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My daily dose of rant & whine !

Understanding the Subnetting Math

Friday, January 27, 2006
Anyone who is in the Networking field or anyone who has taken up Certifications like for example CCNA,MCSE.. will agree with me that Subnetting is a very important subject when it comes to IP Addressing.

I myself took more time understanding subnetting than the latter topics in the course for that matter.I'm sure the below links would help for a newcomer to subnetting.

Introduction to Subnetting Part I

Introduction to Subnetting Part II

Introduction to Subnetting Part III

Introduction to Subnetting Part IV

Subnetting Math

Anonymise your Internet Experience !

When anyone talks of being anonymous in the big bad Internet the first thing that comes to mind is publicly available free Anonymous Proxies.But I've already written about why one shouldnt use free anonymous proxies.If anyone missed that post then you can read it here.

Here is a very good alternative to insecure proxies: Tor

The way Tor works is,it doesnt carry packets from source to destination directly,rather the packet route is taken through a tunnel "tor network " .Plus Tor is Free Software.

More information regarding how Tor works can be found here : How Tor Works


Reverse Engineering Malware

Thursday, January 26, 2006
A very interesting article on reverse engineering malware can be found here.

Although the article is a bit old,I believe the techniques still apply now.

(IN)SECURE Magazine issue 5 released

The covered topics are:

* Web application firewalls primer
* Review: Trustware BufferZone 1.6
* Threat analysis using log data
* Looking back at computer security in 2005
* Writing an enterprise handheld security policy
* Digital Rights Management
* Revenge of the Web mob
* Hardening Windows Server 2003 platforms made easy
* Filtering spam server-side

You can download it from here.

FTP:File Transfer Protocol

Wednesday, January 25, 2006
Anyone wanting to know & understand the FTP protocol may find these links useful.

Understanding the FTP Protocol

Active FTP vs Passive FTP

Belenix : SUN Solaris Live CD

Sunday, January 22, 2006

BeleniX is a *NIX distribution that is built using the OpenSolaris source base. It is currently a LiveCD distribution but is intended to grow into a complete distro that can be installed to hard disk.

BeleniX has been developed out of Bangalore the silicon capital of India and it was born at the India Engineering Center of SUN Microsystems.


Rescue stuff with Knoppix Live CD

Saturday, January 21, 2006
A link for everyone who use windows operating system,cause you reach a point where you just cant reach the windows desktop without a hitch.

Although there are various ways to recover or get back to a dead windows install depending on the problem at hand,most of the solutions posted at the Microsoft Knowledge Base website.

The information given in the link below provides ways to get back to a working OS with the help of a Knoppix Live CD.I'm sure this is one link to bookmark & keep a hard copy of for future reference.

Computer First Aid Using Knoppix

Skype Dalliance !

Its been a long time I used Skype primarily because there are already IM's (Yahoo & MSN ) bloated on my computer.With both having incorporated better voice functionality I decided to stay away from installing & trying Skype again.But a recent article situated at TomsNetworking made me feel I should give it another shot.And I'm glad I did.

Although I havent used the voice capabilities present in Yahoo or anything else for that matter but the voice was really sweet,clear & crisp (my friend would love me for saying "crisp" :-P)

Talking about crispness a couple of long distance calls to my bro in the U.S.The clarity was absolutely terrific.Apart from this I have called my buddy Sohail who is in Delhi.The result was impressive.
Oh but also dont forget I have a 256kbps ADSL internet connection.

Enough said,you just gotta try it to know it. :)

For the more technically challenged: How Skype Works

GNU Free Software Licensing Quiz

Wednesday, January 18, 2006
Haha I was going through Mark Jensen's signature at Neowin's ,who btw is a Moderator there & I stumbled upon the GNU Free Software licensing quiz link.

Although I've yet to take the test the funny thing is the sentence on the extreme bottom of the page,it says

The source code for the quiz is available here :-p

Shmoocon 2006 features : Anonym.OS

Monday, January 16, 2006
I just came across Anonym.OS LiveCD courtesy a search for details of Shmoocon (a East coast hacker convention )

Their blog says :

Anonym.OS is an OpenBSD 3.8 Live CD with strong tools for anonymizing and encrypting connections. Standard network applications are provided and configured to take advantage of the tor onion routing network.

Anonym.OS was first suggested by kaos.theory at Interzone 4 in Atlanta, March of 2005. Nearly a year and a lot of marathon coding sessions later, it's a reality and was released by elmore, fade, arcon, dr.kaos, digunix, atlas and beth of kaos.theory at Shmoocon 2006.

The iso image of the bootable CD can be downloaded from Sourceforge.net.Though I had trouble with mirrors from Asia & some others as well.But I've put it for download.Its a 500 odd MB download afterall.Will post my views after I get a chance to play with it.

GNU/Linux Resources for the n00b/expert

Sunday, January 15, 2006
Here is a small list of GNU/Linux links that provide useful information with updates.


Linux Google Search

LinuxQuestions Discussion Board

nixCraft Blog

Networking/Security podcasts needed !

Friday, January 13, 2006
There is this dead time you have when you are fed up of music & want to listen to stuff that would really help you in a certain way.I have "dead times" a lot these days,mostly when I'm outdoors.So if anyone has any suggestions for good podcasts then do post here.

This is what I've got so far,i'll add as when I find more.

GRC SecurityNow

Bluebox Podcast

Network Security Podcast

Asterisk Part II

I've been particulary interested in this open source project of "customising" your own PBX system so much so that I was thinking of deploying it as a "fun project" at my dad's office.
But one reason out of the many I hate to be in India is computer hardware,its so damn expensive !! Anyways whining for another post.

Back to asterisk,upon going through the Asterisk Handbook & the high quality Asterisk Video which btw is available on torrents as well as a http download I had given up all hope with the hardware cause I didnt think ATA[Analog Telephone Adapters & all would be available here plus the taxation part freaks me out.

But I did a casual search at Ebay India & to my surprise I found Sipura
Sipura btw is a company which primarily deals with VOIP hardware along with DSL Modems/Routers.

So there is some hope left for me.Anyone wanting to sell their hardware which is compatible with asterisk do let me know.

Asterisk @Wiki

GNU/Linux & Wi-Fi is poop !

Thursday, January 12, 2006
GNU/Linux has come a long way when you talk about hardware support.Although configuring internal modems is still sucky & the bottom line is it wont work at all.

But the one thing thats keeping me away from using Linux & it pisses me off[when I say "linux' its Redhat/Fedora/RHEL what i'm talking about,since my work revolves around those distros] is my laptop wi-fi not being detected but any of those distros.Now thats a fudd !

The laptop is a Acer Travelmate 2312 which has a Atheros wi-fi chipset.Although it detects as "unknown network controller" I've tried enough to load/remove modules & similar stuff but it aint working.
Above that I also have a Linksys WPC54G 802.11g PCMCIA which also aint working in either of those btw.

Upon researching it a bit,it seems wireless in linux scene is indeed poor.I came to know of Ndiswrapper [Network Device Interface Specification] which makes use of windows driver i.e it emulates windows wi-fi driver.But the major concern is upon fiddling with it for days it aint stable & i'm more skeptical that it might break something else in the kernel.

Now the only distro out there which detected my onboard wi-fi as well as the external pcmcia was Ubuntu 5.10[Breezy Badger].Although it works 95% of the times,sometimes it doesnt show the wireless network interface at all.
Upon further investigation to make it work 100%,I found that it actually makes use of

I did a lsmod at the shell to find out which all modules were getting loaded.


3 Modules for my onboard wi-fi get loaded,& sometimes there are two instances of the same module,thats when the 5% fudd happens.

Upon removing & loading the modules again,everything seems to be fine.

#modprobe -r ath_pci

#modprobe ath_pci

I need to get this sorted but if any of you have got wi-fi to work under redhat/fedora/RHEL then do let me know.

Indian ISP info/solutions

Wednesday, January 11, 2006
The BSNL DataOne factor is hitting everyone around,here is a good discussion board which has pretty neat sections to Indian ISP's problems/solutions/information.

Mind you though the discussion board is in its early stages but its the only place you could find quick info with Indian ISP's unless ofcourse someone else points me to somewhere else.

VinuThomas Discussion Forum

O3 Magazine Issue 2 has been released

Just to let you guys know Issue 2 of a very promising open source e-zine has been released.The pdf can be downloaded from here

The Anti-spyware business

Monday, January 09, 2006
Mark from Sysinternals has a very interesting article on the similar conspiracy[that anti-virus co. pay to write virus,worms] existing in the anti-spyware cirlce.

The only Anti-spyware products that I trust are Microsoft Anti-spyware,Spybot S&D & Adaware.