Ankit Fadia

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Ankit Fadia
Ankitfadia2.jpg
Born 1985 (age 28–29)[1]
Coimbatore, India
Residence Mumbai, India
Education Delhi Public School, R. K. Puram
Occupation Author, computer security consultant, MTV host
Website
ankitfadia.in

Ankit Fadia (born 1985) is an Indian independent computer security consultant and author.[2][3] Fadia describes himself as an ethical hacker, and has written several books on the topic of computer security.[4]

Fadia came into limelight when he wrote Unofficial Guide to Ethical Hacking at the age of 15, and made several hacking claims, including working with intelligence agencies against terrorists. Subsequently, he started offering computer security consulting services, wrote more books, and became a sought-after speaker in India. In the mid-2000s, he developed a certification program on computer security for corporations in alliance with Reliance World.[5] He has been accused of plagiarism and false claims by leading publications such as Forbes and Sunday Guardian.[6][7]

Early life[edit]

Ankit Fadia went to Delhi Public School, R K Puram.[8] He was gifted a PC when he was 12. He says he started taking an interest in hacking after a year of playing video games.[9] He later joined an undergraduate program in Management Science & Engineering at Stanford University.[10]

First book[edit]

At the age of 15, Fadia started a website hackingtruths.box.sk, which he says, acquired many readers, encouraging him to write a book.[9] At the age of 15, his book on ethical hacking made him the youngest author to be published by Macmillan, India.[11][12][13] The book received favorable response in India, and made Fadia popular in the country. However, he was also accused of plagiarism.[14][15] When a foreign reviewer alleged that the book contained a tutorial plagiarised from another website, Fadia stated in response that he originally contributed the material to the website identified as the source.[9]

Career[edit]

After his first book came in the limelight, Fadia became sought-after among the corporate clients in India as well as on the conference speaking circuit. He wrote more books on computer security, and spoke at several seminars across schools and colleges in India.[16] He also started a consultancy out of Malaysia.[17] He has claimed to have done paid consulting to intelligence and defence agencies.[18] In addition, he started providing his own computer security courses, including the "Ankit Fadia Certified Ethical Hacker" programme in alliance with Reliance World.[19]

In 2008, the IMT Ghaziabad Centre for Distance Learning signed an MoU with Fadia to organise its one-year Post-Graduate Diploma in Cyber Security.[20]

In 2009, Fadia stated that he was working in New York as an Internet security expert for "prestigious companies".[21] Fadia also endorsed the Flying Machine jeans brand of Arvind Mills.[22]

Fadia was dismissed as a fad by some security and cryptography enthusiasts, who attributed his success to the tech-illiterate media.[14][18] Fadia has dismissed the critics who question his credibility as an expert, saying "If I had been fake, my growth would have stopped 10 years ago".[23]

Hacking claims[edit]

In 2002, Fadia claimed that at the age of 17, he had defaced the website of an Indian magazine[11] Subsequently, he named the magazine as the Indian edition of CHIP magazine, and stated that the editor had offered him a job when informed about the defacement.[24] In 2012, the Forbes India executive editor Charles Assisi (who was editor of CHIP India at the time of the supposed incident), denied that such an incident ever took place after verifying with his predecessor and successor at the magazine as well.[25]

Fadia has also claimed that after the 9/11 attacks, "American investigating agencies" ("U.S. Government" in one interview[21]) invited him to decode an encrypted message posted by Al-Qaeda. He claims to have successfully cracked the encryption.[17][26]

In a 2002 interview published on rediff.com, Ankit Fadia stated that at the age of 16, he foiled an attempt by the Kashmiri separatist hackers to deface an Indian website.[9] He stated he gathered information about the attackers, eavesdropped on their online chat using one of their identities, and then mailed the transcript to a US spy organisation that had hired him.[27] He did not divulge the name of the organization he worked for, citing security reasons.[11] The Pakistani hacker group Anti-India Crew (AIC) questioned Fadia's claims: along with WFD, the AIC hacked the Indian government website epfindia.gov.in, dedicating it to Fadia, mocking his capabilities.[28] AIC also announced that it would be defacing the website of the CBEC (www.cbec.gov.in) within the next two days, and challenged Fadia to prevent it by patching the vulnerability.[29]

In 2003, he claimed to have infiltrated a group of hackers and stated that the Pakistani intelligence agencies were paying "Westerners" to deface Indian websites with anti-India or pro-Pakistan content.[18]

Fadia's own website has been hacked multiple times.[14] In 2009, he blamed the defacement on a vulnerability in the servers of his webhost net4india. Independent security experts contested his claim, stating that the problem was loophole was in his own website's code.[30] In 2012, his website was defaced twice by hackers. In the first instance, the hackers rubbished his claims and stated that he was fooling people.[15][31] Another hacker compromised it in response to a challenge that he issued on the Tech Toyz show on CNBC-TV18.[15][32][improper synthesis?]

"What the Hack!"[edit]

In October 2009 MTV India announced the launch of Fadia's new TV show on MTV called What the Hack!, where Fadia gives tips on how to make good use of the Internet and answers people's questions.[33] Internet users email their problems to MTV India and Fadia gives them a solution.[34]

Awards and recognitions[edit]

Fadia has himself sponsored Singapore Management University's Ankit Fadia Study Award, which consists of a $1,000 cash prize and certificate that is annually awarded to "an outstanding student" Information Security and Trust course under the Bachelor of Science (Information System Management) degree.[38]

Books[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Fadia, Ankit 1985-". WorldCat. Retrieved 2012-09-21. 
  2. ^ Priyadarshini Pandey (14 November 2009). "Inside account". The Hindu (Chennai, India). Retrieved 2013-02-26. 
  3. ^ "Ankit Fadia: Everything official about him". The Times of India. 3 September 2001. 
  4. ^ "Ankit Fadia : "To become a hacker, you need to know how to think like a criminal"". L'Express. 10 June 2011. Retrieved 2013-02-26. [dead link]
  5. ^ "Ankit Fadia Computer Security for Corporates program". Relianceworld.in. Retrieved 2013-02-26. 
  6. ^ "Ankit Fadia Revealed". forbesindia.com. Retrieved 2014-02-27. 
  7. ^ "‘Ethical hacker Ankit Fadia is a fake’". sunday-guardian.com. Retrieved 2014-02-27. 
  8. ^ Wendy McAuliffe (7 August 2001). "Schoolboy's book on ethical hacking an online hit". ZDNet, UK. Retrieved 2006-07-12. 
  9. ^ a b c d "Rediff Guide to the Net: Features: 16-year-old hacker Ankit Fadia outsmarts Kashmiri separatists". Rediff.com. 18 April 2002. Retrieved 2013-02-26. 
  10. ^ "Stanford Public Listing". Stanford University. 
  11. ^ a b c "Indian hacker turns cyber cop". BBC News. 17 April 2002. Retrieved 2013-02-26. 
  12. ^ "E2 labs to combat cyber crime in Hyderabad". The Hindu Business Line. 19 April 2003. Retrieved 2006-12-19. 
  13. ^ Manoj Kumar (13 April 2003). "Teen hacker who is sought after by FBI". The Tribune, Chandigarh. Retrieved 2006-08-19. 
  14. ^ a b c Shubhankar Adhikari (19 February 2012). "‘Ethical hacker Ankit Fadia is a fake’". The Sunday Guardian. Retrieved 2013-02-26. 
  15. ^ a b c "Ankit Fadia's website hacked again". 19 February 2012. [dead link]
  16. ^ K. Jeshi (3 July 2010). "Caught in the web". The Hindu (Chennai, India). Retrieved 2013-03-01. 
  17. ^ a b "From Al Qaeda to ATMs, Fadia chases bad hackers". Indian Express. 4 December 2007. Retrieved 2013-03-01. [dead link]
  18. ^ a b c Suelette Dreyfus (5 August 2003). "Hacktivism through the eyes of an infiltrator". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2013-02-26. 
  19. ^ "The inheritance of food". The Telegraph (Calcutta, India). 4 February 2007. Retrieved 2013-03-01. 
  20. ^ "One-year Post-Graduate Diploma in Cyber Security". IMT Ghaziabad. [dead link]
  21. ^ a b "How the hack he does it!". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 16 November 2009. Retrieved 2013-03-01. 
  22. ^ Ratna Bhushan (21 October 2012). "Flying Machine endorsement: Ethical Hacker Fadia replaces Abhishek Bacchan". The Economic Times. Retrieved 2013-03-01. 
  23. ^ Rana Siddiqui Zaman (22 January 2010). "A clean hacker". The Hindu (Chennai, India). Retrieved 2013-02-26. 
  24. ^ Priyadarshini Paitandy (14 September 2009). "Inside Account". The Hindu (Chennai, India). Retrieved 2013-03-01. 
  25. ^ "Ankit Fadia Revealed". Retrieved 2013-02-21. 
  26. ^ YouTube. YouTube (2009-07-17). Retrieved on 2013-08-02.
  27. ^ M. Krishnamoorthy (27 February 2005). "Teen helping adults fight ‘bad guys’". The Star. Retrieved 2013-02-26. 
  28. ^ K. Srinivas Reddy (28 April 2002). "This hacker has a different message". Chennai, India: The Hindu. Archived from the original on 21 December 2008. Retrieved 2013-02-26. 
  29. ^ K. Srinivas Reddy (30 April 2002). "Hacker threat to CBEC website". Chennai, India: The Hindu. Archived from the original on 21 December 2008. Retrieved 2013-02-26. 
  30. ^ MiD DAY (8 December 2009). "Is Ankit Fadia selling Viagra?". Archived from the original on 13 December 2009. Retrieved 2013-02-26. 
  31. ^ Eduard Kovacs (12 September 2012). "Ankit Fadia's site Suspended After Being Hacked by Ganster". Softpedia. Retrieved 2013-02-26. 
  32. ^ "Tech Toyz Hacking Special Episode Part III". 10 August 2011. 
  33. ^ "From this Diwali, MTV will be more than just music - Money - DNA". Dnaindia.com. 12 October 2009. Retrieved 2012-01-08. 
  34. ^ "VJs, Music, Videos, Blogs, Games, Wallpapers, Interviews, Performances, Shows, Fun and more". MTV India. Retrieved 2012-01-08. 
  35. ^ Catch the MTV Youth Icons
  36. ^ The CMAI 5th National Awards. Cmaievents.com (2011-06-08). Retrieved on 2013-08-02.
  37. ^ Hacking into the future. The Hindu, 2012-02-08
  38. ^ "Ankit Fadia Study Award". Smu.edu.sg. 22 March 2010. Retrieved 2012-01-08. [dead link]

External links[edit]