I’m Back !!

Hey, it’s been a while since I was here!! But now i’m back! 😀 In fact, I had some technical issues with the blog itself, and then the hosting space, but everything is good now! Still working on some nuts and bolts of the blog but it’s up and running.

Lots’ happened since my last time here, did awesome projects, flew Business Class on Emirates, established my own Business (to-be-announced soon), started a huge project, etc etc. That’s why I did not concentrate that much to getting the blog back, as it was quite a busy period.

It’s soo good to be back to this editor and type my mind out. Two articles are brewing and will be published in the coming days. So stay tuned! and Welcome Back 😀

Irshaad

Phone Tapping and IMSI-Catchers

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Following a Parliamentary Question [1] to the Prime Minister of Mauritius on Tuesday 19 April 2016 by an Opposition member, an widespread interest was created about telephone tapping in the country especially after what the Opposition member described as a van lurking around the house of opposition members in order to listen to conversations. Days later,  a weekly newspaper published a 3-page article [2] on the whole phone tapping in Mauritius and mentioned about an IMSI-Catcher which is basically a device that spoofs your mobile telephony provider’s Base Transceiver Station (In an nutshell, Base that connects your mobile phone to the telephony network) and acts as a middle-man between your device and the providers network thus capturing all of your communications. Out of my usual curiosity, I wanted to know more about it and clarify some doubts I had. I knew about the IMSI-Catcher technique and remembered an article by a hacker by the name of Simone Margaritelli who once assembled a relatively cheap bench rogue-BTS using a Raspberry Pi [3] that, if tweaked, could be used for that same purpose, intercept communications. I contacted him and he very kindly accepted to reply to my questions.

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Exit Bufferbloat Enter OpenWRT and fq_codel

choking

So! It’s been long since my last blog-post! But this one will compensate for the time I’ve been off-air.

Well, Logan‘s done a presentation on fq_codel and I got really interested in the topic. fq_codel (fair-queuing controlled delay), in a nutshell, was designed to overcome Bufferfloat; a phenomena in Networking whereby excess buffering of packets causes bottlenecks and thus reduces network quality. fq_codel is a scheduling algorithm that sets limits on delays suffered due to the bufferings. I won’t go too technical deep in this blog post.. This post will only show the setting-up of OpenWRT, and configuring it to enable CoDel and thus improve our networking performance. Hopefully, more posts about OpenWRT will follow including tutorials for some amazing features :) Stay tuned !!

To be honest, I had some experience beforehand with those Operating Systems. I once got an Access Point from somebody that did not support bridge mode. I had to kick the propriety firmware out, install DDWRT, configure it (+ some tweaks 😛 ) and had it up and running. It’s still working since around a year or so..

The router I chose is a TPLINK WR841N; chose another model that had modem capabilities built-in but unfortunately, same did not support OpenWRT. Had to get it replaced by the vendor.

Well, let’s dive inside..

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Mauritian Codes around the World

Devices are everywhere; from around our wrists to inside our pockets to huge server farms. Those Engineering excellency are roughly metal structures with electronics components and one of the intangible marvel of the human mind inside them – The Software; those piece of code that make sense to everything. People either take writing those codes as their job or their hobby; but when the two are mixed, great stuffs happen!

Usually, important softwares and application are written by several programmers from one specific company or from developers around the globe contributing on the same project. One of the latter is Logananden Velvindron, a Mauritian coder. (about whom I wrote some time back). He helped to fix bugs on critical systems or wrote improvements to existing softwares. The great news is that, some times his improvements are deployed on production servers and systems from famous companies like Google! The latest in date is from CISCO which implemented an updated version of ntp which happens to contain Logan’s code. On that occasion, I paid Logan the usual virtual visit and got a little word from him. :)

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‘Find my Phone’ feature on Google

find my phone on google

Following articles on major Technology websites[1] about the Find my phone feature from Google, I decided to give it a try. The articles mentioned that typing “Find my phone” in Google Search shows the location of your phone. Mine did not show anything interesting, as I disabled all location services on my phone. Well, they say that everything you want, you simply Google it. So, if your phone is lost, just.. Google.. it! lol 

This article will be quite a short one and different from previous ones.

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