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Ankit Fadia Revealed

Unearthing some facts about Ankit Fadia

Published: Feb 26, 2013 06:12:41 AM IST
Updated: Feb 27, 2013 01:48:11 PM IST
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.

Ankit Fadia Revealed

(This story appears in the 08 March, 2013 issue of Forbes India. To visit our Archives, click here.)

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  • Abhishek

    He is now one of the Brand Ambassadors for the Digital India campaign.

    on Dec 27, 2015
  • Shihab

    The above supporters of him, those we call as India\'s Journalists.LOL

    on Dec 17, 2015
  • Pranab Mistry

    He is always looking for publicity and we are always giving this to him!

    on Oct 20, 2015
  • Resmedh

    This guy is the next pony tailed Management guru who will ask us to DARE to think beyond MIT & Harvard Biz School.. ;)

    on Oct 10, 2015
  • Ruchika

    The article was well written because of the amount of research that the author has put in to call Ankit Fadia a bluff. It also shows us how journalists should verify claims by people and not report things just because they are said by a particular person. Don\'t know how many more Fadias are there thanks to sloppy journalism

    on Oct 2, 2015
  • K

    hehehaha such a stinker in the end

    on Sep 29, 2015
  • Priyamvada Iyer

    Hello Mr.Assissi...haven't read a single book of Ankit..nor do I want to. But I've heard him mentioned often in media. I'm writing this comment just to let you know that this is one of the best piece of "tongue in cheek" writing I've come across..kudos ...what a sleek ass kicking...! My only grudge is... That esteemed brand ambassador may not have the wherewithal to understand it for what it is..!!sigh......

    on Sep 29, 2015
  • Bhupendra Bais

    I use to watch his video 4 to 5 years ago and I had a respect for that guy because I was very much interested in hacking and I though he is a great hacker but after reading this the level of respect that I had for him increased, not because he is a Self-proclaimed Hacker but because of his tremendous brain. But unfortunately nobody can return my time that I have wasted by watching his videos. :( Anyways I have learned many things now from his. thank you for this article :)...!!

    on Sep 28, 2015
  • Paresh Patil

    A genius guy who hacked Business..............

    on Apr 30, 2015
  • Vish

    Nice one read it this one to ! Hey, guys. Do you want to know about our Dear Baba Ankit Fadia. Then please read this article. I will bet that you will not going to just like it but damn awesomly love it. Which give all truth about this guy. Read it.. http://www.arudh.com/Article/BabaAnkitFadia.php

    on Feb 21, 2015
  • Jasraj

    I had bought a copy of his book in the year 2003 and to my surprise every single word of his book had been copied from then popular websites like astalavista, cult of the dead cow, global kOS, RedHack, etc. Ankit Fadia is an imposter and has been taking credit for the hours of hard work by the REAL HACKERS for all these years. Its a shame how we tend to make him a hero without even verifying a single thing he says.

    on Dec 24, 2014
    • No Name

      But it doesn\'t mean you need to start from scratch, yes you can utilize other\'s work but ( I am with you for it) with their consent , if so, then you will still be at the early man period.

      on Sep 30, 2015
  • Rituraj

    I also wasted money on his first book, but read beyond first page of each chapter. All those kiddie tricks were easily available on internet by 2003. Unfortunately in India someone could easy compile these things without giving any credit to original creators and sell them as their piece of work.

    on Oct 23, 2014
  • Winodrai

    what\'s astounding is that this man is going about carrying on his dubious certifications, training and \"expert\" talk, and we\'re supposed to be a land of computer engineers ? ludicrous situation, paradox of times ! once a man becomes popular, there\'s no stopping, since he can slam his critics as being \"critics\", without saying why. look at how the mighty USA is unable to pass bills on global warming because the bible belt senators believe the science isnt good enough. we also have creationism from the same bunch of educatedidiots! irony of times!

    on Sep 12, 2014
    • Anuj

      He is now the brand ambassador of Digital India

      on Oct 3, 2015
  • Vikas

    This is great article.. Ankit Fraudia is been there in the news but you dont find him in any security circles... He has been bluffing everyone.

    on Aug 26, 2014
  • Jlo

    In Hindi there is a saying that ' Naqal k liye bhi aqal chahiye'.. It means that you can only be successful as a cheat if you have the brains to pull it off. This guy is a ' feku' but he knows the art of making comprehensive fools of gullible tech-enthusiasts and a large tech-illiterate media. Last but not least-- why grudge if he makes some money through his ' fekuism'. A certain Gentleman managed to occupy the highest post in the country by taking the art of ' fekuism' to a all new heights.

    on Aug 18, 2014
  • Ryu Hayabusa

    Lolism. God save my country. I have seen feku hacker in my neighborhood taking hacking classes at NIT Calicut. That made me question the average intellect of NIT ans and their miserable faculty. :D

    on Aug 5, 2014
  • Saurabh Singh

    frank william abagnale spotted . only this time there is no handratty

    on Apr 10, 2014
  • Saurabh

    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

    on Feb 20, 2014
  • Das

    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!!!!

    on Dec 31, 2013
  • Darkgod007.5

    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.

    on Dec 16, 2013
  • Dev

    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.

    on Nov 25, 2013
  • Raman

    You know the old saying... Wherever there are fools there will be someone to fool them!

    on Oct 26, 2013
  • Harsha Dutta

    The guy is a fraud...Please donot buy his books

    on Oct 18, 2013
  • Rahul

    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

    on Sep 21, 2013
  • Gaurav Sharma

    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..

    on Sep 19, 2013
  • Mr Saha

    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.

    on Sep 19, 2013
  • Saheli.de

    I feel cheated ! I myself attended a workshop by him. thank you for the reality !

    on Sep 19, 2013
  • Koundinya Goparaju

    This guy even came to our college and told the same stuff about anonymizer.ru and blah blah.. He sucks big time!!!

    on Sep 19, 2013
  • Aneeq

    Its kind of ironic that you made grammatical errors while trying to point out the fallacies in someone else\'s work.

    on Sep 18, 2013
    • Mayank Thakur

      You too... It's "It's".

      on Sep 25, 2014
  • Rahul Ghose

    Loved the post. Made me happy. We needed such a clincher.

    on Sep 6, 2013
  • Wow

    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.

    on Aug 25, 2013
  • Krishna Sahu

    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.

    on Aug 18, 2013
  • Jonny

    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.

    on Aug 6, 2013
    • Anuj

      unfortunately true.

      on Oct 3, 2015
  • Manu Siddhartha

    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.

    on Jul 20, 2013
  • Abhinav

    It seems a case of plagarism... Who can be such an expert in 2 or 3 years. Really seems impossible

    on Jul 13, 2013
  • Thesubgenius

    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....

    on Jul 7, 2013
  • Zap Linaki

    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

    on Jun 30, 2013
    • Waseem

      Zep, exactly my thoughts! You voiced them!

      on Aug 4, 2013
  • Anon

    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.

    on Jun 29, 2013
  • Ashok Pai

    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 :)

    on Jun 28, 2013
  • V.radhakrishnan

    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

    on Jun 20, 2013
  • Adesh Kumar C T

    Just laughs for Ankit Fadia. A genius guy who hacked Business, through the port called Computer :)

    on Jun 17, 2013
  • Pawan

    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..

    on May 5, 2013
  • A Faggot He Was

    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

    on May 4, 2013
    • Ajay

      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

      on Oct 25, 2013
      • Nik

        Now he takes 75k for 2 hour session, 1.75L for a day workshop! Haha

        on Feb 1, 2014
  • Rishabh Dangwal

    w00t!!! Just how did I miss this one off !! Amazing, you just blew him away. Hats off.

    on Apr 21, 2013
  • Renee

    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

    on Apr 13, 2013
  • Adam

    Awesome article charles!!!! I believe this article has opened a lot of people\'s eyes.Look around ppl......

    on Apr 13, 2013
  • Pranav

    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!

    on Apr 11, 2013
  • Anurag Sharma

    Sir Charles Assisi.. "F...du" Article... I rarely read looooooooong articles but yours made me sick as soon as i started :)

    on Mar 31, 2013
  • Devika

    are they gonna take any action against him now?

    on Mar 30, 2013
  • Gagan

    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 ..!!

    on Mar 23, 2013
  • Vivek

    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...

    on Mar 21, 2013
  • Gaurav

    probably he and ponytail together will make great hacking institutes !

    on Mar 21, 2013
  • Yoda

    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 !

    on Mar 13, 2013
  • Mayank Shukla

    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 !!

    on Mar 8, 2013
  • Naveen

    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 :)

    on Mar 8, 2013
    • Kaushik

      True :)

      on Sep 11, 2013
  • Anabel

    I knew it had to happen someday. Finally, the truth wins. :)

    on Mar 6, 2013
  • Praveen

    Gud article

    on Mar 6, 2013
  • Ck

    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.

    on Mar 6, 2013
  • Aditya

    brilliant article

    on Mar 6, 2013
  • Gyanendra

    Ankit fadia is fake. He is not closed to a hacker rather than a marketer!!

    on Mar 6, 2013
  • Bharat Bhushan

    you are the best hacker

    on Mar 5, 2013
  • Abhishek

    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.

    on Mar 5, 2013
  • Shrikant Shenoy

    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...

    on Mar 5, 2013
  • Arjun Sharma

    Another expose well done. It seems that the only achievement of Ankit Fadia was to create an arindham chaudhuri virus.

    on Mar 4, 2013
  • Rahul K

    Awesome article. To Ankit Fadia - Consider offering a diploma in trick Marketing instead. Ankit Fadia Diploma in Trick Marketing (ADFTM), Rs 15,000/- only.

    on Mar 4, 2013
  • Gauri

    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!

    on Mar 4, 2013
  • Lohit Tummalapenta

    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

    on Mar 2, 2013
    • Baker

      u\'ve to get the target IP in DMZ zone, then u can directly assess or perform other task (rerouting, MIM attack, setting up spoofed https proxy server for self signing purpose etc.)

      on Sep 29, 2015
  • Sreekanth Yelicherla

    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.

    on Mar 1, 2013
  • Tarandeep Singh

    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.

    on Mar 1, 2013
  • Tarandeep Singh

    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\"

    on Mar 1, 2013
  • Anirudha Dutta

    another one for the Indian Institute of Ponytail Management

    on Mar 1, 2013
  • Rajesh

    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.

    on Mar 1, 2013
  • Pragya

    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.

    on Mar 1, 2013
  • Vinay

    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

    on Mar 1, 2013
    • Manjunath

      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.

      on Mar 5, 2013
  • Morris

    Damn. Love your writing skills Charles. on your face Fadia. i can\'t stop laughing.

    on Mar 1, 2013
  • Dhiraj Rote

    gr8 work.... and abt Shiva Ayyadurai is the founder of email service company EchoMail he is not a founder of email...

    on Feb 28, 2013
  • Deon Dsouza

    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.

    on Feb 28, 2013
  • Afsaljalal

    Even this article will get a lot of audience as the title is \"ANKIT FADIA REVEALED\" . Give salute to his branding ;)

    on Feb 28, 2013
  • Moha297

    Owned!!! Ankit - can you say - \'Challenge Accepted!\'

    on Feb 28, 2013
  • Revboxbk

    Pawned!!!! Again

    on Feb 28, 2013
  • Jagan

    He should know basics of computing after BS from Stanford. But most of his talk and books are pedestrian.

    on Feb 28, 2013
  • Ana

    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! :)

    on Feb 28, 2013
  • Yash

    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

    on Feb 28, 2013
  • Namz

    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!!

    on Feb 28, 2013
  • Abhimanyu Singh

    Job well done Charles. I liked the way you treated entire article. That\'s Some good Journalism. Keep up the good work

    on Feb 28, 2013
  • Dk

    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 :)

    on Feb 28, 2013
  • Adi

    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 !!

    on Feb 28, 2013
  • Shritam Bhowmick

    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.

    on Feb 28, 2013
  • Nitesh

    Good work Charles.

    on Feb 27, 2013
  • Yateendra Sahu

    Excellentelly written..i agree with every single point!

    on Feb 27, 2013
  • Sanju Kumar

    Nice article Charles...:)

    on Feb 27, 2013
  • Anil

    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 !!!

    on Feb 27, 2013
  • Tushar

    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.

    on Feb 27, 2013
  • Keshav

    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.

    on Feb 27, 2013
  • Shuja

    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

    on Feb 27, 2013
  • Jd

    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.

    on Feb 27, 2013
  • Chris

    I thought I was the only one feeling that way about Ankit, it\'s good to know that I am not alone.

    on Feb 27, 2013
  • Charan

    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.

    on Feb 27, 2013
  • Sunil Thakare

    Height of Shamelessness. Despite of this article, Mr. Fadia is busy in his usual business. See this: https://twitter.com/thakares/status/306726129547476992

    on Feb 27, 2013
  • Bangalore Hacker

    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...

    on Feb 27, 2013
  • Yaseer

    Great points eloquently made. Whacked self-proclaimed-hacking-genius left right

    on Feb 27, 2013
  • Zerocool18

    Eye-Opener for all falling for the wrong guy. One of the best articles I\'ve ever read! #diplomacy

    on Feb 27, 2013
  • Ankur

    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!

    on Feb 27, 2013
  • Selvam

    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.

    on Feb 27, 2013
  • Harish Kotra

    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

    on Feb 27, 2013
  • Ali

    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.

    on Feb 27, 2013
    • Charles Assisi

      Don\'t embarrass me by using Mr Assisi. Charles is just fine :-)

      on Feb 27, 2013
  • Deepa Jayaraman

    Wow Charles. Great stuff and I have throughly enjoyed your style in this piece. Rock on!

    on Feb 27, 2013
  • John

    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 .

    on Feb 27, 2013
  • Jignesh

    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...

    on Feb 27, 2013
  • Vineeth Jose

    Finally someone did the dirty job! To kick expose this big fraud!

    on Feb 27, 2013
  • Chiquita

    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.

    on Feb 27, 2013
  • Unnikrishnan R

    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

    on Feb 27, 2013
  • Sunil Thakare

    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)

    on Feb 27, 2013
  • Attrition

    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.

    on Feb 27, 2013
  • Aman Dhally

    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

    on Feb 27, 2013
  • Mohit

    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.

    on Feb 27, 2013
  • Nandini

    Hilariously revealing! Brilliant flair in writing. Kudos

    on Feb 27, 2013
  • Alps

    Pretty good read, now would you like to investigate in another such case -- \"Arindam Chaudhury\", date to think beyond IIMs (LoL)

    on Feb 27, 2013
  • Slackwarelinuxuser

    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 :)

    on Feb 27, 2013
  • Shyam

    Summed up very well -

    on Feb 27, 2013
  • Nagarjuna G

    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.

    on Feb 27, 2013
  • Khushbu

    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!!

    on Feb 27, 2013
  • Devinder

    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.

    on Feb 27, 2013
  • Abdul Wahid Khan

    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.

    on Feb 26, 2013
  • Rajan Yergatwar

    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.

    on Feb 26, 2013
  • Sumit Soni

    when people rubbish Ankit\'s claim i always give same argument

    on Feb 26, 2013
  • Aks

    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.

    on Feb 26, 2013
  • Harish

    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

    on Feb 26, 2013
  • Rishabh

    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.

    on Feb 26, 2013
  • Ivin Gancius

    In India whoever comes to the forefront arrives after self promoting very hard no matter be it politics, spirituality or whatever.

    on Feb 26, 2013
  • Chaitanya Sharma

    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.

    on Feb 26, 2013
  • Anonymous

    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????

    on Feb 26, 2013
    • Stharjun

      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..

      on May 9, 2013
  • Neo

    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...

    on Feb 26, 2013
  • Missy

    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

    on Feb 26, 2013
  • Zeusk

    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

    on Feb 26, 2013
  • Aditya

    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.

    on Feb 26, 2013
  • Rvks

    Mr. Natwarlal of IT Catch me if you can Shri 420

    on Feb 26, 2013
  • Rohan

    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...

    on Feb 26, 2013
  • The Sorcerer

    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!

    on Feb 26, 2013
  • Cooltech

    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.

    on Feb 26, 2013
  • Joy Chacko

    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.

    on Feb 26, 2013
  • Sameer Kumar

    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 .

    on Feb 26, 2013
  • Natharaj

    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.

    on Feb 26, 2013
  • Amber Linux

    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

    on Feb 26, 2013
  • Sudhir

    What\'s new here. India\'s tech circuit is filled with Charlatans, Bigots and pretenders. He just started early :)

    on Feb 26, 2013
  • Amar

    Very good article. A movie ought to be made on Fadia on the lines of "Special 26" about how to dupe unaware people.

    on Feb 26, 2013
  • Mihir Deshpande

    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

    on Feb 26, 2013
    • Charles Assisi

      Thank you Mihir :-)

      on Feb 26, 2013
      • Neo

        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.

        on Feb 26, 2013
  • Amaresh Ray


    on Feb 26, 2013
  • Ak

    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.

    on Feb 26, 2013
  • Suds

    Very well written article

    on Feb 26, 2013
  • Rajiv Tyagi

    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!

    on Feb 26, 2013
  • Gautam Gupta

    Good read! This is like Antony\'s speech after Caesar\'s murder. Mocking him by saying you\'re not mocking him.

    on Feb 26, 2013
  • Prabhat

    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 !

    on Feb 26, 2013
  • Amitava Deb

    thanks to media for all the hype. guess! i\'m right.

    on Feb 26, 2013
  • Rahul J

    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/

    on Feb 26, 2013
    • Sandip Dev

      Thank you for posting the link to my blog

      on Feb 27, 2013
  • Satish Ganapathy

    Finally, truth is revealed. I found his first books full of mumbo jumbos.

    on Feb 26, 2013
  • Rahul Sharma

    Interesting and a well written piece (letter).

    on Feb 26, 2013
  • Himanshu Sharma

    I now feel proud to have hacked and defaced his website twice :) ! . He got exposed :)

    on Feb 26, 2013
    • Code_x

      U r Just Another Show off

      on Feb 26, 2013
  • Kunal

    This guy sounds like the Arindam Chaudary of Technology

    on Feb 26, 2013
    • Sanjay

      He discovered the "Arindam" in him alright :)

      on Feb 26, 2013
  • Kavita

    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.

    on Feb 26, 2013
  • Yatish

    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.

    on Feb 26, 2013
  • Yogiraj Mudholkar

    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

    on Feb 26, 2013
  • Chandra

    brilliant!! just love reading Forbes

    on Feb 26, 2013