Tag: Internet

How to Be Invisible Online (Without Going off the Grid)

Header_How-to-be-Invisible-Online

Are you concerned about your online security? With more data breaches occurring daily, it’s crucial to protect yourself with these simple tips.

This infographic is a comprehensive look at how you can reduce your online visibility to protect your privacy, but still be seen by your family and friends. From browsing the internet to safety on social media platforms, you don’t need to be a technical genius to lessen your online risk.

You don’t have to leave the grid to disappear from hackers and unscrupulous businesses who exploit you and your information for their gain without your knowledge. However, it’s critical to protect your data on each platform you use.

Unfortunately, these big corporations don’t always have our best interests at heart. As we’ve seen from the multiple data breaches, there are times that consumers aren’t told about the hack until it was too late. Repairing your credit and personal information after a data hack is scary. By locking down your data now, you’ll save yourself a bigger headache later.

Design_How-to-be-Invisible-Online

Source: Barbara Davidson, Robin

HTTP/2

HTTP/2 (originally named HTTP/2.0) is a major revision of the HTTP network protocol used by the World Wide Web. It was derived from the earlier experimental SPDY protocol, originally developed by Google.

HTTP/2 was developed by the Hypertext Transfer Protocol working group httpbis (where bis means “second”) of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF).

HTTP Timeline pic
                                                                                                                                                   ~ HTTP Timeline

What is a Protocol?

A protocol is a set of rules that govern the data communication mechanisms between clients (for example web browsers used by internet users to request information) and servers (the machines containing the requested information).

Protocols usually consist of three main parts: Header, Payload, and Footer.

The Header placed before the Payload contains information such as source and destination address as well as other details (such as size and type) regarding the Payload.

The Payload is the actual information transmitted using the protocol.

The Footer follows the Payload and works as a control field to route client-server requests to the intended recipients along with the Header to ensure the Payload data is transmitted free of errors.

 

Protocol
                                                                                                                                                     ~ Mail HTTP/2

The system is similar to the postal mail service. The letter (Payload) is inserted into an envelope (Header) with destination address written on it and sealed with glue and postage stamp (Footer) before it is dispatched.

What is SPDY?

SPDY (pronounced SPeeDY) is a networking protocol developed by Google with the purpose of speeding up the delivery of web content. It does this by modifying HTTP traffic which in turn reduces web page latency and improves web security.

HTTP, while powerful in its day, cannot keep up with the demands of today’s digital world, which is the reason SPDY was introduced to help meet those demands.

What is HTTP/2?

HTTP/2 is the second major version update to the HTTP protocol since HTTP1.1 which was released more than 15 years ago. The HTTP/2 protocol was developed due to the ever-evolving digital world and the need to load more resource intensive web pages.

SPDY was also implemented to help reduce web page latency users experience when using HTTP1.1. HTTP/2 is based off SPDY, however, contains key improvements that have led to the deprecation of SPDY in February 2015.

How does HTTP/2 work?

Whenever you click on a link to visit a site a request is made to the server. The server answers with a status message (header) and a file list for that website. After viewing that list, the browser asks for the files one at a time. The difference between HTTP 1.1 and HTTP/2 lies in what happens next.

Say you want a new LEGO set. First, you go to the store to buy your LEGO. When you get home, you open the box and look at the instructions, which tell you what you have to do: one brick at a time. So for every brick, you have to look at the instructions to see which brick to use next. The same for the next brick, and so on. This back-and-forth keeps happening until you have finished the entire LEGO set. If your set has 3,300 bricks, that’ll take quite a while. This is HTTP1.1.

With HTTP/2 this change. You go to the store to pick up your box. Open it, find the instructions and you can ask for all the bricks used on one section of the LEGO set. You can keep asking the instructions for more bricks, without having to look at the manual. “These bricks go together, so here they are.” If you want it really quickly, you could even get all the bricks at once so you can build the set in an instant.

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Differences from HTTP1.1

Similar to SPDY, using HTTP/2 does not require any changes to how web applications currently work, however, applications are able to take advantage of the optimization features to increase page load speed.

Differences between the HTTP1.1. and HTTP/2 protocol includes the following:

  • HTTP/2 is binary, instead of textual
  • It is fully multiplexed, instead of ordered and blocking
  • It can use one connection for parallelism
  • It uses header compression to reduce overhead
  • It allows servers to “push” responses proactively into client caches instead of waiting for a new request for each resource.

Is it HTTP/2.0 or HTTP/2?

The Working Group decided to drop the minor version (“.0”) because it has caused a lot of confusion in HTTP/1.x.

In other words, the HTTP version only indicates wire compatibility, not feature sets or “marketing.”

Similarities with HTTP1.x and SPDY

HTTP1.x SPDY HTTP2
SSL not required but recommended. SSL required. SSL not required but recommended.
Slow encryption. Fast encryption. Even faster encryption.
One client-server request per TCP connection. Multiple client-server requests per TCP connection. Occurs on a single host at a time. Multi-host multiplexing. Occurs on multiple hosts at a single instant.
No header compression. Header compression introduced. Header compression using improved algorithms that improve performance as well as security.
No stream prioritization. Stream prioritization introduced. Improved stream prioritization mechanisms used.

Conclusion

HTTP/2 is without a doubt the direction the web is moving towards in terms of the networking protocol that is able to handle the resource needs of today’s websites. While SPDY was a great step forward in improving HTTP1.1, HTTP/2 has since further improved the HTTP protocol that has served the web for many years.

According to W3Techs, as of November 2018, 31% of the top 10 million websites supported HTTP/2.

Source: kinsta, wikipedia, yoast, github, keycdn,

HTTP vs HTTPS

Both HTTP and HTTPS are protocols being used for transmitting and receiving information across the Internet.

HTTP is the acronym for Hypertext Transfer Protocol. HTTP has been the standard communication protocol pretty much since the internet was developed.

HTTP: HyperText Transfer Protocol:

Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is a system for transmitting and receiving information across the Internet. HTTP is an “application layer protocol,” which ultimately means that its focus is on how information is presented to the user, however, this option doesn’t really care how data gets from Point A to Point B.

It is said to be “stateless,” which means it doesn’t attempt to remember anything about the previous web session. The benefit of being stateless it that there is less data to send, and that means increased speed.

Here is the fact of HTTP:

  • The Term HTTP is originated by Ted Nelson.
  • HTTP connections uses a port 80 by default.
  • HTTP URLs begin with “http://”.
  • The first version of HTTP was introduced in 1991 that is HTTP V0.9.
  • HTTP V1.0 is specified in RFC 1945 that officially introduced and recognized in 1996.
  • HTTP V1.1 is specified in RFC 2616 and was released in January 1997.
  • HTTP V2.0 is specified in RFC 7540 and was published in May 2015

HTTPSHyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure:

Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) is the secure version of HTTP, the protocol over which data is sent between your browser and the website that you are connected to. The ‘S’ at the end of HTTPS stands for ‘Secure’. It means all communications between your browser and the website are encrypted. HTTPS is often used to protect highly confidential online transactions like online banking and online shopping order forms.

 

HTTP vs HTTPS

Web browsers such as Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome also display a padlock icon in the address bar to visually indicate that an HTTPS connection is in effect.

 Here is the fact of HTTPS:

  • HTTPS uses a port 443 by default to transfer the information.
  • HTTPS URLs begin with “https://”.
  • The HTTPS is first used in HTTPS V1.1 and defined in RFC 2616.

 HTTPS provides three key layers of protection

  • Encryption. Encrypting the exchanged data to keep it secure.
  • Data Integrity. Data cannot be modified or corrupted during transfer without being detected.
  • Authentication proves that your users communicate with the intended website.

There is a belief among many around the web that HTTPS is slower. Fortunately, this is a myth. HTTPS is actually much faster than HTTP.

Difference between HTTP and HTTPS

  • In HTTP, URL begins with “http://” whereas URL starts with “https://”
  • HTTP uses port number 80 for communication and HTTPS uses 443
  • HTTP is considered to be unsecured and HTTPS is secure
  • HTTP Works at Application Layer and HTTPS works at Transport Layer
  • In HTTP, Encryption is absent, and Encryption is present in HTTPS as discussed above
  • HTTP does not require any certificates and HTTPS needs SSL Certificates

http-vs-https

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Is HTTP dying?

HTTP isn’t really dying, per se. It’s just being forced to evolve. As we mentioned earlier, the browsers are basically our de facto vehicle for getting around the internet. The vast majority of us could not use the internet without a browser. And that puts the browsers in position to influence the internet as they see fit.

Right now, they’re mandating SSL. The initiative began a few years ago with a soft push. Google announced HTTPS would become a ranking factor for SEO, then the browsers started making new features exclusive to sites with SSL. Gradually they incentivized encryption more and more.

For a detailed explanation on SSL/TLS protocols, check my earlier post: SSL/TLS

Picture11Keep reading, Keep learning 😊

 Source: Sanjay Barot, geeksforgeeks, i-techgeeks, instantsslBhavesh Patel

What is the latest version of Wi-Fi?

What is the latest version of Wi-Fi?

It is — Wi-Fi is 802.11ax.

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The Wi-Fi Alliance—the group that manages the implementation of Wi-Fi—has announced that the next version of Wi-Fi standard, which is 802.11ax, will use a simpler naming scheme and will be called Wi-Fi 6.

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Wi-Fi 6, based on the IEEE 802.11ax standard, will offer higher data rates, increased capacity, good performance—even in dense environments (such as stadiums or public venues) and improved power efficiency, making it perfect choice for smart home and IoT uses).

Another improvement Wi-Fi 6 will bring is improved efficiency, which means a lower power draw, which means less of a strain on battery life (or lower figures on your electricity bill).

Wi-Fi 6 can now divide a wireless channel into a large number of subchannels. Each of these subchannels can carry data intended for a different device. This is achieved through something called Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access, or OFDMA. The Wi-Fi access point can talk to more devices at once.

The new riderless standard also has improved MIMO—Multiple In/Multiple Out. This involves multiple antennas, which let the access point talk to multiple devices at once. With Wi-Fi 5, the access point could talk to devices at the same time, but those devices couldn’t respond at the same time. Wi-Fi 6 has an improved version of multi-user or MU-MIMO that lets devices respond to the wireless access point at the same time.

When Will You Get It?

Some routers may already advertise “802.11ax technology,” but Wi-Fi 6 isn’t finalized and here yet. There also aren’t any Wi-Fi 6 client devices available yet, either.

The Wi-Fi Alliance expects the standard to be finalized and hardware to be released sometime in 2019.

A Brief History of Wi-Fi

Final

Source: thehacker newsblog.eero, techspot,  howtogeek, wi-fi

 

 

DNS Terminology

In this post, I am going to give few basic DNS components before going to discuss the DNS functionality in depth in technical terms.

Who invented the DNS?

Paul V. Mockapetris (born 1948 in Boston, Massachusetts, US) is an American computer scientist and Internet pioneer, who, together with Jonathan Bruce Postel (August 6, 1943 – October 16, 1998) invented the Internet Domain Name System (DNS)

DNS Inventors

Paul has dual B.S. degrees in Physics and Electrical Engineering from MIT, and a Ph.D. in Information and Computer Science from the University of California, Irvine.

Postel has done his B.S. degree, M.A in Engineering and Ph.D. in Computer Science from UCLA.

Domain Terminology:

There are many terms used when talking about domain names and DNS that aren’t used too often in other areas of computing.

Domain Name System

The domain name system, more commonly known as “DNS” is the networking system in place that allows us to resolve human-friendly names to unique addresses.

Domain Name

A domain name is a human-friendly name that we are used to associating with an internet resource. For instance, “google.com” is a domain name. Some people will say that the “google” portion is the domain, but we can generally refer to the combined form as the domain name.

The URL “google.com” is associated with the servers owned by Google Inc. The domain name system allows us to reach the Google servers when we type “google.com” into our browsers.

IP Address

An IP address is what we call a network addressable location. Each IP address must be unique within its network. When we are talking about websites, this network is the entire internet.

IPv4, the most common form of addresses, are written as four sets of numbers, each set having up to three digits, with each set separated by a dot. For example, “111.222.111.222” could be a valid IPv4 IP address. With DNS, we map a name to that address so that you do not have to remember a complicated set of numbers for each place you wish to visit on a network.

Top-Level Domain

A top-level domain, or TLD, is the most general part of the domain. The top-level domain is the furthest portion to the right (as separated by a dot). Common top-level domains are “com”, “net”, “org”, “gov”, “edu”, and “io”.

Top-level domains are at the top of the hierarchy in terms of domain names. Certain parties are given management control over top-level domains by ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers). These parties can then distribute domain names under the TLD, usually through a domain registrar.

Hosts

Within a domain, the domain owner can define individual hosts, which refer to separate computers or services accessible through a domain. For instance, most domain owners make their web servers accessible through the bare domain (example.com) and also through the “host” definition “www” (www.example.com).

You can have other host definitions under the general domain. You could have API access through an “api” host (api.example.com) or you could have ftp access by defining a host called “ftp” or “files” (ftp.example.com or files.example.com). The hostnames can be arbitrary as long as they are unique for the domain.

SubDomain

A subject related to hosts are subdomains.

DNS works in a hierarchy. TLDs can have many domains under them. For instance, the “com” TLD has both “google.com” and “ubuntu.com” underneath it. A “subdomain” refers to any domain that is part of a larger domain. In this case, “ubuntu.com” can be said to be a subdomain of “com”. This is typically just called the domain or the “ubuntu” portion is called an SLD, which means second level domain.

Likewise, each domain can control “subdomains” that are located under it. This is usually what we mean by subdomains. For instance, you could have a subdomain for the history department of your school at “www.history.school.edu“. The “history” portion is a subdomain.

The difference between a hostname and a subdomain is that a host defines a computer or resource, while a subdomain extends the parent domain. It is a method of subdividing the domain itself.

Whether talking about subdomains or hosts, you can begin to see that the left-most portions of a domain are the most specific. This is how DNS works: from most to least specific as you read from left-to-right.

Fully Qualified Domain Name

A fully qualified domain name, often called FQDN, is what we call an absolute domain name. Domains in the DNS system can be given relative to one another, and as such, can be somewhat ambiguous. An FQDN is an absolute name that specifies its location in relation to the absolute root of the domain name system.

This means that it specifies each parent domain including the TLD. A proper FQDN ends with a dot, indicating the root of the DNS hierarchy. An example of an FQDN is “mail.google.com.”. Sometimes software that calls for FQDN does not require the ending dot, but the trailing dot is required to conform to ICANN standards.

Name Server

A name server is a computer designated to translate domain names into IP addresses. These servers do most of the work in the DNS system. Since the total number of domain translations is too much for any one server, each server may redirect the request to other name servers or delegate responsibility for a subset of subdomains they are responsible for.

Name servers can be “authoritative”, meaning that they give answers to queries about domains under their control. Otherwise, they may point to other servers, or serve cached copies of other name servers’ data.

Zone File

A zone file is a simple text file that contains the mappings between domain names and IP addresses. This is how the DNS system finally finds out which IP address should be contacted when a user requests a certain domain name.

Zone files reside in name servers and generally define the resources available under a specific domain, or the place that one can go to get that information.

Records

Within a zone file, records are kept. In its simplest form, a record is basically a single mapping between a resource and a name. These can map a domain name to an IP address, define the name servers for the domain, define the mail servers for the domain, etc.

 

Source: internet hall of fame, digitaloceanwikipedia

 

What is DNS and how it works

DNS stands for Domain Name System, is the backbone that runs the Internet.

It is a database that works like a phone book for the internet, converts a domain name, such as “www.example.com,” to a machine-readable IP address, such as “22.231.113.64”.

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The internet is built up on two namespaces. The domain namespace and the IP address namespace. The translation of one to another is the service which is provided by DNS.

Explanation about DNS in Simple Terms:

DNS is very similar to the postal or telephone addressing system most countries have, with two main components: a name, and a more detailed, numerical address. If you’re sending a letter to someone, say, Jennifer who lives in Manhattan, you’d address it such:

Jennifer Aniston,

100 5th Avenue,

New York, NY 10027

With the Internet, the “name” is called a domain, and the “numeric address” part is an IP (Internet Protocol) address. But unlike sending a letter, as a regular user on the Internet, you don’t have to know the numeric address of your site, just the domain name!

Each domain (in the form of http://www.domainname.com) has a specific IP address it corresponds to. This IP address indicates the “home” or server where the web page being requested is being hosted.

Note:  Although, these procedures appear to be lengthy; however, they can happen within a tenth of a second. It is so fast that the entire process can occur before a blink of an eye.

DNS The IP Address:

xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx – where each ‘xxx’ is a number from 0-255

If you have a dedicated IP address, there will be only one domain at your “house” address. Very few commercial hosting options offer dedicated IPs with their basic plans, and usually there are hundreds to thousands of domains being addressed to the same server. So, your address is more likely to be an apartment building instead of a single-family house.

 DNS Name Servers / Authoritative Name Server: Your Global Directory Assistance

Another important player in this DNS world is the “Name Server” which is the equivalent of your local post office. They know where you live and that when a letter arrives with your name and address, they confirm and ensure that it reaches its final destination.

Each domain has just one Name Server that is in charge of keeping that domain’s information and IP addresses. Simply, when your change your IP address or “home,” your domain’s name server passes the word on the internet (with the help of routers, which we’ll talk about later) to the rest of the internet so a request directed to your website will find you.

What Happens When You Change Web Hosting

If you were moving your physical house, you’d have to notify the local post office or city hall with your new address. With your website, since you’re moving your data from one “house” to another, you need to update your site’s address, too. Usually this will require you changing the IP address to reflect the new hosting company’s server where your information will reside. Your hosting company can provide the correct IP address for you.

  • In the DNS, you’ll delete the current “address” and then insert the new IP address of your new hosting.
  • The name server notices that the DNS for your domain has changed, and usually within 24-48 hours, the name server will notify the rest of its network, which in turn will propagate the information throughout the internet.
  • The next time someone types in http://www.domainname.com, the request will be sent to your new address!

Advanced DNS Questions

  • Can you have multiple IP addresses for a single domain? Yes, much like Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, sites which are very popular often have multiple “houses” – and often this is done with sites that have a lot of traffic and are using multiple servers to meet the demand.
  • Can multiple domains respond to the same (IP) address? Yes, as mentioned above, many commercial hosting solutions offer low-priced hosting because they can put hundreds or thousands of sites/domains on the same server since the traffic demands are so low. Depending on the traffic that comes to your site, you’ll probably never notice.

Keep reading, Keep learning 😊

Source: whenihavetimecloudflare

 

How to find ALL the saved Wi-Fi passwords in Windows 10

In my previous blog post, I had posted a detailed explanation on how to view the currently connected network Wi-Fi password saved in Windows 10 PC. On this post, we are going to see ALL the Wi-Fi passwords (currently connected and previously connected networks, even if you’re not connected to them anymore) saved in the Windows 10 PC.

There can be a lot of reasons as to why you might want to know the Wi-Fi password for a network you are currently connected to or you have connected in the past. For example, we need to enter the same password in another device. Or worse, we need the password of the Wi-Fi router which we aren’t currently connected to.

Windows OS normally saves the Wi-Fi passwords whenever you connect to any wireless networks. This feature reconnects the Wi-Fi network automatically for the next time.

But, Windows 10 does not show the saved passwords of other disconnected networks in settings directly. We can view all the disconnected Wi-Fi network passwords by using command prompt / Windows PowerShell or by using some external tools.

  1. Command Prompt or Windows PowerShell
  2. WirelessKeyView
  3. Wi-Fi password revealer
  1. Command Prompt or Windows PowerShell:

Step 1: Press Windows Key + X  à Click on Windows PowerShell (Admin)

Step 2: Run the following command to show all the Wi-Fi profiles saved on your computer:
netsh wlan show profiles

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Step 3: Now to view the saved password of a particular Wi-Fi network, type this command substituting “NETWORK NAME” with the Wi-Fi network you’re looking up:

netsh wlan show profile “NETWORK NAME” key=clear

Example: netsh wlan show profile “Mad’s Moto” key=clear

Image-B

You’ll see your Wi-Fi password in ‘Key Index,’ under Security settings.

You have to run the command with each Wi-Fi profile name or SSID (Service Set Identifier) to know the password.

2. WirelessKeyView: WirelessKeyView is a small freeware utility which will show you all your saved Wi-Fi passwords. WirelessKeyView recovers all wireless network security keys/passwords (WEP/WPA) stored in your computer by the ‘Wireless Zero Configuration’ service of Windows.

Version available: WirelessKeyView v2.05 (32 Bit & 64Bit).

NOTE: Some Antivirus programs detect WirelessKeyView utility as infected with Trojan/Virus. I had installed and tested on my laptop, didn’t face any issue. Safe to use.

wirelesskeyview

3. Wi-Fi password revealer: Wi-Fi password revealer(finder) is a small freeware utility which will show you all your saved Wi-Fi passwords.

You just have to download Wi-Fi password revealer, install and run it. There is no configuration required.

Wi-Fi password revealer

NOTE #1: This is NOT Wi-Fi password sniffer or stealer. It will only show your saved Wi-Fi passwords (which you have entered in the past).

NOTE #2: Administrator rights are required on your PC in order to decrypt stored passwords.

Source: guidingtech, nirsoft, magicaljellybean