Meet The Cynja & All the Cyber Heroes & Villains
What Are Cynjas? Cyber Ninjas, Of Course.
Learning is our magic and the key to our success!
We are a Super Cynja Team! Because in today’s dangerous digital world we all need to be cyber ninjas.
Our cyberheroes will introduce kids to the awesome world of cybersecurity and technology. And that awareness is crucial because kids need to know not all is good in cyberspace.
All of our characters in The Cynja comic series are rooted in real life good guys—the original cyber ninjas who secure networks every day, who engineered the first internet, who make sure to fan the digital flames of the firewalls in our systems and make the awesome internet that we all know and use today safer for all.
Who’s your favorite Cynja? Meet our cyber ninja today!
The Cynja is Grant Wiley. He’s a middle school student who likes playing video games, code on his computer and sometimes likes doing both of those activities more than doing his homework. And that’s what ultimately started his journey into cyberspace on after class on one fateful day.
Think of The Cynja as the natural heir to Katniss Everdeen if she married Mark Zuckerberg or if Harry Potter wed Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer. Think of his story like Hans Christen Anderson in the era of Google.
- Cyber Gadgets: hex grenades, binary monocle & his trusty Cipher Cube
- Digital Skills: trace routing, scanning networks, DNS routing
- Fun Fact: The Cynja was inspired by Chase and is modeled after Heather’s nephew.
This cyberheroine loves math. She is happiest finding solutions for puzzles and problems. But what Jo loves the most is being a Cynja when she’s transported into cyberspace. Because for a girl like Jo Alita, the Botmaster’s sinister code is no match for her cyber ninja abilities to analyze code. She always wants to win.
- Cyber gadgets: USB pendant, scanfan, hashlens, octal stars
- Digital Skills: malware analysis, running honeypots, engineering compiler code
- Fun Fact: Jo is named after Chase and Shirow’s daughters and Heather’s mom but she looks like the daughters of two awesome women in tech Heather once worked with.
“Jo Alita has the coolest cyber gadgets! I love the way she caught the bad guys in the honeypot!” —Tara, Age 9
“Jo is very brave, smart, active, has lots of confidence and courage. She is also very pretty.
She is willing to go in front of the class to do math problems on the blackboard because Math is her favorite subject. I think Jo Alita is awesome because I think she is a great role model for girls like me!” —Taty, Age 8
Mr. Hughes teaches computer science at Jefferson Middle School but really he’s the Cynsei. In the digital world he is a lone warrior who battles cyber evil. The Cynsei is trying to keep us safe online. But the guardian of all things noble in cyberspace cannot fight alone. His enemies are too numerous.
- Cyber Gadgets: optic pulse swords, threat sensors, antivirus, firewalls, scrubbing centers
- Digital Skills: He knows everything. Seriously.
- Fun Fact: The Cynsei is based on Rodney Joffe, who Heather and Chase worked for when they first had the idea to write The Cynja: Volume 1.
“I like the Cynsei because he is the outside force that must intervene in Grant Wiley’s life to keep him on track.” William, Age 13
The worst—the most wicked—of the cyber criminals is the Botmaster. His goal is to infect millions of computer networks and gain control of the world.
- Cyber gadgets: binary power staff, anonymous proxy servers
- Skills: Digital mayhem
- Fun Fact: Chase drew the first Botmaster himself and to this day the character still looks like that very first drawing.
“I think the Botmaster is interesting because he’s mysterious, clever, and powerful.” Gwynna, Age 10
“The Botmaster has others bad guys that help him type all sorts of keys and codes that steal personal information, passwords, and money. If you don’t pay attention you could buy a bad app and get hacked. You should always create a firewall to stay safe and keep up with updates to keep Botmaster away.” – Grant, 8
Poly appears harmless because she looks nice. She wants you to believe all the good things she says. But don’t fall for her lies because what’s behind Poly’s pretty fact is digital horror.
- Threat: constantly changing code, disabling critical systems, infecting PLC controllers, evading antivirus
- Fun Fact: Look in Poly’s eyes because what you’ll see is far from human. They are the circuits of digital deception.