Downloading images from IST

Kent - September 1, 2023

There is a service called “IST Skola” which our daycare is using.

It’s an app for taking attendence, delivery and pickups and it is possible for the staff to share images and text from the preceeding days / weeks.

A couple of years ago they used another service called Truegroups. With that service it was possible to download the images and reports. We also got emailed copies of the images and reports.

When they changed to IST, it was not possible to download images, copy the reports or get an copy on email. The only “simple” way of making a copy of the images was by taking screenshots…

There are also some moral implications. There may be a reason why it’s not possible to download images, but all parents have signed consent allowing digital sharing images of their children. I am downloading the images because I want to save them for myself.

There are a lot of memories from the daycare and they are really just there, one has just to figure out a way to download those.

Finding out what goes on behind the scenes

To get a peek into the encrypted data sent between the phone and server, there is a tool called mitmproxy.


General steps to get started:

  1. Download mitmproxy from or install with a package manager.
  2. Start the web interface (mitmweb).
  3. Install the root certificate on the device you’re capturing data for.
  4. Configure the device to use mitmproxy as a proxy on the WiFi SSID.

Open the app and navigate a few pages / screens.

If all goes well, there should be traffic on the mitmweb page.

Traffic in mitmweb


After getting traffic in mitmweb, it reveals it uses GraphQl on the backend to request and fetch data.


As a systems programmer, I have only heard about GraphQl, but not used it in any capacity.

But, as a systems programmer, I know HTTP is just a couple bits and bytes sent over the HTTP protocol. How difficult can it be to create a small client to download images?

GraphQL client

The main objective is to fetch all image attachments for all posts, and store them in one folder per post.

Python has a nice library called gql, which fits our purpose. So it was decided to write the client in Python.

After some experimenting with gql and the GraphQL API, it became apparent there were only 2 required pieces of data to fetch the resources, the Bearer Token and a Child ID. Both are available from the mitmproxy/web interface.


Whenever there are more than 1 piece of data, I prefer to gather them in a class/struct.

class Userdata:
    bearer_token: str = None
    child_id: str = None

    def __init__(self, bearer_token: str, child_id: str) -> None:
        self.bearer_token = bearer_token
        self.child_id = child_id

    def __repr__(self) -> str:
        return f"Bearer: {self.bearer_token} Child: {self.child_id}"

Together it becomes:

bearer_token = "Bearer do.not.publish.this.token"
child_id = ""
userdata = Userdata(bearer_token, child_id)

Program flow

graph LR A(Create Userdata) --> B(Get posts) B --> C(For all posts) C --> D(Download and save post/images) D -->|Any remaining posts| C

See Also


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