Governmentpledges tocultivatemore cybertalents
cyberspace, but also a means of furthering members’ dream of total security.
In October, Fang traveled to Japan to discuss “hot risk” areas and the prevention of cyberattacks with Japanese security experts.
“I learned that foreign countries have similar security problems as ours, but fewof them have a platform like Wooyun to report to, which is why I intend to extend our business,” he said.
In the past, some Wooyun members looked for security loopholes overseas, “but we hadnochannel to inform anyone about their reports, so we plan to break through via normal communications at first”, he said.
Wooyun has connections with groups in Hong Kong, Taiwan and other places in SoutheastAsia, such as Singapore, and hopes to become a bridge for reports about security risks.
“We first wanted to extend to areas where there are Chinese people, because it’s easier for them to understand our idea that loopholes should be made public when they’ve been solved,” he said, adding that the policy of full disclosure has been approved by the online members.
“Most security fans are proud of discovering problems in cyberspace. Publicly exposing loopholes after helping companies or governments close them is the best way for these amateur experts to feel a sense achievement,” he said.
AlthoughWooyun had previously discovered security risks in some Western businesses, including Apple Inc, the companies declined to disclose the loopholes publicly.
“I hope our effective methods of solving security problems in Asia will help us extend further in the West,” Fang said.
Now, Wooyun reports any loopholes its member discover to the National Computer Network Emergency Response Technical Team Coordination Center of China for technical verification.
“Lots of countries and regions have similar institutes, and we first share the
of security information with them to open a door for communication,” he said.
Although he graduated from a university in Heilongjiang province with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, Fang did not find his major interesting. Instead, he was addicted to computers.
“What I enjoy is conquering or circumventing games. The feeling of breaking though a barrier is fantastic,” he said.
Meng Zhuo, one of Wooyun’s core employees, has had a passion for computers and information security since high school, when the password to his online game account was stolen.
“At the time, I really wanted to know how the ‘thief’ stole it. I bought computerrelated magazines and studied them, but still had no idea. It was then I decided to learn about information security, because I was eager to know how security loopholes happened and how to repair them,” the 29-year-old hacker said.
Unlike Meng and Fang, who dreamed of devoting their time to cybersecurity work by the time they entered university, Huang Hao, 27, revived his dream in 2010, after a long hiatus.
“I was interested in information security when I was 12 or 13, because it was magical. But I thought it was too far removed from normal life,” Huang, 27, said.
Before 2010, when he arrived in Beijing to pursue a new career, Huang was employed at a steel plant Anshan, his hometown, Liaoning province.
“The factory job was not suitable for a young person,” he said.
However, a turning point came when he performed a magic trick during a gala held by his first employers in the capital.
“I received applause from the company chairman and hundreds of colleagues when I performed the trick. As they gave me the thumbs up, I felt a huge sense of achievement,” he said.
“The feeling reminded me of the days when I fell in love with information security. My dream of working in cybersecurity was reawakened right then,” said Huang, who became a Wooyun employee in July last year.
Irrespective of their place of origin, the dream that drives Wooyun’s members and other “white-hat” hackers — impregnable cyberspace — continues to dominate their lives.
“Now we want more businesses to improve their awareness and initiate inspections to determine if their products or services are safe, thereby improving the online environment from the roots,” Meng said.
Contact the writer at firstname.lastname@example.org
Iam an information-security zealot, so my “Mr. Right” must also be addicted to the industry and accompany me along this road.
My dream boyfriend should have many traits in common with me, to be my guide and treat me just like any other enthusiast as I explore the world of cybersecurity.
I dream of marrying a “white-hat” hacker. We could talk about hot security issues and compete in discovering security risks or loopholes at weekends. The prospect is fantastic.
I became interested in “white-hat” hackers after I met some on the Internet. I admired them, and thought the fact that they used their skills to protect information security was cool.
The biggest attraction was that, unlike many hackers who have mastered computers and cyberspace, they perform good deeds.
Cybersecurity is an issue without boundaries, and sometimes things need to be shared and solved via an international think tank.”
Internet security enthusiasts participate in a session related to the prevention of telecommunications fraud during a forum organized by Wooyun, China’s largest online “white-hat” hacker community, held in Beijing in July.