Slow PTCL DSL Solution during Submarine Cable Cut

Many internet users in Pakistan, particularly those using PTCL Broadband were left in extreme agony last night when their internet lines started failing—connections timing out, websites not loading and the refresh button getting abused!

It was due to a submarine fiber optic cable fault, one of those high-speed undersea cables through which PTCL runs its traffic. The particular culprit was SEA-ME-WE-4, also called SMW4. It’s not the first time that PTCL users had to bear this torture of slow internet due to a cable fault, last time it occurred was in 2013 and that too was a fault in SMW4.

Thankfully, though, Pakistan doesn’t rely on only one cable to connect to the outside world. It has multiple submarine cable links like TW1 (which is operated by Transworld Associates) and SEAMEWE3.

Solution

During cable outages, which mostly occur on SMW cables affecting PTCL users, the ISPs using Transworld Associates’ fiber optic cable (TW1) are Continue reading Slow PTCL DSL Solution during Submarine Cable Cut

My Motivation

At times you feel like writing non-stop, taking it all out what’s torturing you from the inside and throwing it away in the form of words—words that carry the fire, the flame, the hurt that’s eating you from the inside.

I was hurt today, a bit demotivated, because what I thought I can do and achieve, for what I totally believed in myself and backed myself to do, jolted me and gave me a shock.

It was hard to take it in at first, I wasn’t able to think clearly about my next steps but then a trait of mine kicked in. A trait which has kept me strong and going till now, a trait for which I’m thankful to God—the ability to to transform negativity into positive energy, to seek optimism in an apparently bleak situation and start self-analysis.

I don’t know the cause, but whenever I’m told that the thing I believe in, I can’t do it or I’m not good enough for it, instead of getting demotivated and thinking what a waste I am, I rather take it as guidance and go on to analyze where did I go wrong? There are obviously things that I lack. Perhaps it’s the desire to keep on improving myself, but the energy that I gain forces me to gain what I’m lacking, to learn.

And I’ll do the same this time too. Going to analyze what I need to do to prove myself. Oh, and I’m going to try and blog a bit regularly here, I so miss this place. 😉

List of KMU Students for KPK Laptop Scheme Naway Sahar

This is the list of selected students for Naway Sahar laptop scheme of Khyber Medical University (KMU) including all its government institutes like KMC, KGMC, KCD, KIMS, AMC, Gomal Medical College and the rest. Links for each institute of Khyber Medical University are listed below.

For the list of students from rest of the universities, please open this link. For details regarding specs of laptop and distribution dates, scroll below.

You will also have to fill and submit an undertaking available here. According to this, you cannot sell your laptop received under this laptop scheme. Continue reading List of KMU Students for KPK Laptop Scheme Naway Sahar

KPK Laptop Scheme: List of Students (All Universities)

List of selected students of all universities has been uploaded and can be accessed via the links mentioned below in the post. Under this laptop scheme, termed as “Naway Sahar” by the KPK government, a total of approximately 23,000 to 24,000 laptops will be distributed among the students who were short-listed on the basis of their GPAs.

The laptops are rumored to be Dell Inspiron 14 3420, equipped with Intel Core i3 CPU, 500GB HDD and 2GB RAM.

Students List For Laptop Scheme (University Wise):

Continue reading KPK Laptop Scheme: List of Students (All Universities)

QMobile Noir A10: Review & Specs

The wait is finally over—QMobile has officially launched Noir A10. It also has 3G technology which Noir A8 lacked. The question is, can this phone outperform Noir A8? Read below.

Some of its features are:

1GHz dual-core CPU

Android OS – Ice Cream Sandwich

512MB RAM

4GB ROM (2GB usable)

5 inch IPS screen

MTK6577 chipset

8MP back camera and 1.3MP front camera

And rest of the perks that come with usual Android phones including GPS.

To read more, click here (Lab Android). Detailed review & comparison with Noir A8, Sony Xperia is done there.

Launch of LabAndroid.com

I was feeling the need for a dedicated platform where Pakistani coders and enthusiasts can unite and provide development/modding support for Android phones. Particularly those, which are not usually supported at international platforms like XDA-Developers.

The response I received after the rooting and CWM posts of Noir A8 was very positive. These phones have made it easy for youth to get a taste of decent smartphones at a relatively cheaper price. They’re in no way inferior, are powered by open source Android OS but what they do lack is development support.

So in hopes of building a development and modding community which can contribute things like custom ROMs, kernels, mods, performance improvements etc., I have launched Lab Android.

From now on, all posts related to Android, QMobile Noir A8, Noir A6, Noir A10 and rest of the MediaTek based phones will come live on http://www.labandroid.com.

I’ve posted the procedure to backup stock ROM of Noir A8 and stock recovery there. Check it out and contribute if you can. 🙂

If you can code, develop, write, and want to volunteer, you can join the team. 🙂

Google.com.pk Hacked — Technical Details

Google.com.pk (Google Pakistan) website was hacked early morning today, and from the last several hours is still inaccessible. This domain gets all the traffic from Pakistan; people get redirected to it if a Pakistani IP opens Google.com.

Not only Google, other big names like Yahoo, Microsoft Pakistan and Apple are also apparently “hacked”. The domains Microsoft.pk, Yahoo.pk and Apple.pk remain inaccessible.

Turkish hacking group/individual “Eboz” has claimed responsibility by uploading a defaced page. The question, however is, were they all really “hacked“? Nope, not really. Let’s analyze a few things.

Performing a simple WHOIS lookup on Google.com.pk reveals the following DNS records, as of 9PM PST:

DNS records

name class type data time to live
google.com.pk IN A 127.0.0.1 3600s (01:00:00)
google.com.pk IN NS dns2.freehostia.com 3600s (01:00:00)
google.com.pk IN SOA
server: dns1.freehostia.com
email: support@freehostia.com
serial: 1353750918
refresh: 28800
retry: 7200
expire: 604800
minimum ttl: 86400
3600s (01:00:00)
google.com.pk IN NS dns1.freehostia.com 3600s (01:00:00)
google.com.pk IN MX
preference: 10
exchange: mbox.freehostia.com
3600s (01:00:00)

 

As you can see, the NS records, responsible for resolving a domain name to IP address have been changed freehostia.com’s nameservers. It’s a free web hosting provider, and Google, Apple or other affected big brands surely won’t be using a free hosting service!

What this reveals is that the hackers managed to take control of the domain registrar/registry and changed the DNS records. In this case, .pk domain names are handled by PKNIC.

It’s important to note that this doesn’t mean those hackers actually gained access servers of these companies. It’s highly unlikely! Rather, they just pointed the domain names to their own DNS records and people accessing these websites were redirected to the pages setup by hackers.

Google.com.pk is not opening because the IP address to which it points has been changed to 127.0.0.1. That’s a local loop IP address and if you try to open it, you just access your own computer’s port 80.