Thursday, March 15, 2018

Cyber Threat

The days of conventional warfare are over. After attending a training course on ‘NETWORK FORENSICS’ at National Police Academy (NPA) at Hyderabad, I generated a lot of interest in the subject and started reading about it. Having a good understanding about computers, the cyber terminology didn’t sound Latin and Greek for me. I had imagined about cyber espionage through worms and viruses. But never by any stretch of imagination could I think that cyber attacks may bring a nation to a halt. Israeli attack on Syria bringing down its air defence system is a classic example. The skies of Syria looked safe and largely empty. But through cyber attack, the ground based controllers in Syria could see no targets in the air and Israel could bomb them without being caught in the radar. This is genuinely a serious stuff.

In today’s arsenal of any nation, importance of Cyber Cell/ Cyber Command cannot be rendered insignificant in comparison to Air, Navy and Army. India has just started strengthening its cyber infrastructure. However, when we compare ourselves with US, Russia, China, North Korea and Israel, we have got a lot of catching up to do. Few days back, some cyber criminal stole around Rs.5 lakhs from a businessman in Juhu, Mumbai. Most of the transactions between businesses are through email today. People, at times, don’t even meet ever and still end up doing business worth crores of rupees. This is all done through Internet. Internet is a network of networks. A person with malicious intent asked the businessman in this case through an email to make the payment to a different bank account this time. This email looked very genuine to the businessman and he responded normally the way he would respond to the normal business emails. The payment was made to this bank account. But it was not received by the target person (the actual client). Hence, FIR was lodged. This reflects how vulnerable we are in today’s world to cyber threat.

The programs of the viruses are coded in such a way that they will silently get downloaded into your system when you visit a particular website or click a particular pop-up. Some of the codes are written in such a manner that they do not even get blocked by the firewalls and anti-viruses. So we may better be more careful. Any system connected to Internet is susceptible to these vulnerabilities. It’s not that the computers that we use are all manufactured and assembled inside our own country. The Seagate hard drive is probably made by an American company in Singapore, Wireless card may be from Malaysia, design of the Mother board may be from Taiwan, Memory card may belong to Samsung in Korea, Graphic card and Keyboard from China and what not. Hence, the machines that we work on are a cusp of materials coming from different places. Thanks to Globalisation. It brings with it threats that proliferate across boundaries.

As per the Census and the population pyramid, the proportion of Youth population in India is greater to the overall strength of the folk. This youth is very tech savvy. They are excelling not only domestically but are also in high demand globally, esp. in Silicon Valley. If we train this group in the right direction and sensitize them about the vulnerabilities of cyber threat, they can become a lethal force to reckon with. And we need such a specialised force that understands the importance of the subject and have a willingness to create a counter for it. We already have many Cyber specialists in the country and a lot of work and research is already happening in the field. But a country as vast as India with such diversity cannot afford any kind of a cyber attack on a vast scale that may bring the power grid of the country to a halt; may stop the banking operations and may disrupt the overall life of an individual in the country. We should be ready with our cyber teams and with all the relevant know-how to counter any such attack.

Dark Hotel and Whaling attacks, Ransomware, TOR, Dark Web, Intrusion Detection System (IDS), Sniffing, Spoofing, BotNet, Malware, Web server attacks, DNS Server attacks, DHCP Server attacks, FTP attacks, Cloud architecture etc are certain areas which should be made a part of school curriculum. The awareness should start right from the school days.

Awareness is like the Sun. When it shines on things, they are transformed.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Photoshop hands-on

During my tenure as Deputy Director of Income Tax in Intelligence and Criminal Investigation, I happened to design an advertisement for the Income Tax Department on a new return that needs to be filed by the eligible entities. I am sharing the image here:

This advertisement was really liked by my seniors and we decided to take its print out on a flex. This was then installed in all the Income Tax Buildings in Mumbai and also all across the cities in the Country. This was in larger public interest and was educative in nature.

Thursday, April 27, 2017


A person may have many goals and dreams in life which he/she wants to achieve. Dreams are not only meant to make one grow richer or bigger in life. Most importantly they are meant to make a person feel content. You feel more confident! You feel accomplished! This confidence gets reflected in every sphere of your life, be it personal or social. But as they say, Reaching the topmost position in a hierarchy is not important, maintaining yourself in that position for a longer period of time with your conduct is what matters the most! 

My Sociology professor at Delhi always used to tell us that, chaand ka sochoge toh aasman tak pahunchoge, agar socha hi asmaan tak toh kahan tak jaoge ?  I think i need not say anything else. This says it all. 

Get inspired. Get going! 

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Intelligence and Criminal Investigation

Hello friends,

I am back to blogging! Yes, this happening after a very long time. My current stint as Deputy Director of Investigation (DDIT) in Intelligence and Criminal Investigation has been very enriching. Mumbai has given me lot of exposure and immense experience of variety of cases which I can cherish and boast for life. Most memorable being an action on a Credit Cooperative society detecting a cash deposit of more than 2000 cr! Special Projects also excites me a lot. Most importantly, I have been able to follow my passion for photography and creativity. We conducted an All India Conference at Madh Island, Mumbai where I completely made use of my NIKON D750 (24-120mm). I took the stills as well as videos and then created a movie with all the special effects and tag lines which everyone liked and appreciated. More than anything else, I felt satisfied and content. The movie which I created is very close to my heart.

These days, we are conducting OUTREACH PROGRAMMES – Workshop on uploading of Statement of Financial Transactions u/s 285BA of the Income Tax Act, 1961. The presentations have all gone well. This again is my area of interest (i.e. giving presentations) which I love doing and which i am able to pursue here. Sharing some of the pics here.

P.S. : Keep pursuing your hobbies along with your work. I consider myself lucky that in my work, I have been able to pursue them.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Mallya (Mal-liya) Conundrum

Its so good to be back on your blog after a substantial period of time. Its just that somebody reminded me during the course of a hearing of a case in my office today that they have gone through my blog and have come before me. Was glad to know that they knew a lot about me through my blog than about their case !

Newspapers and News channels these days are flooded with Mallya's flight to UK and the NPA (non-performing assets) scam. Its shocking to see that there are so many willful defaulters who have taken crores of loans and have just shown their back to the banks. No recovery is in sight. I, infact, came across an e.g. of PNB from whom some 4 companies had taken loan amounting to approx Rs.150 cr. It was later found out that all these four companies worked from a common address in Karolbagh, New Delhi. When the locational search was done, it was found out that their office space was equal to a size of a table and a chair and that space was a rented one. The owners were paying Rs.100 a month as rent. This is really surprising that the Banks are pleading before the Debt Recovery Tribunal and are now appealing before the Apex Court.

Why did all this got initiated in the first place ? This shows that proper scrutiny checks were not maintained by the Banks, to begin with. It appears that for small investors/laymen/salaried class, the banks have the stringent rules available. But when it comes to corporate lending, where does the checks and balances go ? Its all public money and it should be safeguarded at any cost. No Tom, Dick and Harry should be allowed to play with it. If there are securities given by defaulters, then it should be attached. If we say that the securities are not existing (Just like NSEL scam), then definitely there is a big flaw on the part of banks. 

The Civil Service aspirants should study this issue very closely from all quarters possible. Who are the defaulters, Where is the flaw, What are the problems in recovery, What action the Government has taken, What are the strategies adopted by the defaulters to dupe the banks.. ?

Bigger picture of checks and balances is to kept in mind. Plug the loophole in the initial stage itself so that it does not become a monster which are are unable to handle.

Cheers !

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Women : Respect them

Hi guys,
(without any prejudice whatsoever)
I have been thinking for quite some time that what compels a man to downgrade himself to such an extent that there remains no difference between animals and humans. Yes, you got the context right. The gangrapes taking place in the country at such a rapid pace is really troublesome. No fear exists in the minds of these monsters who commit such heinous acts. The Government has been doing its part but not enough to console the shaken conscience of the victim's families. December 2012 Delhi gangrape case is about to get concluded wherein the sentence will be pronounced on 13.09.2013 to the convicts. It took 9 months for the Judiciary to declare Rape, a Rape. In these 9 months, there were numerous other girls who were raped in the country. What about justice to them ?
It seems everybody is busy in the preparation of Elections 2014. Our Hon'ble Parliamentarians never appeared to have sufficient time at their disposal to bring about an amendment in the Rape Law of the Country. Though, from few corners of the North Block, voices have been heard to give Capital Punishment to the convicts in the rape cases. But, these are just the voices and not a Law. Because, it is the Law only which the Judges follow in their courtrooms. Now, if the Law says that there cannot a Death sentence given to rape convicts, then how can a judge pronounce a death dentence in such cases.
Here, we need to ponder over an issue of death sentence to be given to these shameless creatures. Why not ? Where is the deterrence in the society ? People know that if they commit crime, they will walk free because acquittal rate in the country, i guess, is the highest in the world. A man while raping a girl is fearless because the State can maximum give him life imprisonment. In maximum of the cases, the rapes do not get reported only. So, there is no scope of punishment also. Hence, like a wild bull, they roam free and do whatever they feel like in the manner they want. They are a blot on a civilised society.
I just wish that an amendment is brought to the rape law and nothing less than a death sentence is pronounced in such cases. (Infact, if a woman is raped , then why not a man committing this act be ostracised publicly in society ?) This society will change. Cent percent. An initiative is required to bring about that deterrence effect.
Just kill these bastards or throw an acid on their genitals..!!! Rapists of Mumbai's photojournalist had already committed 5 more rapes in the past 6 months. Why not give them a death sentence within 1 month through a fast track court ? What evidence is required to prove them as a rapist ? Have we learnt any lesson from Ajmal Kasab's ? Or are we still going to provide defence to these cruel species who attacked our defenceless sisters and mothers ?

Cyber Threat

The days of conventional warfare are over. After attending a training course on ‘NETWORK FORENSICS’ at National Police Academy (NPA) at...