Google is the best tool to commit a crime: Ankit Fadia5 min read
Ankit Fadia is one of the best ethical hacker and computer security consultants of India. Fadia got into the field of hacking when he was eleven years old. He made his first hack at the age of 14 when he thrashed the front page of an Indian magazine’s website. Fame touched him when he wrote his first book on Ethical hacking at the age of 15 and became the youngest author to be published by Macmillan India. He has launched a show on MTV with VJ Jose named What the Hack! He has more than ten books to his name and currently provides security solutions across various countries. Fadia also runs a certificate course named Ankit Fadia Certified Ethical Hacker (AFCEH) along with reliance info.
In a telephonic interview given to TMJ, Ankit Fadia talks about Ethical Hacking, cyber security concerns in India, his upcoming plans and lots more.
Q: The word ‘Ethics’ is not stagnant. So how do you incorporate this word ‘Ethics’ with Hacking?
A: Computer security has two types of people – hackers and crackers. Hackers are good people whereas Crackers are bad. But all these years because of the media the hackers have been given a different connotation. So to differentiate between the two this term ‘ethical hacking’ has been introduced. Here you have the knowledge of a criminal; you are ethical and don’t misuse your knowledge and use it for good purposes.
Q: India has constantly been a victim of cyber crimes. Do you think it is the casual attitude of the cyber security departments or the lack of resources to tackle such situations?
A: Though India is the IT capital of the world but as far as security is concerned India is far lagging behind. The awareness of average internet users about cyber crimes is quite limited. India has very good cyber laws but the implementation is very poor. The police are not trained adequately enough to tackle cyber crime investigations.
Q: Cyber War seems to be the word that has supplanted Nuclear War. How do you think India can prepare itself from this with rivalries like China and Pakistan pinging it from both ends?
A: I think for the past ten years it has been an ongoing cyber terrorism war between India and Pakistan. Everyday you have Pakistan terrorists hacking about 50 Indian websites, whereas in return India has been able to hack only about 10 to 15 Pakistan websites. I don’t say retaliation is the answer but that just tells you how poor India is in Cyber Security. The solution is only to introduce courses in Cyber Security and ethical hacking and train the Police personnel’s properly.
Q: How do you handle claims and statements of black hat hacker groups like Anti-India Crew (AIC) and WFD against you?
A: Well I was working with CBI in some case and because of my research many members of this Pakistani group AIC was arrested as well. So they hacked into Indian website and challenged me to stop it. But I am not responsible for the security of all the Indian websites. Also certain amount of jealousy and envy comes in when these criminals see me doing all this in the public eye and getting all the attention.
Q: There was news a few years back of you going to write a thriller book on the lines of Digital Fortress. How far has the work been carried out?
A: Well I had wanted to do this for a very long time. But I have absolutely no time due to the multiple works I have been involved with. I want to write a fictional novel and I have already talked to production houses to make it into a movie. So whenever there is time I would definitely want to do it.
Q: Almost all your books and especially your book ‘The Unofficial Guide to Ethical Hacking’ have earned you the tag of Bestselling Author and your books are used as reference books in many prestigious universities. How do you think these books are making a difference in the world and in what manner?
A: Well when I wrote my first book, I guess there were no other books available on ethical hacking. So I think it has made people think of ‘Ethical Hacking’ as a topic. So a normal person can read these books and get into hacking and can use protection strategies against them.
Q: Don’t you think certificate courses like (Ankit Fadia Certified Ethical hacking) AFCEH of yours can be misused if wanted, as the ethical motive of a person changes from time to time?
A: Well certainly yes they can be misused. When we thought of starting this course we approached the ministry and they agreed to it. They gave us certain pointers that we should follow. So we make every participant sign a legal document and we pass it on to the government. Also we make teach them the Cyber Laws in our course so that they are aware of the consequences. But to be honest if anyone wants to commit a crime they don’t need to join my course, they always have Google with them and it is the best tool of committing a crime.
Q: To what extent do you think social networking websites are affected in context with hacking and what are the probable steps that can be taken by a normal user to prevent it to an extent?
A: The latest form of viruses and spam happen on social networking websites like facebook and twitter. Since most of the people spend a lot of time on it, it has become a safe ground for all these viruses to spread since there are a lot of pop ups in many of the applications. So I think people should know that even these places can have viruses, spam and worms, etc.
Sub-edited by: Divya Lad