Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Google Summer of Code 2008

            It has been a year since I applied for Google Summer of Code 2007. So much has changed since then. I'd remember the application I sent last year. It was pure conceptual without any technical backing. Looking back at it does make me wonder the difference between now and then.

            After being unsuccessful last year, Adriano was cool enough to give me pointers on areas where I should work on. I took the news positively and worked on those areas. After my internship in Sydney, I realized that ones geographical location doesn't confine you to abiding stereotypes. I am an individual. I was ecstatic when I first got the offer to perform my internship in Sydney furthermore as an acting Security Auditor/Consultant. I could say that I got a reality check on how things are done on a global scale. I was overwhelmed and lost my sense of direction. I even doubted myself of being not worthy of the position I held. I soon realized that there are always a million reasons to shy away from achieving something. With a positive attitude and willingness to work hard, I managed to pull of a security audit which gave Ronny(the sys admin) goosebumps and impressed the CEO. From being that timid Malaysian in his cubical to presenting the security audit reports revealing the passwords(obfuscated of course) of over 500 employees around the globe and a myriad of vulnerabilities across its infrastructures. I am glad that I had the support of my uncle and my workmate, David who talked me through in my moments of doubt.

            I came back with a sense of optimism and determination to pursue Google Summer of Code 2008. I'd still remember the conversation I had with my fellow d3vscan team mates over breakfast, Zaid and Hazwan about the initial idea. I am glad to have fellow comrades who were willing to be by my side to pursue this idea. The prototype dubbed d3vscan is to be our final year project. Coming from where we are, having a final year project with an average of 80k page hits per month is an accomplishment. Not to mention it being recognized and even listed in Packetstorm. I couldn't have done it without them. I am humbled by their dedication towards the project. I have to admit, it is hard to come by talented individuals which I am fortunate to brush shoulders with.

            The d3vscan prototype was included in the Umit ideas page for Google Summer of Code 2008. GSoC 2008 was approaching and I proposed the Bluetooth Scanner & Vulnerabilities Database System which is related to d3vscan. During the selection process, besides writing a Gentoo ebuild, I managed to translate Umit into several languages. I would like to thank Haoyu Bai, Ahmed Al-Ansi and my girlfriend for chipping in to help me out with the translations. I have to admit i was nervous when the results were to be announced on the 22. I was up that night talking to Francesco@nopper about the anticipation of the results. I got the email from Google at 4am.

            Being passionate about an idea and willing to take chances/risks is key. Burning the midnight oil will be a norm. Sleep becomes a luxury. But as time passes, I realized that time management and discipline are things that would be learnt throughout ones life. An advice which i hold dearly from my friend, mentor and project manager of Umit, Adriano. I also feel blessed to have the support of my parents and my girlfriend, Yvonne.

Umit Project Blog
Umit GSoC Page

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