Monthly Archives: March 2014

Venezuelan chronicles: a struggling country

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In the early-morning hours of Saturday, March 9, three days before I received the extortion call, two friends — a British man and a Venezuelan woman — were attacked in the street close to my building by a group of six young thugs. The man was able to fend off three of them, but they got away with the woman’s wallet and smartphone, reducing her to tears. Sadly, this has become an all-too-common occurrence in the city.

For now, I have decided that I can no longer live in Venezuela, one of the world’s most dangerous countries. According to the Venezuelan Violence Observatory, a nongovernmental organization, there were 24,763 murders last year, or 79 for every 100,000 inhabitants. The situation has deteriorated so much that the government stopped publishing official figures a couple of years ago.

The government has run the economy into the ground despite the fact that the nation sits atop the planet’s largest oil reserves. Inflation is running at 56 percent. The government budget deficit is more than 10 percent of gross domestic product.

Shortages of basic products such as toilet paper, infant formula, diapers and hand soap are rife. People use napkins instead of toilet paper, even though that is prohibitively expensive for most Venezuelans. Otherwise, they go without, and shower regularly.

Last week I spent a morning going to seven stores just to find shampoo. People line up for two or three blocks just to obtain the ingredients to make their beloved arepa, a flatbread made of ground maize dough or cooked flour. In Mercals, communal grocery stores subsidized by the government, food prices are extremely cheap but the lines are such that people have to spend a whole morning queuing to get the produce.

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Tor proxy on iphone

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So, now you can install/ get TOR on your idevice. but first the question that arise is: why should I do this? well here is why.

Tor’s mission is provide you with anonymity while browsing online. This is useful if you do not want people locating you and especially if you are dealing with confidential information. Tor is available for Windows, Mac and Linux. It is also available in a mobile version for Androids and iPhones. In order to install it on your iPhone it needs to already be jailbroken

1
Jailbreak your iPhone. Check the Resources section for a wizard to guide you through that process.

2
Create the folder “/var/root/Media/Cydia/AutoInstall” on your device. You will have to use iPhoneBrowser to create the folder on your iPhone (see Resources).

3
Download and place the slackware .deb file into the folder you created (see Resources).

4
Restart your device and open Cydia. Refresh your sources and perform an upgrade within Cydia to make sure everything is up to date.

5
Install “Tor Toggle” from within Cydia and then add it to the “SBSettings” menu.

6
Navigate to your “HTTP Proxy” settings. This is done by going back to main menu and pressing “Settings,” “WiFi,” “Your Wireless Network ESSID” and, finally, “HTTP Proxy Manual.” Set the server to “127.0.0.1”, the port to “8118” and make sure authentication is off. All your phone’s traffic will now be proxied through Tor’s network.


Phone Pen Testing Tools without Jailbreaking

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Although you can get almost any security tool imaginable if you jailbreak your iPhone, I was curious what was out there for non-jailbroken iPhones. Given that my iPhone is setup to be my primary home and work device, I don’t want risk jailbreaking it. I’ve searched around on iTunes and across the interwebs for anything we could find and below is a list of what I came up with so far. To make the list more manageable we’ve tried to categorise them per the ISSAF framework. If an app fell into more then one group, we placed it in the earliest phase. With some exceptions I also didn’t include ones that haven’t been updated in the last year.

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When did the protests in Venezuela begin?

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Nationwide student protests started last month. On February 12, the demonstrations attracted global attention when three people were killed.
Demonstrators are demanding better security, an end to goods shortages and protected freedom of speech.

Who is opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez?

Protest leader releases vid to supporters CNN cameras taken at gunpoint
Major social and economic problems have fueled the protests. But as the demonstrations gained steam, officials have pointed fingers at other factors and accused the United States of plotting to destabilize the government.
Some blame Venezuela’s government, led by President Nicolas Maduro, for those problems. Maduro and other officials blame the opposition for the security and economic problems.
The protests are the largest Maduro has faced in his 11 months in power. He has called opposition members fascists and compared them to an infection that needs to be cured.

Who’s protesting?

Many demonstrators across the country are students, but prominent opposition politicians have also joined marches.
Since February 13, more than 2,000 stories from Venezuela have been uploaded to iReport, CNN’s user-generated platform. Many of the videos and photos are gruesome, and depict violent scenes between demonstrators and police.

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As another day in Venezuela goes by

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THICK clouds of teargas hung in the air over the north gate of the Central University (UCV) in Caracas on March 12th. A police helicopter clattered overhead; on campus, plain-clothes gunmen on motorcycles, some bearing the initials of the national guard, harassed student demonstrators.

A month after the government crack-down on protesters began, Venezuela’s crisis is deepening. This was the bloodiest single day since three people were killed in Caracas on March 12th. Eighteen injuries were reported at the UCV, after a previously peaceful student march to demand the resignation of the Venezuelan government ombudsman was halted on the orders of President Nicolás Maduro.
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List of fatalities as protests go in Venezuela

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This list has been compiled using reports from Venezuelan authorities and media. It includes all deaths which have been reportedly connected with the protests, riots, and street barricades. However it does not include several cases which have been included on other lists, due to the possibility that these deaths were not related to the political violence but were in fact the result of other criminal violence. It also differs slightly from the count held by Venezuelan authorities, which does not appear to include the two cases mentioned below of deaths caused by barricades delaying patients in a critical condition from reaching hospital.

It is important to highlight that both this and all other counts are made using the available information and the judgment of the authors. New information produced as investigations proceed may change which cases count as being connected to the political violence, and who the perpetrator of each murder is considered to be. Observers are welcome to send in information to VA.com on cases that may have been missed, or information that suggests that cases which have been excluded from the current list should be included.

The list is as follows:

1,2 & 3: On 12 February, an opposition activist, José Roberto Redman (21), a pro-opposition carpenter, Bassil DaCosta (23), and a Chavista social activist, Juan Montoya (40) were killed during clashes in Caracas.
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About political situation in Venezuela today

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A lot of people argue that these protests are too early. That the barrios are not participating. That the people still support the Government widely and many other such arguments. While there is evidence to counteract each of these claims, I think they try to oversimplify the problem. In the end, the “barrios” are not where the opposition is weak, it is in the very rural states, where the people have a very high dependence on the Government. These are the true Chavista strongholds, where the media is fully dominated by the Government and the opposition gets less than 40% of the vote in any given election. In the barrios of the big cities, the 2013 Presidential elections tended to be closer, with the opposition scoring wins in many.
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