July 15, 2008

Access some Cisco.com pages that require higher level CCO without CCO

Today I came across some documentation on cisco.com related to IP Telephony Express and was really disappointed to find that after clicking on the link that was there to find out more about some features, a higher level CCO (guest level was not enough) account was required to access them.

Here I prepared some screenshots:

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Fig. 1 – Cisco Feature Navigator with a link to a Feature Guide

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Fig. 2 – CCO account required to access the Feature Guide link from above

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Fig. 3 – My guest level CCO account seems to be not enough :-(

So I started to think about it and got to a conclusion that why the hell I have to have higher level CCO to read a documentation that should be publicly available. I mean there is nothing confidential, is there?

So I started to compare URLs that do not require CCO at all, with this link that does required it. And I found a pretty nice “hack” :-)

As it’s shown on fig. 1, this is the link that required higher level CCO account to access it:

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/customer/products/ps6441/products_feature_guide09186a00804a878f.html

Well, I guess that there is some J2EE application server in the background that processes URLs and uses different modules based on what “commands” are in the URL (like en – English language, US – guess that some USA specific stuff, …). I found that if you do not use the “customer” module, then there is no authentication required and the requested page is directly served to you :-)

So the only thing that you have to do to access these kind of URLs even without any CCO account is to remove the “/customer” from the URL. And then it works. Try it:

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps6441/products_feature_guide09186a00804a878f.html

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