Magic Numbers a glance

Ever wonder how files are identified correctly as jpeg, gif or even class file for that matter by the OS.

Its all magic.. 🙂

Magic numbers are those which are prefixed at the start of the file in ASCII code to identify the file format.

Some of the common magic numbers are

Class bytecode starts with hex CAFEBABE
GIF image files have ‘GIF89a‘ (47 49 46 38 39 61) or ‘GIF87a‘ (47 49 46 38 37 61)
JPEG image files begin with ‘FF D8‘ and end with ‘FF D9'
PNG image files begin with “\211 P N G \r \n 32 \n” (89 50 4E 47 0D 0A 1A 0A)
ZIP files begin with ‘PK‘ (50 4B)
PDF files start with ‘%PDF‘ (25 50 44 46)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s