'I oppose banning of websites'

TECH TALK

Cyber security expert Ankit Fadia penned a book on hacking at 14 when most children of his age did not even have access to a computer.

Hacking king : Ankit Fadia

Since then there has been no looking back for this independent computer security consultant.

Reminiscing the journey, Ankit says he developed an interest in hacking computer as it is always tempting to eat the forbidden fruit. “I got a computer at home when I was 10.

Immediately, I developed a love for technology. The forbidden fruit always seems attractive and I guess that is why I got interested in the field of hacking,” recalls the techie, who was given the award of ‘Global Ambassador for Cyber Security’ by the government last year. He was also selected as a Global Shaper for his achievements by the World Economic Forum in November last year.

However, all this success has not gone to the 28-year-old ethical hacker’s head. “While all of this can be very heady, I am aware of what is really important to me and what is permanent like my family, friends and passion for my work,” says Ankit, an alumni of Delhi Public School and Stanford University.

Ankit, who held the title of India’s youngest cyber security expert for some time, has never taken up any formal education in computer studies or ethical hacking. But he always took his studies seriously. “Everything that I have learnt in the field of computer security is through self study, experimentation and research. When I started out, there were no books or courses available on ethical hacking which is why I wrote my first book,” he tells Metrolife.

Presently based in Mumbai and New York, Ankit offered a job to someone who recently hacked his website. “A few weeks ago, an individual managed to break into my website and sent me his resume. I am now giving him a job in my company. This is a fantastic way for me to source talented ethical hackers. A website getting hacked without the knowledge of the owner is something different from what I am doing,” he informs.

In his latest book ‘How to Unblock Everything On The Internet’, Ankit doles out tips on viewing blocked websites. He is completely against government’s attempts of banning or monitoring social networking sites and hopes that India does not go the China way. “I strongly oppose any kind of blocking or banning of websites.

The Chinese government has hired more than 40,000 people whose job is to simply block websites on the internet. I really hope India does not go the Chinese way. Even if the government does so, now through my latest book people all across India will be able to unblock websites,” he claims.

“It is time that the government looks at social networking websites as an asset and not a liability. There are so many positive uses of social networking websites which we need to harness,” he believes.

So what does this ethical hacker like to do when he is not working? “Travel,” he is quick to answer. “Nothing gives me more pleasure than travelling,” he adds. His biggest hobby is to explore new places, culture, food, people and lifestyle.

He has set the target of visiting 100 countries in ten years. And target does not seem very far away as Ankit has already been to 99 countries. “The first time I ever went abroad was in September 2002. So the ten years are coming to an end. So far I have been to 99 countries,” expresses Ankit.

Ankit is also into consulting and does training programmes as well. He aims to write a novel with a plot revolving around cyber terrorism or hacking and may even turn that into a movie. Joining the league of various celebrities, he also wishes to start his own restaurant.

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