Ethical hacker, school dropout Manan Shah saves Indian films from online piracy
New Delhi, March 31: If you think most hackers are school dropouts and work from dark, dingy garages with half-eaten pizza slices at their workstations, you are probably right.
Unless one school dropout decides to embrace ethical hacking and begins his journey to save the film industry from bad actors.
Meet Manan Shah, a 25-year-old founder and CEO of Mumbai-based Avalance Global Solutions whose Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based anti-piracy solutions have saved millions for producers of films like Aiyaary, Gujjubhai Most Wanted, Helicopter Eela, LoveYatri, Namastey England and The Accidental Prime Minister, among others.
Established in 2016, Avalance has a branch in New Jersey in the US.
"Our clientele includes 95 per cent of Bollywood production houses, television channels, streaming apps like Netflix, South American production houses and European producers and distribution companies across the globe," Shah told IANS.
He said that he has a proven track record of reaching more than 95 per cent of the infringed content on the online space.
"Our process not only limits itself to detection and eradication of infringements but also incorporates traffic diversion and monetisation capabilities for the content," he added.
"Generally, we have fixed fee structure of INR 5 lakh for a medium and small budget film. We further subsidise this to INR 4 lakh for a window of three months for two films from the date of release," informed Shah.
This way, Shah added, you can sell all other rights (digital/OTT/overseas/satellite) for a much better price as you will have an edge to negotiate since the content is fully protected on the online space.
Shah and his team have developed AI-based solutions to control the online piracy of movies on Google-owned YouTube and various other online platforms.
The company offers Anti-Piracy as a Service (APaaS) and Anti-Counterfeiting as a Service (AcaaS) solutions.
The solutions have the capability to identify infringing content across Internet as well as most of the popular mobile application stores.
"Our systems can search for and detect torrents, streaming media as well as downloadable content alike.
"Additionally, it also keeps a track of the chain of infringing pages that enable the user to reach pirated content, thus, helping us reduce end-user access to pirated content," Shah elaborated.
The young entrepreneur who in 2009 attended a seminar in Vadodara on ethical hacking and firmed up his mind to become an ethical hacker, now wants to do more - strengthen India's cyber security.
Manan and his expertise in cyber forensics has helped Gujarat and Rajasthan police, Ministry of Defence and CBI Gandhinagar in safeguarding their platform against cyber attacks.
"We have also helped Facebook, Microsoft and Twitter fix vulnerabilities via their bug bounty programmes," said Shah.