[Wolves] Well done for the Government

James Turner james at turnersoft.co.uk
Fri Mar 17 19:57:28 GMT 2006

On Friday 17 Mar 2006 07:14, David Goodwin wrote:
> Ron Wellsted wrote:

> > Take a look at https://secure.gateway.gov.uk/.  at present this is giving
> > me
> >
> > "Directory Listing Denied
> > This Virtual Directory does not allow contents to be listed."
> >
> > for linux/firefox.
> likewise. the error message looks similar to Apache2's but netcraft
> doesn't pick out much from it :
> http://toolbar.netcraft.com/site_report?url=http://secure.gateway.gov.uk
> David.

The problem is not that it isn't working but that this page isn't part of the 
site's "official" user interface. It is debatable whether this counts as an 
actual bug, but is certainly sloppy practice. If you go to:


Then there are three "deep links" into https://secure.gateway.gov.uk/ (for 
Individuals, Organisations or Agents).

Port 80 appears to be firewalled - no packets back from that port. That's why 
Netcraft has no information on it. Try port 443 (or https: naming scheme) 

For the interested:

Command "lwp-request -e https://secure.gateway.gov.uk/" reveals that the site 
is running Microsoft IIS 5.0, from which it can be assumed that the operating 
system is Windows 2000. (The IIS version is tied to the OS version, only 
Win2K has version 5.0 to my knowledge.) Netcraft confirms the OS as Windows 
2000. Information about the SSL certificate issuer is also returned.

The URLs of the deep links indicate that the web application is written in 
ASP.NET, and there is an application is called "Registration" (appears as the 
directory name). Running lwp-request on a page in "Registration" reveals the 
ASP.NET version to be 2.0.50727. This in turn allows the the .NET Framework 
version to be identified as the spanking new 2.0 (see: 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.NET_Framework for version number link-up info).

The style of coding, lack of tell-tale meta-data and the fact that the login 
pages don't look like complete pigs ears are suggestive that the HTML/CSS 
layout was not created using Visual Studio's GUI page designer. (At least 
based on the last version I had the misfortune to use in VS.NET 2002)



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