China's Hacker King

Zachary Bako for TIME

Wan now runs an IT company that helps other organizations defend against cyberattacks

Wan Tao stabs the keyboard with his middle fingers. It's the only way he types — a defiant gesture expected of an online warrior who once led China's patriotic hacker brigade. For years, Wan, who was known by the online moniker Eagle, terrorized cyberspace, taunting anyone he believed wanted to humiliate his homeland. One of China's most famous hongke, or red hackers, he infiltrated everything from the inboxes of Taiwan politicians to a White House website, where he briefly planted the Chinese flag. "I was the ultimate angry young man," says the founder of China Eagle Union, a collective...

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