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Saturday, September 15, 2007

Show File Types and Hidden Files

I’m pretty sure author Ed Bott doesn’t read Bits from Bill yet on the same day I wrote about File Types, Ed blogged about a script he created to automatically turn on hidden files and display file type extensions.

In his Blog Ed says…

More than two years ago, I published a simple script that allows you to toggle the Explorer attribute that shows and hides System and Hidden files.

The script also assumes that you probably want the option to edit file name extensions, so it changes settings to make file name extensions visible as well for common data file formats.

Ed’s script is an easy way to make changes I recommend without having to find the options under Folder Options. Best yet, Ed has recently modified his script to work under Vista.

To test out Ed’s script and learn more Click Here

One caveat; Ed’s script is written in Visual Basic script.(VBS). As I discussed earlier, some security programs may have automatically re-associated the .VBS type for your protection. Instead of the script running, it may be displayed in Notepad.

If you just want to see what the script looks like in its text form, Click Here


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6 Comments:

Blogger CDixonM said...

Because I have seen so little documentation for what follows, I think that I should mention the "super-hidden extensions," such as .lnk. It is possible that a .lnk file could link to a malicious .vbs or .vba executable without the user knowing it.

I've tested this. I unhid .lnk extensions (can't seem to remember how I did this--some "superhidden" value I changed in the registry years ago. I'll have to look that one up.) then created a link to winpatrol.exe. On my computer, the link shows up as winpatrol.exe.lnk. The problem is, when I rename this link to winpatrol.pdf.lnk, it will still run the winpatrol executable. And on a Windows computer that hides the .lnk extension, it will still run the executable. Easy to link to a malware file like that. I could create a link to "malware.exe," then simply rename it to winpatrol.lnk, and guess what? Malware intalled!

By the way, the show hidden extensions settings in folder options has no effect on the .lnk extension. It will only show b y changing a registry setting, which can be found in an online search. After unhiding this extension, they are also displayed in your Start menu labels, i.e. Outlook.exe.lnk.

Thanks,
Dixon

4:20 PM  
Blogger Bill Pytlovany said...

Dixon,

Thank you for participating and sharing your experiences. This is a topic which I am currently researching myself.

There's also shortcut type .url file that like .lnk shortcut files will not show its extenstion. It will also show the shortcut arrow like .lnk files do.

Bill

4:37 PM  
Blogger CDixonM said...

Sorry for posting twice, I posted accidentally before I was finished the last time.

Because I have seen so little documentation for what follows,
I think that I should mention the "super-hidden extensions,"
such as .lnk. It is possible that a .lnk file could link to a
malicious .vbs or .vba executable without the user knowing it.

I've tested this. I unhid .lnk extensions (can't seem to remember how I did this--some "superhidden" value I changed in the registry years ago. I'll have to look that one up.) then created a link to winpatrol.exe. on my computer,

the link shows up as winpatrol.exe.lnk. The problem is, when I rename this link to winpatrol.PDF.lnk, it will still run the winpatrol executable. And on a Windows computer that is set up to hide the .lnk extension, it will still run the executable.

Easy to link to a malware file like that. I could create a link to "malware.exe," then simply rename it to winpatrol.lnk, and
guess what? Malware installed!

By the way, the show hidden extensions settings in folder
options has no effect on the .lnk extension. It will only show by changing a registry setting, which can be found in an online search.

After unhiding this extension, it is also displayed in your Start menu labels, i.e. Outlook.exe.lnk.

I have actually used this little trick on my home network. I have Office 2003 pro licensed for one computer, and my kid's computers had a Very old version of Office home licensed for three. They tried to get me to upgrade on these three older computers, but being thrifty in nature, I looked into OpenOffice.org. Nice program, but the kids wanted Microsoft Office.

I then installed OO.o onto their PCs, then created destop shorcuts and start menu links to Write, Calc, etc., then renamed just the links to Word, Excel, etc., complete with modern Office icons. I also set the formats to default to .doc and .xls, etc. My 14-year was the first to notice the name in the title bar, after having used the programs for THREE WEEKS!

Such is the power of the hidden .lnk extension.

Thanks,
Dixon

4:43 PM  
Blogger Bill Pytlovany said...

One worries about posting twice. Due to spam any comment that is posted has to be approved before it will show up. So, if I need the same post twice, I only make one public.

Bill

4:53 PM  
Blogger vikas said...

sir,
I am an student of B.E.Computer Science final year.I want to submit the major project on "OS MANAGER" and i want the code of this project in "Java"

VIKAS SHARMA

5:14 AM  
Blogger Bill Pytlovany said...

Vikas,

You'll need to check with the author of the script Ed Bott on his blog.
I suspect it won't be a problem and if you're doing it in Java, it would be a much difference procedure.

Bill

7:45 PM  

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