Hack for Change #hackforchange

As part of National Day of Hacking, I took part in the hackathon in New York. Here were some insights

A few teams had come prepared reading the challenge questions. These teams had an advantage on time

Creating something in time was a big challenge ( how do you make a product in a single day)

Hackathon consists of 1) organizer giving challenge questions 2) people coming to venue 3) making teams 4) working together as team 5) presenting results (usually one person per team)

The idea is the most important in how relevant and closely aligned to the questions in hackthon you were. Creativity rules

The next important thing was making a balanced team in which everyone gels well, and have skill sets that are complementary ( one front end, one back end, one data scientist in Python, one person who is good at presentation etc)

The next important thing was not getting intimidated by other teams and working on your team idea till last moment

The presentation should be given to a person who is best at expressing 1) what you did 2) how the solution is innovative 3) how it is relevant and useful to challenge

Lastly have fun hacking. People who have fun hacking generally tend to be better hackers.

Screenshot from 2016-06-10 06:40:04

Geeks for Privacy: Play Color Cipher and Visual Cryptography

Maybe the guys in Anonymous or Wikileaks can now use visual cryptography while using Snapchat to fool the NSA or CIA

Personally I think a browser with inbuilt backdoors to Tor Relays and data transfer by Bit Torrrents could be worthy a project too.

Quit the bullshit, Google- you are as evil as The Russian Communist Empire

I was just reading up on my weekly to-read list and came across this interesting method. It is called Play Color Cipher-

Each Character ( Capital, Small letters, Numbers (0-9), Symbols on the keyboard ) in the plain text is substituted with a color block from the available 18 Decillions of colors in the world [11][12][13] and at the receiving end the cipher text block (in color) is decrypted in to plain text block. It overcomes the problems like “Meet in the middle attack, Birthday attack and Brute force attacks [1]”.
It also reduces the size of the plain text when it is encrypted in to cipher text by 4 times, with out any loss of content. Cipher text occupies very less buffer space; hence transmitting through channel is very fast. With this the transportation cost through channel comes down.




Visual Cryptography is indeed an interesting topic-

Visual cryptography, an emerging cryptography technology, uses the characteristics of human vision to decrypt encrypted
images. It needs neither cryptography knowledge nor complex computation. For security concerns, it also ensures that hackers
cannot perceive any clues about a secret image from individual cover images. Since Naor and Shamir proposed the basic
model of visual cryptography, researchers have published many related studies.


Visual cryptography (VC) schemes hide the secret image into two or more images which are called
shares. The secret image can be recovered simply by stacking the shares together without any complex
computation involved. The shares are very safe because separately they reveal nothing about the secret image.

Visual Cryptography provides one of the secure ways to transfer images on the Internet. The advantage
of visual cryptography is that it exploits human eyes to decrypt secret images .





Even more fun—– visual cryptography using a series of bar codes – leaving the man in middle guessing how many sub images are there and which if at all is the real message




Color Visual Cryptography Scheme Using Meaningful Shares


Visual cryptography for color images


Other Resources

  1. http://users.telenet.be/d.rijmenants/en/visualcrypto.htm
  2. Visual Crypto – One-time Image Create two secure images from one by Robert Hansen
  3. Visual Crypto Java Applet at the University of Regensburg
  4. Visual Cryptography Kit Software to create image layers
  5. On-line Visual Crypto Applet by Leemon Baird
  6. Extended Visual Cryptography (pdf) by Mizuho Nakajima and Yasushi Yamaguchi
  7. Visual Cryptography Paper by Moni Noar and Adi Shamir
  8. Visual Crypto Talk (pdf) by Frederik Vercauteren ESAT Leuven
  9. http://cacr.uwaterloo.ca/~dstinson/visual.html
  10. t the University of Salerno web page on visual cryptogrpahy.
  11. Visual Crypto Page by Doug Stinson
  12. Simple implementation of the visual cryptography scheme based on Moni Naor and Adi Shamir, Visual Cryptography, EUROCRYPT 1994, pp1–12. This technique allows visual information like pictures to be encrypted so that decryption can be done visually.The code outputs two files. Try printing them on two separate transparencies and putting them one on top of the other to see the hidden message. http://algorito.com/algorithm/visual-cryptography

Visual Cryptography 

Ajay- I think a combination of sharing and color ciphers would prove more helpful to secure Internet Communication than existing algorithms. It also levels the playing field from computationally rich players to creative coders.

WordPress.com changes Analytics

WP.com made a cool change to WP- Stats , its default analytics program, It now counts visitors as well as visits. This is especially useful to writers like me who like to customize content based on analytics ( GA Analytics does not work on WordPress.com hosted sites) and who dont want to bother with hosting /hacking (WP.com is much more hassle free than self-hosted , or even Rackspace hosted in my experience).

Of course the guy DOS-ing my poetry blog (via Yahoo Image Service) needs to use Tor to hide. Unless they dont want to hide and just want to click on my Roses poem 200 times (passing a subliminal message?) . Of course GA Analytics loves line charts and WP Stats loves Bar Charts, but we wont get into that.



Google Visualization Tools Can Help You Build a Personal Dashboard

The Google Visualization API is a great way for people to make dashboards with slick graphics based  on data without getting into the fine print of the scripting language  itself.  It utilizes the same tools as Google itself does, and makes visualizing data using API calls to the Visualization API. Thus a real-time customizable dashboard that is publishable to the internet can be created within minutes, and more importantly insights can be much more easily drawn from graphs than from looking at rows of tables and numbers.

  1. There are 41 gadgets (including made by both Google and third-party developers ) available in the Gadget  Gallery ( https://developers.google.com/chart/interactive/docs/gadgetgallery)
  2. There are 12 kinds of charts available in the Chart Gallery (https://developers.google.com/chart/interactive/docs/gallery) .
  3. However there 26 additional charts in the charts page at https://developers.google.com/chart/interactive/docs/more_charts )

Building and embedding charts is simplified to a few steps

  • Load the AJAX API
  • Load the Visualization API and the appropriate package (like piechart or barchart from the kinds of chart)
  • Set a callback to run when the Google Visualization API is loaded
    • Within the Callback – It creates and populates a data table, instantiates the particular chart type chosen, passes in the data and draws it.
    • Create the data table with appropriately named columns and data rows.
    • Set chart options with Title, Width and Height
  • Instantiate and draw the chart, passing in some options including the name and id
  • Finally write the HTML/ Div that will hold the chart

You can simply copy and paste the code directly from https://developers.google.com/chart/interactive/docs/quick_start without getting into any details, and tweak them according to your data, chart preference and voila your web dashboard is ready!
That is the beauty of working with API- you can create and display genius ideas without messing with the scripting languages and code (too much). If you like to dive deeper into the API, you can look at the various objects at https://developers.google.com/chart/interactive/docs/reference

First launched in Mar 2008, Google Visualization API has indeed come a long way in making dashboards easier to build for people wanting to utilize advanced data visualization . It came about directly as a result of Google’s 2007 acquisition of GapMinder (of Hans Rosling fame).
As invariably and inevitably computing shifts to the cloud, visualization APIs will be very useful. Tableau Software has been a pioneer in selling data visualizing to the lucrative business intelligence and business dashboards community (you can see the Tableau Software API at http://onlinehelp.tableausoftware.com/v7.0/server/en-us/embed_api.htm ), and Google Visualization can do the same and capture business dashboard and visualization market , if there is more focus on integrating it from Google in it’s multiple and often confusing API offerings.
However as of now, this is quite simply the easiest way to create a web dashboard for your personal needs. Google guarantees 3 years of backward compatibility with this API and it is completely free.

Anonymous grows up and matures…Anonanalytics.com

I liked the design, user interfaces and the conceptual ideas behind the latest Anonymous hactivist websites (much better than the shabby graphic design of Wikileaks, or Friends of Wikileaks, though I guess they have been busy what with Julian’s escapades and Syrian emails)


I disagree  (and let us agree to disagree some of the time)

with the complete lack of respect for Graphical User Interfaces for tools. If dDOS really took off due to LOIC, why not build a GUI for SQL Injection (or atleats the top 25 vulnerability testing as by this list http://www.sans.org/top25-software-errors/

Shouldnt Tor be embedded within the next generation of Loic.

Automated testing tools are used by companies like Adobe (and others)… so why not create simple GUI for the existing tools.., I may be completely offtrack here.. but I think hacker education has been a critical misstep[ that has undermined Western Democracies preparedness for Cyber tactics by hostile regimes)…. how to create the next generation of hackers by easy tutorials (see codeacademy and build appropriate modules)

-A slick website to be funded by Bitcoins (Money can buy everything including Mastercard and Visa, but Bitcoins are an innovative step towards an internet economy  currency)

-A collobrative wiki


Seriously dude, why not make this a part of Wikipedia- (i know Jimmy Wales got shifty eyes, but can you trust some1 )

-Analytics for Anonymous (sighs! I should have thought about this earlier)

http://anonanalytics.com/ (can be used to play and bill both sides of corporate espionage and be cyber private investigators)

What We Do

We provide the public with investigative reports exposing corrupt companies. Our team includes analysts, forensic accountants, statisticians, computer experts, and lawyers from various jurisdictions and backgrounds. All information presented in our reports is acquired through legal channels, fact-checked, and vetted thoroughly before release. This is both for the protection of our associates as well as groups/individuals who rely on our work.

_and lastly creative content for Pinterest.com and Public Relations ( what next-? Tom Cruise to play  Julian Assange in the new Movie ?)

http://www.par-anoia.net/ />Potentially Alarming Research: Anonymous Intelligence AgencyInformation is and will be free. Expect it. ~ Anonymous

Links of interest

  • Latest Scientology Mails (Austria)
  • Full FBI call transcript
  • Arrest Tracker
  • HBGary Email Viewer
  • The Pirate Bay Proxy
  • We Are Anonymous – Book
  • To be announced…


Google Cloud is finally here

Amazon gets some competition, and customers should see some relief, unless Google withdraws commitment on these products after a few years of trying (like it often does now!)



Machine Type Pricing
Configuration Virtual Cores Memory GCEU * Local disk Price/Hour $/GCEU/hour
n1-standard-1-d 1 3.75GB *** 2.75 420GB *** $0.145 0.053
n1-standard-2-d 2 7.5GB 5.5 870GB $0.29 0.053
n1-standard-4-d 4 15GB 11 1770GB $0.58 0.053
n1-standard-8-d 8 30GB 22 2 x 1770GB $1.16 0.053
Network Pricing
Ingress Free
Egress to the same Zone. Free
Egress to a different Cloud service within the same Region. Free
Egress to a different Zone in the same Region (per GB) $0.01
Egress to a different Region within the US $0.01 ****
Inter-continental Egress At Internet Egress Rate
Internet Egress (Americas/EMEA destination) per GB
0-1 TB in a month $0.12
1-10 TB $0.11
10+ TB $0.08
Internet Egress (APAC destination) per GB
0-1 TB in a month $0.21
1-10 TB $0.18
10+ TB $0.15
Persistent Disk Pricing
Provisioned space $0.10 GB/month
Snapshot storage** $0.125 GB/month
IO Operations $0.10 per million
IP Address Pricing
Static IP address (assigned but unused) $0.01 per hour
Ephemeral IP address (attached to instance) Free
* GCEU is Google Compute Engine Unit — a measure of computational power of our instances based on industry benchmarks; review the GCEU definition for more information
** coming soon
*** 1GB is defined as 2^30 bytes
**** promotional pricing; eventually will be charged at internet download rates

Google Prediction API

Tap into Google’s machine learning algorithms to analyze data and predict future outcomes.

Leverage machine learning without the complexity
Use the familiar RESTful interface
Enter input in any format – numeric or text

Build smart apps

Learn how you can use Prediction API to build customer sentiment analysis, spam detection or document and email classification.

Google Translation API

Use Google Translate API to build multilingual apps and programmatically translate text in your webpage or application.

Translate text into other languages programmatically
Use the familiar RESTful interface
Take advantage of Google’s powerful translation algorithms

Build multilingual apps

Learn how you can use Translate API to build apps that can programmatically translate text in your applications or websites.

Google BigQuery

Analyze Big Data in the cloud using SQL and get real-time business insights in seconds using Google BigQuery. Use a fully-managed data analysis service with no servers to install or maintain.

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Google App Engine

Create apps on Google’s platform that are easy to manage and scale. Benefit from the same systems and infrastructure that power Google’s applications.

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Let us worry about the underlying infrastructure and systems.
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Indian Court un-blocks Pirate Bay


Web users in India are once again able to access video and file-sharing sites, including The Pirate Bay.The country’s Madras High Court has changed its earlier censorship order which centred on the issue of internet copyright

It states that only specific web addresses – URLs – carrying the pirated content should be blocked, but not the entire website.

“The order of interim injunction dated 25/04/2012 is hereby clarified that the interim injunction is granted only in respect of a particular URL where the infringing movie is kept and not in respect of the entire website,” reads the updated decision.