Cyber Cold War

I try to write on cyber conflict without getting into the politics of why someone is hacking someone else. I always get beaten by someone in the comments thread when I write on politics.

But recent events have forced me to update my usual “how-to” cyber conflict to “why” cyber conflict. This is because of a terrorist attack in my hometown Delhi.

(updated-

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/14/world/middleeast/israeli-embassy-officials-attacked-in-india-and-georgia.html?_r=1&hp

Iran allegedly tried  (as per Israel) to assassinate the wife of Israeli Defence Attache in Delhi using a magnetic bomb, India as she went to school to pick up her kids, somebody else put a grenade in Israeli embassy car in Georgia which was found in time. 

Based on reports , initial work suggests the bomb was much more sophisticated than local terrorists, but the terrorists seemed to have some local recce work done.

India has 0 history of antisemitism but this is the second time Israelis have been targeted since 26/11 Mumbai attacks. India buys 12 % of oil annually from Iran (and refuses to join the oil embargo called by US and Europe)

Cyber Conflict is less painful than conflict, which is inevitable as long as mankind exists. Also the Western hemisphere needs a moon shot (cyber conflict could be the Sputnik like moment) and with declining and aging populations but better technology, Western Hemisphere govts need cyber conflict as they are running out of humans to fight their wars. Eastern govt. are even more obnoxious in using children for conflict propaganda, and corruption.

Last week CIA.gov website went down

This week Iranian govt is allegedly blocking https traffic on eve of Annual Revolution Day (what a coincidence!)

 

Some resources to help Internet users in Iran (or maybe this could be a dummy test for the big one – hacking the great firewall of China)

News from Hacker News-

http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3575029

 

I’m writing this to report the serious troubles we have regarding accessing Internet in Iran at the moment. Since Thursday Iranian government has shutted down the https protocol which has caused almost all google services (gmail, and google.com itself) to become inaccessible. Almost all websites that reply on Google APIs (like wolfram alpha) won’t work. Accessing to any website that replies on https (just imaging how many websites use this protocol, from Arch Wiki to bank websites). Also accessing many proxies is also impossible. There are almost no official reports on this and with many websites and my email accounts restricted I can just confirm this based on my own and friends experience. I have just found one report here:

Iran Shut Down Gmail , Google , Yahoo and sites using “Https” Protocol

The reason for this horrible shutdown is that the Iranian regime celebrates 1979 Islamic revolution tomorrow.

I just wanted to let you guys know about this. If you have any solution regarding bypassing this restriction please help!

 

The boys at Tor think they can help-

but its not so elegant, as I prefer creating a  batch file rather than explain coding to newbies. 

this is still getting to better and easier interfaces

https://www.torproject.org/projects/obfsproxy-instructions.html.en

Obfsproxy Instructions

client torrc

Step 1: Install dependencies, obfsproxy, and Tor

 

You will need a C compiler (gcc), the autoconf and autotools build system, the git revision control system, pkg-config andlibtoollibevent-2 and its headers, and the development headers of OpenSSL.

On Debian testing or Ubuntu oneiric, you could do:
# apt-get install autoconf autotools-dev gcc git pkg-config libtool libevent-2.0-5 libevent-dev libevent-openssl-2.0-5 libssl-dev

If you’re on a more stable Linux, you can either try our experimental backport libevent2 debs or build libevent2 from source.

Clone obfsproxy from its git repository:
$ git clone https://git.torproject.org/obfsproxy.git
The above command should create and populate a directory named ‘obfsproxy’ in your current directory.

Compile obfsproxy:
$ cd obfsproxy
$ ./autogen.sh && ./configure && make

Optionally, as root install obfsproxy in your system:
# make install

If you prefer not to install obfsproxy as root, you can instead just modify the Transport lines in your torrc file (explained below) to point to your obfsproxy binary.

You will need Tor 0.2.3.11-alpha or later.


Step 2a: If you’re the client…

 

First, you need to learn the address of a bridge that supports obfsproxy. If you don’t know any, try asking a friend to set one up for you. Then the appropriate lines to your tor configuration file:

UseBridges 1
Bridge obfs2 128.31.0.34:1051
ClientTransportPlugin obfs2 exec /usr/local/bin/obfsproxy --managed

Don’t forget to replace 128.31.0.34:1051 with the IP address and port that the bridge’s obfsproxy is listening on.
 Congratulations! Your traffic should now be obfuscated by obfsproxy. You are done! You can now start using Tor.

For old fashioned tunnel creation under Seas of English Channel-

http://dag.wieers.com/howto/ssh-http-tunneling/

Tunneling SSH over HTTP(S)
This document explains how to set up an Apache server and SSH client to allow tunneling SSH over HTTP(S). This can be useful on restricted networks that either firewall everything except HTTP traffic (tcp/80,tcp/443) or require users to use a local (HTTP) proxy.
A lot of people asked why doing it like this if you can just make sshd listen on port 443. Well, that might work if your environment is not hardened like I have seen at several companies, but this setup has a few advantages.

  • You can proxy to anywhere (see the Proxy directive in Apache) based on names
  • You can proxy to any port you like (see the AllowCONNECT directive in Apache)
  • It works even when there is a layer-7 protocol firewall
  • If you enable proxytunnel ssl support, it is indistinguishable from real SSL traffic
  • You can come up with nice hostnames like ‘downloads.yourdomain.com’ and ‘pictures.yourdomain.com’ and for normal users these will look like normal websites when visited.
  • There are many possibilities for doing authentication further along the path
  • You can do proxy-bouncing to the n-th degree to mask where you’re coming from or going to (however this requires more changes to proxytunnel, currently I only added support for one remote proxy)
  • You do not have to dedicate an IP-address for sshd, you can still run an HTTPS site

Related-

http://opensourceandhackystuff.blogspot.in/2012/02/captive-portal-security-part-1.html

and some crypto for young people

http://users.telenet.be/d.rijmenants/en/onetimepad.htm

 

Me- What am I doing about it? I am just writing poems on hacking at http://poemsforkush.com

Tantra Anjuna

While vacationing in Goa, I came across a marvelous place on Anjuna Beach called Tantra. It is basically a beach side restaurant cum hotel, but what makes it unique is the use of natural building materials like wooden poles tied together with ropes to create a magnificent and comfortable ambiance . The decor is artistic without being too loud, a big golden statue of the Buddha greets people as they come in , the music is Sanskrit and Hindi hymns , there are books left casually around for the reader. There are statues of Ganesha and a Shiva -Linga, evening lighting is shielded lighting, and dinner is over candle-lights and the manager Karan Singh has basically created a sort of mini-naturalistic paradise. It is basically India as it was meant to be, before we turned weirdly capitalistic.

 

An amazing thing at the Tantra is the pricing, they are very much a fit for the traveler who does not want to stick to expensive hotels, and does not want to compromise on hygiene. Tantra is clean, very healthy living, and you go to sleep with the sound and sight of the Ocean, and are woken gently by the Sun.

 

If you are in the mood to travel to India, you should travel to Goa, and in Goa, Tantra , Anjuna beach is one of the finest places you can have an authentic travel experience.

 

Location- Tantra is located almost at the heart of Anjuna Beach, it is just ahead of the famous Anjuna Famous Market. To get to Anjuna, you can take a taxi or Bus from Mapusa, or Margoa. To reach Margoa, you can take an air-conditioned Volvo or non-AC bus from Mumbai (that would be the best way to travel)

 

About Tantra- A great place in Anjuna, Goa  with a difference.

Set next to the flea market, surrounded by unique antique furniture and art. Experience the serene and chilled out space. Great place to watch the sunrise and sunset. Swing by.
Contact Info

TANTRA BEACH SHACK AND HUTS

Email:

singh87@yahoo.com

Website:
https://tantraanjuna.wordpress.com/
Office: +919970444637
Location:
Flea Market, Anjuna Beach, Goa, India

Agneepath Movie Review

When you try and make a remake of old Bollywood classic, you risk some stuff. Especially if the classic is the legendary Amitabh Bachchan’s   Agneepath that was both a commericial flop, a total hit at the awards and now a cult favorite (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agneepath)

So what can Karans Johar/Malhotra, Sanjay Dutt and Hrithik Roshan do that hasnt been done.

Well they have made the intense violence mind-blowing catchy and deliciously pulpy, with its unique Bollywood sweet sour mango flavor. Sanjay Dutt rocks the screen in evil intensity, Hrithik emotes with his eyes (wisely deciding to underplay his Vijay Deenanath Chauhan , rather than the over the top original) and even the supporting actors from the veteran Rishi Kapoor, the demure Priyanka Chopra and host of characters make this an incredibly cool movie to buy tickets for. I am sure Quentin Tarantino would find the violence inspiring – and if you have not seen Bollywood movies yet, well this is sure as good a time to start.

See it- and atleast in Mumbai, India , the movies are off to a good start in 2012.

related-

and

Indian Govt tries to censor Internet

Stupidity is contiguous  and Stupid Politicians are legion.

From-

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204542404577158342623999990.html?mod=WSJINDIA_hpp_LEFTTopStories

Google Inc. and Facebook Inc. are fighting back against increasing censorship demands from the Indian government and courts, arguing that they aren’t legally responsible for monitoring their websites and proactively removing user content that regulators deem objectionable.

The big threat for the companies at the moment is a lawsuit in a New Delhi trial court, which seeks to hold them and several other websites criminally liable for not censoring online content, including material that mocks or criticizes religious and political figures.

Read more: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204542404577158342623999990.html#ixzz1jVPdAsNT

————————————————————————————————————————————–

One not so apparent reason for Indian Govt to censor Internet is that the internet and social media were used for massive anti-Govt and anti-corruption protests in 2011. The Govt found itself on the backfoot, newspapers and television in India are generally considered pliable and manipulable by Govt  of  India (thanks to ad spends).Judiciary in India is also not known to be 100% honest or resistant of political pressures.

The incumbent Congress govt needs more legal weapons in its arsenal given elections are approaching this year in many states, and the need for more arrows in legal quivers  in India against the Internet is an inevitable and unfortunate next step. Since this is a global phenomenon (read- SOPA debate in US) ,and the huge huge internet population in India- this is one interesting battle to watch.

—————————————————————————————————————————————

Statistics on Social Media

Some official statistics on social media from the owners themselves

1) Facebook-

http://www.facebook.com/press/info.php?statistics

Date -17 Nov 2011

Statistics

People on Facebook

Contest : 2 free passes to Predictive Analytics World

I got some good news from the fine people at Predictive Analytics World.

 you qualify for 2 free passes to the PAW NYC event October 16-20, 2011.  I will be sending you a code to use for registration to receive these passes within the next couple of days.

If you cannot attend our PAW NYC event, please feel free to use these two free passes as a promotional tool within your blog.

Now I have been partnering with PAW for a long time, so it is nice to have free passes. I am grateful for their support of this blog. Therein lies my dilemma. I am in India, and a return ticket from NYC to India costs 1100$. Unless something drastic happens , I dont see myself with that kind of travel money.

Ergo.

I am offering two free passes to Predictive Analytics World . http://predictiveanalyticsworld.com/

All you need to do is – ahem- cough-

  1. like the Facebook Page of Decisionstats.  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Decisionstats/217450141605435 OR
  2.  Add me to a Google circle https://plus.google.com/116302364907696741272/posts OR
  3. Follow me on Twitter https://twitter.com/#!/0_h_r_1

AND


  1. Read one of my poems at my poetry blog at http://poemsforkush.wordpress.com/ and leave a comment with your email id please . It’s a promotion for my next book “Poets and Hackers” due for release in 2 weeks.
The 2 free passes are for any 2 days of the PAW NYC event.  This free pass may not be used for Text Analytics World conference being held the same week.  Please have your Contest winners use the Free Code:  XXXXXXXX.  This code will be good for two uses in registering. 
Thats ‘it. Two free passes , and go for it if you are around NYC in October. NY is a lovely place and I am wearing my red FDNY T shirt as I am typing this.

What do you get?

One of these –http://www.predictiveanalyticsworld.com/newyork/register.php (details awaited!) to

http://www.predictiveanalyticsworld.com/newyork/2011/

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