Infosec Opinion

The Man Who Discovered the Caffe Latte Attack: Vivek Ramachandran

If you study and practice cybersecurity, the name of Vivek Ramachandran inevitably comes up. A world-renowned security researcher and evangelist, he is the man who discovered the Caffe Latte attack and the force behind Pentester Academy and

The Caffe Latte Attack that he discovered in 2007 is now part of Wireless Security textbooks and various Wireless Penetration testing tools like Aircrack-NG. Researching WiFi security for over a decade, he also broke WEP Cloaking, conceptualized enterprise Wi-Fi Backdoors, and also created Chellam (Wi-Fi Firewall), WiMonitor Enterprise (802.11ac monitoring), Chigula (Wi-Fi traffic analysis via SQL), Deceptacon (IoT Honeypots) among others.

Today Ramachandran is among the most influential voices in the area of cybersecurity and is an equally well-known name in the hacker community as well as cybersecurity leadership at top organizations. When he is not discovering vulnerabilities, he is providing consulting to Fortune 500 companies.

Having applied his skills at both breaking and building security and working with companies like Cisco and Airtight Network among others, Ramachandran decided to take the teaching route. In 2011 he founded Pentester Academy, which he has successfully built into a pioneer in online subscription-based cybersecurity training. The academy has already trained thousands of students from across 90 countries.

Among his customers include government agencies, military personnel, Fortune 500 companies as well as smaller enterprises.

Before founding Pentester Academy, he started in 2007. It is a YouTube channel that currently aggregates the largest collection of security research videos on the web. Its immense popularity can be gauged by the fact that receives over 100,000 unique visitors a month.

A B.Tech from IIT Guwahati and an advisor to the computer science department’s security lab, Ramachandran takes a keen interest in the areas of Wireless, Mobile, Network and Web Application Pentesting, Shellcoding, Reversing and Exploit Research. He has built his expertise around computer and network security, exploit research, wireless security, computer forensics, embedded systems security, compliance, and e-Governance.

He is the author of multiple books on Wi-Fi security, which have together sold over 20,000+ copies worldwide and have been translated into multiple languages. He has also published multiple research papers in the field of DDoS, ARP Spoofing Detection, and Anomaly-based Intrusion Detection Systems. 

Ramachandran is an internationally acclaimed speaker at top security conferences, including DEFCON, Blackhat USA, Europe, and Abu Dhabi, Brucon, Hacktivity, Nullcon, etc. Some of his well-known talks include – “WEP Cloaking Exposed” at Defcon 15, Las Vegas, USA, and “The Caffe Latte Attack” at Toorcon, San Diego, USA. He also conducted workshops and corporate training around the world apart from his speaking engagements.

In 2006, Microsoft declared Ramachandran one of the winners of the Microsoft Security Shootout Contest held in India among 65,000 participants, aimed at finding leading security experts in the country. He was also awarded a Team Achievement Award by Cisco for his contribution to the 802.1x and Port Security modules in the Catalyst 6500 series of switches.

Ramachandran was featured in the evening edition of CBS5 news in the US where he educated the general public on the dangers of using WEP in Wireless. 

Image credit:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

You may also like