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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

DREAM JOB : Cyber Special Agent@FBI

1.    Came across this dream job kind job for a guy like me :-)......i got this from twitter handle @CcureIT

2.   Now this job is meant for US Citizens only...and any Cyber Security guy enthu about being savvy about making a career in cyber security should at least go through what they demand and what they offer....it's worth value addition to self in at least knowing what the best organisations demand in terms of QR for getting a job like this.All the details available at https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/332166500?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter#TopofPage


India developing own Secure OS to strengthen Cyber Security


1.   India is developing own secure OS to strengthen cyber security.Got this news piece from here.The key points from the news are :

- India's own secure operating system to strengthen cyber security.

- 150 Engineers across the country have already been working on creating an Indian OS for over one year and a half. 

- According to Times of India ,it will be ready in next three years.

- There is no foreign involvement in this project. It is purely build by Indians.

2.   It is indeed heartening to know all this...but whats the point? Does the team of 150 engineers and the vision behind think they are creating a secure and 100% fool proof OS?...The moment it is released...there will be many vulnerabilities that will be gradually known...and then the same cat mouse race will being like with any other OS..so whats the point of starting from scratch?....will it not be wise to securify existing opensource available and invest in something like improving upon existing resources?.....Case in point,the DESI OS....will lag behind in terms of experiences gained by Windows and other OS Communities who have been in the game for years...........who have been improving daily for so many years!!!like Fedora...Ubuntu...they have been improving for last so many years to reach a level like as on date available to us....

3.  Although it is a veri good thought to have a desi OS....but I sincerely feel that we are slightly late in realizing the need of a desi OS...

Saturday, December 22, 2012

MALWARE via SUDOKU via EXCEL SHEET


1.  Sudoku is good for you brain....but it may compromise your PC if you have downloaded one of the excel files with embedded malicious script inside that offers you to play the subject game. Peter Szabo from SophosLabs has identified a piece of malware that resides behind a Microsoft Excel-based Sudoku generator. The Malware developed in Visual Basic requires macros, a scripting language that allows users to create equations based on values in different columns and rows. Microsoft – Malware behind Microsoft Excel-based Sudoku generator.

CLICK TO ENLARGE


2.   Although by default the macros are disabled in any Microsoft Office application....but any one who downloads the excel file would eventually enable the macros that run the script to play the game...so he can keep playing the game while the script in the background sets up the malware and establishes contact with its master bot.....so like always the updated Antivirus on the system will keep sitting without catching up anything.....so comes the importance of packet analyzers like Wireshark....ethreal etc...but then it becomes slight technical which in most cases would be out of purview for a common user.

Friday, December 21, 2012

MSE : Loosing Shine

1.   Since last few years any one who asked me on recommending a Antivirus for his/her PC...I would always say if you have a original Windows...then leave your worries to MSE...thats Microsoft Security Essentials ie MS's own antivirus or may be I would recommend Kaspersky PURE in few other cases who were not happy with MSE.

2.  I had been using MSE for my own system as well...and I found it worked pretty fine...light on use and had no major compatibility and configuring issues since it worked mostly in the background.But there has been some decline in recent time and efforts by Microsoft in keeping with the pace of the hackers and cyber criminals!!!

3. The AV-TEST Institute,the leading international and independent service provider in the fields of IT security and anti-virus research.It uses state-of-the-art methods and research work to carry out AV-TESTs to  directly detect the latest malware, to analyse it  and to inform web site visitors top-quality results obtained.So the latest results showed MSE being given 1.5 out of 5 maximum ratings.The screen shot from the link http://www.av-test.org/en/tests/home-user/windows-7/sepoct-2012/ is shown below :

Click on image to Enlarge

4.   And to me, that's a huge concern considering how Windows 8 itself draws on a lot of MSE for its own in-built security....:-)

How to find windows product key : Product Key Decryptor


1.   Have you ever found yourself in a position when a genuine Windows OS key is required!!!!This tool will be useful if you have ever lost your product CD Key or you have to reinstall the product again.The nae of the product is Product Key Decryptor that's a  FREE software to instantly recover License Keys of popular Windows products.The supported list of software's of which the keys can be extracted is shown below :


Microsoft Windows NT
Microsoft Windows XP
Microsoft Windows Vista
Microsoft Windows Server 2003
Microsoft Windows Server 2008
Microsoft Windows 7
Microsoft Windows 8
Microsoft Office 2003
Microsoft Office 2007
Microsoft Office 2010
Visual Studio 2005
Visual Studio 2008
Visual Studio 2010
Visual Studio 2012
Internet Explorer 6
Internet Explorer 7
Internet Explorer 8
Internet Explorer 9
Internet Explorer 10
VMWare Workstation 6.x
VMWare Workstation 7.x
VMWare Workstation 8.x
VMWare Workstation 9.x

2.    It automatically detects and decrypts the license/CD key of all the supported products from your system. Currently it can recover License key of few popular products including Windows Operating System, Microsoft Office, Visual Studio, Internet Explorer, VMWare Worktation. The best thing about this is FREE...now though nothing is free in this world...it may be having its own repercussions in the background
 :-) Here are the main features & benefits: 

-  Instantly decrypt and recover license/CD keys of popular Products
-  Simple & elegant GUI interface makes it easy to use.
-  Right click context menu to quickly copy the Product License Key
-  Sort feature to arrange the displayed passwords
-  Backup the the recovered Product Keys to HTML/XML/TEXT file.
-  Integrated Installer for assisting you in local Installation & Uninstallation.

3.  The product can be downloaded at http://securityxploded.com/product-key-decryptor.php


How to Format a USB drive with FAT32 file system: FEDORA 17/LINUX

1.   The ease of formatting that the regular windows user is used involves a simple right click on the drive and clicking format.But for a linux user the scene is a little different involving a set of commands.Shown here with screen shots.The commands used are :

- df -h
- fdisk -l
- umount /run/media/duqu/?????***(ur mount name)
- mkdosfs -F 32 -I /dev/sdc1

(CLICK ON THE IMAGE TO ENLARGE)

(CLICK ON THE IMAGE TO ENLARGE)

(CLICK ON THE IMAGE TO ENLARGE)

Need of Encryption : Your files - Your Data


1.   In today's times when every spying eye,every hacker on the web is eyeing your info.... apart from hardening your OS and configuring your system securely what else can you do to secure your info after some one gate crashes into your system?.....I mean after someone gets your root privileges via remote access...what are the options to save your self from sharing your critical data with him?The answer is ENCRYPTION...

2.   Encryption is the process of encoding your information) in such a way that hackers cannot read it, but that authorized parties can.So without getting into the nitty gritties of what is Encryption and how it works..i am focusing here of what all opensource and free applications are available for encryption...

3.   First I would mention about TrueCrypt,this is the one I have been using for years...the reliability of this application can be gauged from the fact that in 2008, the FBI attempted to break encryption on hard drives using a program called TrueCrypt, but the equipment was finally returned after a year of failed tries.(Source : http://www.webcitation.org/query?url=g1.globo.com/English/noticia/2010/06/not-even-fbi-can-de-crypt-files-daniel-dantas.html)

4.   The other strong opensource software's available for encryption are :

    - E4M ie ENCRYPTION for MASSES)
    - Free OTFE
    - Scramdisk

5.   TrueCrypt remains the best bet for all present users.The popularity can be gauged from another fact that this is being used by cyber criminals to!!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

TrueCaller : Is it Stealing your Info?

1.    TrueCaller is one famous application doing the rounds on Twitter Google+ Facebook Android Phones.The claim by the application goes like you login from either of the applications and you would be able to know the name of the mobile phone number owner by name.The claim actually stands right in over 90 % of the cases that I tried.This made me wonder how?...i thought like all those free forms that we keep regularly filling on the internet or some grocery shop for some free bundles or if TrueCaller has tied up with the mobile phone service providers?But then something happened that made me a little suspicious about this app.It so happened that I tried my mom's number on the application and so came the answer like "TIWARI MAM"....this made me think of how would the application know that my mom is a teacher...

2.   So I wondered if the application after installation on your mobile device actually makes all the contacts phone number available on the site with the name that I have typed against that number!!!So I tried mine which was not available, by the name "anupam CCCSP"



3.  Though it did not show promptly but after a day after I typed my phone number it came to be seen as "anupam CCCSP".So this actually means that the application is actually stealing and making my contacts info on my phone public!!!!...but then I also realized that it was me only who agreed to the terms and conditions while installing the app on my phone which most of us including me never read.

4.   So it comes actually to the naiveness of the common user who invariably without reading any of the terms and conditions agrees to install.....:-) 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

FACEBOOK : The New Playground @ Dangerous

1.    It does not date back long in the past time corridors when I as a kid used to go to play grounds in the evening to play with my friends...meet them....fight with them...abuse them...get abused and then get back home for studies and prepare for next days school work and the cycle repeated every day...week and months.But what happens today with a typical metro kid....a school child in the bracket age of 10+ goes to Facebook to play with friends...he meets them.....abuses them at times...gets abused on the wall or vide posts.So more or less....things stand at the same place ,only the grounds have changed.First it was the actual play grounds and now it is all getting virtual.....blame it on lack of infrastructure with concrete eating much of space in metro's or lack of parental monitoring owing to their ultra busy lives.....for the new era generation...social networking sites like Facebook is the new PLAYGROUND.....the virtual one for a change!!!!


2.    So the rules remain the same....ie we have our social circle like we used to have in past...we meet vide post and comments...we like each other for something and dislike each other for some thing...here we cannot shake hands and hug each other but yess we can take grudges out of each other via so many means like hacking....cyber bullying...post hatred... cyber stalk...mobbing...sexting,internet trolling etc...the list is actually endless and the related terminology is on a phenomenal increase.So a typical new gen kid for whom Facebook kind social networking sites are the new playground to play....the proneness to the bad elements in the society remains actually higher then in past....for here it is just a matter of few compromised screenshots...hacked passwords and the kid is on way to become a victim...

3.   The recent case of Amanda Todd is indeed beginning of such sad but many in line expected incidents waiting to happen....today we may allow our kids to have a Facebook account or some social networking website account but without effectively monitoring the kid remains as prone as Amanda Todd.For this to happen the parent have to have basic IT IQ quotient to monitor to avoid any such incident.Like past when a child could be left at home assuming safe..it does not remain the same today....he has access to smartphones....he has access to tablets...internet via so many means.Even basic forensic knowledge possessed by the parents is bound to fail if the same is happening in Cloud rather then on the machine at home...

4.   Its time for the parents to equip themselves with the tools and knowledge required to monitor and watch the kids...also realizing that today's kids are more smarter in terms of grabbing the technology then ever....if you have reached reading till here...u must read the complete story here

TRUE CRYPT IN FEDORA 17: INSTALLATION

1.   The earlier version of Fedora had some token issues to deal with while installing True Crypt but not with this Fedora 17 Beefy Miracle.

2.   Few commands to be run from root after downloading the requisite version from the True Crypt site go as follows :

tar xvf truecrypt-7.1a-linux-x86.tar.gz 

yum install nss-pkcs11-devel fuse-devel wxGTK wxGTK-devel

yum load-transaction /tmp/yum_save_tx.2012-12-13.14-20.laXbNn.yumtx

yum install gnome-keyring-devel gcc-c++

export PKCS11_INC=/usr/include/gp11

./truecrypt-7.1a-setup-x86 

3.   Well if there are some token issues like shown below : 

../Common/SecurityToken.cpp:660: error: ‘CKR_NEW_PIN_MODE’ was not declared in this scope
../Common/SecurityToken.cpp:661: error: ‘CKR_NEXT_OTP’ was not declared in this scope

then you need to Open Common/SecurityToken.cpp in any editor and Scroll to line 660 and simply Comment out line 660 and 661. It should look like this after you edit:

//TC_TOKEN_ERR (CKR_NEW_PIN_MODE)
//TC_TOKEN_ERR (CKR_NEXT_OTP)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

SMART TVs : OUTSMARTED & HACKED



1.   In the land of Hacking,no one can be spared.We all keep hearing about how websites have been hacked,how smartphones are getting out smarted by various exploits in recent times.Now comes something new ,that makes smart TV owners prone .Yess!!all the proud owners of Smart TVs(SAMSUNG LEDs specifically)...can start checking if they are the lucky ones to get bitten here..this one is all about SMART TVs getting HACKED...So now on all the data that is available in their respective HDDs connected vide the USB is vulnerable to be accessed by undesired third party.So now it is not just that you watch the TV....its time for the TV to watch you.Few valuable briefs given out here :

- The Vulnerability exposed in all Samsung's Smart LED TV Software.

- This Vulnerability allows remote attackers to swipe data.

- ReVuln,a Malta-based security firm claims to have discovered this vulnerability.

- Remains a zero-day vulnerability as on date.

- A demo video by ReVuln shows how a "vulnerability for such devices can be used to retrieve sensitive information, monitor and root the device.Click on the video below to have a glimpse of how the vulnerability is exploitable.


2.   I am sure whatever efforts are made by the typical user as on date,he remains vulnerable round the clock in all the fields.How can a normal user who is not so tech savvy be aware of securing his PC,his Laptop,his smartphone,his TV,his external HDD with his personal data without encryption,his pendrives and the list is actually endless.He simply remains one of the choices by any hacker..if he is chosen he is gone...or he can remain lucky ..but how long can anyone remain lucky? The hackers community is growing at a pace which is pretty fast owing to the lure of what else but DOLLARs and more DOLLARs.With "Crimeware as a Service" readily available as a service at the click, NO ONE IS SECURE.It will actually take years to stabilize the current security environment from perspective of a typical user as he understands that giving an equal importance to his IT assets security is more important then locking his house as he leaves for work.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Ubuntu 12.10 @ SPYING

1.   What happens when someone you trust eyes closed,some you promote amongst ur friends is labeled a SPYWARE...or a Spying agent... that's what was felt by millions of UBUNTU followers and fans.I read about this two days back at ZDNET. The news doing the rounds goes like this :


Richard M. Stallman,creator of the Gnu General Public License (GPL) and the Free Software Foundation has announced that as far as he's concerned, Ubuntu contains spyware and that Linux supporters should shun Ubuntu for spying.

Specifically, Richard M. Stallman hates that Ubuntu 12.10 incorporated Amazon search into its default search function. So, if you searched for say "CISSP." you'd get results from both your PC and Amazon. When it was introduced, Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Ubuntu, defended this change by saying Ubuntu wasn't going to incorporate ads into the operating system, which Microsoft has done with Windows 8, and that no personalized data would be sent to Amazon.

2.   You need to re-read this yellow highlighted text above to exactly understand what goes on behind the scenes when you actually search for some string in your PC operating on UBUNTU connected to Internet.After the millions of immediate disapproves by the user community,it was announced by UBUNTU that now on Users of the upcoming Ubuntu 12.10 will be able to turn off a controversial 'shopping lens' feature that displays Amazon-stocked products when the user performs a unified local and online search....so the spying becomes optional....:-)

3.   What can be the need of a responsible OS community like UBUNTU to get into all this....if its my view it is not intentional for the purpose of spying.....but it could have been designed in the name of giving the user better results and experience!!!!!Jono Bacon, Canonical's community manager flatly states, "This is FUD" ie "Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD)...now yess!!so it seems to be....

4.   All said and done..UBUNTU is doing a wonderful job and provisioning one of the best OS free editions for users like us who wish not to pay to WINDOWS and believe in FREE SOFTWAREs :-)



Thursday, December 06, 2012

CYBER SECURITY COURSES IN INDIA


1. Most of the guys interested in cyber security keep looking and searching for Cyber Security Courses on the web and that included me too till some time back.So though I started like any body would do ie google and Bing around the web....so I found out so many courses being offered by so many unknown unheard institutions....but the best of what are accredited to some university and of some good valuable repute here in India are discussed in brief down along with the links.You can click on the course and u will be taken to the respective site for full details :


CDAC : Offers the following courses vide elearn :

C-DAC's Course On Cyber Security [CCCS] at http://elearn.cdac.in/eSikshak/help/English/eSikshak/cccs.htm

C-DAC Certified Cyber Security Professional ( CCCSP ) at http://elearn.cdac.in/eSikshak/help/English/eSikshak/CCCSP.html

Being from CDAC,these courses are valid in all govt organisations and public sectors.

GUJRAT FORENSIC SCIENCES UNIVERSITY AT http://www.gfsu.edu.in/institute_of_forensic_science.php offers following courses online :

GFSU CERTIFIED CYBER CRIME INVESTIGATOR
GFSU CERTIFIED CELLPHONE FORENSIC PROFESSIONAL
GFSU CERTIFIED COMPUTER FORENSIC EXPERT
GFSU CERTIFIED CYBER SECURITY EXPERT
PG CERTIFICATE DIPLOMA IN CYBER LAW
PG CERTIFICATE DIPLOMA IN IPR

Details about the courses offered at http://www.gfsu.edu.in/pdf/online_certificate_course.pdf

ASCL(ASIAN SCHOOL OF CYBER LAWS) : The Website is at http://www.asianlaws.org/ .The following courses are offered in cyber domain including security :

Advanced Executive Program in Cyber Security AT http://www.asianlaws.org/cyber_security.php#.UMC5Zn_SFI0

Advanced Executive Program in Cyber Security, Audit & Compliance AT http://www.asianlaws.org/csac.php#.UMC5mX_SFI0

DIPLOMA IN CYBER LAW AT http://www.asianlaws.org/glc.php#.UMC353_SFI0

DIPLOMA IN CYBER LAW(INTERNATIONAL) AT http://www.asianlaws.org/dcl.php#.UMC4Cn_SFI0

PG IN CYBER LAW AT http://www.asianlaws.org/pgpcl.php#.UMC4LX_SFI0

CYBER LAW FOR POLICE OFFICERS AT http://www.asianlaws.org/police.php#.UMC4TX_SFI0

PG Program in Cyber Crime Prosecution & Defence AT http://www.asianlaws.org/ccpd.php#.UMC4fH_SFI0

Advanced Program in International Cyber Laws AT http://www.asianlaws.org/icl.php#.UMC4p3_SFI0

ASCL Certified Cyber Crime Investigator AT http://www.asianlaws.org/cci.php#.UMC4xn_SFI0

ASCL Certified Digital Evidence Analyst AT http://www.asianlaws.org/dea.php#.UMC46n_SFI0

ASCL Certified Digital Forensic Investigator AT http://www.asianlaws.org/dfi.php#.UMC5JH_SFI2

Advanced Executive Program in IT Act Audit & Compliance AT http://www.asianlaws.org/audit.php#.UMC5RH_SFI0

DATA64 website at http://www.data64.in/index.php#.UMC54X_SFI0 offers a range of courses similar to ASCL as mentioned above.

IMT,GHAZIABAD.Details at http://www.imtcdl.ac.in/. The following courses are offered in cyber domain including security :

ONE YEAR PG DIPLOMA IN CYBER SECURITY at http://www.imtcdl.ac.in/opgdcs_about.htm

TWO YEAR MS IN CYBER LAW & SECURITY at http://www.imtcdl.ac.in/mscs_about.htm

IGNOU OFFERS Post Graduate Diploma in Information Security (PGDIS) at http://www.ignou.ac.in/ignou/aboutignou/school/sovet/programmes/detail/428/2

ANKIT FADIA Certified Ethical Hacker (AFCEH) AT http://www.ankitfadia.in/afceh.html

1 Gigabit Per Second : The dream comes to Kochi,INDIA

1.    Are you happy surfing Internet speeds at 2 Mbps and around....and have you read about speeds of 1Gbps in future.....if yesss....its time to realize that this future that we keep reading and dreaming about has reached us...ie our desktops!!!....

2.  Astonishing as any one may find that when I read about the 1 Gigabit per second connectivity made available to the people of Kansas City in the US of A, I never imagined that the same day around it will be some where offered in India too...and where else but KOCHI..........


3.  Startup Village at Kochi joined the 1 Gig speed club by becoming the second place in the world to experience lightning fast 1Gbps internet connection. Chief Minister Shri Oommen Chandy formally introduced the facility on November 17.Guys in the state of Kerala can now make the most of upload speeds that are 1000 times that of Broadband and download speeds 100 times as fast.This is a wow moment for the Kochi residents....upload and download tons in minutes and seconds :-)

4.    Congrats Kochi guys!!!!!

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

How to find if Python is installed in Linux ?

I was recently playing with Matriux Krypton tool chaosmap....but was unable to use this tool for some error that kept popping up...so I though if at all the PYTHON is installed or not?......the way to check this is to go to the terminal and write :

python -V

and u should see like  : Python 2.6.6


                                         (click on the image to enlarge)






The power of ALGORITHMS : Writing Articles/Reports/News!!!

1.  We all are pretty aware that whatever works on the net ,cyberspace web,applications is all backed by many codes and algos running in the background..,,it is these algorithms and codes that actually decide how things happen at the front end ie the user interface.Designed by coders and programmers these algorithms perform herculean tasks in all our routine IT activities...now for all those of us who work in offices and corporate ....we generally keep coming across compiling and analysing reports on various aspects ,be it the views...the summary...the monthly/quarterly feedback... the main article for some journal....or some regular feed etc.So now making these reports and feedbacks etc actually requires manual intervention...and the quality of these reports are proportional to the amount of quality work man hours that have gone into making it....but what if these manual intervention is replaced by intelligent algorithms...ie the reports being compiled are made out of algorithms???

2.   This is what has happened at Narrative Science,a company that trains computers to write news stories...yes you heard it write!!! "Trains computers to write News Stories".The first story that I read about this is available here.The brief points from this story goes like these :

     -  Every 30 seconds or so, the algorithmic bull pen of Narrative Science, a 30-person company occupying a large room on the fringes of the Chicago Loop, extrudes a story whose very byline is a question of philosophical inquiry.

  - Kristian Hammond is the CTO and co-founder of Narrative Science.According to Hammond, these stories are only the first step toward what will eventually become a news universe dominated by computer-generated stories....(amazing amazing future!!!!:-)

   - If one wishes to know the percentage of news that would be written by computers in 15 years.......according to Hammond is going to be more then 90%

3.   So guys the above example is for the news world...where else we can think? Can it compile Intelligence reports for the FBI and our CID based on inputs from so many sources....Off course this is being handled manually as on date....but imagining a intel report compiled by a algorithm is a serious contender for making a permanent place in such agencies.Well...this is one imagination...how about demographic repots...election reports...infact the list is endless.....

4.    Thanks http://www.wired.com