Mumbai: He’s a real-life Doogie Howser. A post grad computer programmer at just 10, Shantanu ‘works’ with an IT firm, securing websites from Internet thugs
Every Sunday, when other 12-year-olds spend a lazy day mall ratting or watching a film, Sanjeev (name changed to protect his identity) spends 10 hours brainstorming with IT professionals twice his age on ‘top secret’ assignments.
Sanjeev is India’s youngest ethical hacker and a ‘consultant’ for Mumbai-based IT security certification company, Orchidseven. His work: hacking into websites to demonstrate how vulnerable they are.
He has hacked into the websites of over 50 corporate houses and individuals so far. As the word suggests, ethical hackers are the good guys, who protect legit users from internet thugs virus, worms, etc, which can completely destroy computer systems.
Rajshekhar Murthy, chief information officer, Orchidseven, said the company had certified Sanjeev as the youngest ethical hacker in the country and that they were tapping into his talent. “He is a gifted child and has tremendous grasping ability, which makes him far better than other young professionals,” he said.
When asked of his market value, Murthi said, if Sanjeev could, he would have easily earned a salary Rs 2.5 lakh per month. But as Orchidseven cannot legally hire his services, as he is underage, they will sponsor him for an advance course in cyber security.
Vijay Mukhi, an expert in cyber crime adds, “At this stage it sounds very interesting, but gradually the child will have to specialise in one area.”
For now, this Std VII student of SMPRS school, Mulund, is happy with both work and play cricket and poring over Harry Potter books. “I want to grow up and be a cyber cop, so I can educate youngsters in cyber security,” he grins.
Age 4: Completed a three-month programming course in 15 days.
Age 5: Mastered Corel Draw, Flash and HTML programming; expert in PaintShop, Photoshop and photo editing.
Age 6: Java, Linux, SQL
Age 7: Passed the MCSE exam, a PG course.
Age 10: Oracle Certified Professional course along with Sun Certified Java. Became a professional programmer.
When Sanjeev met Kalam
>> The boy met former president APJ Abdul Kalam on June 13, 2007. Kalam told him that “the country needs people like you”. (The family was in Nigeria then).
>> Sanjeev’s parents are doctorates and though the boy is a genius, he never had his IQ tested.