For sure, I cannot miss out to share this blog post which is about the IETF 105 hackathon which took place in Montreal, Canada. It was carried out at The Kiosk, Coromandel at the quarters of cyberstorm.mu. If you have been following cyberstorm.mu team during the IETF hackathon, you would have noticed that we had a pool and several amenities. This time, due to some constraints, we have decided to shift to our brand new office at The Kiosk, Coromandel.
It was two days hackathon. Some decided to work remotely whilst others came at the office to discuss and proceed ahead with robust analysis and more codes. We also had new participants who agreed to attend the hackathon. Some visited us for a while whilst others came to visit us just out of curiosity.
The team also came to know that it could be my last days in Mauritius as I decided to move to the United States and also resigned from my current position as DevOps Engineer at Orange Business Services. Thanks to Nathan Sunil Mangar who provided us with several goodies. Some days back the SANS Internet Storm Center sent me some stickers which I shared with the team.
The team was working on TLS 1.3, SSH, SCE, DSCP-LE PHB, and the IETF Mobile App. On the next day, Loganaden Velvindron presented the work remotely from Mauritius. I was glad to be able to work on the Check-SMTP software by ZeroSpam which is a company in Canada. More and more applications are now TLS 1.3 compatible. The SSH RC4 deprecation is now becoming a reality. You can view the presentation here:
Thanks to the TheKiosk who sponsored us the location and a brand new office. The team is looking forward to work further in the next IETF hackathon. Also, cyberstorm.mu is now giving support to several IETF hubs in Africa and bringing more free security patches to the world. More picture here:
This year the Africa Internet Summit was held in Kampala, Uganda. I could not be physically present as I had to fly urgently to Johannesburg for both personal and business reasons. For those, who are not aware of the Africa Internet Summit AIS’19, it is an event initiated by the ISOC and Afrinic organizations to discuss policy and tech happening in the big Africa continent. There were also few presentations about networking and tech by ISOC, ICANN, Dot Africa TLD, etc. Jeremy Daniel (Cyberstorm.mu) and Loganaden Velvindron (AfriNIC) were present there to lead the hackathon on NTP, and well as a presentation by Loganaden Velvindron who spoken on, QUIC (Quick UDP Internet Connections) which is a new encrypted-by-default Internet transport protocol, that provides a number of improvements designed to accelerate HTTP traffic as well as make it more secure, with the intended goal of eventually replacing TCP and TLS on the web.
As I could not be physically present, I registered myself to attend remotely. The streaming was amazing and worked pretty fine for me with really little major networking issues. The hackathon was lead by the cyberstorm.mu team. I remember last year during the Africa Internet Summit 2018, I was there leading for the NTP hackathon.
Champions: Loganaden Velvindron (AFRINIC) & Jeremie Daniel (University of Mauritius and cyberstorm.mu)
NTS measures are to enable NTP entities to cryptographically identify their communication partner, to ensure authenticity and integrity of exchanged time synchronization packets, and to provide replay protection.
There were also one of the most interesting parts that are policy discussion in the Africa region. The online streaming was very good with little connectivity problems noted. I’m glad about the NTP hackathon which was led by the cyberstorm.mu team. There were also other tracks such as IPwave, IPv6, DNS, etc. More information is also available on the official AIS wiki page. There is also another French article on ict.io as well as an English article from the Internet Society which covers the AIS hackathon.
A few weeks back, I registered myself to present the Ansible automation tool at the Developers Conference 2019 at Voila Hotel, Bagatelle Mauritius. The event is an initiative of Mauritius Software Craftsmanship Community – MSCC sponsored by several companies such as Mauritius Commercial Bank, SdWorx, Eventstore, Ceridian, Castille, etc. There were other members of cyberstorm.mu who also registered for their presentations: they are Codarren Velvindron, technical lead at Orange Business Services who spoke about “becoming an automation artist”, Loganaden Velvindron who spoke about “RedHat Enterprise Linux 8 and Derivatives have a new Firewall: NFTABLEs”, and Nathan Sunil Mangar who spoke about “Introduction to the STM32”. There was also a special event where Mukom Akong Tamon, head of capacity building for Africa region at Afrinic who spoke on “IPv6 deployment in Mauritius and Africa at large”. I presented myself as a member of cyberstorm.mu and DevOps Engineer at Orange Business Services and spoke on Ansible for beginners with some basic and advanced demos.
In the past, I have written several articles on Ansible:
My presentation started with a basic introduction to Ansible following some brief examples and demos. I started with a brief introduction of myself. It looks like it was a mixed audience including, Students, Professional from the management and technical side, Engineers, and others. I brushed out quickly as to why we need Ansible in our daily life whether for home use or on production. Ansible is compatible with several Operating systems and one of the most interesting tools is the AWX which is an opensource product. Before getting started with Ansible, it is important to grasp some keywords. I introduced it as well as giving some examples using Playbooks. Ansible Ad-hoc commands were also used. The audience was asked to give some ideas about what they want to automate in the future. There were lots of pretty examples. I laid some emphasis on reading the docs and keep in touch with the version of Ansible one is using. Also gave some brief idea about Ansible-Galaxy, Ansible-doc, Ansible-pull, and Ansible-vault. To spice up your automation layout, it would be nice to use Jinja templates, verbosity for better visual comprehension. I also spoke about Ansible-CMDB, which is not a tool of Ansible. Some days back, I blogged on Ansible-CMDB which is pretty interesting to create an inventory. I also shed some ideas about how to modify the source code of Ansible-CMDB. Also, an example using an Ansible Playbook build up web apps.
Thanks, everyone for taking pictures and some recordings.
cyberstorm.mu @ DevConMru
After my session, I went to the Afrinic session on IPv6, where Mukom Akong Tamon was presenting on IPv6 where he brushed out on an introduction to IPv6 and the IPv6 format structure. Also, several examples of why it is important to migrate to IPv6. Loganaden Velvindron from Afrinic enlightened the audience about dual stack programming.
One of the important part where Mr. Mukom mentioned that there are still developers hard coding IP addresses in the code which is not a good practice.
There was another session by Loganaden Velvindron of Afrinic, who spoke on NFtables in RedHat 8. Mukom was also present there in the session. Loganaden explained about NFtables architecture and its advantages. Also explained how to submit patches and dual stack building with NFtables.
Codarren Velvindron, technical lead at Orange Business Services and member of cyberstorm.mu explain why automation is important. He took some example on the conference.mscc.mu website itself. Also gave some ideas using “Expect”. For those who are not familiar with “Expect”, it is a scripting programming language that talks with your interactive programs or script that require user interaction.
Nathan Sunil Mangar also presented on an introduction to the STM32 microcontroller. He also gave some hints to distinguish between fake and real microcontrollers on the market. Apart from the basic introduction, he went brushed out some examples on several projects and explain which one can is better. However, it also depends on the budget when choosing microcontrollers. He also showed how to use the tool of programming for the STM32 microcontroller. The documentation was also perused during the presentation. At the end of the presentation, there were several giveaways by Nathan Mangar including, fans, Microcontrollers, and a small light bulb made from STM32.
I also have the opportunity to meet with several staffs from the Mauritius Commercial Bank who asked for some hints and best practice on Ansible. Also had some conversations with other people in the tech industry such as Kushal Appadu, Senior Linux system Engineer at Linkbynet Indian Ocean. We discussed lengthily on new technologies. Some days back, I presented the technicalities of Automation as a DevOps Engineer at SupInfo university Mauritius under the umbrella of Orange Cloud for Business and Orange Business Service. I was glad to meet a few students of SupInfo at the DevCon 2019 who instantly recognized me and congratulated me for the Ansible session.
I sincerely believe there is still room for improvement at the Developers conference such as the website itself which needs some security improvements. Otherwise, a feature that could be added is to specify which session is for beginners, intermediate or advanced so that attendees can choose better. The rating mechanism which is not based on constructivism might discourage other speakers to come forward next time. But overall, it was a nice event. Someone from the media team filmed me for a one-minute video, hoping to see it on the net in the future. I also got a “Thank You” board for being a speaker by Vanessa Veeramootoo-Chellen, CTO at Extension Interactive and one of the organizers at the Developers conference who can be seen to be always working, busy and on the move during the event.
The AWSome day was a free online Conference and a training event sponsor by Intel that will provide a step-by-step introduction to the core AWS (Amazon Web Services) services. Its free and everyone can attend. It was scheduled on 26 March 2019 online. The agenda covered broad topics such as AWS Cloud Concepts, AWS Core Services, AWS Security, AWS Architecting and AWS Pricing and Support. It’s pretty interesting for IT manager, system engineers, system administrators, and architects who are eager to learn more about cloud computing and how to get started on the AWS cloud. I do have some experience in managing AWS servers and even host my own server. However, I registered for the free training to refresh my knowledge and get more exposure such as the AWS pricing which I am not aware at all. Another interesting thing is that you will receive a certificate of attendance and you received 25 USD of AWS credits. Pretty cool right?
Right from the beginning, I knew this was something interesting. I encountered a minor problem whilst signing in. I had to send a mail to support and it was resolved immediately. Once connected to the lobby, it was pretty easy to attend and follow the online conference. After some minutes, Steven Bryen, head in the AWS Cloud delivered the keynote speech.
There was also an online challenge and I score 25,821 on the Trivia Leaderboard.
The event was pretty enriching. The panel on the question area knows well their subject. I discovered a lot by participating in the AWSomeDay. I’m looking forward to AWS certifications in the near future.
When it comes to innovation in code contribution in the latest RFC’s and IETF drafts at the IETF hackathon, the cyberstorm.mu team is always here as a team hacking for the improvement of the Internet. For the IETF 104 hackathon which happened in Hilton, Prague, Czech Republic, we had pushed ourselves towards innovation: Joining more working groups at the same time championing other working groups. For those who are not aware of the IETF Hackathon, its a team collaborative event working towards the same goal: Securing the Internet and leveling up Open Source software in the world. The IETF 104 hackathon was a special one. Cyberstorm.mu contributed to the following working groups: TLS 1.3, SSH, HTTP 451, DSCP, Mobile APP, IPv6 & QUIC with more than 15 members remotely and 1(Muzaffar) onsite who was selected as an IETF fellow. We also had three newcomers for the IETF 104 hackathon and proud new members of cyberstorm.mu. Congratulations to Muzaffar Auhammud for making it onsite to Prague, Czech Republic representing cyberstorm.mu after being selected as an IETF Fellow. As a pioneer in Africa, cyberstorm.mu was also present in remote viewing hubs in Africa. Loganaden Velvindron, co-founder of cyberstorm.mu and Infrastructure and Security engineer at Afrinic demonstrated with great talent the implication of Africans in the IETF hackathon. I am proud of those leading the Viewing hub in the big Africa continent. This is where management and leadership skills play a great role here.
Day-0: It was a pretty tiring day with the assembly of the network and preparation of logistics as well as planning of the event. Food, medical kits, water, mosquitoes repellant, etc.. We also had to keep in touch with the weather information as there was a cyclone nearby. All precautions and planning were done. Once on the location of the hackathon which is at Mauritius Villa at Pointe aux Piments in the north west of Mauritius, the guys were almost ready. We ensure the new-comers feel at ease and integrating the group easily. As usual, an introduction to IETF was explained as well as the online video shown. We made the most to ensure professionalism and a good standard.
Day-1:It was a pretty intense day but at the same time addictive and fun. The team was already in the mood and ready to hack. Slaying the RC4 monster was one of my tasks and also had to lead Jagveer Loky, Network Engineer at Orange Business Services who was also participating in the SSH working group. The other part of the team which includes, Jeremie Daniel, a student at University of Mauritius Rahul Golam and Avi Soomirthee Linux system administrator at Linkbynet Indian Ocean who focussed a lot on TLS 1.3. On the other side, Bruno Bernard, Full stack developer was constantly improving and testing the IETF mobile App. We also had Veegish Ramdani and Yashveer Jadoo (First comer at the IETF hackathon remotely with the cyberstorm.mu team), Students at the University of Mauritius were hacking into DSCP LE. And finally, one the youngest newcomer, Rahul Kumar Shivadan, 15 years old student at St-Esprit college made it to DSCP and hacked into NetPerf. We also had Codarren Velvindron who was working remotely on TLS 1.3. Other cyberstorm.mu members were also here supporting us and helping remotely. When it comes to Internet connectivity, we thanks Mauritius Telecom who sponsored our Internet connectivity up to 100 Mbit/s for the IETF Hackathon.
Day-2:As usual, newcomers of cyberstorm.mu team are given their @cyberstorm.mu email address and all necessary procedures carried out. At cyberstorm.mu team, we lay emphasis on running code and a collaborating team. To focus on the goal is sometimes hard and in the beginning, it looks difficult to achieve, but with perseverance and motivation, we had been able to reach our goals. The testing part which includes the understanding of the IETF drafts, a pre-check methodology of the running code, testing and implementation prior before any modification carried out is considered to be the basic baseline before getting into it. Once this part has been grasped, it now comes to logic and mathematics. This is where helping each other in the team is important. And finally, code deployment, unit code testing and other incremental testing methodologies to make the code running and ready for use. On day-2, I still remembered Jagveer’s laptop encountered a crash which looks like an incompatible driver. The time factor was important, we decided to format everything and restart from scratch. At the cyberstorm.mu hackathon, it does not mean only hacking into codes, but also a moment of sharing and doing a round table, interviews, pool interviews and a moment where newcomers gave their feedback. We jumped into the pool, chill a little bit, whilst the others are enjoying a LAN gaming as well as eating nice food.
Day-3: It was such a rush, We made sure everyone has their patch commit and it was time to pack up and leave. Whilst others left, It was only me and Logan, Jeremie and Bruno who stayed till a little bit late. Whilst Jeremie was still preparing for his assignments, myself and Logan was preparing for our live presentation remotely at the IETF 104 hackathon. On the other hand, Bruno streamed the event live too on Facebook which was a pretty nice idea.
What newcomers said about the IETF 104 hackathon:
“I was very lucky to get an invitation to participate at the IETF 104 hackathon to learn more about networking and work in collaboration in a team of two on Lower Effort Per-Domain Behavior.”– Yashveer Jadoo
“I had no idea how to deal with networking by setting packets priority and then without any hesitation, I asked cyberstorm.mu team for help and everyone tried their best to help me.” – Rahul Kumar Shivadan
“These past few days the experience is great, the food is great, and everything is getting better ! With Laugh and codes, I’ve been working on the IETF Application championed by Chris Marrow and Warren Kumari on IETF 104 track.”– Bruno Bernard