Faizan Ahmed – The Ethical Hacker
Hacking generally has a negative association with it. However, there is a whole field known as ‘Ethical Hacking’ and Faizan Ahmad discovered it quite early and is helping others interested in it find the right direction through his workshops.
From 5th grade on wards he completed his schooling from a cadet school for which he credits his basic grooming. Then he completed his F.Sc from Government College scoring pretty good grades. On the academic front he had it on his mind that he needs to be accepted in all the institutions that he applies to for his undergrad and this he achieved. He got acceptance letters from LUMS, NUST, UET, GIK and FAST and in the end he chose FAST and at the moment is the only one who is studying on full scholarship.
A computer was an interest from the start and he started designing from 9th grade on the side. Faizan started freelancing at that point and earning extra cash, at times some $1500 to $2000 was a pretty exciting initiative. However, his parents put a stop to his freelancing endeavors as they didn’t want that his divided attention negatively impacts his studies.
Some six years ago his paternal uncle narrated a story that introduced him to the concept of ethical hacking and he started exploring it along with his studies. Like the norm he started hacking on the negative front as he didn’t knew at that point that it can be used positively as well. After enrolling at FAST, he started contacting hackers in Pakistan and got in touch with Rafay Baloch, who is the pioneer in the field and an inspiration to many as well. The good thing is that he is willing to mentor those who are interested and helped Faizan get hold of the right kind of theoretical material to learn from.
While practicing on his own, last December he ended up identifying bugs in the Huawei’s website and sent them a report. They responded quite positively, asked him for the details, sent him a gift and their head security analyst had a discussion with him; encouraging him to pursue the field, explain its potential and even issuing a certificate that he can use in case he wants to look for a job there. Similarly, he has sent reports to various other international organizations including Apple, Microsoft (3 bugs found), Google (rewarded 100$ Bounty), Yahoo, Dell (name placed on their website), MIT, IBM, HP, NASA, AVG (received 2 shirts and a certificate), United Airlines, Western Union and General Motors among others.
Many of these organizations have placed his name on their websites and others have sent him bounties as well. His work has found appreciation within Pakistan, where he is providing his services for the Punjab Information Technology Board. He has been conducting free workshops and training in different institutions as well.
Faizan’s future plans are to pursue his Masters’ degree from abroad in the field of securities and then do some certifications in ethical hacking before starting a full time professional career in the field. He wants to learn the theoretical side in depth so that he has a proper command on what he is so passionate about.