Chrome Extension- MafiaaFire

The chrome extension MafiaaWire basically gives you an updated list of redirected websites. So the next time , your evil highness shuts down your favorite website- the list promises to give you an update.  While obviously entertainment intellectual property is a very obvious site category for such redirects, in some cases these extensions can be used for simple things like hosting dissents or protesters against govt corruption in non US countries .

Basically under the new SOPA act (an oline version of pepper spray even browsers like Firefox and Chrome would be liable for any such extension that can be used to download American Intellectual property illegally.

In the meantime – this is an interesting and creative use case of technology and sociology merging in the brave new world.

You can read about it here-

MAFIAAFire works by downloading a list which contains the names of the “blocked” sites as well as the sites to redirect to. This list is downloaded every time Firefox starts up or every two days on the Chrome version (although the user has the choice to force an update on the Chrome version instead of waiting for two days).

When a user types in a domain name from the list of blocked domains, the add-on recognizes this and automatically redirects the user to the secondary site. Since this happens before the browser connects to the DNS server, this renders any DNS blocks useless.

Although the add-on checks for which sites are entered into the address bar every time (as it needs to check if that site is on its block list), it does not log these requests nor send these requests to any central server. In other words: it does not track the user.


Download it from

Interesting times indeed!




Cyber Attacks-Protecting your assets and people from cyber attacks

Cyber Attacks-Protecting your assets and people from cyber attacks

Everyday we hear of new cyber attacks on organizations and countries. The latest attacks were on IMF and 200,000 accounts of Citibank and now the website of the US Senate. If some of the most powerful and technologically advanced organizations could not survive targeted attacks, how effective is your organization in handling cyber security. Sony Playstation, Google Gmail, PBS website are other famous targets that have been victimized.

Before we play the blame game by pointing to China for sponsoring hacker attacks, or Russian spammers for creating Bot Nets or ex Silicon Valley /American technology experts rendered jobless by off-shoring, we need to both understand which companies are most vulnerable, which processes need to be fine tuned and what is the plan of action in case your cyber security is breached.

Which companies are most vulnerable?

If you have valuable data, confidential in nature , in electronic form AND connectivity to internet, you have an opening. Think of data as water, if you have a small leakage all the water can be leaked away. To add to complexity, the attackers are mostly unknown, and extremely difficult to catch, and can take a big chunk of your credibility and intellectual property in a very short time.

The best people in technology are not the ones attending meetings in nicely pressed suits– and your IT guy is rarely a match for the talent that is now available on freelance hire for cyber corporate espionage.

Any company or organization that has not undergone through one real time simulated cyber attack or IT audit that focuses on data security is very vulnerable.

Which organizational processes need to be fine tuned ?
Clearly employee access even at senior management needs to be ensured for both technological as well as social vulnerability. Does your reception take the name of senior management if cold called. Do your senior managers surf the internet and use a simple password on the same computer and laptop. Do you have disaster management and redundancy plans.
A wall is only as strong as its weakest brick and the same is true of organizational readiness for cyber attacks.

What is the plan of action in case your cyber security is breached?
Lean back, close your eyes and think your website has just been breached, someone has just stolen confidential emails from your corporate email server, and complete client as well as the most confidential data in your organization has been lost.

Do you have a plan for what to do next? Or are you waiting for an actual cyber event to occur to make that plan.

TeraData buys AsterData for 260+ million $

Balance sheet venetian method
Image via Wikipedia

This just in! Big party in San Carlos this weekend.

Teradata is acquiring Aster Data‘s business, including its intellectual property and technology product line, through a merger transaction. Teradata plans to support Aster Data’s customers and integrate its employees immediately upon completion of the acquisition, which is expected to occur in the second quarter of 2011. Teradata acquired an 11 percent ownership interest in Aster Data in September 2010, and has agreed to pay an additional $263 million for the remaining ownership interest, net of debt and other expenses. In addition, through this acquisition, Teradata will obtain approximately $21 million of cash which Aster Data is expected to have on its balance sheet at closing.