13-year-old professional computer hacker speaks at China Internet Security ConferenceBy Mason White 2:53 PM October 14, 2014
By: Wayne Morin
Grown adults were listening to and took advice from a 13-year-old boy, who spoke about Internet security.
The teenager, Wang Zhengyang, is an “Internet security prodigy,” and is believed to be the youngest Internet hacker.
Zhengyang was invited to speak in front of a large audience at the Internet Security Conference in Beijing, China.
The teen said that he prefers to be seen as an “ethical computer hacker” after being questioned about the allegations that he hacked an online store and changed the price of an item from 2,500 yuan ($1 = 6.13 yuan) to 1 yuan.
Zhengyang, who is a junior high school student in Beijing, said that he only wanted to “help fix the website, by showing the owners the flaws.”
He was also accused of manipulating the online system at his school. Zhengyang did not deny the allegations. However, he explained that he had no benefit from the hacked account.
He explained that he did not hack the website for his junior high class, but for high school students in the same school.
“We must first attack the websites to find it’s weaknesses,” he explained.
In another incident, Zhengyang hacked a company’s website and went on a shopping spree without being charged for the items.
He said that he was able to do so after finding a security breach related to password authentication. He notified the online store of the security breach and purchased the items.
In April, the teen contacted Qihoo 360 Technology, a software company based in Beijing, about potential system flaws that could affect more than 100 educational institutions in the country.
“I think that hacking a website for profit is immoral,” Zhengyang said. He enjoys finding security risks on websites and find ways to fix it.
“I will not use my talents for anything illegal,” Zhengyang told his listeners.