Monday, November 23, 2009


The Kerala Police Cyber Cell arrested two youths on charges of circulating an e-mail, which contained a picture of a palatial mansion, wrongly attributed to CPM Politburo member and State Secretary Mr. Pinarayi Vijayan. The arrested were Manoj, employed in Nigeria is on leave and now in Kerala and Karthik, a student. They were booked under Section 66 (A) of the I T Act 2008, which said sending offensive messages through electronic means was punishable. This is the first ever case registered in Kerala under the amended Information Technology Act. Now the Kerala Police Cyber Cell is trying to find out the source of the mail. The duo were arrested on charges of forwarding the mail after adding some captions and forwarded to nearly 3 lakhs addresses. These arrests would send a strong message to all those who forward spontaneously malevolent e-mails to others, said Cyber Cell DySP.

Courtsey : The Indian Express daily dated 23rd November 2009

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Salami Attacks

An attack on a computer network which involves the intruder siphoning off small amounts of money from a file and placing them in another file that he or she can access; for example, a file that holds their bank account details. A typical salami attack would add a small amount to a debit that the account holder would not check, such as a debit that represented a service charge. This small increase in debit (often a few pence or a few cents) would then be credited to the perpetrator's bank account. An unsophisticated banking system, which just checked that debits and credits matched, would be unable to detect this type of fraud. The name ‘salami attack’ comes from the fact that salami is cut into very thin slices. It is also known as salami shaving.

Cyber Arms Race

A report published in the Times of India daily, New Delhi edition on 19/11/2009 says many countries are already in cyber arms race. The news follows:

Warning of a cyber arms race, a leading security firm said that China, France, Israel, Russia and the United States were among countries that have developed "cyber weapons". Several nations around the world are actively engaged in cyberwar-like preparations and attacks. Today the weapons are not nuclear, but virtual, and everyone must adapt to these threats.
The California based McAfee, in its fifth annual Virtual Criminology Report, said China, France, Israel, Russia and the United States have developed advanced offensive cyber capabilities. Cyber attacks with political objectives were on the rise and the critical infrastructure was vulnerable, in part because of its reliance on the Internet.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


We are all familiar with phishing in cyber crime scenario. But what is vishing? It is nothing but another method of cyber crime technique to gather personal information also known as voice phishing. Vishing is tha act of leveraging a new technology called VoIP or Voice over Internet Protocol in using the telephone system to falsely claim to be a legitimate enterprise in an attempt to scam users into disclosing personal information. Government organisations, financial institutions etc. can be targets of Vishing.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Future of email in question????

The Times of India today published an article which clearly describes the future of email is in trouble. The gist of the report is given below.

With more and more teenagers switching to instant messaging and social networking sites for speedy communication, email could be extinct within a decade, says a new report. Although inboxes are still filling up daily all over the world, experts believe emails are dying out because they are too slow, too inconvenient and simply not fashionable any more.

The study conducted by TalkTalk in Britain found only 51% of the Britons in their teens or early twenties using email as their first means of communication. Experts reckons people prefer the "one and done" style of message, which is where a short message can be sent to all contacts at the same time. The study also reveals that email has already become "grey mail" with the most devoted users are middle aged or old aged. 98% of people in the age group of 65 or more and 96% of those aged 45-64 are regularly using email as their mode of communication in Briton.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

What is a GPS? How does it work?

The Global Positioning System (GPS) tells you where you are on Earth. It's eleven o'clock ... do you know where your kids are? Would you like to? One way to track them would be to have a GPS receiver installed in the car! The GPS, or Global Positioning System, is one of the hottest technologies around, and no wonder. Consider these diverse uses:
Minnesota scientists use GPS to study movements and feeding habits of deer.
Surveyors used GPS to measure how the buildings shifted after the bombing in Oklahoma City .
GPS help settle property disputes between land owners.
Marine archaeologists use GPS to guide research vessels hunting for shipwrecks.
GPS data has revealed that Mt. Everest is getting taller!

GPS answers five questions simultaneously:
"Where am I?"
"Where am I going?"
"Where are you?"
"What's the best way to get there?
"When will I get there?"
GPS is the only system today that can show your exact position on the Earth anytime, in any weather, no matter where you are!

Development:Like so many other high-tech developments, GPS was designed by the U. S. military. The concept started in the late '60s but the first satellite wasn't launched until February 1978. In 1989 the Magellan Corp. introduced the first hand-held GPS receiver. In 1992 GPS was used in Operation Desert Storm. On March 1996 the President decided to make GPS free for civilian users.

System Description:GPS has three 'segments':
The space segment now consists of 28 satellites, each in its own orbit about 11,000 nautical miles above the Earth.
The user segment consists of receivers, which you can hold in your hand or mount in your car.
The control segment consists of ground stations (five of them, located around the world) that make sure the satellites are working properly.
Civilian Use: At first, the military did not want to let civilians use GPS, fearing that smugglers, terrorists, or hostile forces would use it. Finally, bowing to pressure from the companies that built the equipment, The Defense Department made GPS available for non-military purposes, with some restrictions. On May 1, 2000, President Clinton lifted the restrictions, and announced that the option to degrade civil GPS signals during emergencies would be phased out by 2010. The federal government is committed to providing GPS technology for peaceful uses on a worldwide basis, free of charge.