Ethical hacker Anand Prakash has been declared as one of India’s best known white hat hackers. He is famous for finding bugs in some of the world’s most popular apps and websites.His love for technology and ethical hacking has taken him long way in such a manner that he has found more than 90 security flaws for Facebook.
Anand is a Computer Science graduate from Vellore Institute Of Technology. The keen interest in hacking came to Anand’s mind, when he was preparing for his Engineering exams .By remembering an incident he says, “I had my smartphone ,but Internet packs used to be very costly at that time.Then I came across some kind of proxy setting and figured out a way to use the Internet for free.” The service provider rectified the loop hole after some time when many users came to know about it. But for Anand ,it was the turning point of his life which led to the field of building career in ethical hacking.
“What I do now is not hacking but known as Security Research,”says Anand.
He was always interested in computers and used to score well in technical subjects rather than subjects like geography,environment studies etc. For the past 5 years Facebook has ranked Anand as one of the top bounty hunters.Not only on Facebook but he left no stones unturned to achieve 3rd rank worldwide on Twitter’s bounty program. He is supremely good at what he does, having discovered vulnerabilities at companies like Facebook, Twitter and Uber. Anand is a bug bounty and earns large cash prizes from companies in exchange for successfully hacking their systems and showing them their security flaws.
But at the same time he is not very happy about the way many Indian companies treat security researchers.Anand says, “Some companies are very responsive.They fix the bugs immediately and also give compensation without much delay.But if you report bugs to most of companies in India,they end up saying they will take legal action against you. The condition is very bad in terms of security but now it is changing. I have come across some companies that are now open to security search .”
“Some companies are very responsive.They fix the bugs immediately and also give compensation without much delay.But if you report bugs to most of companies in India,they end up saying they will take legal action against you. The condition is very bad in terms of security but now it is changing. I have come across some companies that are now open to security search .”
As a student Anand was very active and used to acquire knowledge of hacking by experimenting on his friends account with their permission.What he used to do was, the most basic process like extracting information such as username and password by sending out emails to the victims i.e. his friends (In anand’s case) in such a way that the victim will trust them enough to open the link.Getting access to the password of a friend’s Orkut account was Anand’s first hack. In his 3rd year of graduation he came to know about FB’s bug bounty program and heard that Facebook has given monetary compensation for recognizing the bug then he thought of giving a try. And the work turned out to be so interesting for him that he also reported issues to companies like Twitter,Uber , Google and has successfully earned Rs 1.2 Crore in process. His eagerness to hack or find bugs in other companies websites was so immense that he was able to hack into systems of restaurants discovery and search application, Zomato to gain access to the account of 62 million users. After college he did an Internship with Cyber Police Investigation Branch of Gurgaon police and there he came to know about the different strategies used by Cyber criminals.
Anand Prakash has started a company named AppSecure which mainly focuses on Cyber Security services and helps companies to run bug bounty program. This Bangalore based startup was founded in 2016 and has worked with more than 100+ companies to find loopholes. AppSecure has a team of certified ethical hackers and has been recognized into Forbes 30 under 30 list of Asia. Anand’s advice to those who want to seek career in security research ,
“ Practising and Patience are the two important aspects of hacking .Try and report bugs to companies in a responsible manner.And do not disclose the issue unless you have permission. Security research is an excellent thing if done ethically.”
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