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Vivek Ramachandran has been working in the computer and network security domain, in some form or the other, for the past 7 years. His curiosity about computer security was aroused by a virus attack on his home computer way back in 1998. His helplessness in the face of this attack which wiped his drive clean, prompted him to dive deeper into this domain. After dozens of crashes, reboots and reinstalls which ensued, he managed to write his first MBR infector. After that there was no looking back.

In 2000, he managed to bag a seat in the Electronics and Communications department of the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati (IIT-G). With a high speed net connection, a large networked environment and hundreds of fellow colleagues' computers to mess with, he spent his time well, experimenting with
various exploits, worms and virus code. It was during this time that he was offered a sponsored summer internship by Prof. Beat Stettler at HSR, Switzerland to work on Wireless security (802.11). The project was technically challenging and Vivek thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it. Once he was back in India, he decided to make his hobby his profession ! He requested Prof. Sukumar Nandi to supervise his thesis titled "Attacks on the Tcp/Ip Protocol Suite and the Design of an Anomaly based NIDS". This work led to the writing of a couple of papers and a lot of proof of concept code, which is used at IIT-G even today.

After graduation in 2004, Vivek briefly worked at Reliance Infocomm before joining Cisco Systems Inc. At Cisco, he worked in the Layer 2 security team under the Internet Switching and Business Unit (ISBU). Among others, his contributions to the 802.1x and Port Security features in the Catalyst 6500 switches at Cisco Systems earned him a
Team Achievement Award in 2005. After Cisco, he worked briefly with Guavus Networks, before moving on to start his own consultancy in 2006.

During this period, while executing projects from home, while interacting with some friends appearing for MBA exams, he noticed the lack of good educational resources for MBA exam preparation (for Indian MBA exams such as the CAT, XAT etc) . He thus started Mbafreak.com - a site to help Mba aspirants in India. Though still quite raw and uncut, it has around 3800 users from all over India.

A hardcore linux freak and with hardly any experience working with Microsoft technologies, he still decided to enter into the Microsoft Security Shootout competition, just for kicks in 2006. The competition centered around web application security based on the .NET platform. After a lot of caffeine fueled sleepless nights, he managed to uncover around 100+ security bugs in the final round of the competition. He was subsequently featured in the "India Top 10" list among a reported 65,000 participants. During this time, he was also invited as a speaker in international conferences and security workshops held in India. He noticed during his deliberations that a large number of students get interested in security and hacking but soon give up due to the apparent lack of organized study resources. It was in this realization that he saw the need for a site which taught the basics of security but more interactively and more from a programming aspect, than just text based resources to accelerate the learning process . This is how Security-Freak.Net was born in December 2006. He later brought both Mbafreak.com and Security-Freak.net under an umbrella organization called Freak Labs.

In March 2007, he joined Airtight Networks as a member of the Security Research Team. He currently works on wireless security - both threats and counter measures.

You can get in touch with him at vivek[at]security-freak[dot]net or at vivek.ramachandran[at]mbafreak[dot]com .

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