NirSoft launches a software Easter Egg challenge -- can you track down 10 new programs on the site?
Prolific software developer Nir Sofer has created 10 more new tools, but they aren’t currently linked to on his site, or anywhere else.
They are somewhere on the NirSoft site, but finding them won’t be easy. Do you have what it takes?
Sofer explains that in order to find these new tools, "you need to have some programming knowledge, understanding of Web technology, and other skills."
If you can’t find them all, don’t worry, as they will be published officially on the NirSoft site on April 1 (and no, it’s not an April Fool’s).
To get you started, NirSoft has provided tips for finding the first tool:
In the .exe file of the following tools there is an hidden message:
USBDeview, NetworkUsageView, FileTypesMan, LastActivityView, WifiHistoryView, ControlMyMonitor, CSVFileView, TimeZonesView, UninstallView, DevManView, TaskSchedulerView, SoundVolumeView
You can download a zip file with .exe files of all these tools from here.
In order to decrypt the message, you have to XOR all bytes of every .exe file with 0x7f (127) and then search for a short message in English.
It’s recommended to start the search from the end of the file and then move backwards, because the message is stored in the second half of the file.
Also, when there are 32-bit and 64-bit versions of the same tool, it’s recommended to use the 32-bit executable file.
In all tools except of one, the message is a short quote that somewhat represents my own personal worldview.
Only in one tool you’ll find the real thing you’re looking for -- a link to a Web page that contains a new tool!
Be aware that the hidden message only contains the html page of the URL, but you can easily find the actual URL because like all NirSoft tools -- it’s located
Inside the web page of the first tool, you’ll find a clue to the next one. The clues get progressively harder and will require different skills.
If you undertake the challenge and find any of the new tools, please share the links to them in the comments below.