Wednesday, November 7, 2012

DhivehiFonts Add-on: Fix display of Dhivehi in all websites

In the previous post Dhivehi Fonts for Firefox Android, I introduced a simple add-on for Firefox Android and Desktop which could fix the display of Dhivehi on some Maldivian websites. However, one user asked if it could be fixed for other websites such as Facebook.

So here is my answer to that question. The next version of DhivehiFonts add-on which will allow you to view Dhivehi on Firefox for Android on any website including Google and Facebook in-sha-Allah.

Download/Install DhivehiFonts add-on (version 1.1)

As an added bonus, you can install this add-on on Firefox Desktop and it will in-sha-Allah fix your MV Boli issues on Firefox for Windows.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Dhivehi Fonts for Firefox Android

This a simple add-on to fix the display of most Dhivehi websites in Firefox for Android without having to root to install alternate system fonts.
Most websites like and use the @font-face CSS tag and display just fine on Firefox for Android and the latest versions of the default Android browser. However, not all Dhivehi websites use this and as such the Dhivehi text is not rendered at all for such sites. This add-on attempts to fix the rendering of such sites on Firefox for Android. For example:
Download/Install add-on: DhivehiFonts for Firefox Android

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Need for a Privacy Act in the Maldives

Leaks over last week
Last week ended with news of a serious breach in privacy of over 234,000 Maldivians.  Individual(s) from Fuvahmulah had created a website (DNS records show that the domain has been active from 08-Apr-2011) which allowed anyone to view personal details of Maldivians over the age of 17 (which makes it highly likely this data was leaked from Elections Commission). These details included the National ID, Name, Date of Birth, Address, Atoll, Island etc, with blank fields for the name of parents indicating that whoever behind this was hoping to add that information as well. The website was taken down after news sites reported it (and google has also cleared the cached pages of the website).

Not long after this (and on the same day), newspapers also reported another serious breach in privacy of Civil Servants in the Maldives. However, this time the breach was a deliberate action by the body responsible for the Civil Servants. Their excuse being that they needed to clear the confusion that other government bodies had about the salary of Civil Servants and also to allow Civil Servants themselves to view their salaries themselves. Unfortunately none of the Maldivian newspapers grasped the seriousness of this issue and reported it as just any other ordinary news.

Potential Consequences
Personal details such as National ID, date of birth and address are used by the Banks when activating debit, credit and EFTPOS cards (though this may not be a very good security policy). Now just imagine the consequences if a rogue person or organisation had the details of over 234,000 people. Also, what about the dangers of identity theft?

Though not as private as National IDs and date of births, salaries too are private information that most individuals would like to remain hidden from the rest of the world. Public availability of an individual's salary can affect the social standing of the individual and can also affect how they are perceived by their peers. Also, it would make difficult for people to save money when everyone knows how much they really earn. Just imagine how life would be if every shopkeeper/sales assistant knew how much you earned.

Protecting Privacy
Therefore, before much more sensitive data such as health and criminal records are leaked we need a strong mechanism to prevent such violations of privacy and prosecute such violations. Violations of privacy should not be taken lightly and a Privacy Act should be implemented as soon as possible.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

DhiFix - Dhivehi Dictionary & Affix file creation for Hunspell

DhiFix is an open source application to simplify the creation and editing of Dhivehi dictionary and affix files for Hunspell. DhiFix uses the GTK+ run time and is created in C. The current version of DhiFix has the following features:
  • Add/Remove words from the dictionary.
  • Add/Remove affixed forms of words. This removes the affix flag for the word and not the actual affix.
  • Automatically create new affix rules if the word cannot be converted to suggested affixed form using existing affix rules.
  • Suggest new affixed forms of a word based on existing affix rules and the pattern observed at the beginning or end of the word.
DhiFix source and windows binaries are available from

Monday, September 6, 2010

Unhiding files hidden by viruses and malware

A common and annoying trick (for most) used by malware is to hide files and folders and replace them with copies of the malware executable file with common windows folder or file icons. By the time one figures out their system has been infected half the stuff on the hard disks and USBs seems to have vanished and cleaning the malware does not seem to do anything for the "missing" files. Some clueless Windows users assume that the malware had deleted all their personal files while the more fortunate ones do find out that changing two settings in Folder Options is all that is needed to get Windows to show them their precious files. Those two settings are:
  • Show Hidden Files (enable this)
  • Hide protected operating system files (disable this)
    For some odd reason Windows thinks that any files marked as System and Hidden should be a protected operating system file.
So here's a simple way to let you unhide the files hidden by malware:
  • Download
    MD5: 3A1961622326EB09EDE9EAAE43C2A728
    SHA-1: 86F89724525753D3473504D989168668780E9554
  • Extract unhide.bat
  • Copy unhide.bat to the folder whose contents disappeared after the malware unfection
  • Double-click unhide.bat to run it and all your missing files and folders would automagically appear (unless the malware did actually delete it).
Those familiar with Command Prompt can just use the following command instead of downloading the batch file:
  • attrib /d /s -h -s

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Changing MAC Address in Windows 7 & Vista

The MAC Address of Network Devices in Windows 7 & Vista can be changed by making a simple change to the registry. A possible step-wise approach to accomplish this is presented below.
  • Open Windows Registry Editor.
  • Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class from the tree view on the left hand side.
  • Open Command Prompt.
  • Type getmac in Command Prompt and press enter to get the MAC Address of Network Interfaces on your computer. You will see the MAC Addresses of all Network Interfaces you have on your computer including virtual ones.
  • Copy the GUID in Transport Name part of the device whose MAC Address you wish to change. The transport name is like \Device\Tcip_{XXXXXXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXXXXXXXXXX} where the GUID is the part highlighted in yellow.
    Note: The transport name will not be displayed for network devices which are disabled. So if you have a wireless network device and have it switched off you then will not be able to see the transport name of the wireless network device.
  • Go back to the registry editor and press Ctrl+F to display the search window.
  • Paste the GUID you found into the text box in the search window.
  • Next untick both Keys and Values under LookAt and tick Data.
  • Click Find Next to search the registry.
  • The Registry Editor will automatically take you to a Key similar to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class\XXXXXXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXXXXXX\00## and a String Value with the name NetCfgInstanceId would be highlighted on the right hand side. This String Value would contain your GUID.
    Note: You may have to search a couple of times before you are able to find this key.
  • Right click on an empty space on the right hand pane in the Registry Editor windows and select New -> String Value
  • Type NetworkAddress for the name of this new String Value.
  • Double Click the new String Value you just created i.e. NetworkAddress and enter the new MAC Address you want for the interface. The MAC address should be in hexadecimal without any hyphens and should be exactly 12 characters long. Example: 00AA22BB44CC
  • Close the Registry Editor and restart your network device for the change to take affect.
  • To restart you network device you can either restart your computer or disable and re-enable your network device (using the Control Panel -> Network and Sharing Center).
  • To check whether the MAC Address of the device has changed you can open Command Prompt and enter getmac.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Hacking or Phishing?

During the past few weeks, some Maldivian blogs got hacked according to the blog authors or those close to them. How did all these blogs get hacked? Is GMail security that low that any script kiddie could take over your blog? Or is there something else to it? Was the bloggers phished?

As far as I know GMail is pretty secure and there is no known way of hacking into someone's GMail account unless you know their password or secret question answers. Therefore, the only reasonable explanation for the recent "hacking" of several Maldivian blogs can only be attributed to phishing (this seems to be what is suggested by a recent article on the dhiislam website).

If you want to learn more about phishing and how to protect yourself from phishing attacks please read my previous post on phishing attacks. You can also read more about phishing on