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Wednesday, Oct 20, 2021
Outlook.com

Chasing Osama In Cyber Alleys

Chasing Osama In Cyber Alleys
Chasing Osama In Cyber Alleys
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
It all started in December 2001. Three months after 9/11, 18-year-old computer geek Ankit Fadia received a mysterious e-mail asking if he could decode a visual image.

Thinking it was a prank, he responded hesitantly, asking for the digital signature, which authenticates the identity of the sender. With his background in computer security and digital intelligence, Ankit discovered the sender was actually a US intelligence agency. The task at hand was to decrypt a baseball cartoon found in the laptop of an Al Qaeda operative. Stegenography, a computer language that helps hide messages in audio, video and text files and is widely used by terrorist outfits, was in vogue then. Says Ankit: "I had to know the algorithm that was used to encrypt the password and which would enable me to read the message." Using a programme called Brute Force, Ankit toiled for 10 days and cracked the order of the algorithm and the password in the cartoon. "It was an innocuous message asking if everything was alright, but I passed...

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