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Online-only: Knowles, Fadia discuss entrepreneurship, computer security

By Kevin Lin     4/14/11 7:00pm

Music labels and illicit Internet activity arrived at common ground April 12. Both Internet security consultant Ankit Fadia and CEO of Music World Entertainment Mathew Knowles, Beyonce's father, spoke at the Jones School, giving advice on their respective careers.

"What I'm going to show today is how easily criminals can hack into cell phones, AT&T machines and other electrical devices," Fadia said. "Most people use these technologies everyday, but aren't aware of what the risks are."

Fadia is an independent computer security consultant and came to Rice to discuss the issue of security in the digital age.

Fadia said that the forbidden nature of hacking was what originally drew him into the field. He published his first book on the subject at the age of 15, Ethical Hacking, which soon became a worldwide bestseller.

Fadia listed what he thought were the three top vulnerabilities in consumer security today: weak passwords, cell phone Bluetooth and public WiFi.

In his talk, Fadia covered an entire spectrum of cyber attacks, ranging from trojans, malicious programs that give an attacker remote access to the victims' computers, to denial of service attacks that can cripple web servers by overwhelming them with traffic.

Another hardworker from a young age, Knowles spoke about how he became a music manager starting from a poor minimum wage job in Alabama.

Knowles, an American music executive, left a salesman job at Xerox to manage his daughter's singing group, Girl's Thyme, better known as Destiny's Child.  Knowles credits his entrepreneurial spirit to his parents.

"If there's anything you take away from what I say today, it's that it all starts with passion; and it all ends with passion," Knowles said.

Knowles advised people to do what they love and also gave advice for those that might follow an entrepreneurial route. He recommended having a good team of people, a willingness to take risks and a positive "talk-to-do" ratio.

Hanszen College senior Norman Pai said that he regularly goes to these sorts of events at the Jones school.

"I love listening to speakers who have become experts in their fields or accomplished interesting things," Pai said. "It's always interesting to know what took them there and what pushes them on."

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