Securing your wireless network

The whole aspect of security of wireless networks has become very important ever since terror e-mails were sent to media by alleged terrorists. Terrorists used unsecured wireless networks to hack into an individual’s Wi-Fi network and sent e-mails just before bombs went off in Ahmedabad and New Delhi.

It is in this environment protecting your unsecured Wi-Fi network becomes very important lest somebody misuses the same.

Here are 10 simple ways in which you can secure your wireless network :

1. Change default administrator usernames and passwords :
Most routers or access points come enabled with a default set of username / password combinations. These combinations are well documented and available online for hackers to use. If a hacker can access your device’s administrative pages they can modify the configuration and control all aspects of your device. These username / password combinations can be changed from the administrative panel and should be set to something difficult to guess.
Keep a password which is difficult to guess and not easy to crack. A good password is 8 characters long, not easily guessable, contains mixture of uppercase and lowercase letters as well as numbers and preferably contains special characters like $,*,%,!.

2. Turn on encryption :
All wireless devices support some form of encryption. Encryption technology scrambles messages sent over the air and ensures that they cannot be intercepted by hackers. Several encryption technologies exist for wireless communication today. WPA is the strongest commonly available encryption technology for home devices. While WEP can also be used cracking WEP is just a matter of few minutes. We would advice corporates to go for WPA with EAP Authentication, TKIP / RC4 Encryption or WPA 2 with EAP Authentication, AES-CCMP encryption for better security.

3. Change the default SSID :
Access points and routers all use a network name called the SSID. Manufacturers normally ship their products with the same SSID set for all routers. For example, the SSID for Netgear devices is normally ‘NETGEAR’. The default SSID can be changed from the administrative panel and should be set to something unique.

4. Enable MAC Address filtering :
Each wireless device possesses a unique identifier called the physical address or MAC address. Access points and routers keep track of the MAC addresses for all devices that connect to them. Wireless routers offer the option to key in the MAC addresses of your home equipment so as to restrict the network to only allow connections from those devices. It ensures that rogue users cannot connect to the wireless router without using advanced MAC spoofing techniques.

5. Disable SSID Broadcast :
The wireless access point or router typically broadcasts the network name (SSID) over the air at regular intervals. This feature was designed for businesses and mobile hotspots where wireless clients may roam in and out of range. For the home user, this roaming feature is unnecessary, and it increases the likelihood someone will try to log in to your home network. Fortunately, most wireless access points allow the SSID Broadcast feature to be disabled by the network administrator. Your SSID name can be manually entered into your devices to prevent the need for SSID Broadcasts to be enabled.

6. Do not auto-connect to open wireless networks :
Connecting to an open wireless network such as a free wireless hotspot or your neighbour’s router exposes your computer to security risks and attacks. Although not normally enabled, most computers have a setting available allowing these connections to happen automatically without notifying the user. This setting should not be enabled except in temporary situations.

7. Assign static IP addresses to devices :
Most home wireless devices use dynamic IP addresses. DHCP technology is indeed easy to set up. Unfortunately, this convenience also works to the advantage of network attackers, who can easily obtain valid IP addresses from your network’s DHCP pool. Turn off DHCP on the router or access point, set a fixed IP address range instead and then configure each connected device to match. Using a private IP address range (like 10.0.0.x) prevents computers from being reached directly from the Internet.

8. Enable firewalls on each computer and router :
Modern network routers contain built-in firewall capability, but the option also exists to disable them. Ensure that your router’s firewall is turned on. For extra protection, consider installing and running personal firewall software on each computer connected to the router.

9. Position the router or access point safely :
Wireless signals normally reach to the exterior of a home. A small amount of signal leakage outdoors is not a problem, but the further this signal reaches, the easier it is for others to detect and exploit. Wireless signals often reach through neighboring houses and into streets. When installing a wireless home network, the position of the access point or router determines its reach. Try to position these devices near the centre of the home rather than near windows to minimise leakage. Many routers allow you to reduce the range of your router from the administrative panel to prevent the signal leakage.

10. Turn off network during extended periods of non-use :
The ultimate in wireless security measures, shutting down your network will most certainly prevent outside hackers from breaking in! While impractical to turn off and on the devices frequently, at least consider doing so during travel or extended periods of downtime.

RIP Google Buzz

Google is shutting down the last remnants of Google Buzz to focus on Google+, the company announced on Friday.

“In a few weeks we’ll shut down Google Buzz and the Buzz API, and focus instead on Google+,” Bradley Horowitz, Google’s vice president of product, wrote on The Official Google Blog. “While people obviously won’t be able to create new posts after that, they will be able to view their existing content on their Google Profile, and download it using Google Takeout.”

In addition, Google is shuttering Code Search on Jan. 15 and other social media offerings, including the Twitter-like Jaiku — which will also be discontinued on that date — and iGoogle’s social features. As previously announced, Google Labs will also shut down.

Launched in February 2010, Google Buzz was initially seen as a threat to Twitter and Facebook, but never lived up to its promise, becoming one of the biggest flops of the year. It is likely that Buzz will be viewed as a forerunner to Google+, which had a stronger start, hitting 40 million users in its first three months, according to Google CEO Larry Page.


Coding Jarvis in Python in 2016


Gurwinder Gulati's Blog

It’s tough for an erstwhile Iron Man to work on creating their personal AI assistant on the weekends. Like any other time-pressured inventor without a PhD in computer science and linguistics, I decided to use a library for speech recognition and synthesis. Fortunately, Python offers several choices. Unfortunately, many of simply them don’t work any more. I will discuss the ones that are still functional and can be used with Python 2.7 and Python 3 (up to Python 3.5 at the time of writing).

j-a-r-v-i-s My AI assistant is actually a little humbler – I call it Samwise

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56+ Websites Where You Should Enable 2 Factor Authentication Right Now

Recently Hold Security, a company that helps businesses stay secure online discovered a Blackmarket site selling 360million Emails and Passwords. The source of these credentials are unknown but that is a hell lot of sensitive information. And who knows, It might even contain your Email passwords.

You don’t necessarily need to be attacked directly in order to gain your user credentials, as have been proved by the recent Target data breach and several other high profile hacks. The data from these breaches end up being in the wrong hands and since most of you use the same username, password combo for nearly all your online accounts, the leak of one website details will have all your other profiles at risk.

To curb these types of attacks, popular websites make use of 2 Factor Authentication (or 2 Step Verification) methods. This is when you enter your password to login, Then the website sends you a unique code (unique every time) to your Mobile Phone. You have to enter that code into the website in order to login successfully.

Although it sounds cumbersome , the use of this feature alone will help save all your accounts even if your password has been leaked.

How 2 Factor Authentication Works

How 2 Step Authentication Works

The use of 2 factor authentication ensures that you are always a part of your login process and that no one else (unless they have access to your phone as well) can login to your accounts. Finding the websites which have 2 Factor Authentication enabled is pretty though because you need to have an account with them and dive into their security settings to see if they exist.

I have tried to minimize the task by collecting many websites that I know already use the technology and also have curated lists from many other sources (listed them at bottom). The tables below have sorted the website into categories with a link to their settings page, help article or the website itself. Please take time to enable 2 Factor Authentication on the sites that you have an account with.

Enable 2 Factor Authentication on these Sites

Social Media/Email/Top Sites


Domain Registrar

IWantMyName |
Web Hosting


Social Security
Bank Of America

Etsy Management

File Sharing/Syncing/Management

Office 365

Guild Wars 2
Content Management System

Remote Administration

Operating Systems

Linux Server
Source : Wikipedia | MakeUseOf | LifeHacker | EvanHahn

I hope you have implemented the 2 Factor Authentication on all the sites that you own an account with. Please share this article with your friends and ask them to do the same. Sharing will not take more that 2 seconds. Just click on the Like, Tweet and +1 Buttons below.

Source : HackTabs