With a Zuckerberg-esque zeal for programming and coding, Benild stands vigilant at the gates of cyberspace. It’s no wonder this young man named Benild Joseph, from Wayanad, Kerala has become a national sensation and an inspiration to all.
He has been called an ethical hacker and is a Limca Book Record Holder. Joseph strives to beef up the nation’s cyber security and has worked alongside International Cyber Threat Task Force (CTTF) as well as Cyber Crime Investigation Bureau (CCIB) to eradicate cyber crime.
But what far more fascinating than his talents and accomplishments is his story and how he got there.
Born into a middle-class household, Benild tragically lost his father to a kidney ailment at the tender age of 3, and was solely supported by his mother. He would accompany her to her office where he would more often than not create quite the ruckus as a toddler. He discovered his penchant for technology with the inadvertent help of his mother who used to leave Benild at a local cyber cafe on days when she was too busy at work to keep an eye on him. In this new ‘Candyland’, Benild became fascinated with everything techy.
He was in the seventh standard when he developed an affinity towards technology after he came across the now-defunct social networking site, Orkut. He began to think about what went on behind the scenes to in order to create such a platform. So when he was in the ninth standard he came up with his own iteration of the site and named it ‘Benzkut’. He received recognition for his efforts in the Limca Book of Records.
He entertained himself by hacking into his friend’s emails but quickly realized how unethical the practice was, so he decided to look for courses that would fuel his ambitions of becoming an ethical hacker.
As reported by Kenfolios, he recalls, “I started looking for courses and I found one in Calicut which was 100km away from my hometown. I traveled 2.5 hours to take that course where my mentor taught me about the importance of being an ethical hacker and I gave up the idea of getting into my friend’s email.”
He spent countless of hours honing his craft to be the success that he is today.
Benild is currently the Chief Executive Officer for “Th3 art of h@ckin9″ – an International IT Security Project (In collaboration with the Government of India) as well as Board Member of ISSA, India. He also helps companies like Facebook, Yahoo, Blackberry, Sony Music, AT&T, and Deutsche Telekom address critical issues regarding their digital properties.
Due to the increasing number of cases of digital theft reported everyday, Benild finds himself constantly trying to solve issues of cyber crime. A National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) report illustrated the spike in cases of cyber crimes from 9,622 in 2014 to 11,592 in 2015, covered by TOI with the number of people arrested for cyber crime increasing by 41% during the same period — from 5,752 in 2014 to 8,121 in 2015.
“Although we have a robust team in the IT Industry, we are very weak when it comes to IT security,” Benild says.
Benild is a prominent figure in the Indian IT sector and actively participates in talks and gives lectures on information security, ethical hacking, and digital forensics to help spread awareness about the relevant threat posed by cyber criminals.
He continues to inspire young people around the world by leading his joint crusade against cybercrime to work on fortifying the ‘E-fiber’ of the country. With the odds stacked against him at an early age, this small town boy has indeed shown us the true meaning of perseverance and passion.