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Oct 8, 2014

China’s Youngest Hacker Wants to Be a White Hat




13-year-old Wang Zhengyang, considered the youngest hacker in China, was invited to speak at this year’s China Internet Security Conference, where he said he wanted to be one of the good guys in the security industry.

The boy is regarded as a prodigy child as far as computer security is concerned, mainly because he came to media attention when he hacked into one of his school’s websites. At that time, media outlets informed that the reason for leveraging the security flaw he discovered was that Wang wanted to avoid submitting his homework. The boy, however, came out with a different story, saying that the website he breached wasn’t even intended for his junior class, and held records of high-school students. Another of his deeds included finding a vulnerability in the password validation scheme of an online shopping website. He took advantage of the flaw and changed the price of a product from 2,500 yuan ($407 / €321) to 1 yuan ($0.16 / €0.13) before leaving.

In both cases, it appears that the teenager disclosed the security glitches. “You have to attack the websites first to find its weaknesses,” he said at the conference. At the security conference held in Beijing in September, Wang said that his actions were intended to determine admins to fix the websites and that he felt excited whenever he discovered a new bug that could compromise a website’s security. “I think those who hack all day for profit are immoral,” Want China Times quoted him as saying. He also said that he would not use his talent for illegal purposes.

Teenage hacker determined to be a good guy
Images credits to Xinhua / Want China Times

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