AVG, a computer security company, “has found evidence that pre-teens are writing malware designed to steal login details from online gamers, both young and old.” And, while “stealing someone’s game logins may at first seem a minor problem, online gaming accounts are often connected to credit card details to enable in-game purchases, and may also have virtual currency attached to them amounting to hundreds of dollars. Furthermore, many gamers unfortunately use the same login details for social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, potentially putting the victim at risk of cyber-bullying, in addition to identity theft and major inconvenience.”
This report of hacking by young people seems to bring the history of hacking to full circle. The first hackers were indeed young people, albeit older than these pre-teens, who hacked to impress their friends and others with their technical ability and gain a modest level of notoriety. We all know that the majority of hacking is now done primarily by grown cyber criminals…for money; and by hacktivists…to express themselves about a perceived injustice. But, in fact, many people still believe the stereotypical hacker to be a young person.
The term script kiddie was originally defined as a very young person who has no experience as a hacker, but uses hacking code (scripts) obtained from experienced hackers to attack as a hacker would. Nowadays inexperienced hackers can buy full functioned malware packages to attack victims; hmmm…there’s that full circle thing again; and make lots of money doing so.
The bottom line of this news is twofold:
1. The technological expertise of these very young digital native kids is more advanced this time around the circle, one of them is an 11-year-old, and
2. Because of the existence of malware for sale, these kids can and will be more dangerous and destructive than their predecessors.
Reference: Net Security.org article
Be very careful…it’s dangerous out there.
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