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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

BACTERIA in COMPUTERS

1.  I had heard for so long about Virus'es,worms,trojans................but never heard and read about BACTERIA till recently.....even googled...could not find much except at http://docstore.mik.ua/orelly/networking/

2. Few points about BACTERIA :


- Makes copies of themselves to overwhelm a computer system's resources.

- Also known as rabbits, are programs that do not explicitly damage any files.

- Sole purpose is to replicate themselves.

- May do nothing more than execute two copies of itself simultaneously both of which may copy themselves twice, and so on.

- Reproduce exponentially, eventually taking up all the processor capacity, memory, or disk space, denying the user access to those resources.

- One of the oldest forms of programmed threats.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Download/Upload torrents - Legality Issues in India


1.  Read the following daily life talks in the air now a days :

"Hey did u download Agneepath & TIN TIN....the torrent is available now?"...

"No...its the cam print"..."waiting for the better print...yeah but I have downloaded MI4....the new torrent is crystal clear"

"MS Office 2010 has come and I m already using it on my netbook...& its for free from torrentz..."

...etc...etc...

.......these are few exchange of talks that invariably happens more among the young metro crowd and also getting popular in the Viltro's (Village+Metro)........but did they ever realise the legal aspect of all these talks and downloads? Its time to check all this......RETHINK!!!

2.   Now any one of you reading this and finding himself at some point of time shooting these dialogues at home/office/college should be in  for a shock...because as per the IT act he is a criminal involved in piracy of softwares and movies.

EXTRACT FROM INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY ACT 2000

"Cyber crime is criminal activity done using computers and the Internet. This includes anything from downloading illegal music/movies/softwares files to stealing millions of dollars from online bank accounts. Cybercrime also includes non-monetary offenses, such as creating and distributing viruses on other computers or posting confidential business information on the Internet"

3.  So now that you have read this....the meat is here as follows given in point form for ease of understanding :

- When you download a movie/music/software from a torrent site,you are not only a leecher but at the same time you seed also.A Seed is used to refer to a peer who has 100% of the data.

-  When a leech obtains 100% of the data, that peer automatically becomes a Seed.Seeding refers to leaving a peer's connection available for other peers, i.e. leeches to download from.
- Normally, a peer should seed more data than leech. But, whether to seed or not, or how much to seed, is dependent on the availability of leeches and the choice of the peer at the seeding end.

- Did u understand this much...if not simply put it means that when u download....you upload also at the same time...so u are a illegal downloader and also a uploader of the pirated illegel content.So suppose you have downloaded MI4 or some porn...you are a pretty much proven criminal.If someone gets after you,you are in for real damage.

4. In context of India,though the relevant cyber laws and framework  are ready and already implemented but it will take time to be actually possible for the law to follow each one of them them up individually....thats the only positive side of all illegela downloaders...but there is catch to this...

5. What happens if some other country watches you?....you must be thinking y would some other country watch you downloading agneepath/TIN TIN!!!this is because your uploading may be happening in their country...so all they need is your IP.Thats the end of it.Few major casualties include the famous Lt Col Jagmohan Balbir Singh, who was arrested on May 6 on the charges of circulating child pornography on the internet.The Mumbai Cyber Crime Cell arrested this Lieutenant Colonel from his south Mumbai house for allegedly uploading obscene photographs and video clips involving children on the internet.The German police came across the obscene contents being uploaded on a child pornography site from Mumbai in 2009.So this is where the string of the torrent catches you till end.The german police gave the IP to interpol and he was caught...unawares of what did he actually do?...now it is just unawareness on such issues that such things happen..

6. This time it was a Lt col...next can be any one....u and me....it depends won who is the (un)lucky one...so guys if u r an ardent torrent downloader...think before you do some thing next.....the days are not far when all this will land you up in jail....it is just a matter of time in INDIA..!!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Security Design @ WebHosting

1.  At a time today when new websites are being hosted at quite a pace,proportional is the pace of hacking and defacing of these websites.Today you have a website maker in the market who may simply demand some Rs 500/ per page design and few more hundreds for hosting it...and we all are ready to do pay him....but at what price....is it simply the final handing over taking over of the password that closes the deal between you and the designer/hoster?....NO....I rate it equivalent to the toss....thereon the match begins.....just a matter of time depending on what all security parameters/variables/factors you took into consideration while designing it?

2.  Specially concerned with web sites who have E-Commerce and transactions or who deal with handling database of huge sizes which can be critical later on, if compromised any time.The following factors should be noted down and infact dealt with seriously to be kept on high priority while designing and final hosting :

- Password /Data Protection : You must have a sound password and methods to protect all the DATA in place.

- OS/Server hardening : You use a windows or a linux....rest assured you must always used a hardened OS/Server.

- OS Selection : Create and design on any OS...today you can launch it on web.A more vulnerable OS which has had a history of hacks and known exploits should be avoided.

- DDoS Protection : Shared hosting servers are vulnerable to attacks by hackers who carry out their work by uploading malware or otherwise malicious sites or code onto a server. These malware programs be introduced to a server through security vulnerabilities in a legitimate client’s site, and the malware is used for anything from stealing credit card data to launching a DDoS, or Distributed Denial of Service attack.So think before you fire up your site.

- Spam filters : No explanations

- Firewalls : Must...so many types in market : Decide like what you r going to select a HARDWARE FIREWALL or a SOFTWARE FIREWALL.The selection is of crucial significance in deciding the overall security rating!!!

- BACKUP : You must have a way to keep backing up all your data.Some ploicy should be designed of what happens if owing to some kind of reason you loose all ur data....mirror or offline backup!!!!anything...but keep in mind.

- SSL enabled server : MUST

- SFTP: Though FTP is not that bad....but when SFTP is there....y bank on a relatively lower secured protocol......


Monday, January 23, 2012

SURF SAFE : SURF http'S'

1. In our endeavor to safely surf the web,rest assured ....we will never be safe in recent times to come.But we can always keep improving our surfing habits so that we are not easy victims.

2. Using HTTPS, the computers agree on a "code" between them, and then they scramble the messages using that "code" so that no one in between can read them. This keeps your information safe from hackers.

3.  As on date almost all the browsers offer plugins from their respective web stores that include what I am talking about here ie HTTPS ENFORCER.The HTTPS Enforcer extension makes it easy to ensure you’re connecting to secure sites by rewriting all requests to an HTTPS URL whenever you visit one of the sites HTTPS Enforcer supports.

4.  So install HTTPS plugin for ur respective browser...and SURF SAFE.

EVERCOOKIE : COOKIE NEVER DIES

1.  At my earlier post here,I had given a one line info on Zombie cookie-The cookie that recreates itself once deleted.Now just read about EVERCOOKIE at a veri good compiled site at http://samy.pl/evercookie/

2.  Evercookie is a JavaScript-based application which produces zombie cookies in a web browser that are intentionally difficult to delete.

3. More at http://samy.pl/evercookie/ with good FAQs

Sunday, January 22, 2012

PICTURE PASSWORDS

1. Had read about picture passwords in theory....but was unclear of whats actually in store.Windows 8 has finally given the answer.....this video would be able to give you very clearly of whats the buzz about PICTURE PASSWORD....



DISCONNECT & CONNECT TO RAJNIKANTH POWER : WEBSITE RUNS WITHOUT INTERNET

1. The only thing that has ever found a mention in my blog ever apart from any technical stuff is about RAJNIKANTH here since I am one of his huge fans.Now this time he makes a entry in my blog not because of his charisma....he is here owing to the fact he has beaten the basic internet requirement....A WEBSITE THAT RUNS WITHOUT INTERNET.

2.  Yes! you have read it right. A man as extraordinary as Rajnikanth ought to have a website that's as extraordinary as him. "All About Rajni" the site dedicated to the legendary superstar runs without the Internet; albeit on RAJNI POWER!


3.    How does it run then technically speaking? It is attributed to some complex algorithm running in the back-end that keeps an eye on the propagation of data packets between two terminals.What does that mean anyway?....may be it downloads a small flash file the moment you hit the site in the background....anyways its just a guess.....if i come across the details...will let u know...till then enjoy RAJNI POWER on the net.

4.   Access this site here : http://www.desimartini.com/allaboutrajni.htm

4. Thanks http://www.thehindu.com and my sister who told me first.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

OS CLASSIFICATION


1.  We keep using so many OS's around in office,at home...some times windows...or a flavour of linux..UBUNTU..or the latest i touched upon was the upgraded BOSS..but was not aware that even OS have a classification.The classification is defined by Trusted Computer System Evaluation Criteria (TCSEC), a United States Government Department of Defense (DoD) standard that sets basic requirements for assessing the effectiveness of computer security controls built into a computer system. 

2.  TCSEC classifies any OS under 4 categories :

- D
- C
- B
- A 

3.  Few more things about the classication in point wise form :

- A has the highest security. 
- C, B and A are further classified as : C1, C2, B1, B2, B3 and A1.
- D defines Minimal protection
- C1 — Discretionary Security Protection
- C2 — Controlled Access Protection
- B1 — Labeled Security Protection
- B2 — Structured Protection
- B3 — Security Domains
- A1 — Verified Design

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

KOOBFACE guys CAUGHT : FACEBOOK

1. Koobface is not something new for the cybercrime followers.....some thing in brief for those reading about this first timehere :

- is a computer worm that targets users of the Facebook.

- koob is book spelled backwards, making the name koobface an anagram for the word Facebook.

- Koobface targets Facebook users via fake friend messages that encourages people to click on links that installs a malicious worm

- Messages like, "you look funny in this video" or "you look so stupid in this pic" are used to persuade somone to click on the link attached. Once the user clicks on them it takes you to a video which doesn't play and they ask you to download certain codecs which can be a fake 'flash_player.exe' file.

- If this file is downloaded, your computer becomes open to Koobface malware.

- It downloads a file 'tinyproxy.exe' which hijacks your PC.

- It even alters search results from Google, Yahoo etc and redirects to websites selling malicious softwares.

- Kaspersky Labs has estimated the network includes 400,000 to 800,000 PCs worldwide at its height in 2010.

- Victims are often unaware their machines have been compromised.

2. Facebook two days back unmasked the team behind the notorious Koobface virus that hit the social network for two years beginning in 2008.

ABOUT THE GANG

- Five men believed to be responsible for spreading this notorious computer worm on Facebook.

- Have pocketed several million dollars from online schemes.

- Are likely hiding in plain sight in St. Petersburg, Russia, according to investigators at Facebook.

- One member of the group has regularly broadcast the coordinates of its offices by checking in on Foursquare, a location-based social network, and posting the news to Twitter.

- Photographs on Foursquare also show other suspected members of the group working on Macs in a loftlike room that looks like offices used by tech start-ups in cities around the world.

- Ultimately, the Koobface gang was identified by the researchers as Anton Korotchenko, Alexander Koltyshev, Roman Koturbach, Syvatoslav Polinchuk, and Stanislav Avdeik.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

OIL & GAS : CYBER HACKED


1.    McAfee has recently revealed and confirmed about computer hacking on un-named global oil, gas and petrochemical companies, and individuals and executives in Taiwan, Greece, and the United States, to acquire proprietary and confidential information. This has also been confirmed by five oil and gas companies that had  that the attacks took place, and the attackers were looking for documents about oil and gas exploration and bidding contracts.The source of the attack as usual has been found to be from 'several locations in China'.(Is there any thing new about this ?????)

2.    Oil companies expect such attacks getting more frequent and more meticulously planned. The determination and stamina shown by some modern hackers has increased and there are more multi-pronged, co-ordinated attacks. 

3.    Hackers have started bombarding the world's computer controlled energy sector, conducting industrial espionage and threatening potential global havoc through oil supply disruption.Since Computers control a relatively high percentage distribution in systems,thus are increasingly becoming vulnerable to cyber attacks that could put fuel production technology in the docks!!!

4.    The issue is indeed alarming and needs urgent attention at global level.It is not that my country is not effected or why should I be bothered ?We all are going be effected in the long run because we all r users and part of the last mile chain.Stuxnet,Duqu etc are some of the culprit virus which have been caught doing the action.What about the other thousands and may be millions who are already into action in the background.Japan has recently come up with the good virus ie CYBER WEAPON.Now this one acts like a immunization pill.It resists the virus.About 3 yrs and few billlion dollars have gone into the making.This is just the beginning and I am sure in the rat-cat race aka the good/bad guys of the cyber space there will be moments when the cyber crime over shadows the strengths of cyber power...but its upto the overall cohesive planning that all countries have to work together at the earliest.If late,there will be no other chance.Hackers are already doing it together as one team.....but we all act as teams of different nations.....we should be one GLOBAL TEAM!!!!

5.   Thanks  http://www.mcafee.com 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

NATIONAL CYBER SECURITY POLICY : DRAFT


1.    Finally we are working on a national cyber policy....infact late but ...IT'S NEVER TOO LATE....the thing that we have started on this is a good sign.The draft of the subject policy is available at www.mit.gov.in/sites/upload_files/dit/files/ncsp_060411.pdf and is in fact inviting comments in case u have any!!!

2.   The draft is a 21 page report.After going through the same I have given the following points at the desired email address available in the draft report.

PARA 3.3 (I) C
GOVERNMENT SECURED INTRANET :
Addition point :

“ In addition to the emphasis on creation of such kind of intranet, efforts at the design stage should be made to exclude all possible options of internet connectivity with this intranet to avoid any kind of imminent threats. This intranet may need internet for various updates etc ,but this should be a privilege access point and no node should be allowed a free access. Any attempts to connect the same may invite action as a threat to nation. The limited internet connectivity to this is required for the following purpose :

- It is the most common action by any user to browse the net. Once given a opportunity he/she is always eager to access emails and download malware or infected software or any third party application. This is the point where command and control centre of a Botnet can be established by a cyber criminal. To avoid such practices it would always be the endeavor of the designer and the super administrator to ensure physical separation of Intranet and Internet. This Intranet should also be subject to regular cyber /IT audits by govt recognized penetration testers and forensic experts to maintain a cyber secure working environment.

PARA 3.3(D) @ Page 12
OPEN STANDARDS

The strength and power of open standards and applications remains unexploited in our country. Other developed nations who have realized the potential of this standard are already contributing significantly to their positive growth in cyber space. This has largely been possible owing to the lack of exposure of such standards by the new generation who is only exposed to the windows environment. Policy should be in place to ensure growth of open standards at school level curriculum.

PARA 3.5.2
COMBATING HIGH TECH CRIME/CYBER CRIME

Though the cat and mouse race between the good and the bad cyber guy would remain on always,it is worth noting that cyber crime if not controlled at such a nascent stage of induction and growth, has the full potential to become a cyber threat.No single policy would be able to achieve a CYBER CRIME FREE CYBER SPACE.It remains the onus of the common man how he tackles the cime himself.It is here that the National Cyber Policy can contribute in the following manner :

- Cyber Huntsville is a collaborative cyber community with the aim of attracting and developing the brightest minds, attacking the most complex problems, and providing the best solutions of national and international significance. Cyber Huntsville is an integral part of the National Cyber Initiative. Similar establishments should be encouraged at India level. More info at http://www.hsvcity.com/cyber/

4.2.3
Thrust areas of R&D  : 

-  Thrust areas of R&D should majorly focus on inducing maximum SRS and QRs at the DESIGN STAGE. Because, if not done at this stage, whatever work follows is patch work that remains a cover up action.
- Analysis of data flow in a network
- Pentration testing
- Storage solutions with backup, archiving, recovery provisioning of entire data.

5.1.1
ENABLING PEOPLE

Promoting a comprehensive national awareness program to include organizing seminars, events, webinars, guest lecture’s in tie up with established societies like IETE,Institution of  Engineers, Computer Society of India etc

Besides,these points I would suggest to include ensuring information security by managing the flow of information to the citizens as well as on securing its physical information infrastructure.The policy should call for the following :

- Popularize e- government
- Optimize the cyber industry structure.
- Provide a rugged 24x7 nationwide cyber infrastructure.
- Promote innovation of cyber technologies.
- Build a cyber oriented national economy.
- Design way to advanced internet culture.

THE GOOD VIRUS : "CYBER WEAPON" BY FUJITSU,JAPAN


1.   Have u seen the epic movie SHOLAY.....where bad guys are hired to kill bad guys by the good people...its a must watch for those who have not seen this...on the same lines recently Japanese government has done some homework to counter cyber crime.....Outsourcing and working with Fujitsu to fight cyber crime with the help of developing a CYBER wEAPON VIRUS that automatically seeks out and destroys enemy viruses.Cyber Weapon almost acts like a human immune system tracking down and weeding out invading viruses. Systems like these are needed when facing the latest advanced threats.Few additional It is the culmination of a $2.3 million, three-year project to develop a virus and equipment to monitor and analyze attacks.  It is reported U.S and china have already put so-called cyber weapons into practical use.

2.   Tracing the source of cyber-attacks is notoriously difficult, mainly because attackers routinely hide behind botnets and anonymous proxies to launch attacks, such as denial of service assaults.Getting this right is a far from trivial process and the potential for collateral damage, even before hackers develop countermeasures, appears to be considerable. Few more points here about this good VIRUS :

- Currently, the virus is being tested in a “closed environment” to examine its applicable patterns. 

- The project is actually outsourced to Fujitsu Ltd. 

- It is capable to disable the incoming attack and record forensics data.

3.   It would actaully be interesting to know how would this be able to trace the source of cyber-attacks as claimed at times like today when the botnets and anonymous proxies are getting better and stronger by the day.

Monday, January 02, 2012

Malware in the name of Kim Jong-il death : BEWARE!!!


1.   A "malicious spam mail" in the name of the dead North Korean leader Kim Jong is doing the rounds of the webosphsere and biting anyone whoever clicks it.The malicious spam carries a fake name as "brief_introduction_of_kim_jong_Ill_pdf.pdf". The subject file exploits vulnerabilities in Adobe reader and leads to remote code execution in the victim PC.

2.   The emails contain a simple line of text announcing the death, likely copied and pasted from the CNN website, and carries an attachment named brief_introduction_of_kim-jong-il.pdf.pdf.Once downloaded and executed, the malicious file opens a non-malicious PDF file containing a picture and information about the deceased man in order to hide its true activity on the victims' computer.In other variants of the same theme, the attached file is named Kim_Jong_il_s_death_affects_N._Korea_s_nuclear_programs.doc and, once opened, it drops backdoor-opening malware into the system, which then connects to a remote Command & Control server for further instructions.After this much code execution...its JAI HIND.....


3.  So don't open this one from ur PC if u have read this much.....

Sunday, January 01, 2012