nullcon Delhi’12


The nullcon day #2 is turning out to be really cool! After the keynote speech by Mr Alok Vijayant of IDG(NTRO), Mr Zoltan Hornak demonstrated insecurity of the ubiquitous Set Top Box devices. Mr Zoltan was followed by Mr Rahul Sasi who demonstrated the vulnerabilities of the IVR systems. Though the talk seemed a bit detailed, it was intriguing.

Yesterday, I reached the venue at 0900 hrs. after a short bus ride and a long walk(as I missed a bus stop closer to the venue). The day started with a brilliant keynote by Mr Raghu Raman, head of the NATGRID. Mr Raman’s articulate talk was about how technology is rapidly changing the case for cyber warfare.

The keynote was followed by couple of drab talks about android forensics and the state of cyber security. I wonder if the drabness was because of the lack of expertise, lack of experience in public speaking, lack of language proficiency or just plain inability to convey clear thoughts. Anyhow, I think there’s a dire need to train people in public speaking, which is often very neglected skill in our (Indian) upbringing. It is a fairly complex task to produce effective speakers, but I’m sure there are people who provide such training or may be here is an idea for an interesting new start-up.

Before lunch, I attended Kital‘s talk about the Fedora Security Lab. It was very well received. Many participants showed interest in packaging their tools for Fedora and some even in translation work for Fedora. After lunch, I attended another good talk by Mr Aashish Kunte. Aashish spoke about Forensic Timeline Analysis and collecting data for the same. A few pictures from the event are

     here ->

Overall it’s been an excellent experience to attend nullcon Delhi 2012. 🙂

Fedora meet at nullcon Delhi


Nullcon – the Information Security conference which brings eminent hackers, researchers and information security professionals together under one roof, is happening in Gurgaon, near New Delhi, at the end of this month between Sep 26 – 29, 2012.


Mr Joerg Simon, aka: Kital of Fedora Security Lab, is going to talk about FSL and Open Source Security Testing Methodology Manual(OSSTMM) at the conference.


I plan to join Kital for the conference and to discus about FSL. If you happen to be in the vicinity of Gurgaon/New Delhi or are planning to visit New Delhi end of this month, please drop by the conference and we could have a small Fedora meeting at nullcon Delhi. 🙂

Though the conference is paid, the exhibition and the job fair is free for everybody to attend.

…see you there! 🙂

* original post

Fedora-17 Anaconda LVM Bug

Friday, I get new laptop – Lenovo Thinkpad X220. Excited, I copy boot.iso to USB device and set out to install Fedora-17.

    $ dd if=boot.iso of=/dev/sdb

Usual chore: select language, time zone, set root password, create paritions, select packages and install. I create partition table: mix of standard partitions and LVM logical volumes. I never tried LVM logical volumes before.

  • /boot   ext4   128M
  • /         ext4     20G
  • swap   swap   04G
  • LVM Physical Volume 280G encrypt=ON
  • /home   LV  ext4    10G    encrypt=ON
  • /data1   LV  ext4    70G    encrypt=ON
  • /data2   LV  ext4   100G
  • /data3   LV  ext4   100G

Next, I select Gnome Desktop, de-select some packages, select few others, hit install. It takes more than an hour to finish; says – crongratulations, installation complete. I reboot.

System boot-up halts with message – Cannot find font file True, throws me on to emergency mode shell. I google message – see something about boot parameter SYSFONT=True, I set SYSFONT=latarcyrheb-sun16, boot again. System boot-up halts with several – Dependency failed for blah – messages, throws me on to emergency mode shell. I figure, I goofed up at custom package selection. I think it is weird, very un-likely, to get dependency errors.

Saturday afternoon, I set out to re-install again. Everything same, I go with default Graphical Desktop option, no customisations, hit install. It takes more than an hour to finish; says – congratulations, installation complete. I reboot, same error. I re-install again, select Minimal option, no customisations, hit install. It takes more than an hour to finish; says – congratulations, installation complete. I reboot. Again same error. I post a message on #fedora-devel, they say – cannot find font file True – not error. Yet no idea why system can not boot.

It’s past 23:00 hours, I’m tired, losing patience. For last time, I re-install, select Software Development option, no customisations, hit install. It takes more than an hour to finish; says – congratulations, installation complete. I reboot. Same error, emeergency mode shell. I ask on #fedora-devel again, they say looks like LVM glitch. I list LVM volumes – $ lvs – it says – no physical volume. I try – $ lvmdiskscan – it says same – no physical volume. I collect install.log, anaconda-ks.cfg, install.log.syslog, dmesg.out, file bug.


As I file bug, I think about – LVM Physical Volume 280G encrypt=ON. I nailed it! I re-install again. Everything same, but -> LVM Physical Volume 280G encrypt=Off. I select Graphical Desktop -> Customise now, de-select some packages, select few others, hit install. It takes more than an hour to finish; says – congratulations, installation complete. I reboot.

Systems boots up to show fireworks on the shiny new login screen! 🙂 I login, run $ rsync to copy $HOME from old laptop. Everything in place. Look at watch, says 04:30hrs. I think about sleep. I come home, sleep.

Sunday afternoon, I write this post as I watch The Pianist.

Airtel 3G and Fedora-16

This weekend I got myself a shiny new Airtel 3G USB modem. It is a Huawei E1731 model of the data card that supports speeds up to 7.2Mbps and also has some storage capacity. Though it says up to 7.2Mbps, I did not expect it to go anywhere beyond 100Kbps. Needless to say, I was absolutely shocked & thrilled at the same time when I saw this: Airtel 3G

I was like – WOW! 🙂

It took me some time to make it work with the F16 machine; for the install scripts had numerous bugs of unresolved paths and compilation failures. The install script comes with a NDIS kernel driver and other library modules. So after fixing installtion, I started wvdial(1), which of-course failed saying: “COMMAND NOT SUPPORTED”.

There was no way to know which command not supported. First I thought it was because the NDIS driver failed to load, but even after compiling that driver myself and inserting it with insmod(8), the dongle refused to work. After searching a little and some trial and error I finally settled for the following wvdial(1) configuration.

# cat wvdial.conf
[Dialer Defaults]
Init1 = ATZ
Init2 = ATQ0 V1 E1 S0=0 &C1 &D2
Init3 = AT+CGDCONT=1,"IP",""

ISDN = 0
Modem Type = Analog Modem

Phone = *99#
Username = www
Password = www

Baud = 9600
Modem = /dev/ttyUSB0

This is automatically generated by the wvdialconf(1) program. Except the Init3 string which is shown in bold above. That is the string which helps in initialising the device.[1]

The solid(un-blinking) cyan light on the device says: connected to the 3G+ network. I hope it only gets better from here. 🙂