Know our Design Community Coordinators!

This article is interview-based. For this article, Mr Kushal Manandhar and Mr Sushant Subedi, the Design community coordinators, had been interviewed with a series of questions by the Documentation team.

Q1)Tell us about yourselves!

Ans. Hello, I am Kushal Manandhar. I am a 3rd-year Computer Engineering student. I  am the coordinator of the Design Community. I am an ambitious person who likes to set goals and work on the goals systematically rather than following a blind approach. I create time blocks to achieve my daily goals and usually stick to my routine to be productive most of the time.  Playing games is my way of releasing stress and refreshing myself. I am very open-minded and calm by nature.

Kushal Manandhar, Design Coordinator

Hello, I am Sushant Subedi. I am from Nepalgunj. I completed high school at KMC. After high school, I planned to go abroad for my higher education but later studied Computer Science at Kathmandu University.

I was most of the time involved in a youth leadership development organization named AIESEC Nepal. Being involved in different clubs at KU, I got the chance to explore my best interest. I also contributed to a few clubs at KU and explored many fields to find what was suitable for me. I later found my interest in designing. I am very fond of designing and being a creative person I find this field exciting. I am presently the Community Coordinator of  KUOSC Design Community. I am a foodie and speaking of my hobbies I like to travel in my free time. 

                  
        Sushant Subedi, Design Coordinator

Q2) Define the term ‘Design’ in your own words.

Ans. According to us, the term ‘design’ is neither technical nor professional but a way of sharing ideas, thoughts,  emotions, and overall creativity. It’s a very creative field, where the design elements (such as typography and images) convey information.  For us, design has always been a mood freshener that allows us to increase our creativity to a whole new level.

Q3) What according to you makes a good graphic designer?

Ans. Well, that’s a great question. According to us, Graphic designers must possess certain qualities. The first and foremost is patience. Patience is the key to success in this field. You cannot create a masterpiece in a single day,  it requires a lot of hard work. You must be patient enough to learn all the concepts and not rush to complete the topics and concepts. Another quality a good designer must possess is competency. A designer must be competent and at every point try to push himself or herself to get the best possible results. A good designer should always have a good idea and gather the energy to create new designs. A good designer is also a good listener who constantly tries to learn from others. Last but not least, he/she should be a constant learner and should possess the ability to accept criticism.

Q4) If you had to learn everything from the beginning, how would you proceed?

Ans. If we had to get back to those days when we just started to learn design, we would concentrate more on the basic theory. Tutorials too would be helpful, but we would avoid depending only on tutorials since watching too many tutorials makes you dependent and less creative. Our focus would be more on the concept and apply the concept learned from the documentation to our design. Copying the trendy design would also be a good idea to learn in the beginning phase. Staying close to the design community for feedback would also be a very good option.

Q5) How do you get new design ideas? Describe your creative process.

Ans. That’s a tough question! We think that there is no need to brainstorm for creativity. We observe trends in the digital market, get different ideas from other designs, google, and in our free time when we use social media, we just take a screenshot if we see any interesting design and try to learn from it. If you professionally work as a designer you should first see the requirements of the company or client and then after proper research and taking help of proper references (if necessary) you can draw your idea. For us, creativity may come from anywhere, and no matter wherever it comes from, we give in our best to make it perfect use in our design. We also sometimes spend hours thinking about suitable topics and sometimes when we are not satisfied with the design we again in the middle of creating a design just have to stop and start again with a new topic or design.

Q6) What were/are your struggles as a Designer?

Ans. Learning design is a very long process, and first and foremost the main struggle we faced was impatience. Even after learning continuously and creating various designs we didn’t have good results at first and sometimes in a hurry of learning everything we would skip various important concepts. This used to make us frustrated and impatient. In the beginning, we also did not plan a proper routine for ourselves, which also was the cause of imperfection. Sometimes in our initial days of learning, we also felt that other people were very biased as they would select other ideas instead of ours, which later we realized was not true,  gave us a very hard time. These struggles now shaped us to become good designers. There is also a huge gap between self-learning and taking internships and jobs in companies and exploring how things worked there fixed everything up. 

Q7) There are many fields in Computer Science, but what made you choose to design?

Ans. Well, it’s very simple. We simply chose to design because it excited us the most than any other field. When choosing your field, you must see how passionate you are about the field. We found out our passion for designing and learning to design was more like fun and gave us immense happiness. We can wake up fresh every morning, even after spending a long time creating designs the previous night. Even when travelling by bus, our eyes automatically go to the hoarding board, seeing the designs implemented there and thinking about what would have made it more attractive and beautiful. 

Q8) What are your visions and goals as a coordinator of the Design Community?

Ans. The Design Community has some flaws which we would like to correct at first. First of all, we would like more people to come for design as there is less number of designers on the team. Also, whenever programs are being held, the designs and posters should be made beforehand by the Design Community. We are also planning to inform the students about careers in design. We have also prepared a one-year plan in which we plan to bring new design podcasts, and challenges, publish magazines, call mentors for guidance and provide field training. We are also going to bring new projects and activities for the students.

Q9) What changes would you like to bring via your committee?

Ans. Well, we would like to set a benchmark through our committee. Students should know what to work on and explore, and we as the coordinators of the design community would like to guide the students on that topic. We would also provide mentorship and feedback to the students who are learning to design. We would like to create friendly teaching and learning environment via our committee.

Q10) Some words of motivation to the one in this field of designing or one scared to enter this field.

Ans.  If you are new, first of all, try. Always remember, a good starting is half done when u try. You will get to explore many things in this field. Express your creativity freely and work on yourself to make yourself better day by day. If you are a beginner, complete the basics fully and implement the concepts in your design. Don’t lose hope and always remember, that bad design leads to the best design. If you are in this field, brush up on all your concepts properly and implement them in your design. Be as creative as you can be. Take inspiration from other designs. 

Fellow designers always remember “Good Designers Copy, Best Designers steal”.

Interviewed by: Sushankhya Chapagain

Let’s know our Community Coordinators, a little bit better!

Let’s know our Community Coordinators, a little bit better!

 Aditi Baral
 Game Development Coordinator

This article is an interview-based article. For this article, Ms Aditi Baral, the game development community coordinator, has been interviewed with a series of questions by the Documentation team.

A little about yourself:

To begin with, I am Aditi Baral from Computer Engineering third year and the game development community coordinator for the term 2021–2022. Game development falls under the roof of KUOSC. To know a little bit more about me, in my free time, I enjoy reading manga and watching anime, and also, I love drawing sketches, painting, and yes, for sure gaming. Oh yeah, I am a huge cat-lover.

Journey as a student of CE at Kathmandu University :

I guess I am not the only one who falls under the category of having a student life full of ups and downs. My journey at KU is full of ups and downs. I wanted to learn and dive into a variety of things to which I was just introduced, but, to my dismay, I just deviated as a wandering soul. I didn’t find my purpose until my recent years.

The thing that I find annoying is, that a lot of things are taught just focusing on the surface level, which creates not just confusion, but a huge confusion. There were a lot of subjects that attracted me the most, but, because everything created a momentary interest in me, I couldn’t help myself focus on one. There were subjects I never wanted to see again, and also classes I attended just to avoid having to give compart exams. And looking back to the days, I kinda laugh at myself thinking about it.

Now, let me talk about the brighter side, I don’t get well along with most, but, the handful ones that I have got are the ones whom I treasure the most, and I really appreciate them for making my boring days fun, sad days happy and stressful days calm. Whenever we get time, we linger around KU premises, go to the football ground and sun bask, go for laphin and for Manakamana’s Kulfi and pastries, or for Ramesh dai’s chiya-guffs.

Any Regrets:

There aren’t many regrets that I carry within me, except for one. It is me struggling with time management. It annoys me when I am unable to manage an equal amount of time for studies and gaming. There’s always a clash between what I wanted to do and what I had to do. Trying to choose — trying to do both — just doing nothing. This cycle created an imbalance between my studies and ECA, which is something I wish I could have known to balance.

How did your interest spark in the game?

Games always had me captivated. I always had this excitement for gaming within me. It’s not something, I just started liking. It is something I have liked since the day I found out that there are GAMES. The combination of gameplay, graphics, and audio has always fascinated me.

From taking my mom’s phone just to play one game while she is in the kitchen, to always being the top scorer among my cousins. From buying CDs to playing online games, I’ve come a long way. I realized being close to games brings me peace.

What activated the game developer in you?

Instead of a pen, I used to have a controller in my hand. And it never felt wrong for some reason. I still am following the child gamer, Aditi and I want to tell her how proud I am of her, for finding exactly what I wanted to do that early. After being interested in gaming for quite a long time, the gamer in me wanted to know how games were created and how they actually worked. The curiosity of knowing knowledge behind the scenes of gaming and my love for graphics activated the game developer in me. I then started creating games for my Semester Project which boosted my confidence to do something in gaming.

I’d say developing games are as fun as gaming.

What are your visions and goals as a coordinator of Game Development?
I decided to become a game development coordinator, having a lot of things that I think I can and want to do within my tenure. My main goal is to help juniors starters, freshers and all the gaming enthusiasts know game development better. There still are a lot of people who don’t know what falls under it. To people who know what it is but don’t know how to start, this community gives them a starting kick from where they are stuck. After this is done, they can continue on their own with their feasible roadmap. I have started a discord channel on game development where people can take help from one another and get their questions answered and ideas experimented with. My vision is to connect people who are into game development and create something different collaboratively.

Different minds bring and blend different ideas, and combining them would create a massive plan.

What different are you planning to do from previous community coordinators?
To do something that has never been done before takes some time, and I am working on it. First, I am trying to make the existing plans better. My main goal is to establish the reach of the game development community and reach as many people as I can. Then, I will focus on effective information circulation among the ones interested in game development.

I am also planning on doing some collaborative work with different community coordinators in the near future.

Anything you would like to say to people who are scared of pursuing their “Game Development Dream”?
I believe people with dreams do a lot of hard work to make them their reality. I’d say to keep working on their dreams until they finally live them. Take one step at a time, and explore everything around you, and if you think the game is what you want to do, go for it.

Experiment with already existing engines rather than trying to make a new one of your own. There are enough resources available on the internet. Do your research. Try to find what fascinates you. Don’t directly jump into coding. Design your first game, make prototypes, and then start working on something concrete. You can do it if you have made your mind up.

Gaming as a career choice in Nepal would sound scary, but trust me it would be worth it. It takes time for people to process gaming and game development in Nepal. But slowly, people are understanding that there is a brighter side to that too and this opens a door full of opportunities in the near future. There are people who help you in your journey of becoming a game developer and also communities like ours to help you reach heights in the near future or coming days.

Is the game development community helpful for people who want to be in this field later on?
Yes, it is obviously helpful for people who want to be in this field later on because this community aims to connect people who share their passion for gaming and game development. It gives people a platform for communication to exchange new ideas and also experiment with them together. We also have discussion sessions and question-answer sessions to have your queries answered by people who are already doing good in their gaming careers. This community is a learning hub where everyone can teach someone something they didn’t know existed. All these things collectively will no doubt help you in this field later on.

Any message to the Documentation Team?

Gambare Gambare!!

Interviewed by: Ms Dilasha Upadhyay

A glance at KUOSC

A glance at KUOSC

Just a club or more than that?

Like in a basket, we keep varieties of fruits. In a similar fashion, under the roof of KUOSC, there are different communities led by different coordinators. As in harry potter, we see them carrying the wands and showcasing their skills, likewise, our community coordinators have their wands as a community where they showcase their skills and talents and help unleash the potential of different members of the DoCSE. If we imagine it with harry potter’s reference, then dumbledore is the Lead Coordinator of KUOSC i.e Mr Saazan Mahat, for the tenure 2021–2022, and all the coordinators follow the rules and regulations provided by him and perform their duties with their own wands, and their skills i.e the field which they are specialized at.

KUOSC, Kathmandu University Open Source Community, the sister wing or we can call it a sister club of KUCC i.e. Kathmandu University Computer Club. KUOSC as often described by many is a vibrant historic community from Kathmandu University that provides a common platform for all FOSS enthusiasts to discuss, share, and learn about free and open-source software. KUOSC is specifically focused on all the Open Source related activities ranging from training programs like Linux Talks, Useful Network Training to advocacy activities like Software Freedom Day celebration and organizing different community level workshops and events.

This is what everyone says, but, KUOSC is actually a family that binds together different passionate coordinators, who aim to ignite the same passion related to different language fields, technical fields, entrepreneurship, writing fields, and design fields. It’s not just an open-source community, it’s the foundation targeting the members to hone their skills, to showcase their talents, to expose them to new opportunities and to make them the master of their craft!

Open Source, as the name suggests, is the term that originated in the context of software development to designate a specific approach to creating computer programs. Today, however, “open source” designates a broader set of values — what we call “the open source way.”

Now, let us know a bit about different communities that are there for this tenure and also, let’s get a little bit more familiar with the community leaders as well.

For this tenure, under the roof of KUOSC, there are altogether 8 communities, which are: 1. Game Development Community

2. Design Community

3. Flutter Community

4. Documentation Community

5. Machine Learning Community

6. CyberSecurity Community

7. Javascript Community

8. Python Community

Before diving into the community leaders, let’s get to know about KUOSC Coordinator.

KUOSC Coordinator:

He is no ordinary guy, he is the Dumbledore and the man behind running this year’s KUOSC. Mr Saazan Mahat, the coordinator of KUOSC, is someone who has been working as a full-stack web developer ( React + Django ) but aspires to become a machine learning engineer in the future. Currently in the third year, Computer Engineering, and is from Chaukot, Dhulikhel. The vision that he carries for this tenure is to create communities of practice in which the healthy open source ecosystem thrives, help the students discover and learn about different programming languages and tools through regularly organized workshops, events, meetups, competitions, boot camps and related opportunities.

Now, going accordingly, let’s get to know the community coordinators.

1. Game Development Coordinator

She is someone who enjoys reading manga, watching animes, gaming and also sketching in her free time. She is the one who believes, there is always that first step that needs to be taken while starting any sort of journey, whether it be diving deep into certain interests or passions or it is on the academic side. She is Ms Aditi Baral, the Game Development Coordinator, for the tenure 2021–2022. She believes this community to be a great help for the one who is just beginning, who is in dilemma for where to begin from, and those who need the kind of help in-game development-related problems.

2. Design Coordinators

The dual power backs up this year’s Design Community. Among them, One is a passionate soul who loves to travel, make human connections and also value human conversations the most. His interests are inclined more toward visual designs, design psychology, and the design-thinking process. He is Mr Sushant Subedi, the Design coordinator for the tenure, 2021–2022.

While the other one loves challenging himself to enhance the current skills so that he can learn new skills to see and achieve a better version of himself. He is totally an ambitious soul, who loves setting goals to achieve new heights. He is Mr Kushal Manadhar, the Design Coordinator for the tenure, 2021–2022, even in his free time, you can find him involved in some kind of designing work or playing games.

Together, they plan to take the Design Community to new levels, expand it, organize programs, workshops, events, not just focusing on the basics, but sharpening each basic that can be sharpened.

3. Flutter Coordinators

The flutter community is also backed up with dual power. Mr Aadarsha Dhakal, the Flutter Coordinator for the tenure, 2021–2022, is the guy who as a developer thinks that “We have used many tools that are open source and are being maintained and developed by many selfless and generous developers, and as a beneficiary, I think it’s every developer’s duty to contribute back in the way they can.

Mr Gaurav Rizal, the Flutter Coordinator for the tenure, 2021–2022, is the guy who says, he was completely unknown to the deep level of the thing that the coding world provided, but once he fell in love with how and what a single line of code can do, he was totally happy with the decision of falling in love with the idea of coding and started his journey on learning the Flutter and its different scope. Together this duo has planned a timeline where they are totally excited about leading this community to a great height. From the recent ongoing work on the development of the KUCC app to the workshops and boot camps, they have planned together to execute, everything is set to unload as the time comes!

4. Documentation Coordinator

Reading books, drooling over the new release of books and their hardcover, playing badminton, photography, watching anime, creating content, and journaling is what she does in her free time. Balancing every work, giving time to certain tasks at once is what her core beliefs are. She believes, everyone has the potential to reach their desired goals, just sometimes, they lack that inner belief which for sure will be provided if the mind is filled with great thoughts, encouraging words and a calm breathing state. She is Ms Siza Adhikari, the Documentation Coordinator, for the tenure 2021–2022. She hopes to restore the belief that every single person can be a great writer if they start from basics, start from experimenting with different genres of writing if they are guided with a proper set of feedback, and with this team, she is really excited to fulfil the main vision of bringing this community back to life!

5. Machine Learning Coordinator

In his free time, he can be found writing lyrics, composing raps, playing instruments, but, when he is determined and all set to go, he can be found involved in various research-based works and for sure Machine learning workshops. Another strong pillar of KUOSC is Mr Bisheshwor Neupane, who runs the Machine Learning Community. He believes in running this community by motivating and encouraging all the enthusiasts despite where they are in their journey, by teaching the correct approach to machine learning.

6. Cybersecurity Coordinator

A simple guy who dreams of inspiring a secure technological world. He believes information security is the responsibility of not only the ethical hackers or security analysts but every person in the world who uses technology in one or the other way. He thinks being complacent is never an option in life. Totally driven by passion and fueled up with determination, the Cybersecurity Coordinator, Mr Hritik Thapa, has kept his entire focus on uplifting this community and taking it to the heights that it deserves to take by introducing every attendee of the community to scenarios describing how they could get hacked or how they can hack someone/something in an ethical way. The learning curve won’t get constant here though. If you are going to be taught how you could be hacked, you are going to be trained on how to avoid or defend any of those attack scenarios as well. And the theme will be backed by regular workshops, seminars, gatherings, competitions and on-demand events.

7. Javascript Coordinator

An explorer, who loves travelling and has a keen interest in spending time with plants and being around nature. He came across JavaScript while learning HTML/CSS in grade 11. Then, he started learning, exploring, experimenting on various aspects and scopes of Javascript and its domination on things. The way it

influenced him can be seen as his curious soul led him to be the JavaScript Coordinator. He is Mr Sabin Thapa, the man behind knitting successful plans, events for this years’ JavaScript Community. He hopes to help as much as possible to all the newcomers, or even the mid-levels in their JavaScript journey by sharing experiences, helping pick JS technologies and frameworks.

8. Python Coordinator

He is a person who believes in helping and motivating anyone in any way possible. He says, “For the very first time when he came across the python tutorial, he fell in love with it. And ever since, he has fallen in love with it.” He is more inclined and obsessed with automating everything and developing Back-End services. Mr Ishar Maharjan, the Python Coordinator, for the tenure 2021–2022, believes that this community will serve as a great treasure for those who desire to learn and build innovative artefacts (technology) with the magic of Python, and have the enthusiasm for Python and appreciation for its charisma as a language.

A glance at KUOSC

Being a coordinator is neither a fun thing, nor it’s a piece of cake, it’s something that adds up responsibilities of taking the leads, taking the responsibility of training the members, fulfilling and meeting the expectations, helping each other grow as a team. But, as they say, everything has its own perks and its own challenges. Despite the challenges, the way everyone works, helps each other grow together as a family inside and outside the KUOSC is an amazing quality that this sister club has retained. Despite all having their own communities to handle, their own problems to solve, own responsibilities to fulfil, whenever needed everyone has each other’s back, and that’s what they say as the proud coordinators of the KUOSC.


Crafted with passion by

Siza Adhikari aka Starter_ Startler

You can find my readings on Medium and Facebook.

Website for KUOSC: http://kucc.ku.edu.np/kuosc/#communities

“ NOT SO PROTECTED !!”

“ NOT SO PROTECTED !!”


 Chaos — — Peace 

We are enslaved to the artistic realm of tech for almost every work that we perform. We have a skewed intuitional notion about the technologies we employ. That does not appear to be the situation at all.

What do you think is the foundation of truth? Where do you think we take a stand? What is the motivating force behind our irrational beliefs? 

Are you aware of the Big technologies and their way of working?

Would you rather believe me if I told you that one-fourth of your life is spent in the digital space? When compared to the early 10’s, this is a cent per cent gain. Aside from the outrageous rise in engagement in the digital domain post-Covid, effective insightful chirping is yet to be seen.

The globe was anticipated to remain free of conflicts and battles for a long time after World War II, but the ‘cold’ war sprang out swiftly. We hadn’t seen a power fight on a new, less waded virtual battlefield, though. The development of spies and the use of technology for their activities during and after the Cold War altered the curves of the future in unexpected ways.

In the present, the speed at which a layman’s access to the most modern technology of the era is being made accessible is commendable, but the lack of understanding of how these technologies can intrude their ‘Not-So-Personal’ space can be a source of considerable concern. The phrase “Personal Space” was first used in the 1960s to refer to one’s psychologically owned space, but as we can see, this is no longer the case. The space has become a virtual bubble of data that can in no way be described as personal.

Have you ever come across the name “George Orwell”? Doesn’t ring a bell? 1984 by George Orwell?? Of course, now it does!



 So, while I was drafting this article, I came across a paper which was about “The invasion of Privacy,” written by Christopher H. Pyle. This article solely focused on the main idea of privacy and also on the prediction made by George Orwell and even some contradiction to his idea. I am reflecting on an idea from one of the paragraphs of the research paper which says“ As Orwell predicted, ministries of state security have found the new technology for invading privacy irresistible; indeed, they have pioneered its development.” For example, much of the early research into hallucinogenic drugs was conducted by the army and the CIA, sometimes with tragic results for unsuspecting human subjects. Computers, which most Americans associate with the socially conscious International Business Machines Corporation, are equally the brainchild of the military intelligence services, which have used their wizardry to breach the privacy of foreign and domestic communications.
As if this were not enough, officials use the same sort of secrecy ploys used in 1984 to deprive the people of accurate information and to distort history. Orwell understood that the primary purpose of all official efforts to debase language and undermine the reliability of information is to strip citizens of the capacity and confidence to make moral judgments about the government’s use of power.

In simple words, if we want to summarize the concept from the above paragraph, it simply demonstrates chillingly that nothing invades privacy more than the manipulation of communications in order to destroy the ability of individuals to know the truth and thereby defend themselves against psychological manipulation.

Many of us believe that this digital space, which we use to express our personal views, concerns, and activities, is being thrown out without the user’s consent and left in the world of zeros and ones to either work as a tool to gain more control over the layman or to earn tons of money via various digital methods and medium for the top 1%, who still have access to more than 80% of global wealth via various digital methods and medium.

On one hand, while the impact of cutting-edge technology on facilitating virtual social interaction is commendable, its impact on reducing physical engagement, drying and dying human empathy, a factor in a variety of personality disorders, should also be considered. Early screen exposure on a child is a risk factor for obesity and sleep issues, according to a study published in the “US NATIONAL LIBRARY OF MEDICINE”.

Aside from that, we have some evidence on how the invasion of our personal space has not yet been a deciding factor at all.

Only in the year 2021, as reported, have we had some situations that might make us swallow our words:

  1. Android Users Data Leak — 100+ million
  2. Thailand Visitors — 106+ million
  3. Raychat — 150 million
  4. Stripchat — 200 million
  5. Socialarks -214+ million
  6. Brazilian Database — 223 million
  7. Bykea — 400 million
  8. Facebook — 553 million
  9. LinkedIn — 700 million
  10. Cognyte — 5 billion

Considering the fact that the global population stands at about 7.753 billion, the data breach of about 5 billion records should have been a matter of trouble but still not enough light is being put upon. This year’s records are at an all-time high, as they were in prior years too. We’d be fools to believe such a large amount of data could be obtained in a day or two. This has been a methodical process for a long time before finally being this naked.

Not only that, but the fundamental components that underpin human life are also being pushed into this unified digital world. Despite the fact that the world’s greatest economies remain wary of digital assets, their rising appeal and acceptability might be the topic of research. Following the invasion of our personal space, it has been brought forward in the United Nations that our digital pockets are also being invaded in the quest for power.

The fascinating talks about meta developing its own universe called ‘metaverse’, the talk of the town ‘web 3.0’, ‘NFTs’, ‘Blockchain’ and others that we never thought of before. The fear that this turns out to be a “wall of worry” prevails much deeper than supposed. Technology can for sure give birth to new opportunities for privacy invasion, manipulation, and control, but it does not by itself create the structure of power that commits those abuses, there. Moreover, Technology can also improve the quality of arrest records since computers can be programmed to block the distribution of incomplete records and to purge outdated information systematically. As in Orwell’s words, the idea of political challenge would be surely agreed, too, by wresting these systems from the exclusive control of professionals and technocrats and restraining these professionals and technocrats to think in larger, more humane terms.

Now my dear readers, don’t you think the time has come for us to actually think hard about cultivating a solid data protection culture?

Despite all these, we are on our own and solely responsible for all the goodwill of ourselves.



Sangam Ghimire

Computer Science, Undergraduate

Kathmandu University, Dhulikhel, Nepal

The female lead in Fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)

The female lead in Fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)

Oh, being a girl and studying engineering must be tough for you?
No, actually, changing the mentality that a girl cannot study engineering is tough for me!

According to the data taken in 2021, 49.6% of the total population of the world is females. But have you ever wondered what per cent of the females in the world are working in the fields of STEM? The statistics taken to date tell a lot about women involved in the STEM field. The paragraphs following confront a few of those.

STEM stands for  Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. It’s important as it teaches critical thinking abilities and instils a passion for innovation and exploration that fuel success across a variety of tasks and disciplines. According to the research, 83% of boys in high school opt for STEM subjects, while only 64% of girls opt for STEM subjects. 13% of the surveyed male university students were taking engineering courses, compared to just 2% of female university students. The data makes it absolutely clear that more of the male population of the world is involved in the STEM field.

Women are more inclined towards other fields rather than the fields related to STEM. In 2015, women received more than half of the bachelor’s degrees awarded in the biological sciences, but far less in computer sciences (18%), engineering (20%), physical sciences (39%) and mathematics (43%), according to the National Girls Collaborative Project. Talking about Nepal, women represent only between 5% and 10% of the total population enrolled in IT.

There definitely must be some reasons for women being more inclined towards fields other than STEM. The stereotype that persists in society that women are not meant to be in the STEM field has somewhere created this huge gender gap in STEM. Most females keep themselves aloof from these fields as they think they could handle their work-family-life balance better in other streams like humanities. Some females also did not show much interest in STEM subjects while the others found no women role models in tech. The gender bias that females experience in the workspaces has also increased the number of women who quit technical jobs. The misconception (which still exists) that women are not efficient enough to build a career in the STEM field has made a huge impact on the graph representing women in tech. ‘No man is born learned’. People must keep this in consideration before symbolizing women as ‘inefficient’.

Organizations and communities have sprung like mushrooms to help women understand their potential and cope with unnecessary comments that come to their ears and pull them off the track of success. Listing down some of the national and international organizations that have made commendable changes and have empowered women.

1.  Girls in Tech

2.  Anita Borg Institute

3.  Black Girls Code

4.  Girls Who Code

5.  Smart Cheli

6.  Women Leader in Technology

7.  Women Lead Nepal

8.  Shequal Foundation

Along with these organizations, any individual, be it male or female has a responsibility to help close the gap that exists. Comments like “For a woman, you are skilled at this,” or “You are too beautiful for an engineer” should be stopped and women must be encouraged to work and excel themselves in STEM sectors. The tech industry must be gender friendly rather than a ‘boys’ only club’.The growth of women in the STEM field is remarkable and working on the positive side would help in creating history.

Melina Shakya

Reality Check: Coding

Reality Check: Coding

Hey, what do you do? 
I code 😎

As portrayed in the movies, those who are termed as “The Coders” are usually people depicted as having dorky glasses, surrounding themselves with wide screens with dark themes, thousands of numbers and lines of codes floating around in their screen, and only God knows what they type out in some seconds that makes them successfully hack any website, no matter how secure it is. Weren’t you fascinated & inspired by that act of coolness? I am not sure about you, but, I definitely became a big fan of those cool stuff, dark themes, headphones, working space, and many more!


But, let me ask you this, “Are movies actually showing us the reality?” 

The bitter truth is that the movie only portrays “the satisfactory part of coding but miserably fails to address the stressful coding process and in fact totally neglects it.” The movies also set completely wrong and unrealistic standards for people which includes always wearing glasses and having a lot of expensive monitors just to begin the journey into coding. The movie shows us the final phase of coding that works just as instructed, leaving us with no understanding of thousand of hours spent developing that idea, all those frustrating hours spent trying to learn different languages and syntax, the errors that prevented the code from running, the bugs that had to be fixed a hundred times, the caffeine intake, the breaking of a REM cycle, those backaches, headaches and the unusual working hours.

People often think that coders just sit and write code all day long. It’s not just to write code; a lot of time is spent brainstorming the idea! You have to understand what the problem is so that you can think of concrete and best possible solutions. As it’s basic to plan out, to lay out the ideas, the strategies, before beginning anything! There’s a lot of bugs, there’s a lot of issues. You’re going to be fixing bugs. You’re going to have to spend more time interpreting someone else’s code and dealing with it than you will create new code.

People assume coders to have known everything on their own and the brain is academically gifted. There is a lot of hard work, patience, understanding, and practice behind their so-called perfect demeanour. Neither I am here trying to scare the chills out of you, nor, I am trying to demotivate you. But, as I see the people romanticizing the pleasant part of coding way too much, I’m just trying to show the other side of the story.

Coding is the behind-the-scenes of everything created on the internet. Our world revolves around technology and understanding how it works will never do you anything wrong. Understanding humans have never been a piece of cake. So imagine how difficult it would be to comprehend computers. Even while it may appear terrifying, it is worth the effort. Computers don’t comprehend human language, so we learn their language to communicate with them and develop something that will work for us. Coding is a medium to bring your idea into the real world. Even though your approach may appear unrealistic to a certain extent for people who find it difficult to think about undertaking original tasks rather than existing ones. However, having a good grasp of what you want to do and knowing the fundamentals of coding makes it happen for you. Coding helps us utilize our own code to automate a lot of the repetitive tasks you have to do on a daily basis.

Launching your own apps based on your drafts codes sounds the most satisfying thing to do. Coding allows you to be successful on your own, rather than relying entirely on a 9-to-5 job for your success. Not only that but, it makes it easier to keep track of your progress because you start with printf (“Hello world!”); and work your way up to your dream startup. Coding is a powerful skill that everyone should learn at some point in their lives. Moreover, learning how to code doesn’t require an ideal age or an ideal institution; you can start learning it regardless of your age or the sector you work for. You can find all the basics about coding on the internet that addresses all your queries and allows you to begin coding with the bare minimum of resources.

What is it like to walk into a classroom full of computer students? We find students that have been coding since they were in class eight and students that are just about to start. Students that have already begun working for startups and have access to really impressive gadgets. Entering a class full of coding enthusiasts may seem intimidating to novices but this isn’t an excuse to think you’re unworthy. With time, you’ll get there; you just need to get started.

Getting a computer science degree is always a good idea because it allows you to work on projects throughout your university life and meet individuals who share your interest in coding, as well as connect you to better internship prospects.

My personal experience with coding is bittersweet. Stack Overflow is my best friend and some random youtube tutor teaches me more than what I’ve learned in an entire academic semester. I’ve spent hours searching for probable errors because I missed a “;” on line 11th of my codes. The same piece of code works and doesn’t work at the same time. I thought getting a degree in computer science would just require learning about computers but the heavy textbooks of physics, math, chemistry follow you as well. The engineering drawing which makes you feel so miserable at times is also taught in the very first year which makes you rethink choosing engineering as your major!

Coding is cool, it is an art. Art helps us experiment with our ideas, brainstorm every single piece that we have just to create something on our own with the same resources that are needed in the learning process. It might be frustrating at times but equally rewarding. It is not as tough as it is thought of and not as simple as it seems. If you possess the skill of coding, this will help you no matter which sector you work for.
 I hope whichever phase of coding you are in, whether you are just in the beginning or somewhere in the middle, lost in the mess, I believe that you can get your way out of it and successfully achieve your WHY for beginning your journey into coding.

Dilasha Upadhyay

CS, First Year

‘Tech-celeration’ During Covid

‘Tech-celeration’ During Covid

Covid-19, the ongoing devastating pandemic has altered the way of living and the way we do certain work. If we keep it under the categorization like loss of life, shutting down of small businesses, downfall in the country’s economy, rise in unemployment, etc. the pandemic has presented a catastrophic result. But if we take a look at the brighter side, we can see rapid technological advancement. Even before the pandemic, technology was growing at an exponential rate, but, this rate has been further boosted and is pushing the world further into the future with advanced technologies as shown in sci-fi movies. The rise in demand for technology due to changes in people’s lifestyles and work has provided innovators and tech companies with a great chance to bring out new game-changing technologies and services. The quote once quoted by Bill  Gates – “The advancement of technology is based on making it fit in so that you don’t really even notice it, so its part of everyday life is proving to be very true,” if we consider it with the technology now that has been an important part of our life to perform our necessary work due to sudden changes in the world’s condition.

If we phrase the term “Adaption to the New Normal,” all thanks go to the pandemic’s influence on our lives that has created the need to shift to the so-called “New Normal”. As we know to survive is to adapt constantly. People now are finding technology as a strong medium to adapt to the current situation and it is playing a key factor in tech advancement. Different sectors such as healthcare, education,  food, business, workplace, etc. are now going digital and becoming technically advanced for survival and growth.

Now, throughout the blog, we will take a glance at various sectors of tech-celeration that has been the result of Co-vid.  

Tech in Digital Communication and Entertainment:  

Digital Communication and Entertainment have greatly evolved during the Covid era. Many virtual events were conducted so that people could attend those events from their homes. A startup company named ‘Hopin’ which would let organizations conduct virtual events online through their platform with up to 100,000 attendees with tools for virtual talks and one-to-one networking boomed in the pandemic. Recently, the announcement by Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta, that their company is now working to build a whole new virtual world named metaverse which would have a virtual world where people could meet, talk, watch movies, attend meetings, and many more as they do in the real world with the help of advanced technology that merges virtual world,  augmented reality, and physical reality. The outbreak of Covid-19  resulted in quarantine which didn’t allow people to travel and this led to international heritage sites and museums providing virtual tours.

Tech in Business  

A great digital transformation like never before was seen to have taken place in the business industry during Covid. To survive and stay in the race, most of the companies during the pandemic have adopted different digital means and advanced technologies. Online shopping systems are now more enhanced by the use of robots for delivering the goods to the customer to eliminate the chance of spreading the virus. Zipline(a medical product delivery company using their manufactured drone) delivered  Covid-19 vaccines in various countries using their drones  [2]. Goods and Furniture selling companies now use AR (Augmented Reality) and VR (Virtual  Reality) technology to show their furniture to the customer virtually in their room. The use of Chatbots for customer services and virtual assistants for selecting suitable products for the customer also increased rapidly during Covid.  

Tech in Healthcare  

Covid has had the greatest impact on healthcare services. The struggle to keep providing the services to the patients has led to some of the major progress in the healthcare sector. One of the most popular services given to patients by doctors in most of the developed countries was telehealth services on virtual conferencing platforms like Zoom.  There was also an increase in the use of robotic technology for the treatment of patients where possible. In May, Apple and Google also launched their jointly developed service which through Bluetooth technology helps governments and health agencies reduce the spread of the virus through contact tracing which was a great help. Lockdown and the covid crisis have increased mental health issues for many people and during this time downloads of mental health-related apps increased in number.  

Tech in Education and Workplace  

Educational institutes were one of the first things to shut down during Covid. To continue giving education to the children and youths, remote learning or online classes replaced the traditional practice of traditional physical classes. Even though the developed countries used to conduct online classes, the concept was new to the developing countries and it has been well adopted by such countries. Platforms like Google Meet, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, etc. were some of the most used platforms for conducting online classes.  

Due to lockdown and quarantine, workplaces were immediately shut down to minimize the spreading of coronavirus. This led the working population to stay at home which was one of the major factors for the downfall of many organizations. To avoid this most of the workplaces adapted to the concept of work from home. This led to the increasing adaptation of digital technologies and the same work which was done from the cubicles of the office was now comfortably done from the couch of their house.  

Conclusion:  

Technology has become a great saviour in this Covid Pandemic and is serving as a backbone to all of our work, and the sudden reliability of the technology has now increased its use in various sectors and also will be introducing us to a more advanced world post-Covid. One of the few positive sides of this devastating pandemic is that technology that would have been developed several years later is already here and is being well adopted by mankind in different sectors for their benefit. Technology is accelerating at a very fast pace and due to this acceleration or “Tech-celeration”, the future that we used to visualize after seeing science fiction movies is now knocking at the door.  

Sushankya Chapagain

Undergraduate, Kathmandu University

Documentation team member, 2021-2022
HOW EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES LIKE IOT (INTERNET OF THINGS) INTRODUCES PRIVACY RISKS AND WHAT STRATEGIES CAN COMPANIES ADOPT TO MINIMISE THESE PRIVACY RISKS?

HOW EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES LIKE IOT (INTERNET OF THINGS) INTRODUCES PRIVACY RISKS AND WHAT STRATEGIES CAN COMPANIES ADOPT TO MINIMISE THESE PRIVACY RISKS?

 

INTRODUCTION TO IOT

The term Internet of Things (IoT) generally refers to scenarios where network connectivity and computing capability extends to objects, sensors and everyday items not normally considered computers, allowing these devices to generate, exchange and consume data with minimal human intervention.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is an emerging topic of technical, social, and economic significance. Consumer products, durable goods, cars and trucks, industrial and utility components, sensors, and other everyday objects are being combined with Internet connectivity and powerful data analytic capabilities that promise to transform the way we work, live, and play.

Projections for the impact of IoT on the Internet and economy are impressive, with some anticipating as many as 100 billion connected IoT devices and a global economic impact of more than $11 trillion by 2025.

At the same time, the Internet of Things raises significant challenges that could stand in the way of realizing its potential benefits. Attention-grabbing headlines about the hacking of Internet-connected devices, surveillance concerns, and privacy fears have already captured public attention.

Technical challenges remain and new policy, legal and development challenges are emerging.

WHAT IS PRIVACY?

When something is private to a person, it usually means that something is inherently special or sensitive to them. The domain of privacy partially overlaps with security, which can include the concepts of appropriate use and protection of information.

Privacy may also take the form of bodily integrity. The right not to be subjected to unsanctioned invasions of privacy by the government, corporations, or individuals is part of many countries’ privacy laws, and in some cases, constitutions.

Information privacy is the right to have some control over how your personal information is collected and used.

HOW DO MODERN TECHNOLOGIES INTRODUCE PRIVACY RISKS?

As individuals will have their daily activities and behaviours measured, recorded and analyzed, there is a pressing need for developers and policy-makers to turn their minds to informing consumers and citizens as to who collects what kind of personal information, how it is then stored, used and disclosed to whom and for what purposes.

Privacy principles dictate that users should be able to keep control of their data as well as to be able to opt-out of the “smart” environment without incurring negative consequences. How will this unfold, and will traditional privacy principles be addressed?

Before we too readily endorse smart devices and sensors that can send information about many personal aspects of our daily lives into the cloud, it is essential to have an informed discussion about the implications of the Internet of Things and to plan the integration of privacy principles and safeguards into the conception and implementation of the many smart environment components.

Information collected by sensors within objects that are connected can yield a tremendous amount of data that can be combined, analyzed and acted upon, all potentially without adequate accountability, transparency, security or meaningful consent.

 

  • IDENTIFIABILITY OF INTERNET OF THINGS DATA

In some instances, device tracking is said to involve aggregate, anonymized, or de-identified information. Broadly speaking, aggregate information can be thought of as “compiled or statistical information that is not personally identifiable.” Even aggregate information, however, could lead to an identifiable individual, as research has shown.

While some have argued that the information at issue in the Internet of Things environment is anonymous or pseudonym zed, there are difficulties with anonymizing information in this context. As the Article 29 Working Party (US-based Law on Technology) has noted, even pseudonym zed, or anonymized data, may have to be considered personal information.

While tracking in the Internet of Things involves the tracking of a device, the motivation is to understand the behaviour of the individual behind the device. Indeed, value is derived from rich information about the individual, their activities, their movements, and their preferences. When inferences are made about the owner of a device, it raises the question of whether it is the device being tracked or the individual.

A report from the European Commission found that objects in the Internet of Things can become like extensions to the human body and mind with enhancements such as embedded intelligence and knowledge.

In addition, long-term patterns of location data attributed to a particular device can potentially reveal information about where a device is located at certain times of the day or night, which could potentially identify work or home locations.

  • ACCOUNTABILITY IN THE LAND OF MACHINES

Accountability is a key principle in privacy law. To be accountable, an organization needs to be able to demonstrate what it is doing, and what it has done, with personal information and explain why. This may be easier said than done in the Internet of Things environment where there is a multitude of stakeholders, such as device manufacturers, social platforms, third-party applications and others.

Some of these players may collect, use or disclose data, and can have a greater or lesser role in its protection at various points, though where to draw the line between them can be challenging at the best of times. For example, who is ultimately responsible for the data which the smart meter broadcasts?

The homeowner who benefits from using the device, the manufacturers or power company that provided it, the third-party company storing the data, the data processor who crunches the numbers, all of the above, or some combination thereof? And to whom would a privacy-sensitive consumer complain? Should privacy be breached, where do the responsibility of one party end and another begin?

Mapping dynamic data flows and setting out the responsibilities and relationships between various actors could help clarify how information flows among the parties and can help inform the basis of an organization’s privacy management program.

In the case of “machine-made” decisions, developers and owners of the underlying algorithms, systems and products may find it even more challenging to demonstrate accountability.

In addition to this vexing issue, the legal and ethical responsibilities in the case of errors or accidents are far from clear. The scope of privacy management programs and the level of accountability organizations are expected to demonstrate, will be complex in the Internet of Things environment.

  • HE SAID, SHE SAID, IT SAID: ACCESS AND CORRECTION RIGHTS

Access and correction rights are squarely related to accountability and transparency. How will an individual know to ask for their information and challenge its accuracy, if they never become aware that it was ever collected? Similarly, how will individuals determine what organization they should seek out to gain access to and, where necessary, correct their personal information?

Canada’s privacy laws in both the public and private sectors are heavily reliant on the complaint process as a mechanism for helping individuals challenge organizational decisions made about them. This model works well when there is an obvious organization to contact or a list of information banks, but breaks down when the collecting organization is difficult to pinpoint.

What would be an effective way to map dynamic data flows and make them explicit and transparent for all to see so that individuals could more meaningfully exercise their access and correction rights?

WHAT IS ETHICS?

Ethics is based on well-founded standards of right and wrong that prescribe what humans ought to do, usually in terms of rights, obligations, benefits to society, fairness, or specific virtues.

WHAT ARE APPLICABLE ETHICAL NORMS?

Applicable ethical norms which can act as guidelines, as well as instruments of measurement, must be formulated to address these ethical issues. The following forms can be distinguished: truth, freedom and human rights.

HOW ETHICS ARE RELATED TO PRIVACY ISSUES?

Fig: How are Ethics related to the Privacy Risks?

As per the above-mentioned definitions, morals and ethics refer to social behaviour standards in the IoT field. Most of the ethical debates are about property rights, accessibility, private use of information.  Ethical behaviour requires enforcing the following:

1.      Privacy of Information

2.      Access to Information

3.      Integrity of the information

It follows that ethical issues in the IoT field have appeared, such as:

  • Author Identification:

The correct identification of the author of the data collected in a typical IoT system will be hard to determine. There is also a concern about using the data without the patient’s permission.

  • Public and Private borderline:

IoT omnipresence will make the borderlines between private and public life virtually transparent, in the absence of defined boundaries for user’s information.

  •  Peoples’ life attacks: 

Hackers or virus attacks in typical computer systems may cause either data loss or physical loss of the computer system. In the IoT attacks, the loss will not stop at this point, it will exceed to the point that it will directly affect people’s lives.

For example, if an attacker can log into a typical IoT medical application, a small change in a patient’s information may result in the wrong medication, which will affect the patient’s life.

HOW CAN COMPANIES MITIGATE PRIVACY RISKS?

Companies can take these five steps to prepare for the introduction of IoT-based systems to ensure the security risks do not outweigh the business benefits.

1.    Encrypt Data

Regulations like Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) and the updated Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II) recommend that all digital data transmitted over the internet should be encrypted, which means that if someone manages to access sensitive data, they won’t be able to read it.

Organizations should consider encrypting data using firewalls to protect IoT web applications, wireless protocols with built-in encryption and the Secure sockets layer networking protocol (SSL) for online tools.

2.    Improve Data Authentication Processes

Often, the most significant issues with IoT security are not linked to the devices or tools themselves, but to the passwords and authentication methods that employees use to access their accounts.

Improving Authentication processes can be one of the best mitigating factors.

3.    Manage Software and Hardware

Security for IoT needs to be implemented on multiple levels. From a hardware perspective, it is important to store devices securely by keeping them locked away, for example, and limiting the number of employees that can access them.

From a software perspective, organizations need to remember that IoT implementations need to be upgraded over time. 

4.    Isolate IoT devices

For the safety of enterprise networks and personal information, it is often a good idea to isolate IoT devices. “This means that if someone hacks into an IoT device, they won’t necessarily be able to access the entire business technology stack and related personal information.”

Some of the underlying architecture models available for IoT implementations include:

  • Device to device: The IoT applications in the same network connectivity via protocols such as Bluetooth.
  • Device to cloud: The IoT devices in an enterprise network connect directly to the cloud and transfer data accordingly.
  • Device to gateway: IoT devices relate to a digital system through a portal, translating protocols, filtering data, and encrypting information at the same time.

Most of the security practices involve taking a multi-layered approach to protecting connections and devices.

5.    Invest in mobile monitoring

By far, one of the most effective IoT security services that any business can invest in is mobile device monitoring. “While end-to-end encryption and soiled networks are essential, there’s nothing more crucial than knowing the current status of all your IoT devices in real-time.

CONCLUSION

As individuals’ activities and behaviours are measured, recorded and analyzed, there is a pressing need for developers and policy-makers to turn their minds to informing consumers and citizens as to who collects what kind of personal information, how it is then stored, used and disclosed to whom and for what purposes.

If transparency concerning tracking by devices in the world of the Internet of Things is significant for our relationship with the private sector, it is equally important in our relationship with the government.

It should not be surprising that the richness of information gleaned from the Internet of Things collected for commercial purposes might attract the interest of law enforcement agencies and governments.

Technological development in the context of the Internet of Things has not been matched by an equivalent evolution of overarching privacy governance models.

Not much consideration has been given as of yet to the many privacy implications of having an extraordinary amount of data points that could be collected, aggregated across devices and analyzed not only by the device owners but also by other third parties unknown to the individual.

One key challenge is that, as these technologies become ubiquitous, we may have little or no warning or awareness that they are even in place; they simply become part of the backdrop of our daily lives.

How, then, can citizens who may or may not want to use this technology ensure that someone is held accountable for its use? How will they be able to challenge how the information is used, and how will they be able to give any kind of meaningful consent?

The full impact of the Internet of Things on our privacy may become more evident when its capabilities are combined with other innovations shaping our world today that track not only our activities, movements, behaviours and preferences but our emotions and our thoughts.

Time to Fasten our Seatbelts!

Time to Fasten our Seatbelts!

No, this time we aren’t traveling to places, nor are we going for a roller coaster ride. Actually, some guests are planning to travel to our place and we are the ones who need to fasten our seatbelts. Confusing enough? Okay, let me explain what that really means!

Hackers, not those actors in a science fiction movie who are pinging google.com in the name of hacking, but real life artists who are actually capable of changing the shape of the whole world in a good way but many times in a BAD way too. A good hacker i.e. an ethical hacker or a white hat hacker scans for vulnerabilities in a system and tells us about the countermeasures we can apply to strengthen our system’s defense. While a bad hacker or a black hat hacker just exploits them to gain access of our credentials, to modify our system or to deny us from utilizing our resources. But don’t get confused, any hacker can change their hat from black to white or vice versa depending upon what they fancy.

In a developing country like Nepal, though a number of people are using internet, they are either unaware or hesitant about the cyber security threats that surrounds them. From the governmental level to the public level, the measures have barely been taken to address this. The poor digital access and political instability adds to the misery of the country’s vulnerable cyber system. The Nepal Telecommunications Authority just passed the “Cyber Security Byelaw, 2020”. However, this cyber law is so young that even if someone breaches your system, the government can do very little in terms of enforcing the legal policies to help you out. So, to all the readers out there, I would suggest you to enforce your own cyber security policies to help yourself which can be done overnight unlike trying to enforce the government’s policies. How to enforce your policies? C’mon, give an hour to surf the internet on how-to and you’ll get bunch of good advices.

The black hat hackers around the world have become so dangerous that it doesn’t even take them a day to destroy the whole cyber system of a technologically underdeveloped country like Nepal. We have witnessed cyberwars breaking out between countries time and again, e.g. Russia’s manipulation of social media to sway Western elections, most notably the 2016 US presidential election. Recently, we even noticed a tiny cyber war between Nepali and Indian hackers who were there to show off their hacking skills by publicizing credentials of governmental websites. These are just the small alarms of potential cyberwars that might take place in the near future. But unlike Russia, USA, or China, we don’t have a cyber-army to protect our country. Nepalese media accumulating four or five bug hunters and saying these are the cyber army of Nepal is a funny yet one of the most serious topics that is yet to be discussed. No disrespect to those fours or fives, but this just shows the quantity that we lack in case of man power to protect our country from any sort of possible cyber security threats.

So, when are we going to prepare for the potential calamity that we might face in the near future? It’s time to think the broader way. It is not just about the cyber wars, or the sensitive information being breached. It is about the competitiveness of the country in the technological battlefield. It’s still not too late to take the right steps to make the country and its technological masterminds competent. The right steps to be taken by the concerned authorities may be:

  • Enforcing the cyber law in thwarting cybercrimes.
  • Encouraging youth to get involved in learning cyber defense skills i.e. HACKING skills.
  • Maintaining political and institutional stability to ensure stable and efficient governance.
  • Accumulating the existing ethical hackers and giving them advanced training to sharpen their skillset.
  • •        Encouraging the public to take smallest of steps towards keeping their credentials secure.
  • Sharing the information regarding cyber-attacks and potential threats through communication lines in a frequent manner.
  • Being up to date with the system.

It is not just the government or the IT professionals who needs to be ready to fight against the cyber threats, but, also the general public as well. One should know that little problems could eventually create bigger ones if no one takes an initiative to correct them. So, why shouldn’t we try to avoid these problems? Why not try to keep things secure from the microscopic levels? Why not fasten our seatbelts tighter and get ready to enjoy the ride of a cyber-highway without having to be much concerned about the hacker hurdles?      

So, Let’s go!

Article by:

Hritik Thapa

Computer Engineering

II/II

IP spoofing

IP spoofing

Various organizations are facing different types of cyber-attacks these days which have a serious negative impact on the proper functioning of those companies. And Spoofing is one of them. Spoofing is the act of disguising itself as someone known in the network. Spoofing can be applied to emails, phone calls, websites, and even IP addresses. IP spoofing creates IP packets and sends them in the network by modifying the source IP address in order to hide the identity of the sender or for impersonating another computer system or even both.

The primary way of communicating in the network is actually by sending and receiving the packets. The IP packet consists of header and payload (i.e. body). The header of the IP packet consists of the IP version, source IP address, and destination IP address while the payload consists of the actual information to be sent. The source IP address is the address of the sender and the destination IP address is the address of the receiver. In order to communicate, the sender sends the packet to the destination computer and receives the response after the receiver has received the packets. These packets are spoofed by forging the source IP address.

The attackers uses IP spoofing to overwhelm the computer services with packets of data ultimately shutting them down. There are mainly two ways to overload the traffic of the target computer using IP spoofing. The first one is to flood the selected target with the packet from multiple spoofed addresses by sending victim tons of data making them unable to handle. This is a direct method of IP spoofing. The second method is an indirect one. Here the packets are sent to many different recipients on the network using the spoofed IP address. The attacker disguises to be the target computer and send packets to other devices. Since the spoofed packets appear to be from the target’s computer, all the responses are sent to the target’s computer causing floods of packets on the target’s computer.

Illustration of the concept

The received spoofed packets appear to be from a legitimate source. In some of the networks, trust relationships are in place between machines and internal systems. In this type of network, IP addresses are used to verify machine identities to access the systems rather than user login. This type of authentication is known as IP address-based authentication. The IP spoofing method is used by attackers sometimes to bypass IP address-based authentication. There are several types of attacks that are launched through IP spoofing. Blind spoofing, Non-blind spoofing, DDoS attacks, man-in the middle attacks are some examples.

Illustration of the concept

Spoofed packets are difficult to be detected as the source IP address seems to be authorized. But there are various preventive measures that can reduce the possibility of IP spoofing. Key-based authentication should be used rather than IP address-based authentication. This will reduce the risk of spoofing. If possible, configuring routers and switches to reject packets originating from outside the local networks but claiming to originate from within will not allow the spoofed packets to enter the network.

IP spoofing is a cyber-attack that shuts down the target’s computer by flooding it with tons of spoofed packets. The attackers will have unauthorized access over the computers and networks, and in certain cases, IP spoofing may have negative impacts on the business and economy of some organizations where computers are responsible to provide services. However, IP spoofing is not always considered to be illegal. Sometimes VPN service is used or IP address is changed in order to browse the internet safely. But IP spoofing will be illegal if it is used to harm others or someone pretends to be someone else and commits cybercrime.

Article by:

Shreya Shrestha

CS-2nd year

Batch-2018