Monday, September 24, 2012

Pandora Jacking

So is a very cool and very awesome website. It introduces me to all sorts of new music. Expanding my repertoire using the  heuristic capabilities of Pandora to determine what I like is very rewarding. Sometimes it gets it wrong, and corrections are recommended. But sometimes I like to skip to the chase. Sometimes I just want to listen to my music. And I know I could just pause Pandora and start up my media player... but this is a tech blog, gotta make it fancy.

So, enter the desire to inject my own music into the Pandora experience. At first this seems like a daunting task. There is a lot of traffic that flies across the wire when loading the Pandora browser. A lot of data to sift through to find the meaningful parts. I worry about file formats and structures and interfacing with flash etc. And then I calm my nerves (with whiskey) and begin logging some data. I setup chrome to pass all my web traffic through a web proxy, OWASP ZAP.

First off... holy crap, ads/ad tracking. I damn near died when I saw the list of resources that load when visiting pandora!

But it's not the time to get caught up in the overwhelming nature of ads. Sifting through all the requests, I identify the ones that look particularly pertinent. They kinda look like:
GET http://audio.*\.pandora\.com/access/?(.*)
This is a regular expression representation to simplify the otherwise very long requests. That is '.' represents any character and '*' the previous character repeating zero or more times. So '.*' means any number of any characters. The '\' acts as an escape which removes the special meaning of the character following, thus '\.' means a literal period.

The portion following the '?' seems to contain tokens and keys and etc. for pandora,  so I'm actually going to ignore this because it occurs to me - if done right the content server at pandora will never even receive this request! How you ask? Well it's simple really... Domain Naming System (DNS) Spoofing.

It's somewhat a sure fire bet that your machine does not already have the Internet Protocol (IP) address of the content server already stored. This means before you make the request to GET http://.... you're gonna have to connect to the server - you'll need the IP address to do this. That is, you'll need to make a DNS request - and this is where we'll hijack control to inject our own content.

By controlling the DNS requests we can control where the pandora client goes to get the music. Then we just server up a file of our choosing and hope it works. For simplicity I use a file delivered from pandora themselves to avoid issues with encryption, or formatting, etc.

So I open up etter.dns, add a line for:
audio* A
 The "" is the IP address of my new content server. I start up ettercap with the dns_spoofing plugin started:
ettercap -T -M ARP / / -P dns_spoof
 Now, with luck, I should be in the middle of the gateway ( and my pandora player (, and redirecting the content requests to a local server ( running on port 80. I chose to use apache, which is installed in Backtrack 5 by default. We just need to modify the file at:
 We add an AliasMatch, which does regular expression and rewriting for access.
AliasMatch /access/(.*) /var/www/music.m4a
 This redirects all requests for /access/* to return the file "music.m4a".

For testing, I played Pandora normally but through ZAP and intercepted one of the /access/ requests on my "Classic Rock" station. Def Leppard - Pour Some Sugar on Me, I copied the Request-URI to the clipboard and pasted it into Chrome's URL bar. This downloads the file locally, which gives us an actual Pandora encoded  file to use. I 'save page as...' and save the file to /var/www/music.m4a.

Then I started up the web server and started a new pandora station, "Rick Astley." Obviously you can't hear it but this looks like this:

But, I hear Def Leppard - Pour Some Sugar on Me.

Replacing Rick Astley with Def Leppard... Hmm... I suppose it could be reversed too.

Pandora Jacking is successful!

Happy hacking, I'll bring something else cool soon I hope. Until then, Hack Legal, Hack Safe, but most of all Hack Fun!

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