technology and zen of life

“A heisenbug (named after the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle) is a computer bug that disappears or alters its characteristics when an attempt is made to study it.”

Webmail – Password-less Access

If you are a DA-IICTian accessing the Squirrelmail system using Mozilla Firefox, you may have gotten tired of entering your username and password each time you need to login. Is there a way to automate this on your personal computer? Yes, indeed! Of course, there are a few things to keep in mind.

First, if others have access to the same Windows profile, then this is probably not the solution you are looking for since your password will be stored in plain-text.

Secondly, you can also set up your mail account in an email client such as Outlook Express, and access your email using the POP3 or IMAP protocol. The downside is that the DA-IICT server currently does not offer SMTP access, so you cannot use your client to send email.

Finally, a similar method will work with any server that is running Squirrelmail, but not identically if the version of the software is different.

Here’s what you need to do:

1. Create a new bookmark with this URI:
2. To the above URI append:
(a) ?login_username=ANY_RANDOM_VALUE_1
(c) &secretkey=ANY_RANDOM_VALUE_2
(e) &js_autodetect_results=0
(f) &just_logged_in=1

ANY_RANDOM_VALUE_1 and ANY_RANDOM_VALUE_2 are, as the names suggest, arbitrary values. You can enter any alphanumeric string in those placeholders. Remember, all instances of ANY_RANDOM_VALUE_1 should have the same value. (It is the same case with ANY_RANDOM_VALUE_2.)

YOUR_USERNAME and YOUR_PASSWORD are your webmail username and password respectively.

An example URI would look like this (ignore the line-breaks):

The next time you need to check your mail, just click on the bookmark to go straight to your inbox.

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7 Responses

  1. @GABRIEL: Why do you want that user’s password, and why on earth do you imagine I would help you get somebody else’s password?

  2. Vivek Mungala says:

    thast really helpfull yaar….
    thanx for saving us us from the shit!!!

  3. Ankit Kothari says:

    Very helpful tip. Thanks a ton!

  4. Sudhanshu says:

    Thanks. It is really very helpful.

  5. Amit says:

    Yaar ab hum toh 1 mahiina bacha hai.
    Ab kya karenge iska :S


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