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FEATURES/Beyond Business | Feb 26, 2013 | 204778 views

Ankit Fadia Revealed

Unearthing some facts about Ankit Fadia
Ankit Fadia Revealed
Image: Mustafa Quraishi for Forbes India

Dear Ankit Fadia,

First of all, I’d like to place my unconditional apologies on the record. In fact, before I started to write you this letter, I promised my colleagues these pages will be used to crucify and call your bluff before your 16th book on computer security hits the shelves a few months from now.

These apologies come with the awareness that it will cost me friendships I have cultivated for years in the dark corridors of the internet where people like me lurk and are known to each other only by our nicknames.

For a very long time, I’ve despised you as a charlatan. There used to be a time when I thought you a script kiddie, or a skiddie if you will. You know what comprises those types—plagiarists who pass off software programs developed by others as their own. That is why on every forum that matters, I’ve rubbished your credentials as a hacker of any merit. I’ve openly accused you of shameless self promotion. And each time you appeared on television shows or in print as one of the most prominent experts on computing and security in the world, I’ve laughed my backside off. I told everybody who cared to listen you’re nothing but a bag of gas, whose reputation was built by shoddy journalists that eagerly lapped up the tall stories you doled out.

Like I told you the other day, I thought it impossible how the books you’ve authored until now could possibly have managed to sell 25 million copies. I thought it completely ridiculous on your part to claim you were contacted by American “intelligence agencies” for help to decipher an encrypted email sent by Al Qaida operatives post 9/11.

But after an email interview and five hours of talking the other day, all I have to say is mea culpa. You are perhaps one of the smartest 27-year-olds I’ve met in all my years in journalism. And I’m willing to bet every rupee I have you’ll go a very long way because you’re twice as smart as CEOs I know who are twice your age—and that you are exponentially smarter than I am.

My interaction with you taught me a few lessons that I won’t forget and ones I’m sure people in the C-suite will do well to imbibe.

          
Lesson #1: Brand
If I were to compare myself to where you are, I think I’d be a wretched failure. I mean, at age 40, if I were to go out and advertise something called the Charles Assisi Certified Course in Journalism, I’d be laughed out of the room. But here you are—a strapping 27-year-old, whom people pay Rs 12,000 to get a certificate that proclaims them an Ankit Fadia Certified Ethical Hacker (AFCEH).

Until you told me, I didn’t know there was anything that prevents me from issuing a certificate of any kind. But for the certificate to have any value in anybody’s hands, the name ought to be a brand. That is why you assiduously go about building your personal brand, work longer hours than most people I know, and refuse to lurk in the shadows. Instead, like you told me, you come out into the open, speak a language most people understand, and have even trademarked your name.

I must concede you are an articulate speaker. Your name is perhaps what most lay people now associate with ‘hacker’. This, in spite of you admitting to me, you consider yourself just a decent hacker, not a good or excellent one. There are others, who by your admission are better at it than you. It’s just that they choose to live in obscurity while you refuse to do that. Because end of the day, you need to have money in your pocket to make a decent living for yourself and visit every country in the world before you die.

I get what you’re trying to say. I don’t have a single book to my name, let alone translations of any of the few hundred articles I have written in my years. I don’t get paid by the thousands of rupees for every hour of my time to talk about computing in packed halls. I don’t travel 20 days every month offering my services across 104 countries. You pulled your passport and letters from various companies to prove your credentials. Who am I to question that? No police chief has ever called me to talk to their people on anything, but they lap up everything you say, and you have pictures and certificates to prove your claim.

Ankit Fadia Revealed
Image: Mustafa Quraishi for Forbes India

 

      
Lesson #2: Hold

It was sometime last year that I asked one of my former colleagues, Anirvan Ghosh, to connect with you and try to find what makes you tick. You were happy to talk and even posed for some pictures that are published on these pages. You told him you first captured popular imagination when you were just 13 and hacked the website of CHIP , the popular technology magazine, now published by Infomedia18, a subsidiary of Network18, the company I work for.

As your story goes, after you defaced CHIP, you felt guilty and wrote to the editor telling him you were responsible for the act. The gentleman apparently called you up and said somebody as talented as you ought to be working for CHIP. When you confessed you were only 13, the editor asked you to wait until you turn 18 and then sign up with him.

I fell off my chair when Anirvan recounted the anecdote to me. I used to be the editor of CHIP and know the magazine’s website was never defaced. Nor do I remember offering you a job. Like I told you earlier, those were the days I thought you a skiddie.

Just to make sure, I called my predecessor Gourav Jaswal. He was founding editor of CHIP India and is a man I respect enormously. He now runs the not-for-profit Synapse Foundation. Gourav sounded mildly amused and said nothing like this happened during his stint either.

But because you insisted, I called the very amiable Marco D’Souza, who took over at CHIP after I left. He now runs a firm called Spotmygadget.com and blogs for Forbes India. Marco, whom all of us know as the quiet geeky kind, guffawed loudly. He couldn’t believe his ears either. But I didn’t want to give up on you. So I called up my friends Ludwig Blaha and Wolfgang Su, both of whom used to be based out of Munich, CHIP magazine’s international headquarters. The two were once responsible for CHIP’s international editions. They denied knowledge of any such episode.

When I wrote to you the other day with this question, you offered to come over to my office right away and talk about it. As much as I tried to probe you, you held your ground and insisted you had hacked the website.

I like how you did that with a straight face. There is nothing I have on record to prove you didn’t, other than my word and those of others whom I respect. You had no evidence either to prove you actually hacked and our discussion came to an impasse. I gave up and told myself, this is one hellava’ tough nut to crack.

           
Lesson #3: Exaggerate
Last year, you told Anirvan 25 million copies of your books have been sold. And of these, your first book alone sold eight million copies. I told you what that means is that at age 13, you managed to sell as many copies of your first book as JK Rowling, Dan Brown and Steig Larsson put together sold with their first book in the United Kingdom. I thought it ludicrous and told you that in as many words. But you didn’t blink. Instead, you told me I’m referring only to the UK and that your books are translated into many languages and sold across many countries. You also told me that your books are parcelled as textbooks as well and consumed by students. Technically, textbooks aren’t counted as “sale of books” by any publisher and that I ought to factor that in as well. When pushed harder, you refused to back down. Instead, you told me it is common practice in publishing and television to exaggerate sales or ratings; that publishers often invent ingenious ways to account for sales of a book; and that the numbers “quoted in the media may be marginally exaggerated”. But you didn’t back off. You held your ground and once again, it was impasse.

          
Lesson #4: Evade
I looked up your claim that has been reported by practically every newspaper, magazine and radio station in the country on how you helped the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to crack an email that came from the Al Qaida. Every security expert I spoke to laughed because nobody could figure how a then 15-year-old could understand what takes clusters of supercomputers to decipher. Nobody even knows which American agency asked you to do a job their best people couldn’t execute. To your credit, you didn’t duck the question. You told me you never claimed the FBI asked you to do it. Your version is that all you said was some “intelligence agencies” from the US contacted you. Journalists threw in their two bits and claimed you were contacted by the FBI. You told yourself, if somebody wants to tell the world that FBI contacted you, why should you go out of your way to deny it if it works to your advantage? You proved to me you ought to know when to shut up.

But you did claim the Indian Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) contacted you to help with a case they were having trouble with. When pressed, you didn’t have any evidence to prove your claim. We reached an impasse again.

 

       
Lesson #5: Pursue
I told you, you’ve got the devil’s luck. You told me luck comes only to those who pursue it. To give me but one instance, you told me your publisher thought it would be a great idea if a certain prominent television personality (whom you asked me not to name) were to endorse your upcoming book.

Question was who would ask him? You wrote to the gentleman’s publicist and was asked to wait. As luck would have it, you saw him at an airport, being mobbed for autographs. Most people would’ve been intimidated asking him for a favour then. For a few minutes you thought whether it made sense going up to him and asking if he would be kind enough to read your book and endorse it. You told me you did it because you had nothing to lose if he didn’t agree. When you mentioned your name, he instantly got who you are and agreed to read your book. He may or may not endorse it. But nobody can take away from the fact you gave it everything you got.

           
Lesson #6: Empathise
To understand your methods better, I looked up your talks. I heard with rapt attention on Youtube.com your talk at a college in Calicut, Kerala, on how to bypass network administrators at your college or workplace if they block certain websites. The “hack” you offered I thought was rather quaint in that it is an old one, but there are the young ones who always fall for it.

Go to Anonymizer.com and type in the blocked URL. In a few seconds, the blocked site opens up because Anonymizer works by hiding the Internet Protocol (IP) address of the site you’re looking for. Usually, network administrators are dumb and haven’t heard of this tool. If they’re smart though, they’ll block Anonymizer.com as well. But there’s a “hack” for that as well. Just go to Anonymizer.ru. Most network administrators have no idea that a website with the same address but routed through Russia exists and you can get to where you want to. Because, you say, Russian hackers are the real deal.

I nodded my head in appreciation at how your listeners applauded the “hack”. When I asked you how that constitutes a hack, you told me it isn’t a hack. And that you never claimed it was a hack. Instead, it was part of a series of talks for general audiences not acquainted with computing—as an introduction. It’s just that you put it across in a manner that is accessible to everybody. If people throng to listen to you talk on that, why hang you for that? Damn right you are. You empathise with people and give them what they want. Isn’t that what every business ought to be doing?

          
Lesson #7: Court
I’ve written this piece in the first person because it’s something I’ve learnt from you. By writing in the first person, there is a good chance your “clients” may consider paying me as well to “train” their employees on network security. When I questioned you hard on whether some of the more respectable names in technology did indeed consult you on basic subjects, you were blunt and told me how surprised I will be at how poor levels of awareness are in many technology companies. And that if they compelled their people to work on their skills, they wouldn’t. But if it came from you, they would listen. Because for all these years, with single-minded persistence, you have gone about building a brand for yourself. It’s come to a point where you cannot be ignored and that you’ve worked very hard to get to where you are.

Most CEOs I know aren’t anywhere close to what you are at building and monetising a brand out of thin air. I’m not trying to mock you here. Instead, I’m awestruck at the genius you’ve deployed in getting to where you are without being anywhere close to the real hackers I know who whine and cringe each time your name is mentioned, but for a good part live in obscurity and penury.

Like I said, I take back everything I’ve said of you in the past. On the contrary, I’d be delighted to engage in more conversations with you and understand better how businesses ought to be run. How you evolve is something I will watch with keen interest.

As for your disarmingly charming question on whether or not you can write a regular column on technology for Forbes India, I promise to check with my editor and get back to you.

Until then, please accept my best wishes and compliments for a job well done.

mg_69041_charles_280x210.jpg



This article appeared in the Forbes India magazine of 08 March, 2013
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Comments (185)
Saurabh Singh Apr 10, 2014
frank william abagnale spotted . only this time there is no handratty
Saurabh Feb 20, 2014
Well I Know How You Are Feeling Charles. I am not much of an AF fan either. But guess what, Successful Brands often market themselves more effectively as compared to the smaller ones.

Thats where AF wins and We guys Loose.

Thanks,
Saurabh Kelkar
Das Dec 31, 2013
I m in full support of Ankit Fadia
If u try to learn ethical hacking frm google or internet for free it is a lot boring time consuming and a hardwork
but still he had the guts to study
phir phokat me fame aur money mill raha hai to wo ullu hi kehlata agar chor deta!!!!
why r u media people acting smart u also gained when u focused him aur aab time aaya to badnami!!!!
karle jo karna hai kuch ukhad nahi paiga!!!

and i know my comment wont be published!!!!
Darkgod007.5 Dec 16, 2013
All I wanted to look up was an Autograph to verify the signed copy of his "Unnofficial Guide to Ethical Hacking" I just laid my hands on.....and now, I find out, to my bone crunching disappointment that the guy's a FAKE!

Even the autograph is a Fake.
I feel sick. The contents are outdated. I traded my C primer for a fake Fadia book. I think the only thing one masters from this book is deception. Nothing ethical about it. A lie-monger who teaches to lie.

He's Just a Baba among Babas in India who dream up of non-existent treasures to grab media attention. And unsurprisingly, the media of the same litter as those Babas gives them undeserved Coverage.
Dev Nov 25, 2013
Let's suppose this guy helped the FBI:

He'd have been killed and the FBI would've denied any connections with him. (They don't acknowledge any connections with him anyway).

nuff said.
Raman Oct 26, 2013
You know the old saying... Wherever there are fools there will be someone to fool them!
Harsha Dutta Oct 18, 2013
The guy is a fraud...Please donot buy his books
Rahul Sep 21, 2013
Being a computer science student, I was taking much interest on AF.but when i read this article by charles assisi.i can give 1 conclusion is that -HE IS A GOOD BUSINESS ADMINISTRATOR
Gaurav Sharma Sep 19, 2013
Transparency is increasing in this world..People who try to perpetuate myths will struggle to keep their narratives afloat amid a sea of newly informed audiences...This is just a beginning..
Mr Saha Sep 19, 2013
Yes, AF is a fraudster. Then CHIP also made money by teaching people how to change screensavers. People must not forget that when AF was 13, there was no google, only few could afford dial ups, unix/dos was awesome stuff and SSHing/telnetting sounded hebrew to many. At that era Writing a book on network security, that too at the age of 13 is a marvelous feat. Whether or not AF grew as a great hacker is a different question all together and though he may not be the best Indian hacker alive, still only a over-jealous person will denounce his achievements.
Response to Mr Saha:
Mannu Oct 6, 2013
:| google began in march 1996
Response to Mannu:
Kanishk Singh Nov 26, 2013
Google was founded in 1998, Mannu. Mr.Saha, you claim there WAS no Google back then, but He wrote the book when he was 15 so that means around 1999/2000 when Google was up and running. Anyways, the question is not which search engine was used but his book was mostly plagiarized content and no one can deny that. And his only achievement according to me is to con people.
Response to Mr Saha:
Sundar Jan 21, 2014
He knew some tricks at the age of 14 or 15 which was amazing , but he is not updated. which remained him as a script kiddie.
Saheli.de Sep 19, 2013
I feel cheated ! I myself attended a workshop by him.

thank you for the reality !
Koundinya Goparaju Sep 19, 2013
This guy even came to our college and told the same stuff about anonymizer.ru and blah blah.. He sucks big time!!!
Aneeq Sep 18, 2013
Its kind of ironic that you made grammatical errors while trying to point out the fallacies in someone else's work.
Rahul Ghose Sep 6, 2013
Loved the post. Made me happy. We needed such a clincher.
Wow Aug 25, 2013
just wow!
I remember some of my CS classmates gulping down that sh** this Fadia guy wrote. Way to go! Fool more people, make more money. Business as usual.
Krishna Sahu Aug 18, 2013
awesome post this post achieved what me and friends can't. since, i myself being a hacker (not a famous guy like snowden, or Rafay Baloch), from the beginning I've tried to revel the ankit fadia false claim regarding hacking and how it ethical hacking certificate loots people across India where hacking practice is not so common. do a youtube search and you know that most seminar and college speech given by him are either tips and tricks mostly available on the internet like it this post of Forbes India itself where he tried to achieve the status of being a hacker by associating surfing the internet anonymously or accessing blocked website which can be achieved by visiting hidemyass.com and several other proxy servers around the world. tried to gain popularity by every possible means to my fancy i even discovered that there was show dedicated with him on mtv titled what the hack. his youtube channel trailer video tried to impersonate him as cyber guru, hacker, entrepreneur, youth icon.
but to my knowledge he is just a fake guy who rose to fame selling a ethical hacking certificate to people making them think that they are now hackers. but instead just think a person who himself cannot hack then how do you expect him to teach you to hack. just one thing to my fellow Indians just do shell out hard earned money to his bullshit certificate instead start with the basics computer programming language will be a added advantage instead refer rafay baloch blog on hacking.
Response to Krishna Sahu:
Vinod Nov 28, 2013
Actually Edward Snowden was not a Hacker, He disclosed the classified documents to the press he literally didn't hack anything. You Actually need to know "George Hotz" he is one of the best Hacker(known to the media and the world) there are anonymous hackers...But what he achieved at age of 13 was just Astonishing Developed JAILBREAK software for APPLE devices..Now Recently Hacked PS3 Firmware .:D being sued by Sony. ..Great Article,@Charles Assisi, But Right know he is studying in Internet Security or CS (i dnt know exact the course) "STANFORD UNIVERSITY."..:O ..come on man this is also a lie!!! ???I was thinking that AF was simply genius he came on NDTV for many debates about hacking .but now :/ ...A Fadia.hosted.TV show on .MTV What the hack? but now after reading this article i m like what the ***?
Response to Krishna Sahu:
Riz Dec 10, 2013
Haha u a hacker? lol. u dont even know who snowden is lolooololololoolol
Jonny Aug 6, 2013
There's no end to what people can accomplish when they feel no remorse. Sociopaths and psychopaths have quite an advantage over the rest of us who have to live with a conscience.
Manu Siddhartha Jul 20, 2013
Awesome article This is my dream from my childood to meet Ankit Fadia and do ANKIT FADIA ETHICAL HACKING Course . Coz i want to learn about cyber security and apply my knowledge for the security of my country.
Response to Manu Siddhartha:
Waseem Aug 4, 2013
Hey Manu, did you really read the article?
Response to Manu Siddhartha:
Swapnil Dhaigude Oct 10, 2013
Manu read artical first then comment...what u r talking..doesn't make any sense :(
Response to Manu Siddhartha:
Harsh Oct 18, 2013
The guy knows nothing about hacking let alone "Ethical Hacking"... Google "Ethical Hacking" and you will become more knowledgeable than Fadia
Abhinav Jul 13, 2013
It seems a case of plagarism...

Who can be such an expert in 2 or 3 years.
Really seems impossible
Thesubgenius Jul 7, 2013
Well you know he's lying as soon as he claims to decrypt an email from Al-Qaida considering it's already been exposed that Al-Qaida was never real and merely a creation of the CIA to get the phony war on terrorism started so that they could build up the police state that they are currently building....
Zap Linaki Jun 30, 2013
This is a really well written article and even though I hate everything Ankit Fadia stands, I'd be stupid not to admit that he has created something none of us could. I have the same kind of respect for him that I have for Arindham Chaudhari. It's the same kind of respect I have for any conman. I admire their work but I despise them for it. They built their business by spreading misinformation and spinning lies and they ought to be punished for this. Sadly though, they have paved the way for many more like them and a tough path lies ahead for people who are trying to stop their kind.

zap
Response to Zap Linaki:
Waseem Aug 4, 2013
Zep, exactly my thoughts!
You voiced them!
Anon Jun 29, 2013
Whoever thinks he is fraud just think about what the writer was doing when he was 14. Think about what you were doing when fading was writing a book. He at least had the knowledge to write a book at the age of 14 when most of the commenters here and probably the writer might not even know what unix is when they were 14. If you had the same knowledge of java, as you have today, 20 years ago you would have been a millionaire today.
Response to Anon:
Parokshax Aug 5, 2013
The article is not about the readers. It is not the right method to do a comparative study with the readers capability, every one have their own strengths in their respective domain but if one goes around saying things which aren't true and if those statements impact other people in either way, good or bad, then it is something which need to be considered with serious attention. Because even if it is goodness there is a stinking lie lying around a corner to satisfy a single/group of persons personal benefit

"If you compare a fish with its ability to climb a tree then it will live its whole life thinking that it is stupid" ~ Einstein
Response to Anon:
Meraj Sep 21, 2013
Well, whatever he(writer) was doing, he was definitely not cheating and fooling people around at the age of 14!
Ashok Pai Jun 28, 2013
This post is one of the best in Indian tech journals/ blogs of a thorough expose of a modern day charlatan. Who'd have thought we needed such a piece in technology ? We are indeed, as someone mentioned "emotional" bunch of people. we need more "rational" people :)
V.radhakrishnan Jun 20, 2013
Charles,

I read your letter to Ankit Fadia. You are absolutely right. The contents are correct. May be ten years ago, I browsed a book written by Ankit Fadia. The title of the book had the word "... hacking ....". But that was a rehash of the man pages of Unix. I saw nothing in the book on hacking. Consider, people tend to use the word "hacking" for "cracking". But, let us consider the computer dictionary meaning for hacking i.e., "Stretching any software or programming language to perform some thing which it is not intended for." I saw nothing in the book at least with the latter definition. AF is a fraud. 99% Indians are emotional people. They just want to believe rumours like "Five year old boy wrote a new operating system." As Charles said, AF capitalized that emotion. This reminds me of WWF programme in TV. False fighting. hahahaha
Adesh Kumar C T Jun 17, 2013
Just laughs for Ankit Fadia. A genius guy who hacked Business, through the port called Computer :)
Pawan May 5, 2013
very nice expos're story .you know in india you can sell everything from spirituality to your pee.(sorry for that).you just have to pretend and a little practice . people here in india are sometimes too innocent..
A Faggot He Was May 4, 2013
I remember attending his session in Anna university, Chennai during my final year as a computer science student back in 2005.

The fact that he was even invited to speak reminds us of how vulnerable the general population is to fools like Ankit.

Matter of fact people like him should be trailed for wrongful claims and misinformation
Response to A Faggot He Was:
Ajay Oct 25, 2013
well he came quite cheap-30000 a talk in 2007. i dont know what's the rate now. came across as a conman to me and an ignorant one at that
Response to Ajay:
Nik Feb 1, 2014
Now he takes 75k for 2 hour session, 1.75L for a day workshop!
Haha
Rishabh Dangwal Apr 21, 2013
w00t!!! Just how did I miss this one off !! Amazing, you just blew him away. Hats off.
Renee Apr 13, 2013
What an exposé! Spot on, Charles.
But Stanford's Alumni page, which rambles on and on about Fadia's "achievements", needs updating or at least a comment to direct people here: http://alumni.stanford.edu/get/page/magazine/article/?article_id=36134
Adam Apr 13, 2013
Awesome article charles!!!! I believe this article has opened a lot of people's eyes.Look around ppl......
Pranav Apr 11, 2013
He's been claiming for over a decade now that he hacked CHIP magazine's website, that FBI begged him to crack an encrypted Al-Qaeda email after all their experts and their cluster of supercomputers fail to do, that CBI goes crawling to him when they need help on internet security related cases, all the books he has ever written are heavily plagiarized, his AFCEH course is a huge fraud.....and yet there isn't a single defamation or a fraud case registered against him?

Amazing!
Anurag Sharma Mar 31, 2013
Sir Charles Assisi..
"F...du" Article...
I rarely read looooooooong articles but yours made me sick as soon as i started :)
Devika Mar 30, 2013
are they gonna take any action against him now?
Gagan Mar 23, 2013
Man..!! This is a Hell of a article..This is INDIA and people suddenly become FAMOUS and their Fraud Comes out after 10-15 Years later and people never care about them lately and whos the loser here DAMN IT..MEDIA PEOPLE YOU ARE DUMB ..!!
Vivek Mar 21, 2013
According to Wikipedia,Ankit Fadia made the claim of hacking CHIP site way back in 2002. I'm a bit surprised that it was not challenged for close to ten years. People at CHIP could have known about the claim eariler...was it that it was not taken seriously? Just a question to Charles...
Gaurav Mar 21, 2013
probably he and ponytail together will make great hacking institutes !
Yoda Mar 13, 2013
Thanks for getting it out in public and i hope as many as possible people read the same and specially the media so they dont give him an unnecessary attentions !
Mayank Shukla Mar 8, 2013
We were thrown out of his conference in Indore DAVV.
He used local and cheap media to make The biggest IT Bluff AFCEH
Huge fall needs huge rise !!
And his falll has started !!
Naveen Mar 8, 2013
Congratulations Charles.You reached out to 1.15 lac people using Ankit Fadia's name. I never heard about you before but given Ankit's fan base you are certainly famous now :)
Response to Naveen:
Kaushik Sep 11, 2013
True :)
Anabel Mar 6, 2013
I knew it had to happen someday. Finally, the truth wins. :)
Praveen Mar 6, 2013
Gud article
Ck Mar 6, 2013
I remember this guy shooting to fame circa 2000. I knew nothing what he did, neither believed nor disbelieved what the talk. But print media was gaga over him. Years later I read reviews of his book which was rated 2 star on Amazon, with many reviewers saying it was a worthless collection of obsolete tricks that can be found on internet by a quick search. This article proves what I long suspected - this guy is Arindam Choudary of internet security. All it takes to shoot to fame in our society is some ability to talk, deceive, obfuscate and defend.
Aditya Mar 6, 2013
brilliant article
Gyanendra Mar 6, 2013
Ankit fadia is fake.
He is not closed to a hacker rather than a marketer!!
Bharat Bhushan Mar 5, 2013
you are the best hacker
Abhishek Mar 5, 2013
Its probably the name that clicked and played a part too. Fadia, in hindi its close to "Fadu" which means one who cracks. But nevertheless , Ankit is probably just as hacker any other geek in India.
Shrikant Shenoy Mar 5, 2013
Some years ago, a ready a story that a young Mumbai kid (don't remember his name) had hacked into the website of Lashkar-e-Toiba. The newspapers feted him, of course. What no one knew was they he "created" the website and then "hacked" it! A simple check on whois was a give away. Secondly, the Lashkar never uses the spelling that is used only in the Indian media. The meaning completely changes. Media guys are plain uneducated fools...
Arjun Sharma Mar 4, 2013
Another expose well done. It seems that the only achievement of Ankit Fadia was to create an arindham chaudhuri virus.
Rahul K Mar 4, 2013
Awesome article.

To Ankit Fadia - Consider offering a diploma in trick Marketing instead. Ankit Fadia Diploma in Trick Marketing (ADFTM), Rs 15,000/- only.
Gauri Mar 4, 2013
Well done, Editor. My faith in humanity is restored.

"€œYada Yada Hi Dharmasya
Glanir Bhavathi Bharatha, |
Abhyuthanam Adharmaysya
Tadatmanam Srijami Aham" ||

"€œWhenever there is decay
of righteousness O! Bharatha
And a rise of unrighteousness
then I manifest Myself!"€


Whenever and wherever there is decline of dharma (righteousness) and ascendance of adharma (unrighteousness), at that time I manifest Myself in visible form. For the protection of the righteous and destruction of the wicked, and for the sake of establishing dharma again, I incarnate Myself on earth ages after ages.

Kudos to a job well done!
Response to Gauri:
Ad17yam Mar 12, 2013
That is awesome.
Lohit Tummalapenta Mar 2, 2013
He may be a bluff :P
but MIM attack for users behind NAT ? I never heard about Janus Attack for users behind NAT but sorry please explain it if possible

my email : lohit@hotmail.co.in
Sreekanth Yelicherla Mar 1, 2013
Dear Charles,

My respects! I hope this gem of an ethical hacker will learn something from your article. Loved those lines which say - "As for your disarmingly charming question on whether or not you can write a regular column on technology for Forbes India, I promise to check with my editor and get back to you."

And to Ankit Fadia: You are a genius. It is just amazing to many on how you built such a massive image in the media! I don't think anyone can beat you in that even after a century! A last rank kid is much better than a cheating first ranker.
Tarandeep Singh Mar 1, 2013
I met Ankit Fadia in one of his presentation in 2004 @IIT delhi. I asked him one simple question about triggering a man-in-the-middle attack for users behind NAT, he was clueless of how to initiate NAT hacks. So undeserving of the title 'Hacker'. He broke the Rule #1 of Hacker community. " You don't tell anyone you're a Hacker.
Tarandeep Singh Mar 1, 2013
I met Ankit Fadia in one of his presentation in 2004 @IIT delhi. I asked him one simple question about triggering a man-in-the-middle attack for users behind NAT, he was clueless of how to initiate NAT hacks. So undeserving of the title 'Hacker'.
He broke the Rule #1 of Hacker community. " You don't tell anyone you're"
Anirudha Dutta Mar 1, 2013
another one for the Indian Institute of Ponytail Management
Rajesh Mar 1, 2013
India is green pasture for all the Educatuional frauds as we as Indians are much inclined on getting into IT with Silicon Valley ( or at least Bangaluru ) Dreams. Thats where people like these en cash the dreams and fulfill their's !!
No offence to anyone but need a retrospection on Young India's Ambition plans very soon.
Pragya Mar 1, 2013
Wow!...I haven't seen a more brilliant piece of journalistic writing in a really long time. I loved the points you make, structure, perspective, writing...everything. As for Ankit Fadia, there isn't anything left to say after this.
Vinay Mar 1, 2013
Why was the article written? If he is an average hacker and he is proclaimed and known and famous because he has managed to do so, what is the point in pulling him down?

What this article will do is stem Ankit's career. Why do that unless the writer of the article has a personal bias or a bone to pick with him
Response to Vinay:
Manjunath Mar 5, 2013
Ankit says he hacked the website of the CHIP magazine when the writer was its editor. So the writer has every right to investigate on the man and out of social responsibility, use journalism to expose his misdeeds.
Morris Mar 1, 2013
Damn. Love your writing skills Charles. on your face Fadia. i can't stop laughing.
Dhiraj Rote Feb 28, 2013
gr8 work....
and abt Shiva Ayyadurai is the founder of email service company EchoMail he is not a founder of email...
Deon Dsouza Feb 28, 2013
Hahaha! Its totally amusing to listen to his claims about Helping the 'Intelligence agencies' Decipher a E-mail from Al-Qaeda at the AGE OF 15. Lets just assume that The 'US Intelligence Agencies' had to take help from a 15 YEAR OLD. Mr.Charles Assisi, Thank you for revealing the True face of this So called Genius. I would also request you to reveal about 'Shiva Ayyadurai' who apparently seems to claim he was the founder of E-mail.
Afsaljalal Feb 28, 2013
Even this article will get a lot of audience as the title is "ANKIT FADIA REVEALED" . Give salute to his branding ;)
Moha297 Feb 28, 2013
Owned!!!


Ankit - can you say - 'Challenge Accepted!'
Revboxbk Feb 28, 2013
Pawned!!!! Again
Jagan Feb 28, 2013
He should know basics of computing after BS from Stanford. But most of his talk and books are pedestrian.
Ana Feb 28, 2013
I recall the time when this guy had visited our college in India. I was so awestruck at that time and thought he might be a real genius to be giving speeches in colleges at such an early age. Seems it really took a long time for someone of authority to come up and reveal the Bluff Master. Its already too late since this guy must have already earned millions and spoofed billions across the country. A Great job Mr. Assisi! I really appreciate your effort in unearthing the truth for everyone! :)
Yash Feb 28, 2013
I call shenanigans on his "intelligence agencies" stuff. Here is a fox interview he gave some time back: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xq_k3zQzU1U
Namz Feb 28, 2013
Your language has too much frustration man!! Big turn off to read your article..if u r some gr8 person yourself, you go and achieve success in ethical means, why are you even bothered what others are doing!!
Abhimanyu Singh Feb 28, 2013
Job well done Charles. I liked the way you treated entire article.
That's Some good Journalism. Keep up the good work
Dk Feb 28, 2013
Hey , Jealousy can do anything ...........By the way success creates a lot critics and enemies and that ultimately proves that the point of target has been so much successful :)
Adi Feb 28, 2013
In our good ol' colloquial parlance, I'd just like to say "Kya 'Faada' hai !!"

Loved the style and missed the part on 'Irony' since he's actually been pushing 'Ethical' hacking !!
Shritam Bhowmick Feb 28, 2013
ah, boy, this going crazy, ain't it? so, the email that Mr.Ankit encountered, was DES/AES standards? (if you know), also, 1995's windows hacks doesn't prove a hacker at all. Leave alone, helping FBI, CBI and agencies. Ankit's own website was blown twice, (if not thrice, in my opinion) and had been mass covered by many articles, his books have been plagiarized of being copied from other sources, (see attrion.org).

With due respect, sir, YOU ARE a LAMER, please don't make the real hackers feel shame of the deeds you leave behind the generation to follow, also, windows registry hacks are for the X-b0x ninj4's, we crack it on *nix systems.
Nitesh Feb 27, 2013
Good work Charles.
Yateendra Sahu Feb 27, 2013
Excellentelly written..i agree with every single point!
Sanju Kumar Feb 27, 2013
Nice article Charles...:)
Anil Feb 27, 2013
Once he visited our office as guest speaker. We all were too bored and shocked to see what he was explaining in 'Hands on Hacking' session. It was few basic commands of Unix Networking and open source tool (which other smart people developed).
It was always suspicious and some of our colleagues were saying HE is FRAUD. and you revealed . Thanks you very much Forbes !!!
Tushar Feb 27, 2013
I, obviously, can't lay my hands upon the real facts of the business Ankit Fadia's been doing. But I've always wondered about his craving for publicity.
What good would a hacker do if he revealed himself! The best are in the dark, and will always be. They know that's how it's supposed to be, and those are the ones I'll always admire.
Keshav Feb 27, 2013
How much you criticize him, Ankit Fadia is one very Smart young man!He knows the nitty-gritty of this whippy world.He's got that 'xyz' that makes him all that important.
Shuja Feb 27, 2013
I never knew about this. great article. I really like the satirical way in which the article makes its point. Well written. you taught me an important lesson. Thanks
Jd Feb 27, 2013
Excellent reporting and about time too. There's a reason this gentleman doesn't appear at BlackHat / DEFCON and other established infosec conferences... he'd be laughed off the premises.
Chris Feb 27, 2013
I thought I was the only one feeling that way about Ankit, it's good to know that I am not alone.
Charan Feb 27, 2013
The problem is with Indian mindset. We love to worship personality cults. Look at Arindham Chowdhary, Shahrukh Khan, Salman Khan, Baba Ramdev, Nirmal Baba or Ankit Fadia, they are made from the same social malaise - Hype. Problem is our education system, which leads to people accepting what they are told and not questioning it. Of all his TV appearances and editorials written to glorify him, not one journalist bothered to question his claims. When you talk about CEOs, please remember that people assume that what they read in papers is credible and double checked.
Response to Charan:
Nathraj Feb 27, 2013
Well said charan
Response to Charan:
Sj Mar 4, 2013
Rightly said. Its to do with the Indian mindset and the lack of analytical ability in an Indian. Unfortunately, I am also a part of it.
Response to Charan:
Kaushik Sep 11, 2013
Generally, emotions overpower rational thinking in India. Unfortunately, the majority of Indian population doesn't realise this. If I point out something, the argument is shifted to:
"Who is right? You or me?"
rather than
"What is right? Which is better? Which is authentic? etc."
The day when every Indians learns to accept and apologise for his/her mistake(s), not criticise others when given a chance, and be polite/courteous in words, India would begin to develop truly.

I asked my mom to purchase his "Ethical Hacking" book and shocked to see just port scanners, debuggers and basic stuff. Sites like hackthissite.org and hellboundhackers.org offer me more realistic missions. Also, I can learn by cracking other software. His books are useless for those who know the basics. Some people have a chimerical dream of "becoming a hacker" while they basically hate to program in any language. Sad :(
Sunil Thakare Feb 27, 2013
Height of Shamelessness. Despite of this article, Mr. Fadia is busy in his usual business.

See this: https://twitter.com/thakares/status/306726129547476992
Bangalore Hacker Feb 27, 2013
I know him from before his first book was released.
I was 18 when i was in the hacking forum , It took me 1 year to find my own 0day , I sent a mail to ankit fadia about my findings, But i guess he was not aware of the Icon exploit which i found while playing with hex editor. He just created a hype... India by 2008 will need 5 Lakh security experts with high paying jobs.. many joined his elabs (some junk fraud company in Hyderabad) and minted about 10 crore and went to US for further studies.

He has some political links which he used to block zone-h , Nobody in india questions why zone-h is blocked..

I am atleast happy that i am not a lamer or script kiddy like ankit fadia :) found my own 0day.. those days i did not know how to approach and publish in milworm ...

I was with albanian hacker gropus during 2004 and with few other... when i was in college..

I always wonder this guy is just utilizing Indian publicity market..
Any one can become famous...
Yaseer Feb 27, 2013
Great points eloquently made. Whacked self-proclaimed-hacking-genius left right
Zerocool18 Feb 27, 2013
Eye-Opener for all falling for the wrong guy.

One of the best articles I've ever read! #diplomacy
Ankur Feb 27, 2013
Not fair. Now he will claim he was covered by Forbes!
Will you write an article on me? I could also download all the content from Phrack and teach people to set up torrent downloads and claim to be the hacker god!
Selvam Feb 27, 2013
That's how the real world operates Charles...

He plays his game very smartly.. Not all businessmen are good at marketing .. not all marketing persons are good at business.. He is a good marketing businessman.. I need to appreciate him on how he sells himself to the consumers...

Every big shots has a darker side.. which is unrevealed or smartly hidden under their fame.

A common person believes what he or she sees/hears, what the media offers for them.

I need to appreciate your courage on this article. Thanks for it.
Harish Kotra Feb 27, 2013
This has to be the worst excuse ever from a person on whom, these many proofs have been written.

http://i.imgur.com/WxjGm5k.png
Ali Feb 27, 2013
Hello Charles,

I hope you don't mind me calling you Charles instead of Mr Assisi.

I have no interest whatsoever in Hacking and Ankit Fadia. I stumbled upon your Article on Twitter and happened to read it, completely.

Your title got my curiosity and your first paragraph got my attention. By the time I was done with the article, you have my appreciation and respect too.

I admire your honesty and courage, above all I must say your writing and to be more precise, your style is a step ahead of the best word I can use to describe how good it is.

I shall read your articles (in future and old ones too), not for their content, but for your style, for your honest and courage.

I hope you accept my admiration.

Regards,
Ali - 0.
Response to Ali:
Charles Assisi Feb 27, 2013
Don't embarrass me by using Mr Assisi. Charles is just fine :-)
Deepa Jayaraman Feb 27, 2013
Wow Charles. Great stuff and I have throughly enjoyed your style in this piece. Rock on!
John Feb 27, 2013
Wonderful article ..... Ankit fadia is just a "brand" and nothing more .... he is far from being a real hacker ....i mean REAL hackers who lurk in the hidden network .
Jignesh Feb 27, 2013
hahahahhahahha...even I fell for him, as a 14 yr old, when he came to my radio stn with the same claims. and he actually demonstrated few skills to my IT guy who was visibly impressed. So much for my Norm Questioning traits.
Freak...you know the irony...this puny bond has had so much of an effect, that for once, right in the middle, i even questioned you, whether you really were an editor at CHIP?
Wow, so is it so easy to write Blogs on Forbes? While you are at it, do recommend my name too...will find something to write and shine on....maybe on ethical commercial side of human trafficking...after all, in india, there are loads of humans and chaotic traffic...
Sigh...He got me...
Vineeth Jose Feb 27, 2013
Finally someone did the dirty job! To kick expose this big fraud!
Chiquita Feb 27, 2013
While u guys are sitting and talking ill about him he is busy giving seminar in sm part of the world. He is the real go getter.. U guys are just wasting time giving ur invaluable unsavory comments about him.
Response to Chiquita:
Veevee Mar 3, 2013
Are you Ankit himself or a fanboy ? . You can't fool people for long. Does your guy has atleast a single positive peer review?
Response to Chiquita:
Kaushik Sep 11, 2013
Some people like to make money smartly though the real work they do may be simple.

Some people are obsessed with what they do because they love it, which is a prerequisite for being a real hacker.

You cannot say other hackers are wasting their time. Well, you may, coz you have every right to voice your opinion. But I don't find it true.

Real hackers the ones who need take care of your Facebook account's security. Just that they don't become as popular as Mr.AF. The real hackers are found in the dark and we are proud to be hackers. AF is a self proclaimed hacker, but a businessman in reality.
Unnikrishnan R Feb 27, 2013
Dear Charles,
This is an absolutely brilliant article! My friends and I had been actively educating people about Ankit Fadia for a long time now. We managed to remove one of his talks from our university techfest (Anokha fest, Amrita University) two years back, although some IITs keep inviting him for theirs =/ . If you write about Fadia again please do refer to the Attrition list article on him : http://attrition.org/errata/charlatan/ankit_fadia/

Oh and my friends lovingly refer to Ankit as "Fake-it Fraudia" =)

Unni
Sunil Thakare Feb 27, 2013
Dear Charles Assisi,
Thanks for an '€œEye-Opening'€ article for big media in India. It takes lots of sleepless nights to become an '€œhacker'€. It's not a business as Ankit Fadia tells to people. The real hackers like Mr. R.M. Stallman -€“ Father of GNU, Mr. Linus Torvalds -€“ Father of Linux, Dr. D. Richard Hipp -€“ Father of SQLite (the most widely used database engine on the earth), Mr. Igor Sysoev -€“ Father of nginx (fastest growing web server) and so on. There are many known and unknown contributors to the industry in terms of community software upon which the IT industry runs.

And fakes like Ankit Fadia defame the term '€œhacking'€ for his personal and unprofessional, unethical ways to fame. The fault is not at Ankit's side, but on the media side which is almost novice in technology. When there are mis-happenings in India related to computer crimes like credit-card fraud, e-mail password cracking (I won't use hacking for it!), such fraud people being called for TV interview for '€œExpert'€ views. At the same time people see and admire such fraud people by seeing them on TV.

If such blunders never been repeated by electronic media then fakes never grow up. I suggest to such electronic media to do meaningful research about people to whom they ought to call as an expert. Many times I see such fakes from other industry also but helpless that I can't do anything as nothing in my hand.
Your article rather too late to be an eye-opener. Previously many people like Mr. Sandip Dev, Fake Ankit Fadia on twitter were tried to unmask Ankit Fadia but of no use as big media never hear small people. (sorry these people really not small but not famous).
Finally you did it. Hats off to you. Hope this article will open eyes of big media.

Sunil Thakare (http://sunil.thakares.com)
Attrition Feb 27, 2013
Great work, and if you could add the list of Books he has Plagiarised

http://attrition.org/errata/charlatan/ankit_fadia/ it would be great.
Aman Dhally Feb 27, 2013
Dear Charles,

Thanks a lot for writing this Article. I am in to "IT" field from last 15 years. I am in to Network Security, Security Testing. Long time ago one of my friend told me about "Ankit Fadia" and he has a WikiPedia page too. I read about him and somehow everything seems fake to me.

I purchased one of his book " An Unofficial Guide to Ethical Hacking". and i read it but somehow it fails to impress me.

So the question is "why, and how he is famous", the word "HACK
Mohit Feb 27, 2013
Arrest this guy ASAP and force him to fork out every cent that he has looted from the unaware "wanna-be" hackers. People like Ankit Fadia and Arindam Chaudhary are spreading a (deceit) culture in India, and this needs to be stopped.
Nandini Feb 27, 2013
Hilariously revealing! Brilliant flair in writing. Kudos
Alps Feb 27, 2013
Pretty good read, now would you like to investigate in another such case -- "Arindam Chaudhury", date to think beyond IIMs (LoL)
Slackwarelinuxuser Feb 27, 2013
I grew up in the same government employees' colony in Delhi as Ankit Fadia. I went on to prestigious engineering and management schools and am a complete unknown. On the other hand, Ankit is famous. When I meet my neighbours from then, talk is always about how each of us children ( I guess we will always be, in their eyes ) turned out. Earlier I used to denounce the Fadia as a fraud. Now I no longer do that. This is because my neighbours thought I was just suffering from sour grapes. However, I will make 2 observations on your post - 1. Your post is way too subtle to have any impact on Ankit Fadia's target clientele - they would never get it. In any case, they won't read Forbes. 2. Fadia will not block this site like a ponytailed guy - the great hacker will bring it down. Be warned, and very afraid :)
Shyam Feb 27, 2013
Summed up very well -
Nagarjuna G Feb 27, 2013
http://marutiborker.wordpress.com/2006/05/21/a-small-post-on-ankit-fadia/
This is what a guy from IIIT Hyderabad wrote way back in 2006 after Ankit Fadia's falderol that happened there.
Khushbu Feb 27, 2013
true hackers never reveal themselves because hacking is all about being an expert @secrecy
like who's more brainy the one who keeps on calling himself brainy,or the other who sits and listen to the former and keeps working!!
Devinder Feb 27, 2013
After patiently reading the whole article, I must say, this is the best Journalism i have ever read.

Kudos to the writer. Keep revealing more people.
Abdul Wahid Khan Feb 26, 2013
Hey Charles, you have written the article very cleverly.

I am by no means related to or fan of Ankit Fadia. I dont even know about hacking but just have an image of Ankit Fadia as hacking guru (may be because of his branding efforts)

But one more thing that I see is somehow, you are jealous of Ankit Fadia and you are trying to gain popularity by taking down Ankit's name. In one way, you related to Ankit Fadia brand and used his brand to make your article attractive. You perhaps followed his tactics to use first person in the article.
Response to Abdul Wahid Khan:
Prashanth Feb 27, 2013
Man, I'm no hacker but I'm a conscientious sysadmin with enough knowledge to spot a bullxxxx. This Ankit whatever is by far one of the biggest bullxxxx one can possibly find. It's a real pity that the media laps up anything that people say which sounds geeky. I'm not expecting media houses to have in-house experts, though that would be a fair expectation from a large media company. These people don't even try to run a small verification Google search before rising the article into print.
Response to Prashanth:
Abdul Wahid Khan Feb 27, 2013
Yes thats quite correct. The media perhaps run more on their sales and TRPs. They first bring someone up and then bring them down.
Rajan Yergatwar Feb 26, 2013
Charles, I really enjoyed reading this article. 1
And yes, I totally agree with you.
These so called security guys pocket at least 1000 INR for so called ETHICAL HACKING WORKSHOP of several hours. And they just fool the youngsters with some skiddie methods nothing else.
Sumit Soni Feb 26, 2013
when people rubbish Ankit's claim i always give same argument
Aks Feb 26, 2013
Back when Ankit Fadia wrote his first book, I was what they called a script kiddie.

I used to use netbus, BO and a bunch of similar tools. There was also a super website called "happyhacker.org" that I spent a lot of time on. (still exists)

I remember his first book... IT WAS ALL PLAGIARIZED FROM THE ABOVE WEBSITE. Everything, even the various chapters.

People like him deserve take downs just like this.
Harish Feb 26, 2013
I knew it. Its all false intrepation and hype created by media i read his book how to unlock everything on the internet .It is so childish that i spent my money on kids book
Rishabh Feb 26, 2013
Does anyone remember this scene from The Social Network - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZVIBouwNirU

Mr. Fadia's claims sound the same, except they are not even remotely true.
Ivin Gancius Feb 26, 2013
In India whoever comes to the forefront arrives after self promoting very hard no matter be it politics, spirituality or whatever.
Chaitanya Sharma Feb 26, 2013
This is the best AF take-down ever. But I do agree with Charles - AF is a terrific businessman. Security consultant / hacker - no where close.
Anonymous Feb 26, 2013
he decipher's the code sent by al-qaeda????that also a u.s. agency asked him to do so??Man this is the worst joke i could ever hear.
how people could believe these lies????
Response to Anonymous:
Stharjun May 9, 2013
I always want to be a good hacker...i don't know about the ankit fadia before until i got lot of articles related to this guy before 2 days and i am searching his book..later i found that the book is nothing but a same stuff of hacking that we normally get a simply typing a keyword on internet...i do agree with charles, and i don't know how did this guyz managed to sell 25 million copies, amazing !! one point furthur a good hacker never revealed that he is hacker, he only did this for fame , money and obviously a bussiness..
Neo Feb 26, 2013
So Ankit Fadia's not the best hacker in town, hasn't been contacted by FBI, didn't sell 25 million copies - and he flusters your goat by being a good businessman... So that's it? And you wrote an editorial taking out your post-pausal frustration on him? Wow! Well done Charles. Hope you're proud of your writing skills and 'sparking' first-person commentary... So who's next on your editorial list? Shiamak Davar? Geez...
Missy Feb 26, 2013
Haha..this is interesting!

I was one of the few early 'novices' to register for his course. It was the first year of my engineering and for the first time I was spending 20-25 hours weekly on a computer. As I did not know much about security, hacking et el, I registered. Since, the guy was clearly good with marketing, he was awe-inspiring during the 'hacking' program but, gradually as my engineering course went on, I realized that the course was definitely not worth what he charged me for. Moreover, the most of the stuff was google-able, wiki-able.

He basically exploited a business opportunity that probably existed at that time for a short period.

PS: I am thinking to start my 'certifications' on cloud computing applications and I plan to talk about google apps, using them etc. etc. :D
Zeusk Feb 26, 2013
Totally agree with sorcerer, Both of them are FUDs and incidentally I just read a few great articles covering both of them.

http://www.quora.com/Expertise/What-are-examples-of-experts-who-in-the-end-are-not-really-experts
and
http://www.quora.com/Delhi-Public-School-R-K-Puram/What-is-the-best-way-to-explain-that-DPS-RKP-is-better-known-for-its-positive-reasons-than-for-its-negative-ones

PS: A chip reader since 2004, I just thought I've seen that name and signature before and then looked you up on google. Oh those good 'ol days! :D
Aditya Feb 26, 2013
I don't know whether he is a genius or not, I would be proud if he is, after all he is Indian. What I find very strange is, that if he is a genius, how come we have never heard of him presenting at Defcon or BlackHat. or any other internationally recognized security conference. I would love to watch the links if they exist.
Rvks Feb 26, 2013
Mr. Natwarlal of IT
Catch me if you can
Shri 420
Rohan Feb 26, 2013
Excellent !!!! Seriously this person doesn't even stand close some of my co workers in the SOC team of a prominent telco....

I feel sad when I take interview and see people mentioning it on their resume about be AFCEH. They have no idea what "SECURITY" is.

Another fact is many university and colleges get sponsorship for their college fest and promote his so called BRAND... And many students fall for his certifications ...

I bet 1 million if this so called Security Expert has capability for working on checkpoint or even clear CCIE Security...

Indian are fooled by babas, politicians and now this...
The Sorcerer Feb 26, 2013
Ankit Fadia is like Arindham Chaudhary. He dares to think beyond hacking! :P

On a serious note, I assume the editor of Forbes India is smart enough to know that he is nothing more than a script kiddie!
Cooltech Feb 26, 2013
A case of sour grapes and indian crab mentality on display.

If false claims have been made to promote or unduly benefit, these should be challenged in courts of law, by victims of such crime, instead of mudslinging and character assassination in media.

To become an expert in any knowledge area, requires decades of practise. Ankit is no exception to this rule. If he prefers to deliver a 20-20 variety of hacking it is his choice.

A clear case of misuse of Forbes editorial platform, for personal vendetta.
Response to Cooltech:
Ajay George Feb 26, 2013
http://attrition.org/errata/charlatan/
He is the second top listed
Response to Cooltech:
Yeehaw Feb 27, 2013
Is that you Ankit ?
This isn't exactly news, just shows how people are being exploited by his lies. Read the article again, sounds like you missed the CHIP hacking incident.
Response to Cooltech:
Alps Feb 27, 2013
This is for sure Ankit Fadia himself, looks like he is trying to save himself by bringing emotions into it. You dont need years of practise to learn what he has done, just an internet connection and clear brain to think.
Response to Yeehaw:
Varun Reddy Feb 27, 2013
Mr. Yeehaw, please check Ajay's site - it is about "fakes". Why would Ankit post a link of such a site?
Joy Chacko Feb 26, 2013
Thanks for the article.

However, it has been common knowledge within the Unix/Linux circles for several years now that Ankit "Fraudia" is a conman, albeit with formidable marketing skills...he wasn't even a proper script kiddie.

That he could con most of corporate India (together with a few others, including the head of a private university who has been recently in the news for the wrong reasons) reflects as much on Indian gullibility as on Ankit.
Sameer Kumar Feb 26, 2013
Dear Charles,
Thanks good work, for a nation hungry for miracles this article is an eye opener.
As for me, I never thought he was a genius, for me it was like an act by a Magician who you see first and get amazed , but back in your mind you know its just another trick .
Natharaj Feb 26, 2013
Dear Charles Assisi,
I read your article and first i want to congratulate you for unmasking the so called or Self-proclaimed "Ultimate Hacker" "Genius". I am an Indian who is learning about ethical hacking and do my self some ethical hacking. While learning i have went through some forums and blogs about hacking and for my surprise i have seen hackers less than 15 years of age who are more intelligent (and a way genius) than this so called hacker ankit fadia. He is an "Ulitmate" fraud and i have read it in some blogs that some multinational indian company is actually promoting his certificates as geniue to innocent peoples and arranging workshops also. If any intelligent people is reading this post please share it with your friends and educate them.
Amber Linux Feb 26, 2013
Hey Charles, Its good one , Few years ago ankit fadia setup seminar in my city INDORE MP and he ran away in mid conversation when my linux guru ask some basic hacking questions, He was unable to answer and discontinue seminar and never came back to Indore :)

Thanks
Amber
Sudhir Feb 26, 2013
What's new here. India's tech circuit is filled with Charlatans, Bigots and pretenders. He just started early :)
Amar Feb 26, 2013
Very good article. A movie ought to be made on Fadia on the lines of "Special 26" about how to dupe unaware people.
Mihir Deshpande Feb 26, 2013
Hello Charles,

I have a lot to learn after reading this article. I am impressed by the tone and content of this article. It is fantastically written, you have not even once hurt or used sharp words..
congrats for keeping straight, simple and subtle.

Cheers
Response to Mihir Deshpande:
Charles Assisi Feb 26, 2013
Thank you Mihir :-)
Response to Charles Assisi:
Neo Feb 26, 2013
Humility Charles, humility...that's the hallmark of a true journalist. Your profound 'thank yous' and smileys only put paid to the depth of your persona and give a kiddish tint to your attitude.
Amaresh Ray Feb 26, 2013
Bravo.
Ak Feb 26, 2013
A colleague who passed out from IIIT Hyderabad tells am anecdote. Once some college kids just out of enthusiasm (mind it, IIIT-H comes on par with those IITs and BITS-Pilani at least in Computer Sc) were attending a seminar that he(Fadia) said will be organizing and he was blabbering his usual bullshit.

In the meantime the CS HOD arrived and thought it's some paper presentation or so sat there. Within 5 minutes he went to the stage and told Fadia coolly "Get the out of here, you moron".

I had read his book in college, didn't make any sense. On Facebook he is rightly called Ankit 'Fart'iya.
Suds Feb 26, 2013
Very well written article
Rajiv Tyagi Feb 26, 2013
Very nice! I've been laughing at this smartie since he wrote his first book. What a way to reveal him! Congratulations Mr. Assisi; you have done a marvellous job in revealing this charlatan! Press, educate yourselves, please!
Gautam Gupta Feb 26, 2013
Good read! This is like Antony's speech after Caesar's murder.

Mocking him by saying you're not mocking him.
Prabhat Feb 26, 2013
Hi all,

When he was in Indore (MP), few years back, I put up some questions, which he was so embarrassed, was not able to answer and left the podium in less than 5 mins. I also, wrote a good (?) article on his unethical practices on his wikipedia page.

What a shame, that our illiterate media, makes fool of itself and makes a hero out of litter.

Nice to see another person on my side, when I say, Ankit Fadia is biggest scam in IT industry !
Amitava Deb Feb 26, 2013
thanks to media for all the hype.

guess! i'm right.
Rahul J Feb 26, 2013
Well, he's a charlatan alright. To the readers: for other interesting tidbits on this shrewd businessman, check out - Demolishing Ankit Fadia v 0.01

www.itsallpartoftheplan.wordpress.com/2009/09/26/demolishing-ankit-fadia-v-0-01/
Response to Rahul J:
Sandip Dev Feb 27, 2013
Thank you for posting the link to my blog
Satish Ganapathy Feb 26, 2013
Finally, truth is revealed. I found his first books full of mumbo jumbos.
Rahul Sharma Feb 26, 2013
Interesting and a well written piece (letter).
Himanshu Sharma Feb 26, 2013
I now feel proud to have hacked and defaced his website twice :) ! .


He got exposed :)
Response to Himanshu Sharma:
Code_x Feb 26, 2013
U r Just Another Show off
Kunal Feb 26, 2013
This guy sounds like the Arindam Chaudary of Technology
Response to Kunal:
Sanjay Feb 26, 2013
He discovered the "Arindam" in him alright :)
Kavita Feb 26, 2013
Nobody is stopping others from writing books, starting courses, giving seminars and coming on TV...but the question is why are they not? I must say guy's got guts and business acumen to to do what he does and that too in public unlike others who are happy to sit in dark rooms...cheers to him... if it wasn't for him common man in India would've taken much longer to gain awareness about what Internet security/Hacking is all about.
Response to Kavita:
Stoneshwar Feb 26, 2013
Wow, I cannot but feel sad about such an ignorant comment.

It's ok to lie, cheat, figuratively steal, fool millions while hiding behind a banner saying "bro brb, spreading awareness".

What if the woman who campaigns for child abuse employs and abuses an 11 year old girl? But she's... spreading awareness.

You think he's the one who inspired Indians to explore web-security? I assure you if you simply PEEP behind his public image, you'll notice how empty he was, like a cut out on Marina beach.
Response to Kavita:
Ashok Pai Feb 26, 2013
" if it wasn't for him common man in India would've taken much longer to gain awareness about what Internet security/Hacking is all about."

let's say you have some disease, would you prefer this man's snake oil or a real doctor with a real cure, who would not only diagnose your condition, but also give you a cure and prevention advise ? take your call!
Response to Kavita:
Nathraj Feb 26, 2013
It seems you have no idea about computers or hacking
Response to Kavita:
Masked-coz-i-dont-want-fraudia-tohack-me_:d Feb 26, 2013
Kavita -

I'll try not to use STRONG words here. But your rambling favouring a fraud proves that approx 1.2 billion people in this country can be fooled so easily. Now I've NEVER posted anything online EVER, but I just couldn't stop myself from replying to your post. I wouldn't consider myself an "expert" or even intermediate.... but I do run a small ISP with decently sized tech companies as clients whose staff also belong to the 1.2 billion people quoted above. I'll do you a favour and give you some advice... please DO NOT always fall for something written by people who might themselves be nincompoops else you'll end up buying weight-loss pills or slimming tea from the Internet... wont do you any good but sure will encourage fraudsters into trying and duping others as well.

Also your comment has enlightened me a bit... Should've taken up a different career path.... I always wanted to become a baba. Targeting just 1% of 1.2 billion people would've made me RICH!
Yatish Feb 26, 2013
Thanks Charles. Very well written. And about time someone exposed him for what he is. Hats off to this guy for pulling this off. If religious/spiritual "baba's" have millions of followers, it is about time we had at-least one parallel in technology. The tactics is the same. Driven by the fear of the unknown.
Yogiraj Mudholkar Feb 26, 2013
Charles this is a shocking revelation waiting to happen personally since i am working in the area of information security for a big corporate, I felt that the claims of fadia were outrageous and suited only for a film story
Chandra Feb 26, 2013
brilliant!! just love reading Forbes
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