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Millennium Post

Ethical hacker’s brush with Delhi

Even as the posterboy of ethical hacking and hacktivism hides somewhere in Putinland to escape the wrath of his US overlords, as a top British newspaper editor stands accused of treason and being unpatriotic for aiding the most-wanted cyber-warrior, a little heartwarming story emerges from what is otherwise a dump of bureaucratic inaptitude. As a latest report suggests, Edward Snowden – who singlehandedly took down the mighty US intelligence machinery and challenged the mammoth institutions of intel gathering, sharing and hoarding – had, in fact, honed some of his mind-boggling hacking skills here in Delhi! L’affaire Snowden, which brought to the fore the gigantic and all-pervasive surveillance undertaken by the National Security Agency of the US on all the American citizens, all the top world leaders and their diplomats and foreign emissaries posted at various global embassies, has just revealed a sweet little digression in its convoluted and thrilling scheme of things. Apparently, Snowden had visited New Delhi in 2010 to do a crash course in breaking firewall securities and hacking into multi-level cyber safety mechanisms erected by biggest companies such Google, Microsoft, amongst others. Now a US fugitive sheltered in Russia, the man charged with the biggest espionage case in the chequered history of American intelligence apparatus, had trained at offshore IT certification provider Koenig Solutions in Moti Nagar, New Delhi, in 2010! He stayed in the country for about six days and attended the fast-track course at Koenig, an ‘authorised training partner for certification programmes from companies like Microsoft, Cisco, Oracle’ after paying about $2,000 for the course.

Probably this might become a great advertisement for the innocuous IT training company, but Snowden might have given the little-known organisation a huge boost by attending their ECSA course! Perhaps the company officials who exchanged emails with the most-wanted hacker ever have framed those tiny exchanges, now that the man is a household name. Did the ‘ordinary, down-to-earth and quiet American’ have any inkling as to what he would do in years to come? Perhaps he did, but that’s another story!
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