Bounty platforms use 'white hat' hackers to prevent China's cyber attacks

Updated 2017-03-31 15:30:34 chinadaily.com.cn
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A “white hat” hacker explains cyber security technology at the China White Hat Conference in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, on March 30, 2017.

More than 800 Chinese “white hat” hackers gathered in Shenzhen, South China's Guangdong province, on Thursday, to attend the China White Hat Conference held by 360 Business Security Group's Butian Vulnerability Response Platform (Butian).

Unlike movie-fueled myths, most of them looked like ordinary young people in their early 20s rather than cynical, mysterious computer “nerds”.

Not yet acquiring much attention from the public, “white hat” hackers are a group of computer wizes who use hacking skills to identify the security loopholes in corporation or government computer systems to help them prevent cyber attacks.

Qi Xiangdong, chairman of 360 Business Security Group, one of China's leading online security service providers, said at the conference that a total of 31,633 “white hats” have registered on Butian since 2013, discovering more than 200,000 vulnerabilities.

Butian, established in March 2013, is China's first bounty vulnerability response platform.

Aiming to act as a bridge connecting corporations with “white hats”, it has developed a unique Security Response Center model, which refers to using cash awards offered by corporations to encourage “white hats” to identify loopholes for them.

The 2016 China Internet Security Report released by the 360 Cyber Security Center said that Butian found more than 37,000 loopholes last year on over 30,000 websites.

According to the report, 93.9 percent of the loopholes were process cases that could have been effectively used or invaded.

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