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Teenage Wannabe Hackers On The Rise

The number of young hackers trying to leave their virtual markings in the criminal world online is rising fast according to security experts who say that most of them are far from being clever though.

The proliferation of online communities as well as web forums which share anything from application cracks to exotic exploits and virus code make that it is now easier than ever to become a hacker at an earlier age.

Script kiddies' kits are readily available to download through traditional websites or through peer to peer networks and provide with many DIY methods of creating malware without actually knowing the innards of the process.

This in turn means that many aspiring young hackers are rather "crude or stupid" according to Chris Boyd, director of malware research at FaceTime Security.

Thrill seeking, Self-esteem and a desire to be recognised were what apparently motivated the budding online criminals rather than money itself.

Beyond the fact that these teenage hackers risk getting a criminal record for life for what is basically some joyriding, they could also in turn become victims themselves of ID fraud or hacking by more experienced hackers.

However, the single biggest issue is that this creates "noise" for security agencies like Facetime or Symantec, making it more difficult to distinguish between the occasional teenage hacker learning the trades and the more sinister, criminal organisation trying to bring down a whole country's infrastructure.

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.