Monday, December 29, 2008

Mr.Ankit Fadia's lecture on Ethical Hacking (22 Dec 2008)

Our technologically networked world is continuously challenged by new security loopholes, threats and attacks. With a growth in computer users and networks, the scale and sophistication of cyber crime has increased thus creating a high demand for ethical hackers. The demand for computer security professionals is estimated to grow to over 77,000 in India and 188,000 worldwide.

For the purpose of addressing this issue, our college Sri Shakthi Institute of Engineering and Technology, Coimbatore invited an alarming personality, Mr.Ankit Fadia a widely recognized computer security guru and cyber anti-terrorism expert. Mr.Ankit Fadia lives in USA where he is pursuing his Bachelors in Computer science with specialization in information security from Stanford University, California, USA.
The function began with welcome address by our Principal Dr.V.Murugesan followed by the presidential address by our honorable chairman Dr.S.Thangavelu.
Mr.Ankit Fadia started speaking about the various aspects of security & its vulnerability. But was very categorical in differentiating a hacker and a cracker. Generally from the people's perspective there is a misconception that cracker and Hacker is one and the same. But after his lecture we were able to differentiate that a Cracker is one who causes ill effects to the society and violates the law whereas the hacker protects the society from the cracker and abides to the law.
He had explained the different type of attacks such as privacy attacks, dos attacks and many more that could attack Computer.
We were spellbound after hearing that a 11yr old boy from Russia was successful in cracking the NASA's entire computer system and changed the direction of a spacecraft, resulting in great loss of money to NASA.
With few case studies he explained how a cracker could access computer without one's knowledge. Then he gave a practical demonstration of how a cracker could take control over a system located anywhere in the world using TROJANS that could delete the entire data in one's computer, disable any hardware component and many other things that one cant ever imagine.
He added that its possible to crack the trial software and make it full version. But as its illegal to crack software, he suggested everyone to migrate to open source software as its completely free.
Generally every organization and education institutions block certain website so that the user may not be able to access them. Mr.Ankit Fadia, being the eminent hacker gave tips on how to bye-pass them using proxy server.

Mr.Ankit Fadia also shared his experience on how he with his fellow mates helped the US government's intelligence agency in decrypting the message sent by one of the Osama Bin Laden's men in relation with September 11's attack and practically demonstrated Steganography. Steganography is a technique which is used for hiding the information or secret message inside any image, audio or a video file. This was the technique used by the terrorist to communicate with each other.
Then he spoke on phishing which is one of the important evolving threat to security. Each and every one present were astonished when Mr.Ankit Fadia found the password of a student present among the audience, within seconds. He gave tips on how to protect one's computer like installing powerful firewall, Updating antivirus software and Operating system regularly and by installing spywares. He ended the lecture by saying that its highly important that each and every individual's privacy must be respected and its also the people's responsibility to take preventive measures to be secure enough as the technology develops.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

@Day2(11th August 2007)Interview

My turn for interview had finally come. Actually they were interviewing three people at a time, I think Vivek Balaji(ECE) and one of my classmate Ramya accompanied me. With all nervousness I went inside. Siddharth, Mayur and Sumedh Sakdeo They asked simple questions like "What will you do as a MSP?", "Why should I select you as MSP ?", and some techi questions in C(as I was in my 2nd yr of Engg).It was simple and my interview went well. Then the interview for others was held for about 3 hours extending up to 10:00 p.m in the night. By this the day 2 was also over. We all had a great experience and fun.

@Day2(11th August 2007)

Another person Sumedh Sakdeo from Pune joined the MSPs.The participants were received in the auditorium with the Windows vista official song rocking the roofs. The session on creating a website with WEB 2.0 kindled the creativity quotient of the gathering ,with many claiming after the session that they had their problems solved with regard to AJAX. They showed the difference of working experience in html and The various pillars of Windows vista presentation ,XML and RSS technologies were covered in the further sessions.
A bit difficult question ,“What were the languages used to develop the Windows XP operating system?” was finally thrown at the audience. The MSPs brought in huge competition by offering to provide the original windows vista operating system CD to the participant with the most convincing answer
One of my classmate Fazulul Rahman and another fellow, Anmol Vij from Sri Krishna college won an original windows vista operating system CD each.
The valedictory session was presided over by Mr.Sankara narayana, Dean, Electrical Sciences,VLB Engineering College. The testimonial sessions by delegates from other engineering colleges were overwhelming with gratitude for the hospitality our college provided and the knowledge which the MSP’s imparted. A Photograph session with the MSPs was requested by the participants and a lot of them walked away with signatures from their heroes.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

@Day 1 (10th August 2007)

We received a great response from engineering students (as far a 150 km away) around the district of Coimbatore. We were able to enroll about 104 students from other engineering colleges. Dr.Arokyaswamy ,President ,Computer Society of India (CSI) –Coimbatore chapter, Was invited for the inaugural address. The student were spellbound when he went on to elaborate on the challenges of the IT.Then student representatives from various colleges were asked to convey their expectations. We were taken by surprise when a student representative queried “How is Microsoft countering the GOOGLE GEAR threat ?” (Of course, the MSP’s got into act immediately!)
The first session was on Microsoft Academia that covered the various initiatives taken by Microsoft for the Students, Faculty members and more. The audience went crazy when they knew any answer to the question asked, would be appreciated with a Visual studio CD.

Then they adopted a innovative approach to elaborate on the difference between Microsoft XP and Microsoft Vista operating system. We had provided the MSP’s with two projectors .One had the output from a machine running on Microsoft XP and the other from a machine running on Microsoft Vista. Hence the audience were able to appreciate on the experience Vista provided.

The videos shown were awe-inspiring! .The auditorium echoed the applause time and again. One particular video on the evolution of the Operating system was greatly motivating.
At the end of the day 1, students were asked to come out with questions in their mind.

After the success of Day 1 event it was followed by session of interviews. The MSP leads were able to appreciate the concentration levels the students exhibited throughout the day. Most of my friends were interviewed. Later I came to know my turn was on the next day.

Behind the Scenes(August 2007 )

Mr. Deepan Thangavelu, Secretary of our college( Sri Shakthi Institute of Engg & Tech), came in contact with two Microsoft student partner leads, Siddharth Prakash and Mayur Tendulkar of pune user group and invited them to our college. They were very much interested and also planned to recruit few MSPs(Microsoft student partners) here.
This was for the first time ever, I came to know that there exist people known as Microsoft Student Partners. I guess not only me a lot of people in My College . As the date was fixed for the conference, our college started sorting out students for the interview to be conducted by MSP leads on the conference. The selection process was as usual, Written exam, Group discussion etc .After that more than 50 students were selected for the interview.
Day before the Conference Siddharth and Mayur spoke with our college students and were very much excited on observing our overwhelming response.

Student Developer Conference - 2007

Monday, December 1, 2008

BOKU - a new visual programming language

You all know how technology is developing faster. U will rarely find people not using the word 'Computers'. You wont wonder even if Kids of 5yr old use Computers. I ll give you an example, I saw a Computer when I was 10 yrs old and I started playing PC games only when I was 13 yrs old. But when I once played with my 8 yr old cousin he is far better then me. The only way we can console ourselves is by saying that they can only play games but not create one. As we all know we can do that easily using software like flash, XNA game studio and many more.
But guys, now we have got Competition here also.
Kids of just 10 yr old can also Create games !! Just imagine.
Microsoft on its latest Professional Developer Conference, announced that its going to release BOKU, a new visual programming language made specifically for creating games and designed to be accessible for children. Microsoft says that its programming environment runs on the Xbox, allowing rapid design iteration using only a game controller for input.
Its highly easy to create, as the programming part is by a user interface. In Xbox's case the Game controller Is enough (NOTE: No keyboard).The language is too simple and icon-based. Programs are composed of pages, which are broken down into rules, which are further divided into conditions and actions. Conditions are evaluated simultaneously. Programs are expressed in physical terms, using concepts like vision, hearing, and time to control character behavior provides an end-to-end creative environment for designing, building, and playing your own new games.

These are its following features:
• High level language incorporates real-world primitives: collision, color, vision
• Runs on Xbox 360 and PC
• Interactive terrain editor - create worlds of arbitrary shape and size
• Bridge and path builder
• 20 different characters with different abilities
• Built-in sharing and rating

So gaming freaks start working hard on XNA and gaming software because we have got Competition