This PT Monitor was published on Saturday, 26th April 2003 in ‘The Times of India’ – Pune Times edition by Mr. Huned Contractor.
|How safe is the email account provided by the Videsh Sanchar Nigam Limited? The answer to this, as discovered by city-based software expert Ashish Annachhatre, is that it is secure only as long as you always remember to log off and do not simply close the window. “Each time that you do not log off, you are exposing yourself to a high risk of intrusion by someone who has snatched an important piece of information from the email header. This implies that not only can your email be read by anyone, but it can lead to other dangerous complications such as the ransacking of your address book, attacks by virus or using your email identity to send fake messages,” claims Annachhatre, who stumbled upon this flaw while testing the protocols of email service providers for one of his clients.|
|Providing a demonstration of how it works, Annachhatre says that this black hole in the system is only because VSNL headers have a code that other service providers like Yahoo or Lycos do not contain. “This kind of break-in does not, however make it possible for an intruder to gain access into the internet account and use the subscriber’s hours of usage. All it does is open up a channel that leads straight into the email account of the user,” explains Annachhatre.
VSNL is unaware of this mode of hacking. “Our home page makes it very clear that all users should compulsorily log out so as to prevent any kind of misuse. This is essential to cut the transaction. Also, switching off the computer will automatically break the email transaction,” states VSNL’s general manager Shaikh Abdulrahim. Coincidentally, VSNL has sent out a mail to its more than seven lakh subscribers about the new features that it will introduce in its email facility. This will include better organisation of email by distributing them across folders of your choice, maintaining contact lists on-line, sending out automatic messages when you are on vacation and not likely to check your mail, enabling you to forward your mails to alternative email accounts and personalising the look of your account.
TRACKING HACKERS :
|Annachhatre, meanwhile, is quite willing to prove that all such added features will only take the risk level a step higher, claiming that this risk of an ‘open house’ can be eliminated only if VSNL can work on changing the content of the data that goes out with its header. It is now up to the software brains to devise a solution. All that the user needs to realise is that locking a door is the best way to keep out the thieves.|
Article was published on Sunday, 1st December 2002 in ‘The Times of India’, Pune edition by Mr. Huned Contractor. You can read the article on Times of India website as well
|If he had so pleased, 26-year-old Ashish Annachhatre could have easily settled in Germany in style. With a blue card, apartment and a car in tow, he could have looked forward to working on the cutting edge of computing technologies.
But instead of cashing in on his computer engineering degree, Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 certificate and job experience with IMC India, he opted for entrepreneurship. The “gamble” seems to have paid off now. Today, Ashish is gunning for big time collaborations with Indian and foreign IT companies for an innovation he has termed “website licensing”.
|“Just like software licensing which allows access to a specific software package,website licensing provides ready-to-use sites which are pre-designed and come with hundreds of templates to suit a client’s requirements,” informs Ashish.
But while web development and hosting is one aspect of Ashtech Digital Concepts, linking the agriculture sector to the Internet is his other important domain. Ashish’s web portal greenmatrix.com has therefore specialised in producing B2B and B2C portals, e-commerce, database integration and eCRM solutions for agriculture businesses across the globe
One of his projects, kisanbazar.com, offers scope for product inquiries, trading and auctions for agricultural produce while poultrydeals. com goes to the extent of hosting hourly market updates.
“As of now, the farming community may continue to look at the Internet with a degree of suspicion, but corporate players in sugar, poultry, dairy, seeds and fertilisers are slowly becoming Net-based in a big way. Over the next few years, e-commerce will have a major say in agriculture,” predicts Ashish.
|It is not for the first time that Ashish has gone where no one has been before on the Net. Even before Ashtech was formally launched, Ashish developed the indiaproperties. com portal and quickly moved on static sites to dynamic ones such as globalflowerdelivery. com, before setting up ‘Internet Swami’ to entice clients with offers of free websites.
“It is not enough to simply develop an ecommerce portal. To begin with, e-commerce for someone who is in the flower or gifts business can be a success story only if there is an organised back-end support. The site has to be so user-friendly and convenience-oriented that it would entice clients to use their credit cards for transactions. With e-banking facilities and RBI policies in place, e-commerce is no longer clouded by doubt and insecurity.”
The dynamic one-man show launched in 2000 has now progressed to a six-member team of software pros, a marketing office in Baramati which taps the sugar sector. “We are growing at 90 per cent each year,” reveals Ashish. And it does not stop here. Absolutely loyal to Microsoft technologies, Ashish is now working on SQL servers and Dotnet which is a language-independent technology. “The important thing is to keep an eye on the future and never blink,” he states. Ashish Annachatre… making giant strides on the Net.