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Ankit Fadia at the launch of his new book
1985 (age 32–33)|
|Occupation||Author & speaker|
|Alma mater||D Public School|
FASTER: 100 Ways To Improve Your Digital life|
SOCIAL: 50 Ways To Improve Your Professional Life
Ankit Fadia (born 24 May 1985) is an Indian author, speaker, television host, and self-proclaimed "ethical hacker" of computer systems, whose skills and ethics have been debated. His work mostly involves OS and networking based tips and tricks, proxy websites and lifestyle.
In 2008 he started a television show on MTV India called "What The Hack", which he co-hosted with José Covaco. In this show Fadia gave tips on how to make good use of the Internet and answered people's technology-related questions. In 2013, Ankit Fadia started a YouTube show Geek On the Loose, in collaboration with PING networks, where he shared technology-related tips and tricks. The show has got more than 750,000+ views on YouTube.
A number of his claims regarding his achievements have been disputed by others within the security industry, and he was mocked with a "Security Charlatan of the Year" award at DEF CON 20 in 2012. Attrition.org also reviewed his alleged credentials and included him on their Security Charlatans list, calling into question the veracity of his marketing statements. He has been accused of plagiarism in his work. His claims of hacking feats have since been trashed by many magazines.
Ankit Fadia grew up in Delhi and studied at Delhi Public School, R K Puram. At the age of 10, his parents gifted him a computer and he says he started taking an interest in hacking after a year of playing video games when he read a newspaper article on the subject. He soon started a website hackingtruths.box.sk where he wrote hacking tutorials, which acquired many readers and encouraged him to write a book. At the age of 14, his book on ethical hacking made him the youngest author to be published by Macmillan India. The book received favorable responses in India, made Fadia popular in the country, and turned his hobby into a full-time profession. However, he was also accused of plagiarism.
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, ad spoke at several seminars across schools and colleges in India. In addition, he started providing his own computer security courses, including the "Ankit Fadia Certified Ethical Hacker" programme in alliance with Reliance World.
Fadia was dismissed as a fad by some security and cryptography enthusiasts, who attributed his success to the tech-illiterate media. 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".
Hacking claims and controversies
In 2002, Fadia claimed that at the age of 17, he had defaced the website of an Indian magazine, 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. 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.
In a 2002 interview published on rediff.com, and online Hacking with Mashup(Sourav) from Bongaon, Kolkata, he stated that at the age of 16, he foiled an attempt by the Kashmiri separatist hackers to deface an Indian website. 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. He did not divulge the name of the organization he worked for, citing security reasons. 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. 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.
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.
Fadia's own website has been hacked multiple times. 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 a loophole in his own website's code, His website hacked by an Indian hacker Himanshu Sharma, where he accepted the challenge from Ankit Fadia. 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. Another hacker compromised it in response to a challenge that was issued by Fadia on the Tech Toyz show on CNBC-TV18.[improper synthesis?]
In 2012, DEF CON awarded him with the "Security Charlatan of the Year" award citing him to be a fraudster and his presentations outdated. The website attrition.org mentions him as a security charlatan and accuses him of plagiarism in his work
Television and web shows
- MTV What The Hack
In October 2009 MTV India announced the launch of Fadia's new TV show on MTV called MTV What the Hack!, where Fadia gave tips on how to make use of the Internet, and answered people's questions. Internet users could email their problems to MTV India and Fadia gave them a solution on the show.
- Unzipped By Dell
In 2012, Dell India partnered with Ankit Fadia to create a series of nearly 50 videos, each of 1 minute duration to show tips and tricks for the use of computers and mobile phones. These videos were shown on the Dell India Facebook page with an average of one video per week. People also had the opportunity to ask tech queries of Fadia on topics like photography, video making, music composing, navigation assistance, gaming, messaging and others.
- Geek On The Loose
In 2013, Ankit Fadia started a YouTube show Geek On the Loose in collaboration with PING networks where he shared technology-related tips, tricks and apps. The show was based on situations mentioned in his book FASTER: 100 Ways To Improve Your Digital Life. The show has got more than 750,000+ views on YouTube.
Awards and Recognitions
- IT Youth Award from the Singapore Computer Society (2005) 
- Global Ambassador for Cyber Security (National Telecom Awards 2011, Government of India)
- Global Shaper, World Economic Forum 
- DEF CON 20 Security Charlatan of the year. (This is not a positive endorsement).
- "Fadia, Ankit 1985-". WorldCat. Retrieved 2012-09-21.
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- Ratna Bhushan (21 October 2012). "Flying Machine endorsement: Ethical Hacker Fadia replaces Abhishek Bacchan". The Economic Times. Retrieved 2013-03-01.
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- 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.
- MiD DAY (8 December 2009). "Is Ankit Fadia selling Viagra?". Archived from the original on 13 December 2009. Retrieved 2013-02-26.
- Eduard Kovacs (12 September 2012). "Ankit Fadia's site Suspended After Being Hacked by Ganster". Softpedia. Retrieved 2013-02-26.
- "Tech Toyz Hacking Special Episode Part III". 10 August 2011.
- "VJs, Music, Videos, Blogs, Games, Wallpapers, Interviews, Performances, Shows, Fun and more". MTV India. Archived from the original on 21 November 2009. Retrieved 2012-01-08.
- "Dell India in association with Ankit Fadia presents "Unzipped: By Dell and Ankit Fadia". India Infoline News Service. Retrieved 2012-09-21.
- "Dell India in association with Ankit Fadia presents "Unzipped: By Dell and Ankit Fadia". EFYTimes.com. Retrieved 2012-09-21.
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- "MEDIA RELEASE IT LEADER AWARDS 2012" (PDF). Singapore Computer Society. Retrieved 2014-09-23.
- The CMAI 5th National Awards. Cmaievents.com (2011-06-08). Retrieved on 2013-08-02.
- "Ankit Fadia|World Economic Forum: Global Shapers". World Economic Forum. Retrieved 2014-09-23.
- Clarification on Appointment of Brand Ambassadors. Ministry of Communications & Information Technology, 29 September 2015.