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Me, myself & IT

Unicode Homoglyphs – or .ΒΑΤ out of Hell

Purpose
Background Information
Demonstration (Greek)
Demonstration (Cyrillic)

Purpose

That’s all Greek to me

Background Information

Most of the Unicode fonts available on Windows® (ab)use some glyphs of Latin characters, especially letters, for characters of other alphabets and scripts, for example Greek and Cyrillic.

The following table shows these so-called Homoglyphs with their Unicode code points:

Capital Letters Small Letters
Latin Greek Cyrillic Latin Greek Cyrillic
A U+0041 Α U+0391 А U+0410 a U+0061 а U+0430
B U+0042 Β U+0392 В U+0412
C U+0043 Ϲ U+03F9 С U+0421 c U+0063 ϲ U+03F2 с U+0441
E U+0045 Ε U+0395 Е U+0415 e U+0065 е U+0435
H U+0048 Η U+0397 Н U+041D
I U+0049 Ι U+0399 І U+0406 i U+0069 і U+0456
J U+004A Ј U+0408 j U+006A ϳ U+03F3 ј U+0458
K U+004B Κ U+039A
M U+004D Μ U+039C М U+041C
N U+004E Ν U+039D
O U+004F Ο U+039F О U+041E o U+006F ο U+03BF о U+043E
P U+0050 Ρ U+03A1 Р U+0420 p U+0070 р U+0440
S U+0053 Ѕ U+0405 s U+0073 ѕ U+0455
T U+0054 Τ U+03A4 Т U+0422
v U+0076 ν U+03BD
X U+0058 Χ U+03A7 Х U+0425 x U+0078 х U+0445
Y U+0059 Υ U+03A5 y U+0079 у U+0443
Z U+005A Ζ U+0396

Note: the Unicode Consortium provides an extensive list of such Confusables.

Like its predecessors, Windows determines a file’s type (and in consequence how to handle it) from its extension, i.e. the part of the filename after the rightmost dot.

When a command is entered without extension, the Command Processor Cmd.exe appends the extensions listed in the environment variable PATHEXT to search for executable files in the directories listed in the environment variable PATH:

SET PATH
Path=C:\Windows\system32;C:\Windows;C:\Windows\System32\Wbem;C:\Windows\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\;C:\Windows\System32\OpenSSH\;C:\Users\Stefan\AppData\Local\Microsoft\WindowsApps;
PATHEXT=.COM;.EXE;.BAT;.CMD;.VBS;.VBE;.JS;.JSE;.WSF;.WSH;.MSC

Several well-known extensions of (not only) executable file types can be written with Greek and Cyrillic homoglyphs:

Capital Letters Small Letters Capital Letters Small Letters
Latin Greek Cyrillic Latin Greek Cyrillic Latin Greek Cyrillic Latin Greek Cyrillic
.ACM .ΑϹΜ .АСМ .JS .ЈЅ .js .јѕ
.ASA .АЅА .asa .аѕа .JSE .ЈЅЕ .jse .јѕе
.ASP .АЅР .asp .аѕр .MSC .МЅС
.AX .ΑΧ .АХ .ax .ах .MSI .МЅІ
.BAT .ΒΑΤ .ВАТ .MSP .МЅР
.CAB .ϹΑΒ .САВ .MST .МЅТ
.CHM .ϹΗΜ .СНМ .OCX .ΟϹΧ .ОСХ .ocx .осх
.COM .ϹΟΜ .СОМ .OXPS .ОХРЅ .oxps .охрѕ
.CONTACT .ϹΟΝΤΑϹΤ .PPT .ΡΡΤ .РРТ
.EXE .ΕΧΕ .ЕХЕ .exe .ехе .PPTM .ΡΡΤΜ .РРТМ
.HTA .ΗΤΑ .НТА .PPTX .ΡΡΤΧ .РРТХ
.HTC .ΗΤϹ .НТС .SCT .ЅСТ
.HTM .ΗΤΜ .НТМ .SHB .ЅНВ
.IME .ΙΜΕ .ІМЕ .SHS .ЅНЅ
.ISO .ІЅО .iso .іѕо .sys .ѕуѕ
.ISP .ІЅР .isp .іѕр .TMP .ΤΜΡ .ТМР
.ITS .ІТЅ .TSP .ТЅР
.JOB .ЈОВ .XPS .ХРЅ .xps .хрѕ

Note: the table lists only a subset of all homoglyph extensions.

The association of an extension to a file type can be viewed (and modified) with the ASSOC builtin of the Command Processor Cmd.exe:

FOR %? IN (%PATHEXT%) DO ASSOC %?
.COM=comfile
.EXE=exefile
.BAT=batfile
.CMD=cmdfile
.VBS=VBSFile
.VBE=VBEFile
.JS=JSFile
.JSE=JSEFile
.WSF=WSFFile
.WSH=WSHFile
.MSC=MSCFile
The associations are stored in the Registry in subkeys of the HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT key:
FOR %? IN (%PATHEXT%) DO Reg.exe QUERY HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\%? /VE
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.COM
    (Default)    REG_SZ    comfile

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.EXE
    (Default)    REG_SZ    exefile

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.BAT
    (Default)    REG_SZ    batfile

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.CMD
    (Default)    REG_SZ    cmdfile

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.VBS
    (Default)    REG_SZ    VBSFile

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.VBE
    (Default)    REG_SZ    VBEFile

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.JS
    (Default)    REG_SZ    JSFile

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.JSE
    (Default)    REG_SZ    JSEFile

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.WSF
    (Default)    REG_SZ    WSFFile

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.WSH
    (Default)    REG_SZ    WSHFile

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.MSC
    (Default)    REG_SZ    MSCFile
Note: for details see the MSDN article File Types and File Associations and all following ones.

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT is the overlay of HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes and HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes, where entries of the latter have precedence.

Demonstration (Greek)

Perform the following 4 simple steps to show how to (ab)use capital Greek letters in file extensions.
  1. Create the UTF-16LE encoded text file UNICODE.INF with the following content in an arbitrary, preferable empty directory:

    ; Copyright © 2002-2022, Stefan Kanthak <‍stefan‍.‍kanthak‍@‍nexgo‍.‍de‍>
    
    [Version]
    DriverVer = 04/27/2022,0.8.1.5
    Provider  = "Stefan Kanthak"
    Signature = "$Windows NT$"
    
    [SourceDisksNames]
    ; Cabinet file names and associated disks
    ; ‹disk or cabinet number› = ‹disk description›,[‹tag or cabinet file›],‹identifier (unused, must be 0)›,[‹relative source path›]
    
    42 = "That’s all Greek to me – .ΒΑΤ out of Hell",UNICODE.INF,0000-0000,
    
    [SourceDisksFiles]
    ; ‹file› = ‹disk or cabinet number›,[‹subdirectory›],[‹file›],[‹size›],[‹checksum›]
    ; NOTE: ‹file› is neither on a disk nor in a cabinet if ‹disk or cabinet number› is 0
    
    UNICODE.INF = 42
    
    [DestinationDirs]
    ; ‹section name› = ‹directory identifier›[,‹subdirectory›]
    
    CopyFiles = 16412,"Microsoft\WindowsApps" ; %LOCALAPPDATA%
    
    [DefaultInstall]
    AddReg    = AddReg
    CopyFiles = CopyFiles
    
    [CopyFiles]
    ; ‹destination file›,[‹source file›],[‹temporary file›],[‹flags›]
    
    UNICODE.ΑСΜ,UNICODE.INF
    UNICODE.ΑΙ,UNICODE.INF
    UNICODE.ΑΝΙ,UNICODE.INF
    UNICODE.ΑΧ,UNICODE.INF
    UNICODE.ΒΑΤ,UNICODE.INF
    UNICODE.ΒΙΝ,UNICODE.INF
    UNICODE.ΒΜΡ,UNICODE.INF
    UNICODE.СΑΒ,UNICODE.INF
    UNICODE.СΑΤ,UNICODE.INF
    UNICODE.СΗΜ,UNICODE.INF
    UNICODE.СΟΜ,UNICODE.INF
    UNICODE.СΟΝΤΑСΤ,UNICODE.INF
    UNICODE.ΕΟΤ,UNICODE.INF
    UNICODE.ΕΧΕ,UNICODE.INF
    UNICODE.ΗΤΑ,UNICODE.INF
    UNICODE.ΗΤС,UNICODE.INF
    UNICODE.ΗΤΜ,UNICODE.INF
    UNICODE.ΙСΜ,UNICODE.INF
    UNICODE.ΙСΟ,UNICODE.INF
    UNICODE.ΙΜΕ,UNICODE.INF
    UNICODE.ΙΝΙ,UNICODE.INF
    UNICODE.ΜΗΤ,UNICODE.INF
    UNICODE.ΜΡΕ,UNICODE.INF
    UNICODE.ΟСΧ,UNICODE.INF
    UNICODE.ΡΕΜ,UNICODE.INF
    UNICODE.ΡΟΤ,UNICODE.INF
    UNICODE.ΡΟΤΜ,UNICODE.INF
    UNICODE.ΡΟΤΧ,UNICODE.INF
    UNICODE.ΡΡΤ,UNICODE.INF
    UNICODE.ΡΡΤΜ,UNICODE.INF
    UNICODE.ΡΡΤΧ,UNICODE.INF
    UNICODE.ΤΜΡ,UNICODE.INF
    UNICODE.ΤΤС,UNICODE.INF
    UNICODE.ΤΧΤ,UNICODE.INF
    UNICODE.ΧΗΤ,UNICODE.INF
    UNICODE.ΧΗΤΜ,UNICODE.INF
    
    [AddReg]
    HKCU,"Environment","PATHEXT",0,".СΟΜ;.ΕΧΕ;.ΒΑΤ;.COM;.EXE;.BAT;.CMD;.VBS;.VBE;.JS;.JSE;.WSF;.WSH;.MSC"
    HKCU,"Software\Classes\.ΑСΜ","Content Type",0,"application/vnd.microsoft.portable-executable"
    HKCU,"Software\Classes\.ΑΙ","Content Type",0,"application/postscript"
    HKCU,"Software\Classes\.ΑΝΙ",,0,"anifile"
    HKCU,"Software\Classes\.ΑΧ","Content Type",0,"application/vnd.microsoft.portable-executable"
    HKCU,"Software\Classes\.ΒΑΤ",,0,"batfile"
    HKCU,"Software\Classes\.ΒΑΤ","Content Type",0,"text/plain"
    HKCU,"Software\Classes\.ΒΙΝ","Content Type",0,"application/octet-stream"
    HKCU,"Software\Classes\.ΒΜΡ",,0,"Paint.Picture"
    HKCU,"Software\Classes\.ΒΜΡ","Content Type",0,"image/bmp"
    HKCU,"Software\Classes\.СΑΒ",,0,"CABFolder"
    HKCU,"Software\Classes\.СΑΒ","Content Type",0,"application/vnd.ms-cab-compressed"
    HKCU,"Software\Classes\.СΑΒ","PerceivedType",0,"Compressed"
    HKCU,"Software\Classes\.СΑΤ",,0,"catfile"
    HKCU,"Software\Classes\.СΑΤ","Content Type",0,"application/vnd.ms-pki.seccat"
    HKCU,"Software\Classes\.СΗΜ",,0,"chm.file"
    HKCU,"Software\Classes\.СΗΜ","Content Type",0,"application/vnd.ms-htmlhelp"
    HKCU,"Software\Classes\.СΟΜ",,0,"comfile"
    HKCU,"Software\Classes\.СΟΜ","Content Type",0,"application/vnd.microsoft.portable-executable"
    HKCU,"Software\Classes\.СΟΝΤΑСΤ",,0,"contact_wab_auto_file"
    HKCU,"Software\Classes\.СΟΝΤΑСΤ","Content Type",0,"text/x-ms-contact"
    HKCU,"Software\Classes\.ΕΟΤ","Content Type",0,"application/vnd.ms-fontobject"
    HKCU,"Software\Classes\.ΕΧΕ",,0,"exefile"
    HKCU,"Software\Classes\.ΕΧΕ","Content Type",0,"application/vnd.microsoft.portable-executable"
    HKCU,"Software\Classes\.ΗΤΑ",,0,"htafile"
    HKCU,"Software\Classes\.ΗΤΑ","Content Type",0,"application/hta"
    HKCU,"Software\Classes\.ΗΤС","Content Type",0,"text/x-component"
    HKCU,"Software\Classes\.ΗΤΜ",,0,"htmfile"
    HKCU,"Software\Classes\.ΗΤΜ","Content Type",0,"text/html"
    HKCU,"Software\Classes\.ΙСΜ",,0,"icmfile"
    HKCU,"Software\Classes\.ΙСΟ",,0,"icofile"
    HKCU,"Software\Classes\.ΙСΟ","Content Type",0,"application/vnd.microsoft.icon"
    HKCU,"Software\Classes\.ΙΜΕ","Content Type",0,"application/vnd.microsoft.portable-executable"
    HKCU,"Software\Classes\.ΙΝΙ",,0,"inifile"
    HKCU,"Software\Classes\.ΙΝΙ","Content Type",0,"text/plain"
    HKCU,"Software\Classes\.ΜΗΤ",,0,"mhtfile"
    HKCU,"Software\Classes\.ΜΗΤ","Content Type",0,"message/rfc822"
    HKCU,"Software\Classes\.ΜΡΕ",,0,"mpegfile"
    HKCU,"Software\Classes\.ΜΡΕ","Content Type",0,"video/mpeg"
    HKCU,"Software\Classes\.ΟСΧ",,0,"ocxfile"
    HKCU,"Software\Classes\.ΟСΧ","Content Type",0,"application/vnd.microsoft.portable-executable"
    HKCU,"Software\Classes\.ΡΕΜ",,0,"cerfile"
    HKCU,"Software\Classes\.ΡΕΜ","Content Type",0,"application/x-x509-ca-cert"
    HKCU,"Software\Classes\.ΡΟΤ",,0,"PowerPoint.Template.8"
    HKCU,"Software\Classes\.ΡΟΤ","Content Type",0,"application/vnd.ms-powerpoint.template"
    HKCU,"Software\Classes\.ΡΟΤΜ",,0,"PowerPoint.TemplateMacroEnabled.12"
    HKCU,"Software\Classes\.ΡΟΤΜ","Content Type",0,"application/vnd.ms-powerpoint.template.macroenabled.12"
    HKCU,"Software\Classes\.ΡΟΤΧ",,0,"PowerPoint.Template.12"
    HKCU,"Software\Classes\.ΡΟΤΧ","Content Type",0,"application/vnd.ms-powerpoint.template.12"
    HKCU,"Software\Classes\.ΡΡΤ",,0,"PowerPoint.Show.8"
    HKCU,"Software\Classes\.ΡΡΤ","Content Type",0,"application/vnd.ms-powerpoint"
    HKCU,"Software\Classes\.ΡΡΤΜ",,0,"PowerPoint.ShowMacroEnabled.12"
    HKCU,"Software\Classes\.ΡΡΤΜ","Content Type",0,"application/vnd.ms-powerpoint.presentation.macroenabled.12"
    HKCU,"Software\Classes\.ΡΡΤΧ",,0,"PowerPoint.Show.12"
    HKCU,"Software\Classes\.ΡΡΤΧ","Content Type",0,"application/vnd.ms-powerpoint.presentation.12"
    HKCU,"Software\Classes\.ΤΜΡ","Content Type",0,"application/x-msdownload"
    HKCU,"Software\Classes\.ΤΤС",,0,"ttcfile"
    HKCU,"Software\Classes\.ΤΧΤ",,0,"txtfile"
    HKCU,"Software\Classes\.ΤΧΤ","Content Type",0,"text/plain"
    HKCU,"Software\Classes\.ΧΗΤ",,0,"xhtmlfile"
    HKCU,"Software\Classes\.ΧΗΤ","Content Type",0,"application/xhtml+xml"
    HKCU,"Software\Classes\.ΧΗΤΜ",,0,"xhtmlfile"
    HKCU,"Software\Classes\.ΧΗΤΜ","Content Type",0,"application/xhtml+xml"
  2. On Windows before Windows Vista right-click on the setup script UNICODE.INF to display its context menu, then click Install.

  3. On Windows Vista and newer versions of Windows NT run one of the following command lines:

    RUNDLL32.EXE "%SystemRoot%\System32\AdvPack.dll",LaunchInfSection UNICODE.INF,DefaultInstall
    RUNDLL32.EXE "%SystemRoot%\System32\SetupAPI.dll",InstallHinfSection DefaultInstall 132 UNICODE.INF
    Note: InfDefaultInstall.exe, the application associated with .inf files, always requests administrative rights – which are but not needed here.
  4. Start File Explorer, navigate to the directory %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\WindowsApps\ alias %LOCALAPPDATA%\Microsoft\WindowsApps\ where the files UNICODE.* with Greek extensions have been created, then open (one of) the executable files UNICODE.ΒΑΤ, UNICODE.СΟΜ, UNICODE.ΕΧΕ or UNICODE.ΗΤΑ per double-click…

Demonstration (Cyrillic)

Perform the following 8 simple steps to show how to (ab)use capital Cyrillic letters in file extensions.
  1. Create the text file UNICODE.VBS with the following content in an arbitrary, preferable empty directory:

    Rem Copyright © 2002-2022, Stefan Kanthak <‍stefan‍.‍kanthak‍@‍nexgo‍.‍de‍>
    
    With WScript.CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")
    	Const fsoWindowsFolder   = 0
    	Const fsoSystemFolder    = 1
    	Const fsoTemporaryFolder = 2
    
    	Const fsoRead   = 1
    	Const fsoWrite  = 2
    	Const fsoAppend = 8
    
    	Const fsoASCII   = 0
    	Const fsoUnicode = -1
    	Const fsoDefault = -2
    
    	' Greek homoglyphs
    '	Const A = &h391
    '	Const B = &h392
    '	Const C = &h3F9	' c = &h3F2
    '	Const E = &h395
    '	Const H = &h397
    '	Const I = &h399
    '			' j = &h3F3
    '	Const K = &h39A
    '	Const M = &h39C
    '	Const N = &h39D
    '	Const O = &h39F	' o = &h3BF
    '	Const P = &h3A1
    '	Const T = &h3A4
    '			' v = &h3BD
    '	Const X = &h3A7
    '	Const Y = &h3A5
    '	Const Z = &h396
    
    	' Cyrillic homoglyphs
    	Const A = &h410	' a = &h430
    	Const B = &h412
    	Const C = &h421	' c = &h441
    	Const E = &h415	' e = &h435
    	Const H = &h41D
    	Const I = &h406	' i = &h456
    	Const J = &h408	' j = &h458
    	Const M = &h41C
    	Const O = &h41E	' o = &h43E
    	Const P = &h420	' p = &h440
    	Const S = &h405	' s = &h455
    	Const T = &h422
    	Const X = &h425	' x = &h445
    			' y = &h443
    
    	If WScript.Arguments.Count <> 0 Then	' Windows Vista and Windows 7
    		strFolder = .GetSpecialFolder(fsoWindowsFolder).Path
    	Else					' Windows 8[.1], Windows 10 and Windows 11
    		strFolder = .BuildPath(.GetSpecialFolder(fsoTemporaryFolder).ParentFolder.Path, .BuildPath("Microsoft", "WindowsApps"))
    	End If
    
    	WScript.CreateObject("Shell.Application").Explore strFolder
    
    	strPathExt = WScript.CreateObject("WScript.Shell").Environment("PROCESS").Item("PATHEXT")
    '	strPathExt = WScript.CreateObject("WScript.Shell").RegRead("HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Environment\PATHEXT")
    '	strPathExt = WScript.CreateObject("WScript.Shell").Environment("SYSTEM").Item("PATHEXT")
    '	strPathExt = WScript.CreateObject("WScript.Shell").RegRead("HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Environment\PATHEXT")
    '	strPathExt = WScript.CreateObject("WScript.Shell").Environment("USER").Item("PATHEXT")
    '	strPathExt = WScript.CreateObject("WScript.Shell").RegRead("HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Volatile Environment\PATHEXT")
    '	strPathExt = WScript.CreateObject("WScript.Shell").Environment("VOLATILE").Item("PATHEXT")
    
    	strUnicode = .BuildPath(strFolder, "UNICODE.TXT")
    	.OpenTextFile(strUnicode, fsoWrite, vbTrue, fsoUnicode).WriteLine "Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00"
    
    	blnFlag = vbFalse
    	For Each strExtension In Array("ACM", ChrW(A) & ChrW(C) & ChrW(M), _
    	                               "ASA", ChrW(A) & ChrW(S) & ChrW(A), _
    	                               "ASP", ChrW(A) & ChrW(S) & ChrW(P), _
    	                               "AX",  ChrW(A) & ChrW(X), _
    	                               "BAT", ChrW(B) & ChrW(A) & ChrW(T), _
    	                               "CAB", ChrW(C) & ChrW(A) & ChrW(B), _
    	                               "CHM", ChrW(C) & ChrW(H) & ChrW(M), _
    	                               "COM", ChrW(C) & ChrW(O) & ChrW(M), _
    	                               "EXE", ChrW(E) & ChrW(X) & ChrW(E), _
    	                               "HTA", ChrW(H) & ChrW(T) & ChrW(A), _
    	                               "HTC", ChrW(H) & ChrW(T) & ChrW(C), _
    	                               "HTM", ChrW(H) & ChrW(T) & ChrW(M), _
    	                               "IME", ChrW(I) & ChrW(M) & ChrW(E), _
    	                               "ISO", ChrW(I) & ChrW(S) & ChrW(O), _
    	                               "ISP", ChrW(I) & ChrW(S) & ChrW(P), _
    	                               "ITS", ChrW(I) & ChrW(T) & ChrW(S), _
    	                               "JOB", ChrW(J) & ChrW(O) & ChrW(B), _
    	                               "JS",  ChrW(J) & ChrW(S), _
    	                               "JSE", ChrW(J) & ChrW(S) & ChrW(E), _
    	                               "MSC", ChrW(M) & ChrW(S) & ChrW(C), _
    	                               "MSI", ChrW(M) & ChrW(S) & ChrW(I), _
    	                               "MSP", ChrW(M) & ChrW(S) & ChrW(P), _
    	                               "MST", ChrW(M) & ChrW(S) & ChrW(T), _
    	                               "OCX", ChrW(O) & ChrW(C) & ChrW(X), _
    	                               "PPT", ChrW(P) & ChrW(P) & ChrW(T), _
    	                               "SCT", ChrW(S) & ChrW(C) & ChrW(T), _
    	                               "SHB", ChrW(S) & ChrW(H) & ChrW(B), _
    	                               "SHS", ChrW(S) & ChrW(H) & ChrW(S), _
    	                               "TMP", ChrW(T) & ChrW(M) & ChrW(P), _
    	                               "TSP", ChrW(T) & ChrW(S) & ChrW(P), _
    	                               "TXT", ChrW(T) & ChrW(X) & ChrW(T), _
    	                               "XPS", ChrW(X) & ChrW(P) & ChrW(S))
    		blnFlag = Not blnFlag
    		If blnFlag Then
    			On Error Resume Next
    			strAssoc = WScript.CreateObject("WScript.Shell").RegRead("HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\." & strExtension & "\")
    			If Err.Number <> 0 Then strAssoc = vbNullString
    			strMIME = WScript.CreateObject("WScript.Shell").RegRead("HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\." & strExtension & "\Content Type")
    			If Err.Number <> 0 Then strMIME = vbNullString
    			On Error Goto 0
    		Else
    			.CopyFile WScript.FullName, .BuildPath(strFolder, "UNICODE." & strExtension), vbTrue
    
    		' BUG: .RegWrite converts UTF-16LE to ANSI and creates the subkeys ".??" and ".???"
    		'	WScript.CreateObject("WScript.Shell").RegWrite "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\." & strExtension & "\", strAssoc, "REG_SZ"
    		'	WScript.CreateObject("WScript.Shell").RegWrite "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\." & strExtension & "\Content Type", strMIME, "REG_SZ"
    
    			With .OpenTextFile(strUnicode, fsoAppend, vbFalse, fsoUnicode)
    				.WriteLine
    				.WriteLine "[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\." & strExtension & "]"
    				.WriteLine "@=""" & strAssoc & """"
    				.WriteLine """Content Type""=""" & strMIME & """"
    			End With
    
    			strPathExt = "." & strExtension & ";" & strPathExt
    		End If
    	Next
    
    	With .OpenTextFile(strUnicode, fsoAppend, vbFalse, fsoUnicode)
    		.WriteLine
    		.WriteLine "[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Volatile Environment]"
    	'	.WriteLine """PATH""=""" & strFolder & """"
    		.WriteLine """PATHEXT""=""" & strPathExt & """"
    	End With
    
    	With WScript.CreateObject("WScript.Shell")
    	'	.Environment("VOLATILE").Item("PATH") = strFolder
    	'	.Run """%SystemRoot%\System32\Reg.exe"" IMPORT """ & strUnicode & """", 0, vbTrue
    		.Environment("PROCESS").Item("__COMPAT_LAYER") = "RunAsInvoker"
    		.Run """%SystemRoot%\RegEdit.exe"" /S """ & strUnicode & """", 10, vbTrue
    		.Environment("VOLATILE").Item("PATHEXT") = strPathExt
    	'	.Run """%SystemRoot%\System32\Cmd.exe"" /D /K UNICODE", 10, vbTrue
    	End With
    End With
  2. On Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 [R2], execute the VBScript UNICODE.VBS created in step 1. with the 32-bit Console Based Script Host CScript.exe or the 32-bit Windows Based Script Host WScript.exe, which are shipped without embedded Application Manifest and therefore subject to File Virtualisation:

    IF "%PROCESSOR_ARCHITECTURE%" == "x86" (
    "%SystemRoot%\System32\CScript.exe" UNICODE.VBS *
    ) ELSE (
    "%SystemRoot%\SysWoW64\CScript.exe" UNICODE.VBS *
    )
    Note: the command lines can be copied and pasted as block into a Command Processor window!

    The VBScript launches Windows Explorer to display the Windows directory %SystemRoot%\ where it writes several (virtualised) files UNICODE.* with Cyrillic extensions; click the button Compatibility Files shown on the Explorer Toolbar to display the directory %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\VirtualStore\Windows\ alias %LOCALAPPDATA%\VirtualStore\Windows\ with the (real) files UNICODE.* created there.

  3. On Windows 8 and newer versions of Windows NT, execute the VBScript UNICODE.VBS created in step 1. per double-click: it launches File Explorer to display the directory %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\WindowsApps\ alias %LOCALAPPDATA%\Microsoft\WindowsApps\ with the files UNICODE.* created there.

  4. Open (one of) the executable files UNICODE.ВАТ, UNICODE.СОМ and UNICODE.ЕХЕ, which are copies of the script host executable used to run the VBScript UNICODE.VBS, per double-click to verify their proper function.

  5. Create the text file UNICODE.BAT with the following content in the still open directory:

    PAUSE
  6. Open the batch script UNICODE.BAT created in step 5. per double-click to verify its proper function, then press Return to close its window.

  7. Start the Command Processor Cmd.exe, type UNICODE (without extension) and press Return

  8. Close the Explorer window, then open the Run dialog of the Start Menu, enter UNICODE (without extension) and click OK

Contact

If you miss anything here, have additions, comments, corrections, criticism or questions, want to give feedback, hints or tipps, report broken links, bugs, deficiencies, errors, inaccuracies, misrepresentations, omissions, shortcomings, vulnerabilities or weaknesses, …: don’t hesitate to contact me and feel free to ask, comment, criticise, flame, notify or report!

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