Feeds

The Netbook Newbie's Guide to Linux

Back to the Bluez

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Acer's Bluetooth Patch: is it Evil?

The official Acer 'Bluetooth Patch' presents itself as a script file. The abiding Unix advantage of doing a lot of stuff using plain text shell scripts is that they're transparent - you can read 'em to find out what they think they're doing. All the scripts in /etc/init.d that start up the various Linux services, for example, work along these lines. But not this 'Bluetooth Patch' script.

Bluetooth Patch

Some of it is readable. The opening comment line says that it's been constructed with a utility called Makeself. Makeself is a utility devised by Stéphane Peter that makes .tgz files self-extractable. The .tgz files are embedded in the Makeself scripts, so although they run like scripts, they're mostly full of binary code that completely conceals their actions.

At least that's how it seemed. I dropped an email to Stéphane suggesting that short of setting up a VMware Linpus sandbox, running the script and then walking through the whole system with find, I couldn't think of any way of determining the workings of this kind of script that can create executables or other scripts at will, and then run them. So, is Makeself evil? I asked him.

No, he says. No less so than any other installer. He explained that you can quiz a Makeself file from the command line about its contents:

[user@localhost bluetooth.sh]$ ./bluetooth.sh --info
Identification: install bluetooth patch
Target directory: bluetooth
Uncompressed size: 9768 KB
Compression: gzip
Date of packaging: Sat Oct 11 14:37:37 CST 2008
Built with Makeself version 2.1.4 on linux-gnu
Build command was: /usr/bin/makeself.sh \
    "bluetooth" \
    "bluetooth.sh" \
    "install bluetooth patch" \
    "./install.sh"
Script run after extraction:
     ./install.sh
bluetooth will be removed after extraction

Stephane goes on to say: "To examine the contents of the archive itself, and thus get a better idea of what happens, you can use the --noexec and --target options to simply extract the files, ie.

sh makeself.run --noexec --target /tmp/archive

You can then just peruse the contents of /tmp/archive in this example."

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?
The Fourth Amendment... and it IS better
Microsoft to enter the STRUGGLE of the HUMAN WRIST
It's not just a thumb war, it's total digit war
Tim Cook: The classic iPod HAD to DIE, and this is WHY
Apple, er, couldn’t get the parts for HDD models
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Sporty in all but name: Peugeot 308 e-THP 110
Car of the Year? Arguably. Engine of the Year? Indubitably
Caterham Seven 160 review: The Raspberry Pi of motoring
Back to driving's basics with a joyously legal high
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
How to simplify SSL certificate management
Simple steps to take control of SSL certificates across the enterprise, and recommendations centralizing certificate management throughout their lifecycle.