Computing abbreviation part 2

FIFO: First in first out is a queue model in which service is offered on first come first serve basis. Classical example of FIFO is traditional railway ticket booking in the counter.

FTP: File transfer protocol is a network protocol for transferring files from one computer to another computer over TCP/IP based network.

GIF: Graphic Interchange Format is a image format and this format supports animations.

GPRS: General packet radio service is a data transfer service for GSM enabled mobile phoned.

GSM: Global system of Mobile communication is commonly used mobile standard for 2G mobile technology.

GUI: Graphic user interface is a interactive interface that enables user to interact with any electronic device by the means of icons and dialog box. GUI was initially introduced in computers and it is extended to almost all electronic devices. Traditional computer’s interface was command based interface but GUI superseded it.

HTML: Hypertext mark up language is a programming language that is used to design a web page. (For more info, read network basics)

HTTP: Hypertext transfer protocol is a protocol for the exchange of information between web server and client.

HTTPS: Hypertext transfer protocol is a protocol for the secure exchange of information between web server and client. Most of the websites uses HTTPS to encrypt website user’s data in transit.

IC: Integrated circuit is a single chip in which multiple electronic devices are fabricated.

ICMP: Internet control message protocol is a important network protocol that sends error message,whenever there is a problem in the network.

IGMP: Internet group message protocol is a network protocol for sending message to many people (i.e Group message).

IDS: Intrusion detection system detects unauthorized access to the network or system.

IMAP: Internet message access protocol is a protocol for the retrieval and storage of email. Unlike post office protocol(POP), it supports multiple email access at a time.

IP: Internet protocol is the basic protocol for the transfer of data over a network.

IPS: Intrusion prevention system prevents unauthorized access to the network or system.

IPTV: Internet protocol television network is nothing but the television service over internet.

ISP: Internet service provider provides internet service to the clients. Famous Internet service providers in India are Airtel, vodafone and Reliance.

ISDN: Integrated services digital network is a group of standards for the transmission of audio, video and data over Public switched telephone network(PSTN).

LAN: Local area network is a network of devices in a small area usually of the size of an office or a residential building.

LCD: Liquid crystal display is a output device that displays output based on the optical properties of the liquid crystal.

LED: Light emitting diode is a semiconductor based light source. Main feature of LED is minimal energy consumption.

LIFO: Last in first out is a queue model in which latest requests are served first.

MAC: Media access control is a important network protocol as it addresses devices connected to the network and and it controls the access of physical transmission medium. MAC address: Media access control Address is a 48 bit unique address assigned to the hosts and routers in the network under MAC protocol.

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Computing abbreviations Part 1

ADC: Analog to digital converter is a physical device that converts analog signal to digital signal.

ADSL: Asymmetric digital subscriber Line is a data communication technology in which download speed is not equal to the upload speed.

AES: Advanced encryption standard is a standard of encrypting data and it is more secure than than than data encryption standard (DES).

ARP: Address resolution protocol maps the IP address with the physical address of the device i.e MAC address of the device.

AI: Artificial Intelligence is the study of intelligence exhibited by the machines. This technology will replace the human from decision making process.

ALU: Arithmetic Logic unit is the vital unit of CPU and it performs arithmetical and logical operations.

ANN: Artificial Neural networks are sophisticated learning algorithms which are inspired from the biological neural system. They are used in pattern recognition, computer vision and facial recognition.

API: Application programming Interface enables user to create software applications. It acts as an interface between user and computer for software programming.

ARPANET: Advanced research project agency network was developed by US military to facilitate message sharing between its research center. It acts as a precursor of today’s internet.

BASIC: Beginner’s All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code are class of programming languages which are relatively easy to use.

BIOS: Basic input and output system is a firmware that is programmed into computer’s ROM so that it tests computers hardware every time the system is booted.

CAD: Computer aided design is the use of computer for a design process.

CAM: Computer aided manufacturing is the use of computer for the manufacturing of any goods.

CCTV:Closed circuit television is a method of surveillance by the use of video camera.

CD: Compact disk is a optical disk that uses optical technology to store data in it. Maximum size of data that can be stored in CD is 700 MB (For more info, visit components of computer)

CG: Computer graphics is the process of creating and editing pictures, using computers.

CISC: Complex Instruction Set Computer is used to refer computers that executes many operation with single or few instructions.

DAC: Digital analog converter is a device that converts digital signal into analog signal.

DBMS: Database management system is the software that is used to manage the database. Commonly used DBMS are Oracle, Microsoft SQL server, SAP and MySQL.

DIP: Digital image processing is the use of computing algorithms to process a image.

DES: Data encryption standard is a standard of encrypting data developed in late 1970’s and this standard is now considered as insecure.

DOS: Disk operating system was a operating system that were used before the advent of Graphical user interface based operating system.

Dos: Denial of service is a computer network attack that is intended to deny network’s access to its users.

DDoS: Distributed denial of service is a DOS attack done by more than one computer at a time.

DNS: Domain name system is used for naming any devices or resources which are connected to the network.

DPI: Dots per inch is a measure of printing or scanning quality.

DSL: Digital subscriber line is a data communication technology in which data are transmitted over telephone line.

DSP: Digital signal processing is the manipulation of the digital signal by the means of software or hardware.

DTP: Desktop publishing is the process of creating documents in a personal computer.

DVD: Digital versatile disc is the optical disk and its maximum storage space is 4.7 GB.

DVR: Digital video recorder is device or software that helps in storing video.

Basic computing terms part 3

Recycle bin: Files that are deleted from the hard disk will be moved to Recycle bin. Hence, Recycle bin stores deleted files and they can be restored, when they are needed.

Router: It is a physical device or software that forwards the data in the form of packets to other network.

Registry: It contains vital information about system’s settings, software and hardware configuration. Whenever a software is installed, software’s configuration settings is stored in the registry.

Rootkit: It is a stealth malware designed to enable complete access to the system without being detected.

Scanner: It is a input device that scans photos and papers.

Search engine: It is a software that is designed to search the web by indexing millions of websites. Famous search engine includes AOL,Google, Alta vista, Yahoo search and Bing.

Script: Script is nothing but an program that is usually created to do something automatically.

Skimming: Skimming is the theft of credit or debit card information. Skimmer is the device that is usually inserted into ATM  or POS machine to collect debit card  or credit card information that is stored in the magnetic strip.

Snipper: It is a network spying software or device. It collects all the available information about the network and it tracks all the data sent and received by the network.

Spam: It is unwanted message that is intended to cause annoyance or to do financial fraud.

Spyware: It is a malicious software installed without the knowledge of the user to monitor and store his activity. To know more information, visit Computer threats)

Syntax: Syntax is the general rules which have to be followed while writing a program. Each programming language has different syntax. Syntax is analogous to grammar. If one does not follow syntax while writing program, syntax error will appear.

Telnet: Telnet is the networking protocol that facilitates bidirectional text communication over internet or LAN.

Teleconference:Word “Tele” means “at distance”. Hence teleconference means attending a meeting or conference from any place.

Throughput: Throughput is defined as the amount of data transmitted over a network in a specific time.

Username: It is a unique name that is used to identify a physical person in the network or website. Each username has a password to prevent impersonation.

Virtual reality: It is the technology in which some real life situations or environment are simulated using advanced devices.

Virus: It is a self replicating malicious program.

Virtual memory: It is a technique in which temporary memory usage is transferred from RAM to secondary memory such as hard disk, pen drive, etc. note: High end Games are executed in the computer ,as the computer uses virtual memory. Following image shows the Navy personnel being trained in Virtual reality environment.

1024px-thumbnail

Web or World wide web: It is the collection of websites that can be accessed over internet.

Web site: It is the collection of related web pages that are usually hosted in separate domain.

Web browser: It is a software to access web sites and to transfer data over internet.

Web crawlers or spiders or ants: It is a automated program used by search engines for indexing by collecting information about the websites regularly.

Web scraping: It is  the automated process of extracting huge information from websites.

Basic computing terms part 1

Algorithm: Algorithm is predefined set of instructions that has to be followed in order to solve a computer problem.

Authentication: It is the process of verifying the person’s identity.

Bandwidth: It is the measure of system’s capacity of carrying information over a specified time. Example Bandwidth of RJ-45 cable( RJ-45 is used in LAN) is 100Mbps.

BAR CODE:Barcode is series of parallel lines. Specific information can  be stored in a bacode by varying the distance between two lines, height  and width of the line and this information is decoded by barcode reader.

Binary number: Computer can understand only binary numbers and they are 0 and 1.

Biometric technology: It is the use of biological characteristics of human such as finger print, retina, iris and voice for the purpose of authentication.

Blue ray disc: This optical disc can store high definition movies. Their storage capacity varies from 25 GB to 128 GB while traditional CD’s storage capacity is 4.7 GB.

Cache: Frequently used data are stored in cache in order to enable a faster access by reducing the access time.

Clock rate:  It is the measure of speed of computer’s CPU.  1 hertz represents 1 cycle of input or output.  Modern computer’s clock rate is in the order of Megahertz and Gigahertz.

Computer simulation: The use of computers to simulate a real life event or process is called computer simulation. Computer simulators are used to train people in the field of aviation, defense and so on.

Cookies: Cookies are data stored in the web browser by a website while accessing the data. Some of the cookies are tracked by the advertisers to display preferential advertisement and some other are used by websites for session maintenance.

Cyber crime: It is the use of information and technology to commit crime. Cyber crimes that are liable to punishment under Indian law are hacking, identity theft, Impersonation ,etc

Data mining: It is the process of analyzing enormous amount of data to identify a particular pattern. Data mining is used extensively for targeted advertisement.

Debugging: It is the process of finding and rectifying errors or bugs in the program.

Digital signature: It is used to verify authenticity and integrity of a file and digital message. Digital signature ensures that a particular message or file is created by particular user and it is not edited in the transit.

Download: It is the transfer of file from the web server or from another computer in the network to the user computer.

Ethernet: It is the basic network technology that is used in the LAN and MAN networks.

Firewall: It is the network security system that regulates incoming and outgoing communication of the device or network. They include physical and non physical method to prevent unauthorized access to the device or network.An illustration of firewall is given below. (Image credits: Bruno Pedroza. Copyrights: CC-3.0

Firewall

Firmware: Basic programs that control the electronic devices are called firmware.

Fuzzy logic: It is the next generation logic system that is aimed to enhance the logic used in the traditional computers. Computers logic understands only two state: True and False. False state is represented by 0 and true is represented by 1 while the fuzzy logic will define all the values that ranges from 0 to 1.

Everything goes online including the war- An introduction to cyber terrorism, cyber espionage and cyber warfare

Before proceeding further, i would request you to read my previous article in this link so that you can understand this article in better way.A question on based on this topic that was asked in Civil service main 2013. Screenshot of that question is given below.

IT66A

Cyber Security at MoD

Image copyrighted by UK Ministry of defense under CC 2.0

Basic definitions:

Cyber terrorism: It is the use of information and technology by anyone for their personal motives. Pakistan terrorist may hack an Indian website to gain attention or to access classified information.

Cyber warfare: It is the next generation war. It is the use of Information and technology for political motives of the state . It is a state sponsored war. Why cyber warfare are deadly? Every device is connected to internet.  It is referred by the term called “internet of thing“. Devices that is to the connected to the internet is going to increase exponentially. According to a research organisation, there will be 26 billion devices connected to the internet by 2020. Every device becomes smart and intelligent, as there are connected to the Internet. Connecting to the network may give lot of flexibility but at the cost of exposing the critical information to the outside world. Critical areas that face risk of being exploited by cyber warfare or cyber terrorism are Energy sector, Defense sector and  Finance sector.

Cyber espionage or cyber spying: It is the use of Information and technology to access and gather classified documents without permission for personal or political or economic motives.

Information warfare: It is the use of Information and technology to collect information and use it for the advantage of national security. It is simply legal way of collecting information by exploiting technological advancement of the country. It also helps nation in preventing the upcoming terror attacks. It was introduced by US army.

Is India prepared for Cyber warfare?

The answer is nope.India is not ready for cyber war. India is still lagging in  the technical expertise required for handling the latest cyber threats.Now the attack has became sophisticated. India has severe shortage of network experts. In a reply to a RTI question, it was stated that there are only 300 network experts working under all the department of government of India. Annual budget spent by India on cyber security is around $7.7 million dollars while US spends around $100 million dollar on cyber security. This clearly shows the complete ignorance of India in cyber security. They may have underestimated the risks or may have overestimated their capacity.

Risks associated with Cyber warfare and cyber terrorism:

  •  Classified information associated with critical sectors such as defense, finance and energy are at risk of being intercepted by mass surveillance programs and by cyber espionage.
  • Websites providing E governance service are at the risk of being hacked and hence results in denial of services to the concerned users.
  • If classified information is leaked, it will be used for military strategy.  Hence, it is similar to inside attack which is the worst nightmare for the national security.

India’s stand on cyber security:

As we have discussed earlier, India is not ready for cyber war as it lacks expertise in the field. In the following passage we will discuss the strategy of India with respect to cyber security.

  • India released National cyber policy on the month of July of 2013 due to the pressure created due to Edward Snowden’s disclosure of NSA’s surveillance program. It is aimed to create safe cyber space for ordinary citizen and government officials.
  • National cyber policy,2013 proposes the formation of National Cyber Coordination Centre which will helps india in intelligence gathering and hence it is aimed to prevent cyber attack by screening the metadata of all types of electronic communication.
  • National cyber policy,2013(NCP) also proposes the formation of National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre (NCIIPC) which will be responsible for the security of Critical data of defense,finance and energy sector.Before this policy,CERT-IN (Indian Computer Emergency Response Team) was responsible for the security of critical data along with being a nodal agency to handle cyber threats in India.
  • NCP,2013 also proposes to create 5 lakh skilled professionals in IT in next 5 years

Thanks for the patience. Share if you find this article as useful.

Internet censorship in India.

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Image credits: Brian J Matls and it is copyrighted under CC 2.0

This article will be useful for mains(GS4-Information technology). Why again internet censorship? Even a week ago, 32 famous sites including Daily motion, Vimeo and Github were blocked to avoid the spread of Jihahid Propaganda by ISIS. Netizens and Internet rights activists condemned this move. After all, India is a democratic country. Our constitution provides us freedom of speech and expression. Those sites were used by normal people too. You can’t block the entire site, if someone spreads derogatory or messages that promotes terrorism. Of course, Terrorism has to be curbed but not at the cost of grabbing ordinary citizen’s right. Internet censorship has been implemented for several reasons in India. Lets discuss some of them in brief.

1. Piracy

It is the one of the common reasons cited by the government to block many file sharing sites. Until now, more than 100 file sharing sites have been blocked in India due to Piracy.

2. National Security

Cyber terrorism is becoming more harmful threat for national security. Now,Terrorists are using Sophisticated technology in terror attacks. What actually is Cyber terrorism? It is not well defined but the broader definition of them deals with usage of Information and Technology for disturbing the National Integrity and Sovereignty. Why cyber terrorism is a threat to national security?In the modern Era, Everything from your personal computer to military network is connected to Internet or outside world. Any one can use them for achieving their personal or political objectives. They can also spread hatred message or rumors that can disturb the communal balance in India through internet. They can instill fear in our mind though cyber attacks. We can discuss about cyber terrorism in Separate article soon(because we are diverting fro our topic).

3. Hate speech

Here comes the soul of our topic. This is the most controversial part of the Internet censorship. Many youngsters are arrested in recent year due to hatred speech in social media. Government not only removes their message but also arrests them under 66A of Information Technology Act. What does this act deals with? What 66A of this act deals with? Information technology act was enacted in 2000 to deal with cyber crimes(Cyber crimes are crimes that are done with the help of any device or technology). As Information technology act,2000 covers only little cyber crimes. They are amended in 2008 to cover more cyber crimes. One of the provisions that included in the amended was 66A which deals with sending or posting Hatred, Defamatory, Derogatory, False,Annoying , Inconvenient, Misleading and Grossly offensive messages with the use of computing device or communication devices.Anyone does the above thing are liable to prosecution and may get imprisonment  up to 3 years with fine. Why this provision is controversial? Many internet rights activists see 66A of IT act as unconstitutional and they claim 66A brags their freedom of speech. Following is the screenshot of this provision.

IT66A

SC rulings on 66A: Many PIL has been filed with supreme court and they plead to declare 66A as arbitrary and Unconstitutional since there are many vague terms in this provision such as Grossly offensive or menacing character. In march 2014, SC has ruled no person can be arrested under 66A without the permission of a officer who is not under the rank of inspector general of police. It ruled to prevent the misuse of the act. Few months after this rulings, another bench of SC also favored internet activists by ruling that the person cannot be arrested under 66A for the sole reason of message causing Inconvenience or message is annoying.

According to Facebook transparency report,4960 contents have be restricted in Facebook from January 2014 to June 2014 due to the request of the Indian government. That makes the India rank number one in Facebook censorship.

4. Pornography

Recently, A PIL has been filed on the supreme court to block porn sites. The case is pending, It seems that the government is serious about blocking porn sites. Someone consider this as an active move as it will decrease the rape rates as the can claim more sex offence are due to watching porn. Some other people may see this as negative move. According to some experts, Government has double standards on this issue because government is considering for legalization and regulation of prostitution on the other hand it plans to block porn sites. Still now, no site has been banned due to pornography.In India watching adult pornography is legal while distributing it is illegal and watching and distributing child pornography is illegal. So they don’t have legal sanction to block porn sites.

Summary:

Is 66A justified?

Of course, it is justified. But, In order to prevent misuse of the act, precise definition of the act is needed. interpret ion of this provision should be done based on the Court’s guidelines. Till now court has not framed any guidelines, so it would be better, if court has framed guidelines. Freedom of speech like any other right has some restrictions. Our freedom of speech should not contempt court’s order, disturb the communal balance, disturb India’s international relations,defame anyone, incite any offence, disturb the integrity and sovereignty of India and it should be decent and derogate any one’s character. Critical analysis of some one cannot be taken as hatred speech. As we are living in democratic country, we do have rights to tell our opinion without infringing other’s rights.

Thanks for your patience. Share this article if you find this as useful.

Basic computing series part 7(Computer security)

In the last article we have discussed about threats to computing system and in this article we will discuss about countermeasures for them. What is computer security? Computer security is simply methods available to counter computer threats. We have already discussed man in the middle attack in last article. It can be countered by encryption. Encryption is the process of converting plain text into non understandable format. Decryption does the reverse process.

Anti virus detects and removes virus,malware,worms and trojan horses from the computer. Anti spyware detects and removes spyware and key loggers. Key scramblers is a new set of software that scrambles the key pressed by you so that any backdoor installed in your computer cannot track key pressed by the user.

SSL and TLS protocol secures communication between two devices. WordPress is also using TLS protocol so that no one can do Man in the middle attack. Intrusion detection system is used to detect unauthorized intrusion into the network.

Multi factor authentication: We know that login credentials of Gmail and Facebook can be easily stolen by installing a backdoor or by convincing the user to click on the link that redirects him to the phished site. So multi factor Authentication prevents or at least makes the attack a harder one. It’s basically extra authentication needed to verify the identity. For example Gmail has dual authentication in which user has to enter the One time password(OTP) sent to your mobile number in order to access his account . Biometric authentication uses one of user’s body features such as finger print, Retina, Iris, Face, etc to verify his  identity.

Spam filters: They filters spam (junk messages). They are used by almost every email providers. They find the spam by scanning the signatures of typical spam messages.

Firewall: It prevents the unauthorized access, control or monitoring of a system by a remote device.