A 24-year-old Nepali hacker helping 16 countries fight cyber threats

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Butwal, A decade ago, there was no internet facility in remote areas of Kailali district. But Yogesh Ojhaka, a fifth grader, had a computer brought by his uncle. He used to play a lot of GTA VCity games on the computer.

While playing the game, the question of how the game would turn out had grown in his mind. He started to get injured in Kaitulhata. He started rejoicing in this. Due to his habit of doing research on the subject of his interest, any electrical appliances in the house were not in good condition.
One day he opened the EXE file in Notepad due to his curiosity. When he opened it, he saw many incomprehensible words and letters. Later, when Govind Joshi went to the school and asked Sir, he said that it was programming, then what did he need?
He started doing research on programming. Gradually began to understand the coding. Interest grew. But where was the internet like now and then. He took money from his father’s pocket, printed a book on a nearby cybercafe and started learning coding.
In the same year, 17 of the 20 students in his fifth grade failed the subject of computer science called Cuban. In which he was also. Yogesh was slapped by his father, who was also a teacher, after seeing a failed remark on the report card.
At the same time, Yogesh took a vow to do something in computer science. Coding continued. Yogesh came to Bunhart College in Kathmandu to study Plus Two.
After coming to Kathmandu, he was interested in robotics. He kept making robots and doing bad things. Began to participate in hackathons. He also won many hackathon competitions.
After completing Plus Two, the journey of engineering began. He reached Bangalore. At that time, Tata Consultancy Services Company had taken All India exam for its employees. He took the exam and came to the top 10 from all over India and started working for Tata.
‘While studying engineering in Bangalore, Tata Consultancy took the All India exam. At that time, my rank was in the top ten in all of India. I got to do research there from the first year. The company provided good salary and service facilities, ‘he said.
After working for Tata for two years, Yogesh is now working for TRG Research and Development Company in Cyprus .
From a remote place in Dhangadhi, his passion has taken Yogesh to a global platform like TRG today, where he is helping 16 countries tackle sensitive global issues such as terrorism.
“I am currently working for a TRG Research and Development company in Cyprus,” says Yogesh. We are a data fusion company. We work using machine learning AI. My responsibility is focused on cyber security. ‘
He further said, “We have to find viability in telecom companies and give it to the government.” We have to provide the details of the person and organization requested by the government of those countries and the government solves the problem by using that data point. We have a platform called ‘Geoplus’ which we call ‘Google of Terror and Crime’. That is a search engine especially for the government.
Cyber ​​security engineer and developer Yogesh created an open source tool called ReinGin in March last year. Yogesh’s same tool is being demonstrated for the first time at an important conference of hackers at Blackhat’s Arsenal event.
This is probably the first Nepali tool to be displayed at such an important event of Blackhat and Yogesh will also be the first Nepali to present at the conference.
“Blackhat is about to be my presence for the ReinGen tool,” Yogesh goes on to say about his tool, “It’s an open source tool I’ve created.” Pentasting is an important step in data collection called reconnaissance.
‘Where we collect data and information. If someone needs information about the GoV.np domain, this tool will provide them with the information they need.
This tool made by Yogesh became popular in a short time after the lockdown started due to cavities. He said that the tool is still trending in GitHub as a repository.
This tool made by Yogesh has come in the list of top security tools. Blackhat is going to present it in a program called Arsenal. Arsenal selects open source tools from around the world for the past two years in the field of security.
‘This time there are four tools from India, one of which is the one I made. But because I am Nepali, that tool is Nepali and it is also Nepal’s first tool. ‘
Yogesh, 24, says, “I had a passion and work in car hacking. While working there, I made a reengineering tool. Besides, I used to make and break robots from a young age. Now I am working in the same company in Cyprus using that skill. ‘
Initially doing robotics research, Yogesh started doing car hacking and IoT, mobile application security research from Tata. During the same period, he has given car hacking and IoT research presentations in more than a dozen countries and various conferences.
“Last year alone, I presented my research papers at 14/15 major world-class conferences,” he says. “I also trained in various trainings and workshops. I found a bug in the fitness tracker at IoT Security.
‘I presented my research at the largest open source summit in Singapore and China. Probably I was the first and only Nepali there. ‘
Yogesh, who is active in hacking, complains that there are not enough platforms in Nepal even though he has the same skillset. He understands that skills, countries and platforms make all the difference in making money in the field of cyber security.
‘I probably wouldn’t have been able to get here if it was happening in Nepal. The tools I need to do research are here in no time. But not found in Nepal. To make drones in Nepal, goods had to be brought from abroad. We had to wait a long time for this, ‘he said.
In fact, if there is a right environment for a researcher, the country will get the benefits, he argues that Nepal has not gone in that direction.
He goes on to say, ‘The company we are working on now says we give enough grants to any research. But Nepal does not have that facility. There are hackers in Nepal. But there is not enough platform. ‘
The company he works for is working with top hackers from around the world. He says that there are people in Nepal who have that skill set. ‘Everyone in the country depends on your salary, from the skillset. The more developed countries you go to, the bigger the platform you get. In Nepal, the platform has its own lag, ‘he said.
He adds, “I am more interested in this work than money.” I am very happy that passion has changed into money now. ‍ ‘
Yogesh did not get this facility, opportunity and reward. As much as he has worked hard for this, he has become accustomed to it. He feels that coding is in his DNA.
“There is a lot of work to be done in this field,” says Yogesh.
‘I am handling two or four open source projects. How to take the effort. We are working with many governments. Someone’s night is someone’s day. Therefore, it is not possible to say anything personal. Because this is the field I chose. The more challenging the work, the more fun it is. There is a reward accordingly, ‘he says.
Born in a small place in Dhangadhi, he is happy to remember that today he is helping 15/16 countries to fight terrorism. Various universities and colleges are also inviting him for research presentation and training.
Yogesh is also getting regular presence in international level programs. He says that he has achieved so much at an early age and has learned a lot by entering this field. Many friends of his age ask him how to do it from the computer. But he says the work he does is fun and interesting.
Yogesh, who has come this far due to his curiosity and willingness to eradicate it and regular attachment, says that if there is patience and ability to work hard, there will be no limit to learning and achievement.

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