Re: creating a CU reflector scanner

Bill Woodland (wcw@bga.com)
Fri, 08 Nov 1996 20:13:23 -0600


At 11:36 AM 11/8/96 -0800, you wrote:
>The unfortunate demise of STREAK's scanner has got my old programming
>roots struggling to shoot up new buds.

Regarding Streak's Scanner:

I've been helping out KLBJ-FM since they brought up their reflector back in
August, and asked Streak to build a web page so that the DJs there could
kill or deny people from their reflector. I felt they needed an easy
interface to do this, and shouldn't have to be telnet experts, and reflector
administrators. They didn't want any nudity or rude people there, and they
HAVE had that sort of thing happen a few times. The page shows the DJ the
names and IP addresses of the participants, and allows them to mark ONE
participant, enter a kill message and the reflector's password, and then
click on a "DO IT" button. The script does a telnet session and sends the
appropriate commands and IP address. This has worked out very well for them.

Once this page was built, I suggested to Streak that he make a page with a
list of reflectors, and allow people to do a WHO on any of them. This would
not only enable people to see who is on a reflector, but also see if the
reflector is active, and they could even CONNECT to the reflector from that
page, as long as they had White Pine's Enhanced CU-seeMe program and did a
minor amount of setup (see "How to..." on my page). He eventually liked the
idea, and added the kill/deny option, so reflector admins could use it if
they wanted to.

He then added a place where a person could add in another reflector to the
list. He even added a database of private reflectors so that if someone
tried to add one of them in, it would be ignored. The intention was NEVER
to allow people to see who was on a private reflector, or who was in a
private CONFERENCE on an otherwise PUBLIC reflector. The entire project was
meant for PUBLIC reflectors only.

Then the trouble came. Some operators of private reflectors started
emailing Streak telling him that they didn't want their reflectors listed
there (even tho they were not on the list) and others disliked the fact that
he was telnetting into their reflector to get the WHO information. Some of
them even emailed Brian Oshea at White Pine to complain, and he forwarded
his comments to Streak, and this is why he took the page down. Streak never
wanted to make anyone angry with this...he only wanted to give us CU users
another tool with which to work/play.

With the WP ref version 2.0.1 there isn't a way to block the telnet
sessions, so the ref admins felt helpless to stop this from happening. The
WP ref version 2.1 allows them to enter one or more IP address or IP MASK to
allow telnet sessions from, so they have control over it. The Cornell
reflector program uses an entirely different method for controlling and
monitoring the reflector, so Streak's page only displayed the reflector's IP
address and name if they were using the Cornell reflector program.

Now Streak has disabled the page and is making some changes to it. IT WILL
BE BACK SOON, but there are going to be some major changes to it. My win95
beta test reflector will be listed, and so will the KLBJ reflector. After
that, a ref will only be added if the ref admin emails Streak and asks for
it to be added, and they will be able to specify whther or not they want him
to telnet in for the WHO info. This email will have to be sent from the
same domain as the reflector. PRIVATE ref admins can have their reflectors
added to the other database so that they don't "accidently" get added to the
public list. He's also thinking about adding a field for the database,
which could be used to specify gay, pay, g rated, etc. kind of info, which
would be specified by the reflector administrator.

I think this has the potential of being the best and most accurate reflector
lsit around, as long as the reflector admins ask Streak to add their ref to
the list. If any of you want to make your own lists, feel free, but I think
the best thing you could do would be to email the reflector admins and ask
them to have their reflectors added to Streak's page.

Now to answer Harry's questions:

>
>So the first thing I ought to do is find out what I'm doing:-)......
>
>What is one looking for (in the ether of the internet) when seeking
>active CU reflectors?

A response, either thru connecting to it with CU-SeeMe, or by telnetting
into the reflector.
>
>Is there a white paper or papers or RFC doc that talks of such things?

Download the demo reflector and documentation from White Pine's web page.

>
>What does one do to see if a CU ref is WP or vanilla Cornell?

Connect to it with CU-seeMe and check the Message of the Day (MOTD). ALL of
the White Pine reflectors version 2.0 and above (I think 2.0) automatically
show the reflector program version number and the words "White Pine". The
Cornell reflectors don't specifically say anything like that, unless the ref
admin put it into the MOTD.

>
>How does conference ID-ing of a ref occur??

That's all done thru the reflector's configuration file. Only the White
Pine reflectors can handle more than one conference on a reflector.

>
>Lastly (for now), is this something I could construct/execute from a
>small homepage (2 to 5megs) via my ppp dialup account? Or do I need to
>work such scanning from a T1 or similiar heavy duty connection?

The size of the web pages and the code involved take up very little space.
I think Streak's page takes up less than one megabyte total.

>
>Reply to ME *and* the mailing list please. I get this list in DIGEST
>format and a direct note would make compiling your replies easier and
>sending to this list as well would promote healthy discussions and
>dialogues.
>
>Thanks
>Harry
>nj2ca4harry
>

Bill Woodland (wcw@bga.com)
Squeek on Undernet IRC
Channel Manager #CU-SeeMe
PC only. See no MAC, Hear no MAC, Speak no MAC.
http://cu-seeme.cornell.edu/~WCW