head> of your webpage: