Well, I got annoyed that I couldn’t watch the SWF-based HitchHiker’s trailer on the Amazon.com main page.
swf_play failed miserably. Most of the crap Apple pulls for their movie trailer stream-hiding is simple enough to work around. Generally I just keep downloading the MOVs, running
strings on them until I find the actual MOV with the movie trailer in it, but Amazon’s wasn’t so easy. I found the base URL to the video easily enough in the XML parameters file. The hard part was figuring out what the hell “rtmp” is. mplayer didn’t recognize it, and after a quick nmap of the media server, I just got more confused. nmap listed a port 1935 called “rmtp”. Digging around a little it became very obvious that nmap’s services entry was just a typo. So I sent in a quick patch, and Fyodor accepted it within minutes. Pretty cool.
Anyway, on to the protocol dissection. I set up tcpdump to record everything sent to
fcs.amazon.speedera.net, and took a look at it in Ethereal. Seeing that it was mostly binary, I looked around for something that would dump the data portion of a packet stream, but ended up empty handed. I’ve repeatedly wanted this, so I finally broke down and read up on coding with libpcap. It’s easy enough to use, but I floundered with the packet headers for a while. Eventually I managed to find the data portion of the packets, and was able to dump the client stream and the server stream separately. I wish there was a button on Ethereal’s “Follow TCP Stream” window that would just let me save the data. My tool doesn’t at all track sequence numbers or retransmissions, etc, so I worry that in some situations I won’t get a “true” stream dump. I suspect Ethereal handles that correctly, but I couldn’t tell you for sure.
After looking at this protocol dump, it seems like it ends up turning into some kind of SOAP-like communication, with function call literals like
closeStream. There’s even a
_result variable mentioned. The Flash coding docs I’ve found that talk about stream display don’t seem to mention this stuff at all, but maybe I didn’t dig far enough.
Since RTMP appears to be capable of streams, etc, I think the next step is to figure out how it reacts to things like “Pause” and “Stop” during playback. Clearly there is a stream-identification system in the headers, and there must be stream length indicators. I’m so annoyed that there is absolutely no discussion of RTMP anyway. I should go look at the
swf_play source before I go much further.
© 2005, Kees Cook. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License.