More teenagers attracted to computer crime, say experts
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Security experts warn more and more teenagers are now into hi-tech computer crime. Alarmingly large number of teenagers are found peddling credit card numbers, phishing kits and cracking tips in some Internet forums. The young offenders are very likely to get caught and prosecuted due to their inferior technical skills, claim experts.
Swapping malicious programs, knowledge, stolen data, exploits and virus code are very popular with teenagers exposed to the world of computer crime. Online communities and web forums sharing application cracks, exotic exploits and virus code make it easy for teens to do the illegal activities. Many nuisance programs are written by teenagers to exploit users of social networking sites, says Chris Boyd, director of malware research at FaceTime Security.
"Some are quite crude, some are clever and some are stupid," said Mr Boyd. Attempts to make money by dabbling in cyber crime quite often fails due to a lack of technical skills. "They do not even know enough to get a simple phishing or attack tool right," said Kevin Hogan, a senior manager of Symantec Security Response. The teenagers often end up damaging their own PCs by the viruses they have written.
Teenagers desire to win recognition for their exploits make them post revealing videos in sites such as YouTube. They commonly sign on with the same alias used to crack a site, run a phishing attack or write a web exploit. They are thus easily tracked down by computer security experts.
|Some are quite crude, some are clever and some are stupid.|
—Chris Boyd, FaceTime Security
Mathew Bevan, arrested as a teenager cyber criminal and then acquitted, says teens enjoy the "thrill and power to prove they are somebody". Thus they end up sticking to the same alias, even at a risk of being caught. "The aim of what they are doing is to get the fame within their peer group," he said. "They spend months or years developing who they are and their status. They do not want to give that up freely."
Graham Robb, a board member of the Youth Justice Board, cautions about the life-long stigma on being caught. "If they get a criminal record it stays with them," he said. "A Criminal Records Bureau check will throw that up and it could prevent access to jobs."
- Mark Ward. "Alarm raised on teenage hackers" — , October 27, 2008
- Desire Athow. "Teenage Wannabe Hackers On The Rise" — , October 27,2008
- Dan Raywood. "Teenagers move into online crime" — , October 27, 2008