Meet Wang Zhengyang. He's being hailed as his country's "youngest hacker" and has started giving presentations on internet security. And he's apparently using his powers for good.
According to Want China Times, Wang is 13 years old, but CCTV, China's largest television network, says he is 12 years old. I'm sure somewhere in China there is a younger hacker (China's a big place!), but Wang has been getting mainstream press after appearing at the recent China Internet Security Conference.
During his presentation, the junior-high school student addressed allegations that were previously made in the media saying he hacked his school's computer system to get out of turning in his homework. He was also accused of changing the price of an item in an online shop from 2500 yuan (around $400) to one yuan ($0.16) during checkout. "I meant to help fix the websites," said Wang.
Wang said that the school hack was to improve the computer system used by high school students, and he contacted the software company about the system's weaknesses. According to CCTV, he reportedly worked on helping to squash around 100 bugs that were plaguing the system.
The young hacker also says he notified the online retailer of its software flaws and didn't buy a thing. According to Wang, "You have to attack the website first to find its weaknesses."
"I think those who hack all day for profit are immoral," he continued. "It is interesting to look for website security risks and I am overwhelmed with joy when I find one. But I will not use my talent for something illegal." Want China Times reports that the young hacker wanted to attend the conference to get his name out there and show that even young kids like him can help make the internet a more secure place.
I'm a good boy, claims China's youngest hacker [Want China Times] 'China's youngest hacker' speaks at China Internet Security Conference [ShanghaiIst] Meet China's youngest hacker [CCTV]