Hacking History – A popular basic virus

I know I will be disappointing a lot of people who might have been looking forward to learning How to hack into a network ? or How to crack a software ? or How to break into a popular website ? I assure all those that its not exactly what you would find here. However, the stuff you would find here would be definitely be a lot more fun and relevant to achieving something that can be way beyond stupid things like these. Keep the faith.

Hacking is an art and just like any other art, it has its history, and it has the generations of artists who have struck fame in hacking. Therefore, I really find it neccessary and obligatory to share the history of hacking (as much as I am aware of) with the interested.

Terms other than hacking which attract attention immediately are virus, trojon, worm, cracking etc. Virus are surely one of the most fascinating topics. The following are the detail of a very basic virus which is also the smallest known MS-DOS virus to me, the virus we are talking about is Tiny Virus.

Name: Tiny
Aliases: 163 COM Virus, Tiny 163 Virus, Kennedy-163
Discovery: June, 1990
Symptoms: COMMAND.COM & .COM file growth
Details of what it does:
Infected .COM files will increase in length by 163 bytes.
Infected files will also always end with this hex string: ‘2A2E434F4D00’.

This virus currently does nothing but replicate.

The first time a file infected with this virus is executed,
the virus will attempt to infect the first .COM file in the
current directory. On bootable diskettes, this file will normally
be COMMAND.COM. After the first .COM file is infected, each time
an infected program is executed another .COM file will attempt to
be infected. Files are infected only if their original length is
greater than approximately 1K bytes.

This is one of the first viruses I read about and it really fascinated me. I saw the code of this virus and its fantastic to see how simple logic and make it so easy for any good programmer to trick an operating system into doing something its not meant to do.

Thats why I said, hacking is an art. The beginning hackers were the best of the lot programmers who thrived for developing the most elegant solution for any problem which was most resource friendly as well. Its the competition amongst themselves that brings out the best out of them and has brought technology to where it is today. If someone has contributed to securing networks, its hackers coz they are the guys who not only look for loopholes and create exploits but also tell us where the loopholes lie and how exactly they managed to exploit it.

Hail the hacker spirit !!!!!!!!

PS – Dont worry guys, you would get a bit of what you are looking for in coming posts. Just that I am find it hard to priortize what to publish first.


Random Thoughts

Heard earth is moving closer to sun all the time and would finally collapse in it. If thats the case, Venus must be moving closer to the position that Earth was in a few million or billion years back and may be able to support life pretty soon.. i mean a few thousand years. How about we immigrate to Venus, then.

We think space is endless, is it really ? No one is really sure. May be its a huge ball with a thick shell and vacuum inside, obviously with all the galaxies and stars that we see. But then, whats beyond or outside that ball.

huuuuuuummmm. I am getting weird.

The Capital Road Culture

Knowing your way around in Delhi is a matter of prestige. People actually call you from distances to ask you ways and you might be in the busiest of the meetings or in the middle of some very sweet moments of a date but you would just get out of whatever you are in middle of and proudly route the caller to his/her destination. And this prestige is attached to a lot of guys (and no women that I know of). So, this is one of the things that form part of Delhi’s daily life.

Just like any other metro in India, Delhi has its own share of traffic problems, specially for people travelling to/from Gurgaon or Yamuna paar. Its really interesting to observe human behaviour on roads. It seems to say more about a city’s basic nature alongwith the atmostsphere in public places of a city than any other thing like city’s annual events or whatever. I was watching a show on Discovery Travel & Living last night which said if you enter a restaurant in a city in England – you would hear people laughing, Germany – you would hear people talking, Italy – you would hear people shouting, Spain – you would see people watching soccer. The point is the behaviours are specific to countries or cities as they are correlated to the culture of the city – the way people there live their lives and spend their days.

I have spent time in Hyderabad, Bangalore and Delhi but I am out and out Delhi specialist without a doubt. I love the life here and wouldnt trade it for any other city in India (well, may be Pondicherry if there was a Punjabi Dhaba there). Talking about road behaviour in Delhi, I was driving my sister to her college yesterday morning which is around 30 km away from my place and across the river Yamuna and got stuck in this huge traffic on the way back (listening to Aerosmith & Berlin) when this guy in a car right in front of mine got out of his car, tucked in this shirt at different places to hide his belly, stood up on the divider and looked on to find out if there was any bottleneck due to any accident or anything else. Not that I doubt the good sight of a 40-something gentleman, but cmon dude, how are u supposed to see an event 3 miles away through all this traffic inbetween. Anyways, guy got down from the divider notting as if he just saw the traffic standing still for another couple of hours and starting taking off his shirt to beat the heat, and in the meantime, a dozen others had gotton out of their cars and were already on top of that damn divider look onto the same scene that our dude just concluded was hopeless. Each one of them was trying to stand the tallest on the divider and get a better view of nothing apparantly. Or may be not each one, this guy was actually looking elsewhere, ohh there he goes.. he actually was looking for a panwala, and got a welcome break to get a smoke… hmm interesting.

Not long before the traffic opened up and we started moving, and our dude was right alongside me looking desperately to move ahead of the cars around. You know how it is when you are in a bumper-to-bumper traffic and moving ahead of each car gives u a bit of satisfaction, how it feels when your lane is moving faster than the ones around. So, this guy was all proud and satisfied when suddenly his lane stopped dead and the other lane moved all across his face to a mile ahead. I remember the look on this face, he was completely frustated and desperately trying to find a way to fit in the next lane doing which he ended up bumping into another car.

Thats how people in Delhi are on road, competitive and in a hurry. When in a car, they crib the bikers getting into their lanes, and when on a bike, they crib the cars splashing water onto them. Bus drivers are even more competitive, they gotta beat the other buses on the same route to get that sweet spot on the bus stop, one bus stop after another. They wouldnt mind driving crazily to the other side of the road to get that extra mph and henceforth, the blocking sweet spot at the next busstop.

But, the biggest story of these all is the one about parking spot. Oh yes, its of utmost importance. Whether its outside your house, or office, or in a market parking. Not sure if you would have heard of a similar rule anywhere else, but in most parts of Delhi, a tenants cannot park his car in front of his house but has to park is elsewhere – may be in the backstreet or some other place, the front parking in most residential colonies are reserved for the house owners… interesting, aint it ? Not just that, parking spots outside office (on the service road) are strictly reserved for the cars belonging to the people working in that office (who might never show up). So, people reach office early just to claim one of those limited parking spots outside their office with an added advantage of avoiding traffic. Now, there are place around offices and houses, which are so to say the unclaimed parking spots. We have one such spot. Its a blue building couple of offices away which isnt occupied and has a capacity to park 4 cars. Now, you can make out from the smile on someone’s face in office that he got the blue building parking spot today and its like a game we play everyday. Those spots have become more important than parking the car in office parking nowadays. And, a gentleman in our office, if needed to go out for some work in the middle of the day, would take an auto to travel rather than taking his own car out just to hold on to that spot till the end of the day.

Thats how road culture in Delhi is… sounds fascinating ?

The Capital Cuisine

I have written a bit about the culture of my city earlier. This time I would be discussing the places and things to eat in Delhi – some of which are Delhi’s speciality. Delhi has restaurants and eating joints for all kind of cuisines, from Punjabi to South Indian, Rajesthani, Chinese, Italian, Nagapuri, Bengali, Gujrati.. all kinds. But the places and food I am discussing are Delhi’s very own.

Kachori Sabji – This Kachori with Aloo Sabji (Potato curry) can be eaten in and around almost all the commercial places in Delhi, its more like a heavy snack and is really popular, especially amongst people who work in the field in these commercial places all day long.

Kulfi Faluda – This is one of Delhi’s favorite desserts. One of the good places to have it would be Roshan Di Kulfi in Karol Bagh.

Aloo Chat – These are hot fried pieces of potatoes served with lots of spices and chutneys all around the city and people love it.

Chhole Bhature – Although these are popular in most parts of Northern India but in Delhi is like a first choice alternative breakfast if you are planning to not cook at home on a weekend. You can see long queues waiting for getting their parcels of Chholle Bhature at every other corner of the street.

Chholle Kulche, Central Mkt – This guy sits under a tree in Central Market, Lajpat Nagar and is out of stock in no time every single day. Never had Chholle Kulche this tasty anywhere else in the world.

Some of the popular old places in Delhi to eat out are…

Kake Da Dhaba, CP – A very small dhaba in the outer circle of Cannaught Place is damn popular for its non-veg preparations. They still serve in those small while plates in the very traditional Dhaba style. The food is so tasty that you really cant help licking your fingers. And the prices are absolutely reasonable considering you are eating in a place bang in the most expensive commercial surroudings of the capital.

Pandara Road – A popular place to eat all kind of Paranthas 24 hours a day. Again, in the center of the city and a hub for late night freaks to catch a bite.

Chandni Chowk & Fatehpuri – These places are more known for shopping than meals. Also known as “Purani Dilli“, these places, which by the way are quite next to each other, offer great snacks and meals for a typical north indian food lover now being popularized as “Purani Dilli Ke Chatkare“. This ranges from snacks like Aloo Chat, Tikki, Dahi Bhhalle to sweets like Jalebi and beverages like flavored milk shakes and faluda especially with those huge glasses in which they are served. The taste of all this stuff is so authentic to Purani Dilli that people visit these places from miles away just to have a few snacks. Also, you can find amazing meals at dhabas which serve bread as big as you can think of. Dont bother ordering more than one. This is also the home of the much popular HALDIRAMS. A TIP though for visiters, to avoid crowded markets and enjoy just the snacks, visit on a Sunday.

Dhabas in Mayapuri Industrial Area – These are small eating joints which are not very popular being in Industrial area. However, amongst the businessmen and salesmen who travel to this part of the city and have eaten in any of these dhabas, they are very popular for their Amritsari Naans and the way the are served. For me, they surely form part of Delhi’s culture and cuisine.

Rajma Rice, NP – Nehru Place is one of the busiest commercial places in Delhi and is a IT hub as well. It has a no. of small eating joints which offer fast mails like Rajma Rice, Daal Rice, Chicken Curry Rice etc which are (not really hygenic but) very tasty and served within a minute with the green Pudina Chutney… yummmm.

Caventers & Wengers, CP – Caventers is a fantastic place in Inner Circle, CP to grab a quick bite and a flavored milk shake which is very filling by the way. And just around the corner is Wenger’s which is an amazing bakery with their unique varities of candies, pastries, cookies, jellies and what not.

Haldirams – For the localites, its one of the coolest places to take your family out for dinner. Its fun, their variety drives you crazy and you end up ordering a bit of a lot of things. Located in various locations like Mathura Road, Lajpat Nagar etc, its a damn popular for its hygenic snacks, thalis and sundaes.

Moolchand Flyover – This is a place which is very popular for its paranthas as well just like Pandara road. It used to be open late nights, however, nowadays, it closes down by midnight or so :(. The best part of this place is the masala mirchi they put on the paranthas. Egg parantha here is one of my personal favorites.

Khan Chacha, Khan Market – You surely cant get better non-veg snacks or rolls anywhere else. Put your calory concious mind at home while visiting this place. This is a small place which is so popular that I gets its publicity from word of mouth over radio as well.

UPSC, India Gate – Near India gate, outside UPSC office, you would find this place where you can have the most spicy chats you would ever have eaten and its a hot place amongst Delhi University students. (Atleast the ones I have been around with)

I guess I am, more or less, done with this list. I would really recommend any of you visiting Delhi to drop down at these places and get a taste of real Capital (take me along if you want).

PS – I have specifically kept out all the popular restaurants in Delhi out of this list. Although there are a couple of mentions of restaurants but they really form part of Delhi’s culture so much that it was hard to keep them out.

Introduction to Hacking Funda – Beyond Technology

disclaimer – None of the stuff in this blog or in the leading series is meant to be used for any illicit purposes and is meant to grow technically and ethically and contribute to the technical community and help do our job better.

What is hacking ? Its not just breaking into an organization’s network and take away confidential information. Its not just defaming a website. Its not just stealing credit card info. Its not just cracking a software which was meant to be used only if licenced. Actually, its nothing to do with these things. Most of the people reading this already would have heard and known of Ethical Hacking and I guess would understand it to an extent as well…

The first known hackers where the guys who provided railways with a communication network from the unused telephone instruments and other stuff. Hackers were the guys who were the best of the lot, the ones who found new innovative ways to get the job done. These guys started from a point in technology where they didnt have the luxury of resources that we have today, in terms of hardware, in terms of references and help material, in terms of technological options. Within the limited and constrained environment, they developed some of the best masterpieces. Internet is one of the gifts of hackers to the community.

Most of the teenagers making their names by breaking into some big networks or cracking a software are merely using exploits available on the internet and using them as guided to accomplish their tasks. There is a complete lack of originality and innovativeness in doing this. This doesnt even require basic troubleshooting skills, trust me. The real hacker is the guy who got into the minute details of the bug he figured existed in an Operating System, devised a way to exploit it and get through it and use it for accomplishing something else on the OS, wrote the exploit and published it, while informing the OS vendor of the bug and possible exploit… thus, helping them fix it as well. Thats a real hacker and he not only deserves respect but also deserves not to be confused with the guy who just used to exploit and cracked through a popular website.

What say guys ?

Lookout for this space for more on hacking, their lingo, some simple techniques of hacking (can be used for making better applications) and may be a bit more.