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Former Chinese Hackers Putting on White Hat, Joining Cyber Security Firms

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Published on : Jun 29, 2015

With recent cyber-attacks on the U.S. networks, Chinese hackers have gained the limelight. The U.S. has blamed China for waging the cyber-attacks which China has denied. However, as Chinese companies are also struggling with the sudden spike in the number of cyber-attacks, hackers are gaining opportunities to join the cyber security industry in China, which is still in its nascent stage. Young Chinese hackers who have tried their hands on infiltrating foreign websites and overseas gaming networks are getting lucrative job offers from various cyber security firms. 

According to Zhang Tianqi, a 23-year old chief technology officer at a cyber-security firm in Shanghai, the seriousness about information security in China has opened new avenues for people like him who had spent their high school days looking out for loopholes in the gaming networks. President Xi Jinping has prioritised cyber security owing to the rapid economic growth without adequate measures for data protection. The state news agency Xinhua has reported that around 9,068 incidences of data leakage in 2014 were compiled by the country’s National Computer Network Emergency Response Technical Team, a non-profit agency. This reflects the grim challenges to be faced by the cyber security industry in the nation. 

This has led the cyber security companies to hunt for young techies with work experience at firms such as Baidu Inc. and Alibaba to join them in tackling the cyber threats. China hopes that eventually the domestic cyber security groups will offer solutions to the Chinese companies instead of the foreign firms such as Kaspersky and Symantec which are currently providing the cyber security solutions. State-owned agencies such as the Cyberspace Administration of China has started educational efforts to promote data security. Though the U.S. government has blamed China regarding the large-scale data theft from the Office of Personnel management this month, former hackers mention that China is still learning about cyber security and hence, incapable of such attacks. 

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