We are for free and opensource software. We are presenting Mauritius worldwide in the IT sector. We are a Linux and Open source group which is going further and beyond. We believe in collaborative work and team spirit. We believed in running codes. We strived for excellence. We have contributed codes in several popular applications. We have worked on Internet-Drafts. We participate heavily in Hackathons.
The next step of cyberstorm.mu is championing several tracks for the IETF 103 hackathon remotely at Bangkok, Thailand. We have been welcomed by many people both from Mauritius and overseas, even from Silicon Valley, USA. No wonder, our past achievements is now a new step to reach today’s objectives – To focus heavily on research and development. Loganaden Velvindron from cyberstorm.mu mentioned on his Medium blog about the change cyberstorm.mu want to achieve: “The namecyberstorm.mu is an interesting one. It’s about change coming. Don’t get me wrong: I still love hacking. For me, hacking is about finding clever solutions to problems.” The youngest guy from the team is also going to participate in the IETF 103 hackathon.
The hackers.mu team has been participating in several IETF hackathons these recent years. For the IETF 102 hackathon, we focused tremendously on innovation: The goal to create two teams for the TLS 1.3 project, one for the Implementation team and the other is Interop. At the same time, getting hands on the HTTP 451 project. The IETF hackathon encourages developers to collaborate and develop utilities, ideas, sample code and solutions that show practical implementations of IETF standards. It is not a competition but a collaborative event.
For this IETF hackathon, myself and Loganaden Velvindron core members of hackers.mu team decided to lead the event. We searched a marvelous venue at Pointe aux Piments, a remote coastal area in the north-west of Mauritius which was very peaceful and can accommodate the whole team including first-timers of the IETF hackathon for three nights. As regards food, the best place is at Triolet, a village nearby which is famous for street foods including Pizza, Indian food, Grilled, Burgers and Brianis. We also chose that venue as it included a WiFi hotspot, several rooms, bathrooms and even a swimming pool.
On day 1, we all set up our lab environments and since most first-timers were in the TLS 1.3 Interoperability team, a plan was already designed. We knew since the beginning that there would be the logistic issues, so we brought spare laptops, screens, memory card, projector etc.. Logan explained the situation we had to deal with especially when it comes to interoperability to the first-timers. Then, they assigned themselves some tasks. At first, it was time-consuming to get started, but at the end of day1, I can feel how everyone was working as a team and looking in the same direction for the TLS 1.3. On the other hand, Veegish was getting hands-on HTTP 451. Whilst the Interoperability team was having fun, the implementation team, on the other hand, was yet another challenge: Improving source code for TLS 1.3 compat layer.
On day 2, everyone woke up early and went for a morning walk. Afterward, the team was back to coding and debugging. Whilst some were on the implementation and Interoperability tasks, Veegish already advanced on the HTTP 451 project. A debrief carried out by logan to understand where the team stands. We had to constantly evaluate ourselves so that we knew in which direction we are moving. At the end of the day, most of us were already in the pool for some chilling moments. I seized the opportunity to make a Time Lapse video with my iPhone 7+ 🙂
On day 3, the atmosphere was intense. The implementation team needs to make sure the code has been tested and it is running correctly. I was heavily involved in the PHP CURL library part. The testing part was very challenging. At some moment I was so tired and hopeless as the testing part was really complex. At the same time, others were trying to help each other. Kifah was also on some bash scripting for the interoperability part. He wanted to automate some tasks. Logan was also looking at his code and helping the others. Well, at the end of the day we were so happy to be able to accomplish what we had planned. Everyone looked so tired. The only option is to go back to the pool.
We also decided to make some mini videoS to relate our experience during the hackathon. I uploaded the videos on YouTube. You can view it from the playlist below:
On day 4, we packed up to our destination. At that very moment in Montreal, the hackathon was still going on. I reached home at about 19:00 hrs Mauritius time. I was assigned a three minutes presentation for the hackathon carried out by the Mauritius team. It was already midnight. I was so tired. I knew that the presentation had to be carried out. Logan was constantly texting me to make sure that I did not fall asleep. You can view the presentation remotely live in Montreal Canada.
What did IETF hackers say about the IETF 102 hackathon?
“What I think was the most productive output during this time for me was pair-programming…”– Kifah
“I was very excited to be part of the Inter-operability team where I worked with OpenSSL, BoringSSL, WolfSSL, and tlslite using TLS1.3 protocols.”– Jagveer
“Making Internet Protocols great again during the IETF 102 hackathon” – Logan
“Finally after long hours of debugging he managed to test the protocol being used by NRPE locally”– Rahul
“Then… we finally got a Client Hello from Wireshark and made the PR”– Nigel
“At first I thought that it would only be working, working and working but besides of work we started creating bonds.” – Jeremie
“I got a lot of advice, support, and motivation to work with my team members and try to implement on a strategic basis and critical thinking the internet protocols and see their limit on a technical perspective.” – Avishai
“Once OpenSSL was installed, I then performed my first TLS 1.3 Handshake, Resumption, and 0-RTT but did run into difficulties with NSS.”– Chromico
“But while everyone is waiting, we are working. We have reached a deeper understanding of how it will affect our lives.”– Codarren
“IETF 102 was very fun and challenging experience in which I got to work on several opensource projects” – Muzaffar
“At first, I did encounter some issues like parsing JSON files, but I manage to work on those issues”– Veegish
We also had a follower on Twitter appreciating our effort and participation during the IETF 102 hackathon. Thanks, Dan York, senior manager at ISOC.
I’m happy that this hackathon was at the required level. It was a great initiative from the hackers.mu team. No major incidents occurred in our HQ at Pointe aux Piments. Everything that was planned went all and it’s worth investing yourself in this collaborative event.
“Webelieve in rough consensus andrunning code” – Just have a look at the IETF website, this is the motto that you would come across. This is why the IETF hackathons are so special during the year and hackers.mu team is proud to be the first team in Mauritius who does not only participate in such type of event but also lead the TLS working group. The IETF 101 hackathon was yet another challenge for the hackers.mu team. But, once you are in, the fun begins. Compared to the IETF 100 hackathon, hackers.mu team made an improvement in terms of lines of codes and focused on more projects. We participated remotely in projects such as TLS 1.3, DNS, and HTTP 451. A wiki was also created during that event.
We used Jabber to communicate for the IETF 101 hackathon. Other media such as Facebook was found out to be interesting. I should admit that on Friday and Saturday I went to sleep at 02.00 AM with just the testing part completed. At 23:00 hrs, Logan was asking everyone to go to sleep as we needed more energy on the next day. Selven was also working hard remotely to bring all members on track. What is more relieving is the team spirit where everyone was helping each other during that hackathon.
One of the interesting issues noticed is about TLS malformed traffic and such thing was able to be detected using Wireshark. Once the patches were ready and the testing part was working fine, we made a debrief at Flying Dodo beer brewing company at Bagatelle Mall and was ready submit patches to their respective projects. I was assigned the “Stunnel” project and a library in “Eclipse Paho”.
After the debriefing, Logan was getting ready for his remote presentation at the IETF. We all went through the slides that logan created and went back home happily to see the presentation live on YouTube.
Special thanks goes to the IETF Organising team for having us as Technology Champions! Nick Sullivan head of cryptography expert at CloudFlare, Charkes Eckel, Barry Leiba, Meetecho team, Cisco for sponsoring the event and the all members of the hackers.mu team which made this hackathon a success in the world history of Mauritius.
Other’s are also talking about the IETF 101 hackathon ?
“I had initially started a bit slow, as I was working on other projects in parallel. Everyone was already deeply immersed in their projects, we could see PRs and code merges flying right from the first day.” – Codarren Velvindron
“It seems that I am not the only one who feels that this hackathon was really addictive. we were hooked the moment we started working out on our tasks.” – Pirabarlen Cheenaramen
“Developers working with OpenSSL can finally start to work with TLS 1.3, thanks to the alpha version of OpenSSL 1.1.1 that landed yesterday.” – TheRegister
“I think that you guys have more better weather and more fun that we did” – Charles Eckel
“hackers.mu pioneering the internet! We made it to IETF 101 hackathon with our team members getting featured in front of thousands, followed by a round of applause by IETF members in London. Congratulations guys, we did it again!” – Yasir Auleear
“IETF Hackathons encourage developers to collaborate and develop utilities, ideas, sample code and solutions that show practical implementations of IETF standards. The IETF Hackathon in London on 17-18 March is poised to be the largest ever.” – IETF
In case you are asking yourself, “who are the hackers.mu ?” You can consider is as “a group of developers from Mauritius who loves to code and are passionate about information security.” More information at https://www.hackers.mu
Since the split of the Linux community in Mauritius, hackers.mu was born. A new vision and objectives were the foundation of the hackers.mu core group. Our aim is to reach more people who will code in softwares that are used worldwide. The hackers.mu family kept growing. Today, we have brought more members in the hackers.mu community and right now, there is a boom in this group. Additionally, people from various part of the world wants to be part of the group, as seen on our Facebook group. Hackers.mu has been hosting live video streams on YouTube to bring together more people willing to learn and share in the community.
An example is to publish one’s assignment by a student. This acts as a catalyst for the academic development of the student. Today, companies will usually search the Github account of people, including Mauritians before recruiting them. Students were encouraged to create their Github accounts and even a blog. Then, we discussed about the achievement in the IETF 100 Hackathon. Logan took an example of Yash Paupiah’s who did some scripting two years back and now sending patch in the open source community. For example, the patches about TLS 1.3 during the IETF 100 Hackathon. At the end of the session, we announced the creation of the Mailing List “IT and Internet Users of Dodoland”. Jagveer Loky from the hackers.mu community was chosen to be the moderator of the mailing list. He will ensure the proper and smooth running of the mailing list.
At the University of Mauritius
At the end of the presentation, we had conversations with the students who were interested in topics such as OpenSSH, MVC, Java Programming, and MongoDB. Notes were taken to focus on these topics in the days to come. Then, we headed to Flying Dodo Bagatelle to celebrate the launch of the new mailing list by the hackers.mu team.
Celebrating with beer and pizza at Flying Dodo Bagatelle
We also had a video stream, where we were joined by other people from the hackers.mu community who came forward asking questions about the IETF 100 Hackathon and on several aspects of TLS1.3. Jagveer shoot a question as to whether people knew about the IETF in Mauritius. Of course, many knows about the IETF, but at what level is the contribution? As a technical guy, merely watching what’s going on at an IETF Hackathon does not make sense but instead contributions should be carried out in terms of codes to make the OpenSource community more rigid.
Video Stream from Yesternight
At hackers.mu, we kept on innovating to transmit the messages through the internet as well as on the ground. Weeks back, we were also at the University of Mauritius where we met Yashtir Gopee who is a passionate of robotics and Artificial Intelligence. He also joined the hackers.mu community and is willing to join the “IT and Internet Users of Dodoland” Mailing List.
Yashtir and Logan
Indeed, we have come a long way since the creation of hackers.mu. In such short time, we have been able to meet our objectives and we are continuing towards innovations and quality work in the group. I am looking forward that people make good use of the Mailing List and bring forward their issues as well as their contributions. Click to join the Mailing list.
Once in our office, we set up the network and our equipment. Check out logan’s blog to have an idea how things went on. That’s true we struggled in the beginning, but finally we could see the light at the end of the tunnel. Patience and patience is all what you need and a calm mind to study how things are in the code. The testing was then carried out to confirm the beauty of the TLS 1.3 codes in our chosen projects. You can also view the TLS tutorial which explains the objectives of TLS1.3. For example: Mitigation of pervasive monitoring.
Here are some hints about the security from TLS1.3
RSA key was removed.
Stream ciphers was reviewed.
Removal of compressed data mechanism which was able to influence which data can be sent.
Renegotiation was removed.
SHA1 and Block ciphers were removed.
Use of modern cryptography like A-EAD.
Use of modern key such as PSK.
For more details see this blog from OpenSSL. We were also working together with the TLS team in Singapore which was lead by Nick Sullivan, champion at the IETF TLS hackathon.
After the IETF Hackathon, it was announced publicly about the good job done by the hackers.mu team on the IETF channel.
The team at the beach 🙂
More links :
PS: Any more links related to IETF Hackathon TLS 1.3 let me know, I will add it here!