A survey carried out by security firm Trend Micro has revealed that a significant proportion of British teenager have hacked into social networking or bank accounts belonging to other persons for their own benefits.
A third of the teenagers aged between 12 and 18 years old surveyed in the report say that they have been tempted or to hack or spy online in return for monetary rewards.
More than forty percent have actually managed to do these and worryingly, some have even been lured by cyber criminals to be recruited and receive some fast cash.
The survey - which questioned 1000 parents and children - found out that boys are twice more likely to try their hands at breaking into someone else's profile to impersonate them whereas girls are three times more likely than boys to try to hijack an account to get access to money (ed: in other words, girls are more practical than boys).
The popularity of social networking websites like Facebook or Bebo makes it much easier for users to harvest personal information like date of birth and the name of the target's mother, which are often asked as security questions.
Rik Ferguson, Solutions Architect at Trend Micro, suggests that hacking into someone's account is now the "online version of kids breaking into school to change their reports, it's just so much easier now" and with less risk of being caught.
More on this later today. You can follow ITProPortal.com on Twitter @ http://www.twitter.com/itproportal.
Rather than hardcore hacking, British teenagers, it seems, indulge more in social engineering. The fact that current browsers often allow people to save their password and login details by default also make it a doddle for trainee hackers. Trend Micro also found out in the survey that more than 10 percent of teenagers find it "cool" or "funnt" to pretend to be someone else online.
40% of teenagers have hacked
Facebook and Twitter help teens hack
Brits Breeding the Next-Generation of Computer Hackers
British teens hack for cash
Britain's Hacker Generation
Britain breeding a generation of computer hackers, study warns