Tag Archives: Indian News

NTES Offers Enquiry Portal To Track Indian Trains’ Current Status

150 years old Indian Railways is considered the fourth largest railway network and commercial/utility employer among the world’s leading organizations. It employs 1.4 million people and provides transport system to 30 million passengers and 2.8 million tons of freight daily. Although the numbers speak highly of it, the railway service in India has a vexing factor that only those 30 million daily commuters can relate to. For some obscure reasons the trains are late except occasionally showing up in time. CRIS(Centre for Railway Information Systems), an umbrella organisation, is responsible for all the computer related activities dedicated towards Indian Railways’ proper functioning. It has several systems for ticket booking, freight info etc to answer the user queries online.

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CRIS, for long, had a system named NTES(National Train Enquiry System) in place to put the information about trains online so that people can know about train’s current location or how late it is running. Users needed to call a toll-free number to access the desired information. However, the new online service from NTES coined Train Enquiry, powered by Railyatri.in, needs you to search trains by name, number, destination and alike. Once you have selected the train properly it will show you the current status of the train. You can also use the web-based mobile app to do the same. The information is acceptably accurate and the results are shown quite promptly.

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As mentioned earlier, before this service was introduced, travelers had to rely on a 24X7 toll free number “139” to get updates about the trains they are willing to know about. The automated service was tardy in response and often failed to deliver as promised. The latest alternative on the other hand delivers the result under 20 seconds and provides additional info like the next stations and ETA at that station.

On a concluding note, I would like to state that, in contrast to those dull-looking and oft-crashing government web portals this one is thankfully appealing design-wise and functions quite well too. As it may seem the presence of Railyatri might have a say in that. The service serves perfectly in a way it publicizes, and hopefully we will need much of it unless we have a train service that runs on time.

TimesofMoney/Remit2India Database Hacked Through SQL Injection – HDFC Bank Vulnerable Too

Update – August 4th 2011: TimesofMoney contacted us with an update saying that this breach does not exist and will be sending us a statement regarding the same shortly.

In this day and age of technology, it does not come as a surprise that websites are frequently hacked. Groups like Anonymous and Lulzsec have been creating havoc on the internet, however, there are other cases too where security teams hack several websites to show them how insecure they are.

One of the most common way of hacking websites is by SQL injection. Ironically, MySQL.com was also hacked using an SQL Injection attack a few months back.

Today, zSecure Team has found a vulnerability in a very popular digital payments site called TimesofMoney which provides online remittances, fortified domestic e-payment mechanisms and facilitated remittance solutions of banks. The company is behind products like Remit2India, DirecPay and Times Card.

The zSecure Team claims that there exist a critical SQL Injection Vulnerability in the TimesofMoney website using which an attacker can gain access to the site’s entire database which contains the huge amount of customers confidential information.

This vulnerability may prove to be very critical for the company because TimesofMoney is India’s one of the leaders in e-payment system. Existence of such a critical flaw in company’s web may cause huge to the existing market reputation of the company concerned.

The group also claims that HDFC Bank’s Website is also vulnerable right now:

We discovered alike vulnerability in HDFC Bank’s Website as well and issued them a similar advisory. But even after couple of weeks of sending our advisory to the bank, the said vulnerability is still open for outside attacks. If the said vulnerability doesn’t get fixed by the bank as an earliest then our next post may disclose that concerned vulnerability publically.We hope that both the companies (TimesofMoney and HDFC Bank) will take immediate actions to fix the reported vulnerabilities

TimesofMoney currently has a SQL Injection Vulnerability which is very high. They are currently running the Oracle Database 11g Enterprise Edition. The vulnerability allows hackers to access the database as well as run a database dump. It also has a possibility of shell uploading.

The security team has also posted images about the hack, which can be viewed below.

TimesofMoney Hacked Database 1

TimesofMoney Hacked Database 2

TimesofMoney Hacked Database 3

TimesofMoney Hacked Database 4

The security team have said that no data has been dumped, but the fact that the attackers can access your financial information so easily is enough to make me cringe. I would suggest that you purge information from the relevant sites, till it is fixed. More information on the vulnerability can be found at zSecure website.

Thanks for the tip Christopher

N.F. Indian Railways Email System Hacked By PCA

India and Pakistan have never been good at relationships either offline and online and this has been apparent with the Indian hackers hacking Pakistani websites and the Pakistani Cyber Army (PCA), as they call themselves hacking several high profile websites like the CBI website and more.

However, it looks like things had calmed down as the PCA offered a Ceasefire on hacking Indian websites. However, it looks like that the war is on again. Some Indian hackers hacked the Pakistani Air Force Backup server and several other servers on the same network and in retaliation the Pakistani Cyber Army has hacked the email system for the Indian Railways.

Indian Railways Email Hacked

In a Press Release sent to us by the PCA from an email address [email protected], which is an email address for the Indian Railway system. In addition to that, they also send us screenshots of the administration panel of Indian Railways email and a screenshot displaying a welcome message for the new email they created (click to enlarge).

Indian Railways Email Admin Panel Hacked

Indian Railways Email Welcome Message

In their message to us the PCA said that they have extracted email addresses and passwords for the Indian Railways and also downloaded confidential emails that existed in the system, however, they did not delete any messages from the servers. The email system they hacked seemed to be the N.F Railways which is also known as the Northeast Frontier Railways.

However, it does not look like any of the Indian Railways servers were compromised at all because the N.F. Railways uses a service called Atmail as their mail solution and it looks like the PCA discovered vulnerabilities in it and exploited them. We have contacted Atmail for more insights into this and as to how they are going to tackle this.

Such kind of things are really not acceptable, however, it does go to show that people can take national enmity to any level including the internet. You can read the entire message sent to us by the PCA below.

Dear All, Answer to Indian hackers for hacking the server of Pakistan Air Force

We are Pakistan Cyber Army (Real PCA is Reality). Many times we told Indian hackers out there from various groups that don’t mess with any Pakistani site or server especially systems from government organizations. We observe another attack on 22nd April 2011 at Pakistan Air Force Server backup server and other 8 machines on the same network. We would like to tell you that Pakistan Cyber Army is looking at each and every move you do on the cyber front of Pakistan. Indian hackers were unable to do anything accept taking screenshot of the server. We told you before that we will smoke your door off but we think you more like to be burned in fire then accept some. Go read some course books else you will lose both your name and this game.

We hacked Indian railway’s email system and download all of the confidential emails as well as email addresses and their passwords. Next time we will attack your more sensitive areas where it will hurt you more. We did not delete anything on the mail system although we thought about it for a while but we are not out to destroy. Never under estimate capabilities of Pakistan and the sons of the land. Your Central bureau of investigation still looking for our clues keep on Looking CBI and use all of your investigation Agencies, keep on searching us in USA, Latvia, China, India and all of the countries listed on the MAP. We are for peace as long as no offensive attacks from your side. We are Nationalist and we are on our mission and that is the retaliation. We can’t stop Indian hackers to hack servers on our side but we can give you the best of answers possible. Your National Informatics Centre team is useless you guys can’t stop us.

We don’t accept your supremacy in Information Technology as well as in any other field. We have the minds to answer your every move. We are for Pakistan and Pakistan Cyber Army Knows its responsibility and we will never shatter the hopes of our Pakistanis. We are sleeping but not dead.

Pakistan Zindabad

Pakistan Cyber Army (Real PCA is Reality) Peace

CWG 2010 Delhi Opening Ceremony Tomorrow

This is really a big time for India when they will be hosting the Common Wealth 2010 games in Delhi. After a lot of hiccups and problems, the games will finally be kicked off tomorrow with an opening ceremony by Prince Charles and President of India, Pratibha Patil.

The Common Wealth Games opening ceremony is going to be held on October 3rd, 2010 at 7PM IST. Opening Ceremony will be held at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Delhi and will be opened by both Prince Charles and Pratibha Patil.

The ceremony will kick off with a marching event where last years host Australia will lead the pack with this years host India following at the back. Lot of celebrities, sports persons and politicians are expected to be at the event.

Though there are no live streaming links available right now, videos of the Common Wealth Games 2010 will be available later on online at the official CWG Delhi 2010 site at http://www.cwgdelhi2010.org/. We will update this post when more live videos become available for the ceremony.

Indian Rupee Currency Symbol Makes History

If you have been following the news channels and news papers from today and yesterday, you might have learnt of the news that the Indian Rupee Symbol has finally been decided and India has made history to become one of the select few countries to have a symbol for their currency.

Indian Rupee Currency Symbol

Yesterday, I wrote about the Indian currency symbol created by Udaya Kumar which was chosen by the Union Cabinet and also some Indian Currency Symbol Wallpapers, however, one thing that baffled me was that the Indian currency which was chosen was not in the original list of shortlisted rupee symbols.

Another problem with the new Indian Rupee Currency Symbol is that it would be hard to write the symbol down using natural keyboard as there is no Hindi word and this Indian Rupee Symbol was a amalgam of Devanagari “Ra” and Roman capital “R” without the stem.

Once the chosen Indian Rupee Symbol is ratified by the Cabinet and other members, the new Rupee currency notes will start sporting this symbol  (see update below), this does not mean that the old Rupee currency notes will be invalid. Also it would take sometime and efforts to get this Rupee currency symbol to become usable on computers, other than using an image, so there is still lot of work remaining for the government to do before you can type the symbol.

Nevertheless, this is a really proud moment for Indians since the Rupee Symbol will be flaunted across the world and not just the text Rs. What do you think of the new Indian Rupee Symbol, do you like it? Do you hate it? Do let me know about your thoughts.

Update: The Indian Rupee Symbol will not appear on the currency notes as per one of our commentators, the post has been updated to reflect that.

9 Indians In Forbes Billionaire List, Mukesh Ambani 4th, Lakshmi Mittal 5th

Forbes recently released a list of the top billionaires in the world, where Bill Gates lost his crown to Mexican telecom tycoon, Carlos Slim. However, the good thing is that 8 Indians made it to the list of top 100 billionaires by Forbes.

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Mukesh Ambani was ranked 4th overall with a net worth of $29 billion closely followed by the Chairman of the biggest steel company ArcelorMittal, Lakshmi Mittal with a net worth of $28.7 billion. Azim Premji, the Chariman of Wipro was ranked 28th with a net worth of $17 billion, followed by Anil Ambani at 36th with $13.7 billion.

Essar Group owners Shashi & Ravi Ruia were ranked 40th with a combined net worth of $13 billion. Savitri Jindal of the Jindal Group, is the only Indian woman to have made it to the Forbes List, ranking 44th with a net worth of $12.2 billion.

Kushal Pal Singh the Chairman of DLF ranks 74th with a net worth of $9 billion followed by Chairman of Aditya Birla Group, Kumar Birla at 86th with a net worth of $7.9 billion and Chairman and MD of Bharti Group, Sunil Mittal at 86th with a net worth of $7.8 billion.

To know more and learn about the top 100 billionaires in the World, visit the Forbes site.

Phase II of CAT 2009 on January 30, 31 2010

Last year’s CAT exams were marred by problems due to glitches in the system, thanks to Conficker and other worms, however it looks like they have made the necessary amends to hold error free online tests this time around.

According to Press Trust of India (PTI), The second phase of CAT 2009 will be conducted on January 30 and 31, 2010 as conveyed by Satish Deodhar the conveyor of CAT-2009.

CAT 2009, was held from November 28th 2009 to December 8th 2009, however, the important entrance tests were marred by system glitches, which was shameful, considering that CAT is one of the most important exams in India.

Prior to 2009, CAT exams were written tests, however, they decided to hold online tests in 2009, which resulted in the problems. Candidates who could not appear for their exams will be notified by January 10th 2010 about the new dates and centers.

According to the CAT, Indian Institutes of Management website, the following candidates will be scheduled for a test in the second phase of CAT 2009:

  1. those who could not take the test due to planned or unplanned closure of their test lab and were not rescheduled later in the first phase. (This does not include voluntary no-shows.)
  2. those who were rescheduled but could not appear for the test because of notice period of less than 48 hours.
  3. those who were rescheduled but could not appear for the test as they were rescheduled in a city different from their original choice.
  4. those who pressed the End/Quit button within the first 120 minutes during the first three days of the testing window and have not been rescheduled yet. (If a candidate in this category chooses not to take the rescheduled test, then his/her score from the first phase of testing will be retained.)
  5. those who completed the test in more than 140 minutes of clock-time* due to computer disruptions. (If a candidate in this category does not appear for the rescheduled test, then his/her score from the first phase of testing will be considered null and void.)
  6. those who completed the test in 136 minutes to 140 minutes of clock-time* due to computer disruptions would have an option to take the rescheduled test. (If a candidate in this category does not appear for the rescheduled test, then his/her score from the first phase of testing will be retained.)
  7. those who experienced difficulties due to various kinds of disruptions such as frozen computer screen, blank screen, and data/graphic elements not displaying properly; identified through site reports recorded at the test labs and have not been rescheduled yet.

We advice you to bookmark the CAT site to keep track of the latest updates.

Find Internships in India at 10 Internship

Internships are a good way to start learning about the work you will eventually do at a latter stage in your career. Many companies offer both paid and unpaid internships to help young students from colleges to learn the trick of their trade, with many eventually retaining good talent permanently in the company.

Internships in India

However, finding internship jobs is not easy as many of them are not publicized widely, and a search on Google can often lead to unwanted sites.

10 Internship is a new Indian startup which focuses on aggregating internship jobs across India, and producing it in a neat and non obtrusive interface.

So if you are looking to find Internship jobs in India, head over to 10 Internship and see the listings for your local state or city from India.

DoT Number Portability Delayed to April 2010

Department of Telecommunications (DoT) for India has delayed the number portability, a feature which will allow users to switch providers without having to change numbers, to April 2010.

mobile_number_portability

Originally Number Portability, also called as Mobile Number Portability (MNP), was supposed to be rolled out on January 1st 2010. However telecom providers in India have been delaying the launch, citing reasons of need to upgrade their networks to make this work.

DoT has now planned to ask all mobile services to rollout this feature simultaneously, starting April 2010. According to the Cellular Operators Association of India, the body for GSM operators in India.

in a communication to the DoT, had pointed out that a phased rollout could lead to a scenario where a subscriber calling a ported number from a service area where MNP is not implemented in the first phase may not be able to get through. Hence it is important for all networks to be MNP ready in the first phase itself so as to ensure successful call completion,

The delay of Mobile Number Portability has definitely been a dampener for hassled users, who are fedup of having to change their numbers when they move across to new providers.

The delay aside, it is baffling to see that DoT has not yet tested out the new MNP, even when they had initially planned to roll it out on January 1st 2010. A feature as huge as this is bound to face different problems, and users will be left with no option but to call multiple mobile providers and be dumped from one place to the other to resolve their problems.

We hope that when DoT launches MNP, it is properly tested and ready for one of the World’s largest mobile market.

CDN Solutions Launches Masala Pedia app for iPhone

CDN Solutions, a company which develops mobile applications has come up with a new application called Masala Pedia, which will allow users to lookup and convert the names of a masala (spice) into English, German, French, Italian and Spanish.

masalapedia-iphone-home masalapedia-iphone-browse

There are times when you are cooking a dish from a recipe book and don’t know what a type of spice is called in the your language. The Masala Pedia app will allow you to lookup names of common spices. The free app for iPhone can help you lookup up to 20 masala names.

In addition to that you can also search for spices and view details about them, including images and descriptions. The app works on both the iPhone and iPod touch and was tested on a iPod Touch 3G edition.

The full app is can be purchased for $0.99. For more details and download links visit the Masala Pedia iPhone app page.

Mumbai BEST Bus Guides On Mobile Phones

Mobile 4 Mumbai has launched a new application which will allow users to find bus routes on the heavily used BEST transport system in India. This will allow users to find bus routes to various destinations, by looking it up on their mobile phones.

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In addition to that you can also lookup names of bus stops which are not even available on the official BEST directory. Currently more than 42 lakh commuters travel daily on Mumbai BEST buses. Hopefully, this application will help solve the woes of people who have been travelling in BEST buses and getting lost in the process.

The Mobile 4 Mumbai app will work on any J2ME enabled phone and does not require GPRS, which means that the app will run out of the box on your cellphone.

For more information and to download the beta app, visit Mobile 4 Mumbai site.

Rediff Launches Rediff Blogs. Another Fail in The Making?

Rediff.com, one of the biggest portals in India, which is also listed on NASDAQ, has launched a new service called Rediff Blogs. I personally was an employee of Rediff at one point of time, and they were very competitive back then. However, Rediff has had a huge history of failed products which are no more than Someone has it, let’s build our ownkind of products, which have seldom worked, though I would not comment on past products much in this post.

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Rediff has scrapped their earlier blogging platform Rediff iLand, which they had created in-house (see what I was saying) and launched a new portal called Rediff Blogs, which runs on uhm WordPress MU. Rediff Blogs support 9 major Indian languages including Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Marathi, Bengali, Kannada, Gujarati, Malayalam and Kannada. However, that’s hardly any innovation at all.

Whether Rediff Blogs will work or not is not something we can foresee, but what they are doing right now would not take more than 2 days for any person familiar with WordPress MU to do. Agreed Rediff is a big brand, but so are WordPress, Blogger and Drupal. If you are launching something, why not be innovative, and who needs another blogging platform anyways, don’t we have enough of it already?