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Ankit Fadia at ACE 01

“How would you like to switch off your friend’s PC with just a click of your mouse sitting a few kilometers away from his place? Or turn on your friend’s webcam without his knowledge and catch him totally unaware? Sounds quite cool and almost unbelievable eh…? Well, if you thought this was a mere whim or a fantasy of a youngster, think again”, were the exact words by Suraj to his friends when he got to know of Ankit Fadia’s visit to ACE Engineering College .

Students of ACE Engineering College were treated to an almost breath taking spectacle on the 23rd of July, 2009 when the ‘Guru’ of hacking, Ankit Fadia demonstrated a few examples of how easy and realistic hacking was. The students and faculty alike were spell bound by the demo. By using a simple yet a very effective language, Ankit Fadia not only demonstrated the steps to be taken to counter measured cyber attacks, stalking, crime, but also demonstrated a few live demonstrations by hacking the BSNL website and also cracking a few passwords of IM users. Everyone was so thrilled by these demos that they just wanted the seminar to go on and on. The seminar began at 2.00 p.m in the conference hall of the college. Many banners, hoardings welcome flags had been erected in the morning to welcome the maestro.

A festive atmosphere gripped the whole college on the day he was scheduled to come. Those, who hadn’t heard of Ankit Fadia simply ‘Coogled’ his name and were quite amazed to get more than 10 pages worth of information related to him. So absorbing were these facts that almost the entire college got to know of his latest breaks, career, his works and other stuff related to him. Classes were suspended on the day he was to arrive in the college as the students had to register with the authorities before the program could commence. Such was the enthusiasm and anticipation that the registrations continued up to 1.30 p.m. However, the students of ECE and EEE were more than disappointed as this session was only for IT, CSE and MCA students. This didn’t deter them from sneaking from the backdoor and listening to the seminar once regular classes were finished.

Ankit Fadia arrived at the college at around 2.10 p.m in a sleek, black Mercedes Benz. Quite a few heads turned to catch a glimpse of the suave car. Dressed in casuals, Ankit Fadia entered the hall to a tumultuous applause from the crowd gathered there. The seminar began with the lighting up of a lamp by the college Principal, Secretary, Ankit Fadia and the Vice President of Reliance mobiles Hyderabad. An introduction of Ankit Fadia was given by Sreenesh Reddy of IT, 3rd year, highlighting the importance of Ankit Fadia to the world and his achievements so far. Then the stage was handed over to the icon himself, Ankit Fadia. He began the proceedings on a rather somber note by explaining the serious misuse of the internet prevalent among the youth now.

Making a point. Credit:

Making a point. Credit:

To everyone’s horror, he went on to explain how a few teenagers got carried away by their prowess in hacking and ended up blackmailing a lady with pornographic images and other vulgar content. Also giving out a few examples, he told everyone about how a fifteen year old, sitting in his home, hacked the NASA website and leaked out precious information on the internet. “All of this was done out of sheer curiosity and a certain amount of innocence and we should exercise caution with curiosity”, was the stern yet valuable advice from Ankit Fadia. A few basic and obvious tips like never giving out our IP address, credit card numbers and other information to others over the internet was repeatedly stressed upon the gathering making it apparent that every person, however smart he/she may be, is gullible to fall prey to internet fraud and hackers.

Moving on, he actually gave everyone a true insight into what hacking was and if it really was so hard to crack codes and get access to blocked sites and accounts. The answer to this is both a yes and a no. It is ridiculously easy, once you get a hang of things like opening a proxy site and bypassing the main server. But it also is not as easy as it sounds, as most of the administrators have started to think a bit ahead of the hackers and making the task all the more difficult for them. The way he explained the rules and tricks of hacking was truly brilliant because he spoke in such a good language that even a computer illiterate person began to learn hacking in that session.

The seminar was so eventful and enjoyable that, rarely did anyone enjoy a seminar to such an extent in the college. Even the regular ‘seminar bunkers’ were spotted to be taking down notes as Ankit Fadia kept changing screens. Vivek Chavan, a 3rd year student of ACE Engineering College said that he came to the college only to hear the seminar instead of bunking the college on that day as was his earlier plan. He says that the seminar was more than excellent and he was glad that he didn’t miss this lecture.

Ankit Fadia finished off the proceedings in a grand style by going on to hack the BSNL server in front of the whole gathering and making his phone bill come to 0.00. A wild applause followed this sensational piece of hacking. A few students actually began to ask him to change their telephone bills, but Ankit chastised them in a friendly manner saying that it was only a demo and things like that shouldn’t be entertained by anyone. The lecture came to end at 4.30 p.m and for the first time the students were quite disappointed for a lecture to come to an end.

Everyone was on their feet to give Ankit Fadia a thundering applause and it went on for quite a while. Even when the students were going back to their home, they just couldn’t stop discussing what they had witnessed and wondering if they could really crack any password or websites.

Even though Ankit has managed to have many speaking engagements, it is surprising that he has not made it to Black hat conference which is considered to be THE HACKERS CONFERENCE.

Also from Wikipedia :

Authenticity of claims

According to Wendy McAuliffe at ZDNet UK, Fadia’s Hacking Truths website was judged “second best hacking site” by the FBI, though no ranked list of “hacking sites” has been published by the FBI.[3]

In 2006, Chennai Online reported that Fadia’s consulting clients included several of the largest technology and financial services companies in the world. No other source corroborates that report; were it true, Fadia’s client list would exceed that of many of the largest independent security consultancies. The same article reported Fadia’s involvement in decrypting a message from an Al Qaeda operative; no other source corroborates that claim, nor does any of Fadia’s published work involve cryptography or cryptanalysis.[6][12][13]

In April 2002, Rediff.com published an interview[14] with Ankit Fadia. Anti-India Crew (AIC), a Pakistani hacker group noted for defacing Indian Government websites, rubbished the claims that Fadia had made in the interview. Fadia had claimed that his alert to a U.S. spy agency had prevented an attack by Pakistani hackers. However, he never divulged the name of the agency, citing security reasons.[4] AIC and another Pakistani hacker group WFD defaced an Indian Government site, epfindia.gov.in, and “dedicated” it to Fadia in mock deference to his capabilities to hack or prevent hacking.[15][16] AIC also said that it would be defacing the website of the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC), www.cbec.gov.in, within two days and challenged Fadia to prevent the attack by patching the vulnerable website. AIC maintained that Fadia should stop calling himself a hacker, if it succeeded in hacking the CBEC website.[15] AIC kept its promise and defaced the CBEC website after two days. At another defaced website (bhelhyd.co.in), AIC termed the claims of Indian media about Ankit Fadia as “Bullshit”[17].

Some security experts in India dismissed him as just another fad[18]. Ankit Fadia is listed on attrition.org’s Security Scene Errata: Charlatans webpage alongside individuals such as Steve Gibson and Carolyn Meinel. This page seeks to “point out a few cases of fakes walking among us[19][20].

Fadia’s earlier site, Ankitfadia.com, was attacked in 2003, by a cracker who self-identified as SkriptKiddie. Fadia explained that he was using a private web server for hosting his website and they were responsible for the lack of security. AnkitFadia.org maintains a set of documents questioning the veracity of many of Fadia’s claims.

Note : Since part of the article is a replication of Wikipedia article, this particular article is to be considered Creative Commons with attribution license.

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