Tag Archives: Hack

This will be my last post about the Google Nexus S since I just purchased (and received) my Nexus 4. That said, I really wanted to give one last update on the Nexus S since it looks like things have changed quite a bit with the update process. While it looks more complicated at first, it’s actually a lot more flexible now. Here is how to upgrade your Nexus S manually to a full 4.1.2 Jelly Bean, even if you have not received it yet/are in a country where the updates are not coming in, or are on a carrier which is not pushing OTA updates.

The first step is to go to Google’s Official Factory Images for Nexus Devices

Now, you have one of four choices for sections, based on your phone:

  • If you have the (MOST POPULAR) T-Mobile or ATT (GSM) version of the Nexus S, go to: “Factory Images “soju” for Nexus S (worldwide version, i9020t and i9023)”
  • If you have the Sprint (4G) version, go to: “Factory Images “sojus” for Nexus S 4G (d720)”
  • If you have the Korean version (VERY RARE), go to: “Factory Images “sojuk” for Nexus S (Korea version, m200)”
  • If you have the NON-1Ghz (STILL RARE) version, go to: “Factory Images “sojua” for Nexus S (850MHz version, i9020a)”

Let’s assume you have the T-Mobile/ATT one since most people have that.
You will want the “4.1.2 (JZO54K)” image, which you can download from their official link:

soju-jzo54k-factory-36602333.tgz
(md5: 788233dca5954532acda63039f814b4d)

Continue Reading →Google Nexus S – update manually to 4.1.2 Jelly Bean

Google has released ICS (Ice Cream Sandwich) – the next version of the Nexus S OS (ICS 4.0.3- IML74K), and once again, I am posting it directly here — mostly for people who have not received it yet, people who are using a jailbroken phone, or people outside of the US who do not get the updates.

If you are on GRK39F (2.3.6), you can apply only the small update:

VQ8PQk_V.zip
(md5: 9cf66f890e71708f458df9932e5206b3)

 

Again, this is directly from google (it is even linked to google), and you should follow the 7 steps from the http://blog.vpetkov.net/2011/03/11/google-nexus-s-update-manually-to-2-3-1-2-3-2-and-2-3-3/ article.

Please note that the above update is the ~128 MB update, and will only work if you are on 2.3.6 GRK39F. This is NOT for people who are running jailbroken/custom roms.

If the above doesn’t work, OR if you are using a jailbroken/custom rom, of if you have another version before 2.3.6, then I suggest doing the full 4.0.3 (IML74K) flash:

ZD3PyN0t.zip
(md5: bdb728fd1581c369cd70e7f0b0e129f2)

This is the ~161 MB image. You can use the same 7 steps from the link above.
If you are having problems with the update above, this is the full factory restore and it should work without any problems.

Please post comments if you have any problems, or if you just want to post that it works!

Google has released the next version of the Nexus S OS (Gingerbread 2.3.6 – GRK39F), and once again, I am posting it directly here — mostly for people who have not received it yet, people who are using a jailbroken phone, or people outside of the US who do not get the updates.

If you are on GRJ22 (2.3.4), you can apply only the small update:

7d11404284c0.signed-soju-GRK39F-from-GRJ22.7d114042.zip
(md5: efd33eba8eb42ab77b0d279547bf76d1)

 

Again, this is directly from google (it is even linked to google), and you should follow the 7 steps from the http://blog.vpetkov.net/2011/03/11/google-nexus-s-update-manually-to-2-3-1-2-3-2-and-2-3-3/ article.

Please note that the above update is the ~18MB update, and it will only work if you are on 2.3.4 GRJ22. This is NOT for people who are running jailbroken/custom roms.

 

If the above doesn’t work, OR if you are using a jailbroken/custom rom, then I suggest doing the full 2.3.6 (GRK39F) flash:

1ada25375426.signed-soju-ota-189904.1ada2537.zip
(md5: c3d6341f18e2723d748e1dea10623d43)

This is the ~98 MB image. You can use the same 7 steps from the link above, OR you can use any custom installer (including ClockWork).
If you are having problems with the update above, this is the full factory restore and it should work without any problems.

Please post comments if you have any problems, or if you just want to post that it works!

UPDATE: Please check out latest version from my git repo: http://git.vpetkov.net/projects – project name: “pandora”

It seems that Pandora is not putting too much time or thought into how they provide and access music online through their website. I really hope they fix this since it’s irresponsible as far as the the DMCA is concerned. Each song is simply an encoded token, and it’s pulled down directly from, presumably, one of their proxy server. If you look at the stream while playing songs on pandora.com, you will notice something like this (ex: not real):

Some assumptions: the “version=4” is high quality or what used to be CD quality (192 kbps). The “lid=#####” is the “login id”, or your unique user number. The “token=…” is the actual song, encoded. By finding the host of these requests, and putting it all together, where the lid is completely optional, you will have a full request URL to a song.

Imagine putting it together like this: (example as a POC, like this)

Then having something that parses this “buffer”:

One way for them to fix this would be to session encode the requests. You should not be able to make requests that originate from outside of pandora.com directly to the servers. Also, the requests should be authenticated. As an addition, they could potentially be checked against what is “played” and controlled for streaming mechanisms. I really hope this fix this as soon as possible.

[updated: Sep 30th, 2018 | New easy and fully automated system for updating plugins – this is the “perfect” solution to this problem]

[updated: Feb 11th, 2018 | Updated script to deal with new format, syntax, urls]

LATEST UPDATE: Please checkout my “perfect” WordPress plugin update solution: http://blog.vpetkov.net/2018/09/30/easy-fully-automated-wordpress-plugin-update-system

Droidzone (Joel Mathew) has created a much more advanced fork of this with many improvements – check it out: http://blog.droidzone.in/2013/03/31/automatically-update-all-wordpress-plugins-from-bash/ (While I still very much support this, I believe my updated solution from Sept 30th, 2018 is incredibly easier and has a single dependency on “WWW::Mechanize”. Leaving the link here to Joel’s for anyone that is interested in taking a look at his. His original fork + extension supports good visual output and other options that someone may be interested in. I believe the last update was in 2014.)

I already created a script to upgrade wordpress installations automatically. You can find it here: http://blog.vpetkov.net/2011/06/01/script-to-upgrade-wordpress-to-the-latest-version-fully-automatically Recently, the same general problem came about when it came to plugins. The biggest problem I had is that I had to log-into wordpress, see a number of plugins that were outdated, and then go hunt each one down by generally just copying the name and pasting it into google . Even thought most of the time, the plugin was the first hit, I then had to download the latest version, extract it, and clean it up. Imagine doing this for 10+ plugins for 5+ blogs — constantly. It was just time consuming and frustrating.

Here is my solution in the form of a perl script:

This script can be used in one of two ways:

1.) You can simply run it, and it will update everything that you have listed in the @plugins array.

2.) You can give it a parameter of a registered plugin name. This does 2 jobs — upgrades an existing plugin, AND installs new ones.

You can definitely add an extension to this. For #1, you can go a step further by making it scan your plugin directory and populating the list from there. If you want to be even fancier, you can relatively easily keep version tracks of what you have installed and what’s currently available, so that you don’t just blindly download new plugins. For me this is sufficient. If anyone is interested in getting help implementing any of these extra additions, feel free to ask and I’ll help as much as I can.

This post is a bit different, but I think some people will find it very interesting. What got me to write this was an interesting article posted by Kevin Mitnick via his twitter account: http://news.cnet.com/8301-27080_3-20077732-245/kevin-mitnick-shows-how-easy-it-is-to-hack-a-phone/?part=rss&tag=feed&subj=News-Security. Kevin’s claim is that “Any 15-year-old that knows how to write a simple script can find a VoIP provider that spoofs caller ID and set this up in about 30 minutes”, and my only question is: what will you do with the other 25 minutes?

START OF NOTE AND WARNING!
Spoofing your Caller ID is legal in the US only if done via VOIP services for legal and legitimate uses, or to block sending your caller ID, but again, only if it is used for legal purposes. An example of a legitimate use is spoofing your own home/cell phone number when making outbound calls via VOIP/SIP. Another example would be spoofing an outgoing number (a bit like NATing) when sitting at a private (let’s say for example 2,3,4, or 5 digit) extension. There are many scenarios where this is absolutely needed — like offices, enterprises, remote employees/road warriors, and phone support.
Spoofing your Caller ID is not legal for false identity, threatening/harassing someone, pranking, lying, or other such negative and immoral actions. If you are interested in some more information, you can find some here: http://www.gordostuff.com/2011/06/fcc-ups-caller-id-spoofing-penalties.html, and here: http://www.gordostuff.com/2011/02/is-faking-caller-id-legal-in-united.html. This said, I am providing this information for anyone who wants to learn about how this is done, or/and is interested in setting it up for their business or personal use, but ONLY for legal and legitimate uses. I am in no way responsible if you do something stupid or illegal. Here is a good background/history and more information on Caller ID Spoofing: http://www.calleridspoofing.info/
END OF NOTE AND WARNING!

The assumption here is that you have some things already setup and working. The article is titled “Spoofing Caller ID on the fly from any phone” and not “how to spoof your Caller ID”. I am assuming that you have: a sip trunk provider with an outgoing plan, a DID, a SIP server with some advanced features (Asterisk and OpenPBX, or something like TrixBox), and most of all — a working setup. The first step is getting DISA (Direct Inward System Access – http://www.voip-info.org/wiki/view/Asterisk+cmd+DISA). The idea is that you will dial your DID phone number, and the sip trunk provider will route it to your IP address. From there, your server will handle the call and connect you inside your system. I absolutely suggest setting up a DISA password/passcode, otherwise, you leave yourself open to abuse and other people will be able to potentially make calls and use your sip account. It is also important to note that generally, you can simply set a from name and number right here in the DISA outbound options. But again, the idea is to make this dynamic. Ones you dial into your system, the next step is to setup an extension that will handle the rest of this. Leave your context “from-internal” if you want to be able to make external calls by default — necessary in order to bridge the active call to your destination. If you are using Asterisk or TrixBox, go to /etc/asterisk/extensions_custom.conf, and enter something like this:

Now here’s what’s happening: When you get your DID, you get the DISA context. From there, after you authenticate yourself with a pin and now you are in your system. At this point, you would hook in your custom context, in this case called “proof-of-concept-custom”. Make sure that the word “custom” is present somewhere. At this point, your recipe will be executed. The first thing you want to do is answer. You can look up each of these commands at the voip-info.org website. For example, Answer: http://www.voip-info.org/wiki/view/Asterisk+cmd+Answer. The next step is to wait 2 seconds. Then you will speak out the current caller ID. This is really just so you know where you are coming from – it is not neccessary. The play (mp3/wav/etc…) play is not really necessary either, but it can be used to queue up different actions. If you will play something, the suggestion is to Answer the channel before hand, and pause/wait for a bit. The next step is to read 10 digits into the “digito” variable. For good measure, and to prevent a mistake, you can speak out the digits again, and then set them as the current Caller ID (the spoofing part). At this point, you can play another sound to queue up the next action. As an extra precaution/security-by-obscurity step, you can prompt for another pin. In this case, it’s “98765”. After the pin has been successfully entered, you can signal via a sound, and then dial and bridge the call to the same number that you set as your Caller ID (impractical, but just for the purpose of a proof of concept). You can very easily modify this to ask for a destination number and call that destination number instead. Please note that this will charge you a twice from the point that you dial the call and bridge it — once for the current/already active call, and once for the new call that you are making to your destination.

Again, there are many legitimate and absolutely necessary cases for this. If you work in any company, most of the time they will not disclose private numbers. If the company is very large, they might simply not have/want to buy individual “routable” phone numbers. Your desk extension of “1234” can be masked behind a general number which routes to “directory/support” when called back. Another great case is someone who works from remote. Say that you work from home and are part of a support group. A customer calls you and reports a problem. Now you want to call the customer back, but you don’t want him to have your personal home number/cellphone – you can spoof your support number and call the customer back.

Something interesting to note is that VOIP/SIP system can choose to not respect Caller ID (cid) blocking/spoofing, and and 1-800/other TOLL-FREE numbers simply do not respect it.

The only point of this article is to demonstrate how easy it is to achieve this dynamically. Again, this is something that you can very easily set statically in the extension or DISA settings. This is not something new or mind blowing. You could have done this over 10 years ago. The point is that you can have a setup which can be activated from any phone and within 30 seconds or less, you can have a dynamically spoofed Caller ID number.

[updated: Sep 30th, 2018 | Cleaned up script, and references “perfect” plugin update system]

NOTE: Please checkout my “perfect” WordPress plugin update solution: http://blog.vpetkov.net/2018/09/30/easy-fully-automated-wordpress-plugin-update-system

When you host your own WordPress installation, and there is some sort of an update about every month or so, it can quickly get very annoying doing all the upgrade steps manually (for the people who do not have a CPANEL or FTP account). Now imagine hosting 5-6 WordPress installations. Now imagine 100+. Welcome to my nightmare. Eventually I caved in and wrote this:

So, to summarize, this will download the latest version of wordpress, unzip it, and move the new files accordingly.
At the end, it will remind you to “upgrade” your DB, just in case there is an upgrade. I highly suggest backing up your primary blog before you begin this, just because it’s the “safe thing” to do.
That said, in the 10+ years I’ve used this (started long before I posted something here) – I’ve never had anything go wrong!

My opinion of Tasker in one sentence: “This is the first app that you should install on every android phone“.

A few months ago I needed an “automation” app. I was going to default to Locale which I had used when it was still free (this was before there was an official app store for Android), but the $10 cost made me look at my options — I figured if I was going to pay that amount, I might as well get the best app to do this. My problem with Locale is that it’s simply not that powerful, it doesn’t have tons of features, and all the good pluggins, instead of being built in, are additional paid add-ons. I am really glad I looked else where because I stumbled upon Tasker (http://tasker.dinglisch.net/). The official description for Tasker states that “Tasker is an application for Android which performs Tasks (sets of Actions) based on Contexts (application, time, date, location, event, gesture) in user-defined Profiles, or in clickable or timer home screen widgets.” I am not sure that I can describe it any better, so let’s leave it at that. If you want to learn more about Tasker, start here: http://tasker.dinglisch.net/tour.html

One thing that immediately popped about Tasker was the insane amount of built-in contexts, settings, options, detections, notifications, and actions. One thing led to another, and I started using Tasker for everything. I realized it had so much potential that I went back to stock 2.3.4 and just used Tasker to gain all the cyanogenmod functionality (that I needed at least).

The reason I decided to even write this post is in order to share two “programs” that I wrote, which I think are extremely helpful. The first one is called “Keyguard”. The second one is “Blackberry Sound Profiles”. I am putting these two in their own posts so that they can easily be indexed and searched url wise. I know personally that the most sought after thing on Android is the blackberry sound profile functionality. Well, it’s finally here! See my next two posts for all the information.

Since it seems like people are really interested in this information (especially those out side of the US where updates are not pushed out), I will continue with the updates regarding the Nexus S. Here’s the next (no pun) operating system update: 2.3.4:

a14a2dd09749.signed-soju-GRJ22-from-GRI40.a14a2dd0.zip (md5: 92b0f0a0b57a7cf10d2d70610c8bb9fb)

Again, this is directly from google (it is even linked to google), and you should follow the 7 steps from the http://blog.vpetkov.net/2011/03/11/google-nexus-s-update-manually-to-2-3-1-2-3-2-and-2-3-3/ article.

Please note that the update WILL work if you are running “GRI40” (build number in Settings -> About Phone)
The biggest update when it comes to new features seems to be that Google Talk has voice chat! There are a lot of bug fixes.
For the bug fixes, check out: http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/Google+Mobile/thread?tid=3812c1acf93b482f

 

IF YOU GET AN ERROR:

Please just grab the FULL 2.3.3 (f182cf141e6a.signed-soju-ota-102588.f182cf14.zip) system, install it and then try again. It will work!

 

IF YOU JUST WANT THE RADIO UPDATE:

XXKD1-GRJ22-radio-nexuss-unsigned.zip (md5: 57659f04148ebfa849ef523544f2a3dd)

Note: I personally couldn’t update just the radio update from 2.3.3 (with GRI40) – kept getting the status 7 signature verification, so I used the 2.3.4 update to get the radio patches. I’ve seen people who have been able to apply the radio update to 2.3.3 without any problems.

 

NOTE: Look at the new post above if your phone is *at* 2.3.3 and you want to go up to 2.3.4

If you just want the LATEST update: grab the FULL 2.3.3 image (f182cf141e6a.signed-soju-ota-102588.f182cf14.zip)

I decided to contribute back, mention a few vital steps, and provide a few important files now that I solved this — in order for someone to go from 2.3(.0) to 2.3.3
This assumes that you have not rooted your phone. If you have, you need to un-root it and go back to either 2.3.0, 2.3.1, or 2.3.2,

First of all, if you use the built-in “update” method, the updates need to be consecutive. For this, they are very small.

Let’s assume you just bought your Google Nexus S. It came with 2.3 (or 2.3.0 in reality). The first step is to apply the 2.3.1 update. I’ve called this:

update1.zip (md5: a35798d84104c7cb1d26d7946ce843fc)

The general instructions are:

0.) Put the file into the /sdcard directory.
1.) Turn off your phone
2.) Hold Power and Volume-Up until you see the recovery menu (lots of colors and 4 options).
3.) Use the Volume-Down key to scroll down and  select “Recovery” by pushing the Power key.
4.) Wait for the triangle with the exclamation point. Push the Power key and while holding it, tap the Volume-Up key.
5.) Now you can use the  the Volume keys to go to “apply update from /sdcard” and then the Power key to select it.
6.) Select the appropriate ZIP file, and then use the Power key to apply it.
7.) When everything is done, go to the Reboot option with the Volume keys and then use the Power Key to select it.

Now, that said, after you apply the first update, you go from 2.3.0 to 2.3.1. Now, apply the 2.3.2 update. I’ve called this:

update2.zip (md5: 714e1e1126f1a222c10ffce6c83dc6ad)

Same as before. After you go through the steps and reboot, you will be at 2.3.2. Here is where things get interesting. It seems that you need another update. Its for people who get the “Status 7” error.
This is mostly due to a firmware (those who have: GRH78C or GRH78). Here you will need to apply the LAST UPDATE, the same way you applied update1 and update2:

For GRH78C (md5: 3923f98754f756a83b3ecc44e42a2902)

or

Only for GRH78 (md5: 919d7f2c9e06bb03a2ff74081028bf0a)

At last, reboot, and you are on 2.3.3

Please note that *ALL* of these files have been taken from google and are official. For that exact reason, I have provided the md5 checksums, so that you can verify them before you use them.
Hope this helps.

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION AND FILES (If above did not work — very rare):

Some people (very very rare) might still get an error. This is if you have a different radio version. Check: “Settings -> About Phone -> Baseband Version”. You should have either something that ends in “XXKB1” or something that ends in “XXKB3”. Here are the two radios. Apply this the same way as the items above. You might need this BEFORE the GRH78C (or  GRH78) updates.

XXKB1-GRI40-radio-nexuss-unsigned.zip (md5: 4805c255f10eef8b1bd54aa2d27bc30e)

or

XXKB3-GRI54-radio-nexuss-unsigned.zip (md5: 4e9c9cf4d6470be800e00f8508b9c175)

 

LAST RESORT (if nothing above worked — extremely rare):

If nothing worked, try the FULL 2.3.3 OS.

f182cf141e6a.signed-soju-ota-102588.f182cf14.zip (md5: 3e8908941043951da5a34bb2043dd1a0)