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BOOKED ONLINE: Ankit Fadia. Photo: K Ramesh Babu
LOG ON. Hack in. Go anywhere. Steal everything. "No more," quips in 17-year old Ankit Fadia.
"It's mission impossible now," he concurs. Ankit has reasons. And we have reasons to believe the youngster.
Workers at ground zero had just started carting away the WTC rubble when a top-secret US security agency tracked down Ankit Fadia.
What did they want with this young boy - a New Delhi native? The Federal agents suspected that Osama Bin Laden and his terrorist network were using Steganography to communicate with each other.
They wanted Ankit to decode the subterfuge. "I sent them everything I knew... how Steganography works, how to detect and decrypt hidden data et al," says the internationally acclaimed hacker-cracker.
Three international bestsellers on Network security and data protection have made Ankit the youngest author in the 110-year history of Macmillan publishers.
His unmatched skills in the field of computer security makes this effusive 12th standard DPS, R.K. Puram student a much-sought after man, by the FBI and other international and Indian intelligence agencies, defence departments, government organisations and private enterprises, just to name a few, for solutions or decryption.
Currently, the wonder-kid is offering consultancy services for a top-secret US intelligence agency, under directions from FBI.
Ankit was here in Hyderabad recently, to give a presentation on computer security and data protection to top-level police officials and IIIT students.
"Pakistanis have already hacked the AP Government site on several occasions. They may try again in case we leave loose ends in the Network security programme. Exposure about cyber crimes and an intense training should be given to officials manning the network, to thwart such attempts in future," he advises.
Ankit is ready to offer his services, if need be.
ALL EARS: Ankit addresses the police on cyber crime.
What did it take for the cricket-crazy lad to become whiz kid in cyber crime?
"I was always interested in computers and hacking was particularly intriguing. I would always wonder how does one hack... I wanted to become one, actually," he says forthrightly.
"I brought down all books related to hacking, scanned the Net for every bit of information and then began a year of serious study. By the end of it, I knew everything about IP addresses, scanning, fingerprinting and securing protocols, encryption algorithms, file security, decryption and detection, amongst others."
"I knew I could hack any system, steal any secret, from my 966 MHz desktop. But that's what a hacker does. I wanted to be different. So, I became a cracker - a person who thwarts hacking attempts. There aren't too many of them around the globe," says Ankit.
"Inclination and dedication is all what took for my success. Not very difficult... anybody can do it," he adds.
To whom does he ascribe his success? `The Simpsons' - his favourite on the telly and the stars on the night sky, for giving him strength and knowledge. He has his reasons. Attaboy Ankit. Way to go.
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