SecurIT : A grand conference on security at my alma mater

I was pleased to see that things in my alma mater, Amrita University(Amritapuri) are progressing so rapidly. The SecurIT conference is being conducted from August 17th – 19th. The conference is broadly based on the topic of “The internet of things”. Several eminent researchers will be making their presence there including Andrew S Tanenbaum  of MINIX / Computer Networking fame, Robert Kahn – co-inventor of TCP/IP , Marvin Minsky (AI) – Turing award winner and several other dignitaries. I wish I could be there for this event. If you’re in India, you would be missing something big if you did not make it to the event. This certainly marks a bright future for our university.

This conference has been designated by the European Economic Commission as one where you can apply directly to fully funded opportunities to study abroad in European Universities in France, Italy, Germany, Portugal and Spain.

A Hack of the IT Act – Sections 65 and 66

OK, you are a citizen of India. You want to be sure you are safe from evil “hackers” who wanna steal everything from your credit card numbers to your girlfriends mobile number. You are pissed. So you want the Indian government to take action, and you take solace in the fact that the majestic IT act of 2000 was instated. But do you have any idea how loosely worded the sections of the act are? Are you aware of the fact that a person can be jailed or fined up to two lakhs for as little as typing out something on a computer – leaving nothing in our hands, and leaving everything in the hands of our government. Basically, if the government wants to screw you, you’re screwed and there ain’t a thing that can be done about it.

Let me explain more explicitly.

I perused the offenses section of the IT act located at

1. Look at Section 65

Definition of “Computer Source Code” – the listing of programmes, computer commands, design and layout and programme analysis of computer resource in any form.

a. What the hell is “programme” ? it is “program” !!

b. What in the name of god are they trying to convey? If you can make sense of it, please mail me, I will unhesitatingly fall at your feet. To me, this covers everything from looking at a hard disk to running an “ls” command!

2. Look at Section 66

“Whoever commits hacking shall be punished with imprisonment up to three years, or with fine which may extend upto two lakh rupees, or with both

What is defined as “hacking”? It is mentioned nowhere! They have the time to spell out a shitty definition of ‘source code'(the target of offense), but don’t have the time to define ‘hacking’ which is the act of offense!

I really think the quaint IT act ought to be revised and given proper thought because this gives the flexibility to the government to jail a person for as much as typing out a few keys. After watching the documentary ‘Freedom Downtime’ where US feds unjustly put Kevin Mitnick in solitary confinement for 8 months just because they  felt that he could trigger off a nuclear war with just a friggin payphone( from the popular movie of old – Wargames[1983] ), I am very skeptical about these rules that “supposedly” protect us from “Hackers”.


InCTF 2011: National Capture the flag Ethical Hacking Contest

Amrita University & TIFAC CORE

proudly present

InCTF ’11: National Level “Capture the Flag” Ethical Hacking contest

InCTF’11 is from February to March 2011 and is focused exclusively on the student community. You can participate from your own university and no travel is required. No prior exposure or experience in cyber security needed to participate.

What you need to do?
1. Form a team (max five members from your college)
2. Approach a faculty/mentor and request him/her to mentor your team

3. Register online at

Whats more? There is no registration fee this year!

Great Rewards

25K The winning team receives a cash prize of Rs. 25000/-
20K The first runner-up team receives a cash prize of Rs. 20000/-
15K The second runners-up team receives a cash prize of Rs. 15000/-

Special Prizes*

  • Teams are awarded cash prizes of up to 10K based on their performance
  • Deserving teams are well awarded. Exciting prizes to be won.

So, what are you waiting for? – It’s simple Register, Learn, Hack!

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*Cash prizes are subject to their performance and participation in the CTF round. Only teams who connect to the VPN server and successfully gain points in the CTF round are eligible for prizes