How to hide true URLs

February 1, 2007 at 04:03:02
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I’m a real beginner at building websites, so please bear with me if this is basic question.

I’m currently trying to learn about creating URL’s that hide the true URL within hexadecimal codes and other such deceptive means, but I’m finding that these URL’s aren’t so difficult to decode at all.

In the past though, I’ve seen media websites that carry streaming audio and video files and have the true URL hidden by large lists of numbers (eg. Web/video/948756637277484873/audio.rm) and found the part of the URL that’s hidden by the numbers almost impossible to decode, so I’d like to learn how to use this method.

Does anyone know what method I’m talking about ‘cos if I had a name I could research it more myself?


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February 1, 2007 at 08:39:23
As an example, this is the kind of URL I'd like to know how to create and decode..

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February 1, 2007 at 08:50:15
That number in the URL isn't hiding anything. It IS the URL. If you were to type that into your browser it takes you to the intended page. I guess you need to explain by what you mean by "hiding" the URL. If the URL is hidden, then users can't access it and what goo dis a URL if no one can access it.

Now, if you are wanting to mask the true "location" or name of the file being requested that is another matter. For example if you wanted to allow user's to access images, but don't want them to know the image name or the location you could do something like this:

http: //

When the page getimage.php is called it would need some server-side script to grap the image id# from the URL and then the code would pull the image from the correct location.

Michael J

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February 1, 2007 at 08:59:34
You posted your example while I was creating my post. But, the example you posted above uses a similar method to what I described.

First off the URL you posted is actually running the file "index.php". Web servers have a list of files that they will search for when the URL points to a folder and does not specify a file. (You can confirm this by adding "index.php" to the end of that URL - you get the same file).

Howeveer, that page is reading the URL and pulling out the "code" for the file and presenting it as a download. The code looks to be a hash of some kind (such as MD5). I am guessing that all the download files are stored in a database. When the page runs it gets the hash and searches the database for the file to get.

If your server supports PHP you should be able to find something similar by searching for "PHP download script"

Michael J

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February 2, 2007 at 02:13:03
Thanks Michael. All seems a bit complicated for me, but at least now I have somewhere to start.

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