The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Teen hacker tips to net web vandals

Hyderabad, April 21: Ankit Fadia is one of a rare breed — hackers who are putting their talent to use against cyber offenders.

The 17-year-old whizkid from Delhi is now setting up a school of ethical hacking in Hyderabad, offering courses in tackling cyber security problems. The courses, ranging from one week to three months, will help software professionals and network administrators plug loopholes in their systems. The fees will be between Rs 25,000 to 1.5 lakh, he said.

Ankit runs an infotech firm, E2 Labs, which provides security solutions, in partnership with 28-year-old Zaki Quereshy. He has also put up a portal, where one can register cyber crimes to receive assistance.

“I will operate as a private investigating agency,” said Ankit, who has appeared for the Plus II CBSE board examination from Delhi Public School. He already counts prestigious institutions like the FBI, the Nasa and the CBI as his clients.

The computer whiz also helped the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre to rejuvenate its website after it was hacked into and defaced by Pakistanis.

Speaking about the damage done by hackers in India, Ankit said every day, 50 to 60 Indian websites are hacked by Pakistanis. “With the pace of digitisation picking up, the Indian software industry is an easy prey for hackers.”

Ankit, the son a Delhi-based CPWD engineer Jayaprakash Fadia, burst into the limelight at the tender age of 14 as an ethical hacker.

He broke through firewalls and hacked into several networks, including some banks, and then approached the network owners and educated them on how to plug the loopholes and save their systems from criminal hackers.

“Think like a thief to catch the thieves,” seems to be the watchword of Ankit, who is set to join her sister, Ami, who is studying chemical engineering in Chicago, to pursue a course in computer science. “I have offers from three universities, I am yet to decide,” he said.

E2 Labs has signed an MoU with the Andhra Pradesh forensic laboratory to help with cyber cases. “With our offices at Banjara hills, we will be able to offer solutions for a variety of problems faced by the state government in the initial days of e-governance,” said Zaki, CEO of E2 Labs.

But he is disappointed with the overall response from the pro-digital campaigners in the state. “We have left several e-mail messages and proposals with the decision-makers in the Chandrababu Naidu regime. So far, we have not received any response,” said Zaki.

They had also expected assistance in the form of land for setting up the ethical hacking school, which did not come their way.

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