121 Proj X10: Using File and Strings (10 pts.)

What you need:


You will the 'file' and 'strings' commands to analyze files without filename extensions. These are native Linux commands, but they have been ported to Windows.

Downloading 'file'

In a Web browser, go here:


Download the file-5.03-setup.exe file and execute it. install the software with the default options.

Open an Administrator Command Prompt window, and execute this command:

set PATH=%PATH%;c:\program files\gnuwin32\bin

Downloading 'strings'

In a Web browser, go here:


Click the "Download Strings" link.

Save the Strings.zip file on your desktop. Unzip it, and copy strings.exe to the C:\Windows\System32 folder.

Downloading the Files to Examine

In a Web browser, go here:


Save the 121-X11-files.zip file on your desktop. Unzip it. A folder named 121-X11-files opens, containing three files, as shown below:

In a Command Prompt window, execute these commands, replacing 'Student' with your correct user name:

cd \Users\Student\Desktop\121-X11-files

file *

The file types of the files is revealed, as shown below:

Using Strings

In a Command Prompt window, execute this command:

strings file1 | more
You see the readable strings in the file, which are just nonsense, because this is an image file, as shown below:

Find Secret Messages

Now you have tools powerful enough to find the two secret messages I have hidden in those files.

To find them, I recommend this procedure:

You will find messages saying "The secret message is..." in two of the files. One of them contains no secret.

When you find the secrets, save them, as screen captures.

Turning in your Project

Email the images showing the secret messages to cnit.121@gmail.com with the subject line: Proj X10 from YOUR NAME

Last modified 4-1-12 10:21 am