Friday, January 22, 2010


The final and stable version of Backtrack 4 series is a wonderful penetration testing, cyber security and cyber forensics tool. It is not only a powerful utility but is also useful for multiple purposes. The best part is that it is available to the security and forensics community free of cost.

Although Backtrack has always been a good tool but its team(s) must be congratulated for not only providing it free of cost but also for keeping pace with the contemporary cyberspace challenges. The latest stable and final release has also added the cyber forensics functionality. The best part about this feature is that it is claimed to be safe from making changes to the system under inspection. Although Perry4Law and Perry4Law Techno-Legal Base (PTLBTM/SM) have yet to test the tool but the claimed features are very promising.

A successful cyber forensics examination must essentially gather both volatile as well as non-volatile data and information. Also during the live analysis of a system, files and data should not be overwritten. Similarly, there should not be any change in the integrity of the information residing on the suspected computer or device. Backtrack 4 meets many of these requirements but it still has to enhance the cyber forensics features further. It is very difficult to provide security and forensics functionalities at the same time yet Backtrack 4 is proceeding in the right direction.

All interested person must give it a try and the same can be downloaded from the website of Backtrack. Perry4Law and PTLB are in the process of analysis and use of Backtrack 4 and would come up with their observations and suggestions. For the time being it would be a good idea to start gaining the basic knowledge of Linux.

We are also analysing other freely available cyber security and cyber forensics distributions. There are many freely available and dedicated cyber forensics distributions that are worth trying. Similarly, there are dedicated cyber security softwares that are freely available. We would be covering them one by one.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Cyber Laws All Over The World Are Becoming Unreasonable And Oppressive

Cyber Laws all over the World are intentionally designed to violate civil rights like privacy, speech and expression, etc. They are also intentionally formulated to facilitate “Internet Censorship” and “E-Surveillance” beyond the legitimate limits of “National Security”. This approach is more dangerous and is detrimental to the national security in the long run.

The Google’s episode regarding China’s censorship shows the growing hunger of various nations for Internet censorship and e-surveillance. India is no different from China when it comes to “Internet Censorship” and “E-Surveillance”, though the extent and degree may be somewhat lesser. The Information Technology Act 2000 (IT Act 2000) is the sole cyber law of India that was amended by the Information Technology Act 2008 (IT Act 2008). From here starts the real problem.

According to Praveen Dalal, Managing Partner of Perry4Law and the leading Techno-Legal Expert of India, “The IT Act 2008 made India a “Safe Heaven” for cyber criminals on the one hand and an “Endemic E-Surveillance Society” and “Internet Censorship State” on the other hand. It seems the main aim of the proposed IT Act 2008 was to strengthen the “Internet Censorship” and “E-Surveillance Capabilities” of India.

With the passage of IT Act 2008 India has now officially become an endemic e-surveillance society. The amendments have provided unregulated, unconstitutional and arbitrary e-surveillance and Internet censorship powers to Government of India and its agencies and instrumentalities, says Praveen Dalal. The fact is that India has become an E-Police State, states the ICT Trends of India 2009.

Surprisingly, Minister of State for Communication Sachin Pilot believes that Indian cyber law is strong enough to meet the challenges posed by technology-assisted terrorism and cyber-terrorism. It seems he has not gone through the present IT Act 2000 after its 2008 amendments.

Some observers in India have rejoiced the exit of Google from China believing that it may be a good opportunity for India. However, they fail to understand the “ground reality” that India is no different from China when it comes to Internet Censorship and E-Surveillance. If India does not abdicate its alliance to Internet censorship and e-surveillance similar incidence may happen in India as well.