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Possible to rename citydesk.xml?

CityDesk puts a file, citydesk.xml, at the root of the site when it uploads. This can be a security problem for our site. We have some folders which are restricted to certain customers/vendors and pulling the citydesk.xml would basically give you a list of our customers, and being able to read the document names could give you some proprietary information.

All I would like to do is be able to rename the file. CityDesk could store the name in the .CTY file so it could find it again later. If you wanted to be "secure by default" CityDesk could generate a long random name for the XML file at the time the .CTY is created.

Nathan Silva
Saturday, June 08, 2002

Unfortunately you cannot do this in the current version.

Michael H. Pryor
Sunday, June 09, 2002

Eeks... didn't think of that backdoor...

I would prefer to place it in a password-protected directory

Adriaan van den Brand
Monday, June 10, 2002

A password-protected directory is nice, but it won't work on all web servers. If you don't control your hosting server then you may not be able to create a password-protected directory at all.

A random name goes a long way towards securing this. For example, <15 random chars>.xml is not going to be guessed by anyone. Sure they can pick up the filename by sniffing, but they can do that anyways since you are FTP'ing your files up to the server. More importantly, it does not allow "just anyone" to grab the manifest; really, this seems to be a bigger deal than possible sniffing.

Allowing us to rename citydesk.xml (or giving it a randomized name) provides an acceptable level of security, continues to work on all web servers, and requires minimal changes in CityDesk.

Nathan Silva
Monday, June 10, 2002

A me too post.

I mentioned this here a while back... It's fun gong on fog creek & joel's websites and looking at their citydesk.xml files.

MarkTAW
Thursday, June 13, 2002

This is not as big a problem as you may think. Just configure your web server to deny access to citydesk.xml (in IIS under properties for this file just unclick read permission). It's in a fixed location so you will only have to ever set this once.

Daniel G
Thursday, June 13, 2002

And if I had that level of access to my server, why would I be using CityDesk over something like PHP? I use a $5/mo host that's very reliable, but what you suggested, I'd need to upgrade to $10/mo.

MarkTAW
Friday, June 14, 2002

Why doesn't citydesk store this file locally and update it on every upload.  Or store the last-uploaded version in its database.  There's no need to upload it, because you just have to download it again to compare it anyway.  Just keep it local in the first place.

Zode
Saturday, August 03, 2002

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