Most 13-year-olds resort to farcical excuses to avoid handing in homework. Why not hack your school’s online system and take the answers directly?
And if it’s going to take months of filling your piggy-bank to buy the newest Xbox game, why not hack an online store and lower the price to whatever you see fit?
Those are of some of the prospective antics of Wang Zhengyang, an adolescent who’s been dubbed China’s ‘hacking prodigy’.
The junior high student is already working with Tsinghua University in Beijing, and has developed a public profile in China.
But the media have accused Zhengyang of using his hacking prowess for mischief.
Zhengyang addressed these reports when he spoke at the 2014 Chinese Internet Security Conference in Beijing. Despite online hackings nefarious reputation, Zhangyang says he wants to use his powers for good.
‘You have to attack the websites first to find its weaknesses,’ he said, and explained that the school website he hacked was not for his own class but the high school students at the same school.
And as for changing the price of an item on an online store from 2,500 yuan to 1 yuan, Shanghaiist reported that ‘He notified the online store of the security breach and did not make the purchase.’
In April, the teenager contacted a popular Beijing-based software called company called Qihoo 360 about a potential system flaw that could affect over 100 educational institutions in the country.
‘I think those who hack all day for profit are immoral,’ Zhengyang said at the conference.
‘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.’