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Alarm Raised On Teenage Hackers

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 5 years ago | from the moral-of-the-story-is-don't-get-caught dept.

Security 213

Arno Igne writes to tell us that the number of underage participants in "high-tech" crimes has risen steeply in recent history. Reporting children as young as 11 swapping credit card details and asking for hacks, many are largely unskilled and thus more likely to get caught and arrested. "Communities and forums spring up where people start to swap malicious programs, knowledge and sometimes stolen data. Some also look for exploits and virus code that can be run against the social networking sites popular with many young people. Some then try to peddle or use the details or accounts they net in this way. Mr Boyd said he spent a lot of time tracking down the creators of many of the nuisance programs written to exploit users of social networking sites and the culprit was often a teenager."

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Gosh, underage hackers with no skill? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25529317)

I wish we had a term to describe that... something that notes the fact they are younger, and simple in their skills... Maybe "script kiddies?"

Re:Gosh, underage hackers with no skill? (5, Funny)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 5 years ago | (#25529687)

Yeah, but in this case they're doing it for lolz. I suggest lolkiddiez.

Re:Gosh, underage hackers with no skill? (1)

shawb (16347) | more than 5 years ago | (#25529853)

Uh oh... I've figured it out. lolkiddiez sounds an awful lot like lolkittyz. Which of course means they are just trying to cutesy up what they really are.

i can has cheezburger haxs?

Or... (1)

ShieldVV0lf (1343419) | more than 5 years ago | (#25530321)

How about Spy Kidz?

IT JUST WON'T WORK WITH0UT THE Z AT THE END!!!

Re:Gosh, underage hackers with no skill? (1)

theaveng (1243528) | more than 5 years ago | (#25530863)

Hey now. I have my current job thanks to hacking Atari 2600 consoles, Commodore 64s, and Amiga 500s. I also did a little bit of "phreaking" until one of our local BBS Sysops got caught by the FBI, so I decided to back-off the illegal stuff. I learned more skills in my bedroom as a "script kiddie" than I ever learned in the gov't-monopoly school system. (I'm happy to say the privatized college education was much more useful. It helped provide focus.)

Re:Gosh, underage hackers with no skill? (4, Interesting)

kdemetter (965669) | more than 5 years ago | (#25529797)

Yeah , this is really worth a 'nothing to see here , move along'.

I mean , this is nothing new . It's been that way for over a century.

I don't like that they track down the 'creator's of those nuisance programs ' , though . Programming these things is a fun way of learning how it works.

They should be going after the people who USE it for malicious purpose instead.

I mean , maybe we should just lock up the creators of the Windows API , because you can really do some damage with that.

Re:Gosh, underage hackers with no skill? (0, Flamebait)

phulegart (997083) | more than 5 years ago | (#25530661)

{sarcasm}

Riiiight...
and there's no reason to remind people of what's currently going on in the world... because everyone regularly proves that they will remember it all, guaranteed.

Oh... and no reason to go after the person who creates the virus. Only the person who uses it against others.

No reason to go after the guy who makes pipe bombs either. Just the guy who uses them.

No reason to go after the guy who makes the full-auto conversion kits. Just the guy who applies them to the off-the-shelf weapon.

No reason to go after the guy who makes the fake passports. Just the guy who uses one.

Oh, and why stop at the creator of the windows API? Why not go after the inventor of the computer? {/sarcasm}

Re:Gosh, underage hackers with no skill? (1)

bloodninja (1291306) | more than 5 years ago | (#25529817)

I wish we had a term to describe that... something that notes the fact they are younger, and simple in their skills... Maybe "script kiddies?"

That doesn't make headlines like YAMISH [slashdot.org] does.

Re:Gosh, underage hackers with no skill? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25529857)

we have another term for them Crackers.

Hackers are something else completely and they are /not/ criminals.

Re:Gosh, underage hackers with no skill? (1)

Bishop Rook (1281208) | more than 5 years ago | (#25530161)

Or, possibly, hackers on steroids. It depends how much you want people to be frightened.

Re:Gosh, underage hackers with no skill? (1)

steelfood (895457) | more than 5 years ago | (#25530347)

I think teenagers finding a login/password for a pay porn site on a BBS would count as "hacking" to these people.

Anyway, I remember one of the oldest tricks in the book from when I was a teenager that actually involved money. Somebody would get a list of credit card numbers, and that person would order some thing here and there online with one of those numbers. They'd get it shipped to an accomplice friend's house. Since there's some law that anything that gets delivered to a person belongs to that person regardless of whether that person ordered it or not, the accomplice then would own the items in the shipment. And then the accomplice would give the person who placed the order his stuff.

I never partook in such things, but I knew plenty of people who did, and was intimately familiar with it. I was asked on several occasions to be the collector, but I never gave a serious reply. I couldn't think of a good enough reason why I would give the address of my residence to someone who scammed others.

Anyway, I fail to see how this is news to anyone not living under a rock for the past 20 years.

Re:Gosh, underage hackers with no skill? (1)

giorgiofr (887762) | more than 5 years ago | (#25530791)

Whuh? The goods are *stolen* but they cannot be confiscated by the gov't? Unbelievable. Must be a really weird quirk in the law system.

Re:Gosh, underage hackers with no skill? (2, Informative)

Mister Whirly (964219) | more than 5 years ago | (#25530683)

There was a term for them long before "the internets" were flooded with them.

In the olden days of BBSs, we used to call them "ruggies" which was short for "rug rats". But "script kiddies" is even more accurate of a description, seeing they are basically just following along a "recipe" for cracking something.

One more reason... (-1, Troll)

F34nor (321515) | more than 5 years ago | (#25529333)

...to say fuck no to abstinence only education.

Re:One more reason... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25529607)

...to say fuck YES, no to abstinence only education.

"Underage"? (5, Interesting)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 5 years ago | (#25529343)

At what age does high-tech crime become legal then?

Re:"Underage"? (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#25529533)

That depends on who you're working for. ;)

Re:"Underage"? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25529587)

No, no. That's just to make it clear that they're all too young to have sex with, so no point getting your hopes up for pulling one of these nubile hacker princesses. I can only assume this is why the Sexy Teen Hackers 2008 calendar never got shot, right? Right?!

Re:"Underage"? (3, Insightful)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 5 years ago | (#25529591)

Ha! good point.

I guess once you are 18 you are no longer too young to go to a federal prison.

This is new? (5, Insightful)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 5 years ago | (#25529349)

Script kiddies have been around since the AOL days. Hell, I myself got a juvenile laugh out of punters (remember those? God, the AIM clients were so terrible back then) and other "progs".

Mostly I imagine the vast majority of this stuff nowadays is myspace-related. Probably kids trying to break into someone else's myspace page because they're little drama whores like that.

Re:This is new? (1)

BigJClark (1226554) | more than 5 years ago | (#25529483)


Script kiddies have been around since DOS days ;)

Re:This is new? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25529743)

I don't know what you could script kiddie in DOS that could affect anyone but yourself prior to 1985 [wikipedia.org] ...

Re:This is new? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25529505)

I survived the eighties one time already. The early days of the Ma Bell breakup coincided with dialup BBSs. Now, there were any number of long-distance companies (MCI, Sprint, whatever) that had dialup portals (since they could be hard-switched for some reason), and they gave their clients six-digit identifier pins. So basically any kid with a modem and half a brain (yes, half a brain, since a full one would realize the trouble) could commit wire fraud, and some of us did. Once you got on those BBSs, what would you talk about?

Then there were the glories of carbon-transfer paper and the mall dumpsters (away from the food court ones). Dumb kids + tech = felonies ahoy! It's been like that for decades.

Was AOL invented in the 1960s? (2, Funny)

davidwr (791652) | more than 5 years ago | (#25529565)

Script kiddies have been around since the AOL days.

I didn't know AOL predated the moon landing.

Re:This is new? (4, Funny)

oatesy (1394967) | more than 5 years ago | (#25529617)

I agree...in fact I'm almost ashamed (no I am) to say that my first major experience with "hacking" was on my friends myspace pages. But it doesn't help that great movies like Hackers make young kids think that they can get with Angelina Jolie if they are just good at hacking. I blame society and the movie industry.

Re:This is new? (2, Funny)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#25529975)

But it doesn't help that great movies like Hackers make young kids think that they can get with Angelina Jolie if they are just good at hacking.

Oh? You didn't get your turn with Angelina Jolie? I'll e-mail Bob and tell him to put you at the front of line.

Re:This is new? (1)

phulegart (997083) | more than 5 years ago | (#25530811)

wow.

Isn't that typical. Find anyone or anything else to blame, aside from the actual culprit. I mean, these kids see movies like Hackers, they learn that it is indeed a crime, then they disregard THAT lesson, and only take away from it the fact that if they protect the world from disaster by only doing good with their hacking, they can get the Pretty Girl at the end?

I don't buy it. Nope. Because Hackers is full, from beginning to end, that Hacking is Bad/Illegal/Criminal. So the only thing that movies are guilty of, is not doing a good enough job of teaching kids that criminal activities lead to jail.

People are responsible for their own actions.

Script Kiddies have been around longer than that (2, Interesting)

yttrstein (891553) | more than 5 years ago | (#25529851)

I used to be one, way back in about 1986 or so on my trusty little Commodore 128. Back in those days there were a few pretty incredible bulletin boards that had vast (dozens!) libraries of little tools and wrappers mostly written in bourne...(I think, this was 22 years and 7,000 joints ago, so pardon the fuzziness with some details)

I didn't really know a damn thing about shell scripts or programming (remember when they were different things?) in those days, but I knew how to change permissions on a file and execute it. And I had some vague knowledge of the basics of how computers talked to each other. And I got into all *kinds* of trouble. It was truly bitchin', and I don't regret a thing.

Re:This is new? (2, Insightful)

lysergic.acid (845423) | more than 5 years ago | (#25529961)

yea, what bunch of sensationalized garbage. i'd expect this from FOX news, but not from the BBC.

teenagers have always been mischievous, and all hackers start as teenagers. most hackers grow out of malicious/immature behavior by adulthood, so naturally most phishers/crackers/virus writers/script kiddies/etc. are going to be teenagers.

heck, it's our teenage rebelliousness that motivates us to try new things. even though teenagers can be mischievous, it's usually pretty harmless stuff. when i was a in elementary school and junior high i used to write trojans, progs/punters/scrollers, mail bombers, etc. that's what motivated me to learn how to program. and i'm sure there are many others out there who were the same way.

it's the script kiddies that grow up to become spammers that we need to worry about. they cause the most damage and are a much bigger nuisance and societal problem than mischievous teenage hacker-wannabes. greed-driven malice is much more dangerous than curiosity-driven mischief.

Re:This is new? (2, Informative)

skeeto (1138903) | more than 5 years ago | (#25530245)

Oh, man. Mentioning AIM punters brings back the old memories of being a script kiddie myself. I had a nice collection of those things as a kid.

I remember finding out about an exploit where IMing someone a certain 5 digits followed by a semicolon instantly crashed their client. I would go into one of the chat rooms, make grandiose false claims (such claiming to be a "super genius"), and then use it on anyone who disagreed with me. A moment or so after I would do it, everyone would see my target silently wink out of the chat room. The client locked up and froze before even showing the IM window I had sent, so the victim had no idea what was going on.

Letting an idiot 12-year old wield that power was like throwing gasoline on a fire.

Re:This is new? (1)

Shotgun (30919) | more than 5 years ago | (#25530671)

As someone that has had much to personal experience with this, I can decisively say that it is much larger than myspace.

-Using skype to make anonymous phone calls. I was home alone and had two pizza delivery men show up. One had $50 worth. I don't eat pizza if I can get out of it.

-Using skype to make anonymous phone calls. I had the police show up, one with pistol drawn and the other with a rifle at the ready. And I mean READY. The phone call had detailed how a car robbery at my house had devolved into a gunfight. My hands were buried in a sand-blasting cabinet. The police had made a dangerous, high-speed run to my house.

-United States Postal Service boxes delivered to my house. 600 of them. Ordered online. Anonimously.

-Multiple bomb threats at my son's middle school.

-Anonymous skype calls to a neighbor, informing them that their daughter was pregnant and other such nonsense. (the 13yr old girl was not).

Anonimous services on the internet have their place, but they can be abused by the stupid and idle.

The perpetrator in this case was one of my son's classmates. The last I heard, the investigation was ongoing. The detective did not feel the testimony of my son and my neighbors daughter was enough to get a search warrant for the kids computer, and skype was uncooperative.

Asking for hacks (1)

Willis13 (1357783) | more than 5 years ago | (#25529417)

"c'mon man, just one hack, I know you can spare it! I NEED it!!"

Re:Asking for hacks (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#25529563)

I already told you. The first one's free, after that if you want to play, you got to pay!

Using kids (5, Interesting)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#25529427)

There are cases of Immigrant smuggling where the drivers were juveniles because juveniles are much more difficult to prosecute.

That's how I'd operate if I were a fraudster - have the kids to the dirty work and give them a cut. There are hordes of bored shithead suburban kids who would love to be "elite haxxors" and they would most likely avoid prosecution the first time.

Re:Using kids (2, Informative)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#25529629)

Yep. This is how a lot of the G's do drug smuggling and some other 'dirty' work of running a gang -- get the underage kids to do it. They get busted, they won't do time, and therefore it's a lot harder to get them to squeal. Ya gotta keep 'em separated!

Of course these aren't your average run-of-the-mill parent-fearing suburban kids either. They're usually the problem-case kids.

Re:Using kids (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25529777)

That's how I'd operate if I were a fraudster - have the kids to the dirty work and give them a cut. There are hordes of bored shithead suburban kids who would love to be "elite haxxors" and they would most likely avoid prosecution the first time.

I work retail and I see people having their kids shoplift for them. Same kinda idea, employees dont suspect some 8 year old kid is stealing something. Not only is this the scummiest thing I can think of, but it can land you in TONS of trouble if you're the adult. Getting kids to commit crimes for you is just wrong, and gets you in more trouble than if you just committed the crime yourself (given they can prove you were involved). Maybe the kids would avoid prosecution, but you sure as hell better hope they don't rat you out.

Re:Using kids (1)

bigpaperbag (1105581) | more than 5 years ago | (#25529965)

Fear the return of the Kidsman and his band of child thieves.

Re:Using kids (1)

kefkahax (915895) | more than 5 years ago | (#25530783)

There are cases of Immigrant smuggling where the drivers were juveniles because juveniles are much more difficult to prosecute. That's how I'd operate if I were a fraudster - have the kids to the dirty work and give them a cut. There are hordes of bored shithead suburban kids who would love to be "elite haxxors" and they would most likely avoid prosecution the first time.

Especially if they rat you out.

I forget the term... (5, Interesting)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 5 years ago | (#25529429)

I forget the term, but there are laws on the books that state that if you are a landlord, and you continually have tenants who engage in criminal activity that the authorities can confiscate the house. It is a slow process, but the point is that if you own the property that you have some responsibility in insuring that it isn't being used for purposes that are harmful to society.

Apply that to social networking sites and...

Re:I forget the term... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25529621)

Apply that to operating systems and...

Re:I forget the term... (2, Insightful)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 5 years ago | (#25529671)

Apply to ISPs also. Problem is today that most ISPs actively shield users on their system which engage in malicious activity.

The answer is always they will not cooperate without a court order. Of course, if the police ask nicely they cooperate without a court order. But after a system is broken into unless there is at least $25,000 in provable damages you aren't going to get anyone in law enforcement interested. And that is just the beginning.

So if someone is downloading child porn, the police are right there on that. If they break into your system and cause hours of downtime nothing happens. This can be considered to be tacit encouragement. Helping the folks learn about computers. Roughly the same way that gangbangers learn about automatic weapons.

Re:I forget the term... (2, Interesting)

bloodninja (1291306) | more than 5 years ago | (#25530263)

Apply to ISPs also. Problem is today that most ISPs actively shield users on their system which engage in malicious activity.

This is the real answer. Nobody is going to go for MS Windows being too easy to compromise, and nobody is going to go for Myspace (websites generally are not held to real-company laws). However, ISPs that host computers doing phishing, spaming, DDoSing, botnet herding, or other malicious activity should be shut down. I don't care if the computer doing the malicious activity is a compromised Windows machine or not, if the owner is aware or not, or if the owner approved of the ativity or not. Hit the ISPs, let them hit the users, and only then will the users demand a secure OS and secure applications.

Re:I forget the term... (1)

characterZer0 (138196) | more than 5 years ago | (#25530395)

Do you care if the ISP/host computer is outside of the jurisdiction of your government?

Re:I forget the term... (1)

bloodninja (1291306) | more than 5 years ago | (#25530515)

Do you care if the ISP/host computer is outside of the jurisdiction of your government?

That is obviously outside the scope of any particular government's ability to intervine. Are you implying that since any single government cannot prevent crime worldwide, that no government should try to prevent crime at all?

Re:I forget the term... (2, Insightful)

internerdj (1319281) | more than 5 years ago | (#25529741)

Apply that to the internet and... We get exactly what we need right? You may not enjoy social networking sites but what if someone used slashdot in a crime? Or wikileaks? Seriously is that the presendent you want set?

Re:I forget the term... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25529771)

If that was the case then most of the public housing projects in Boston should've been confiscated years ago.

Re:I forget the term... (4, Insightful)

Alarindris (1253418) | more than 5 years ago | (#25529809)

I highly doubt that. I used to be a landlord in a rough area of town. We'd see cops there at least once a day. There's no way in hell they can expect a landlord to police. A landlord collects money (only sometimes) and maintains the ground and is in charge of repairs, not law enforcement.

Re:I forget the term... (2, Informative)

conteXXt (249905) | more than 5 years ago | (#25530027)

Think "Grow Houses" Up here in Canada. If a landlord knowing keeps renting to a grower the house can and will be forcibly cleaned up at considerable expense to the owner and the owner may also be held criminally responsible. Different laws/country though.

Re:I forget the term... (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 5 years ago | (#25530153)

I would think that they would have to take the size of your building into account. If you house 100 people and 1 or two get arrested each year, that very well could be normal for your neighborhood and have nothing to do with the owner of the building.

Now consider that a place like myspace or facebook has hundreds of thousands of users, the vaste majority of which are 100% legitimate. In my opinion, it would be unnacceptable to pull the plug on those sites because of what a few idiotic kids did in their free time.

Re:I forget the term... (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 5 years ago | (#25530521)

please tell me how to evict or inspect property where they have guns.

Also if you call the cops on your tenants, it's counted against you.

So how do you fix that law?

Ummm... (5, Insightful)

Corpuscavernosa (996139) | more than 5 years ago | (#25529463)

many are largely unskilled and thus more likely to get caught and arrested.

Problem solved?

Re:Ummm... (1)

Abstrackt (609015) | more than 5 years ago | (#25530059)

That was my first thought, but arrest doesn't always lead to prosecution.

Re:Ummm... (1)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 5 years ago | (#25530061)

No, you're supposed to feel back for these kids. Can't you see that they're really the victims? Not the victims in the sense that it's their identity that gets stolen, or in the sense that they're the ones who get hacked, but in the sense that they shouldn't have been able to do this in the first place. Just because they're using stolen credit cards and causing mischief in a public place doesn't mean they should be punished. Shit, what do you think this is, a concentration camp? [/sarcasm]

Re:Ummm... (1)

KDEWolf (972921) | more than 5 years ago | (#25530379)

Profit!

Hackles raised over teenaged alarmists (4, Funny)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#25530473)

Mr Boyd said he spent a lot of time tracking down the creators of many of the nuisance programs written to exploit users of social networking sites and the culprit was often a teenager."

Get off my law... HEY GIMME MY PANTS BACK!

Re:Ummm... (2, Insightful)

dontmakemethink (1186169) | more than 5 years ago | (#25530839)

many are largely unskilled and thus more likely to get caught and arrested.

Problem solved?

More like problem created. When 16-year-old criminals discover exactly how much less severe the punishment is for them than 18-year-olds, they all have the same thought: "Crap! I've got less than 2 years to get good at this!"

Jobs for Kids (3, Interesting)

colganc (581174) | more than 5 years ago | (#25529491)

I wonder if kids had some kind of job if they would be less likely to steal or break the law.

Re:Jobs for Kids (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25529679)

Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?

Re:Jobs for Kids (5, Funny)

Legion_SB (1300215) | more than 5 years ago | (#25529717)

I wonder if kids had some kind of job if they would be less likely to steal or break the law.

I totally agree, but prostitution is illegal!

Re:Jobs for Kids (1, Informative)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#25530029)

Not in Nevada,

Re:Jobs for Kids (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#25530591)

It doesn't seem to deter adults - the director of the Abraham Lincoln Museum here in Springfield, who earns $150,000 per year, was arrested last week for shoplifting [slashdot.org] .

Oh no, 11 years old trying to hack social sites! (5, Funny)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 5 years ago | (#25529501)

The whole of western civilisation is DOOMED!!

Or at least until the kid stumbles across some p0rn links or pictures of drunk 18 year old girls and quickly forgets all about his l337 hacking attempts.

Re:Oh no, 11 years old trying to hack social sites (1)

kdemetter (965669) | more than 5 years ago | (#25529893)

Well , you did say social sites

Re:Oh no, 11 years old trying to hack social sites (1)

rrohbeck (944847) | more than 5 years ago | (#25529931)

pictures of drunk 18 year old girls

You think they'd be interested in older women?
Thank God for 4chan & co.

Re:Oh no, 11 years old trying to hack social sites (5, Insightful)

Rorschach1 (174480) | more than 5 years ago | (#25530041)

Back when I was a kid, it was those skills that we had to develop to GET the pr0n! When the biggest source was a local BBS with a reasonably vigilant sysop, we had to get creative. It taught me a little about social engineering... like if you registered with a totally unpronounceable foreign name, the sysop would just validate you without a phone call because he didn't want to mispronounce it.

25 (4, Funny)

PlusFiveTroll (754249) | more than 5 years ago | (#25529581)

Never trust anybody over 25!

Re:25 (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#25530699)

Very True, Little Brother! Also, never trust anyone under 26.

The school of hard examples. (1)

Ostracus (1354233) | more than 5 years ago | (#25529627)

"Arno Igne writes to tell us that the number of underage participants in "high-tech" crimes has risen steeply in recent history. Reporting children as young as 11 swapping credit card details and asking for hacks, many are largely unskilled and thus more likely to get caught and arrested."

Well gosh darn it. We need to send them to some kind of school so they will not get caught.

if you can't or won't (5, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#25529683)

find a flaw in the system, the flaw will be found by someone else

the nice thing about kids being the perps is that there is no more nefarious purpose than "i did for the lulz". do you really think if these teenagers weren't loudly and clumsily exploiting security holes that someone else with much more nefarious purposes is not expoliting the same security holes quietly and discreetly?

consider kids hacking websites to be that website's security research division. the flaws are found, the flaws are fixed, everyone makes out better. thank god for loud dumb scrit kiddies

seriously, script kiddies are a blessing. they provide incentive to harden your website, incentive that some websites don't have and apparently need

Re:if you can't or won't (2, Interesting)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 5 years ago | (#25529923)

A good analogy might be immunisation. The script kiddies present the network with a weakened form of potentially dangerous attacks, so that it can learn to defend itself. I'm not sure where Jenny McCarthy comes in, but I'm sure I'll figure out a way to make that happen.

Re:if you can't or won't (4, Insightful)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 5 years ago | (#25530309)

Yes, trading stolen credit card information is "doing it for the lulz" and has no nefarious purpose.

the difference is (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#25530921)

in doing it loudily and clumsily, rather than discreetly and quietly

i didn't ascribe pure motivations to teenaged script kiddies, i ascribed stupidity. of course, some of them are still downright evil in their efforts. but still stupid. better to catch what they are doing now, while they are dumb about it and easier to catch, no?

been around for a long time (5, Insightful)

systematical (1394991) | more than 5 years ago | (#25529705)

I got my first computer when I was 10 around 95-96, within a year I discovered that I could pretend to be someone else by setting up a somewhat legitimate email account and sounding official. My friend and I would email tripod users, geocities users etc... posing as someone who offered free web services. Eventually we would get passwords to their accounts, change the password, and vandalize the web page (eventually we got tired of doing of this, i think we discovered girls around age 12). I didn't learn that this was called phishing until I was in high school. On the plus side it forced me to learn HTML (I wanted my vandalizing to look good), which eventually lead to a career in web development. Hopefully these delinquents can be saved too.

Re:been around for a long time (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25530277)

you son of a bitch! i have been looking for you for a long time!

Re:been around for a long time (2, Funny)

systematical (1394991) | more than 5 years ago | (#25530343)

you must have operated a hanson site back then, that was the primary target.

Fraud was common when I was a kid (3, Interesting)

TheMiddleRoad (1153113) | more than 5 years ago | (#25529711)

I grew up in Socal. Many people I knew would beige box 900 numbers to get time on a local BBS. Several got all sorts of gear, mostly paintball crap, through credit card numbers gained through dumpster diving. These were mostly 16-17 year olds doing the deed, with some doing it younger, but it's harder when you can't drive.

The temptation was huge but I managed to not give in. Heck, the temptation still is huge. Why work hard when you can make a few thousand in a few minutes? Oh yeah, because it's wrong. Sigh.

Re:Fraud was common when I was a kid (1)

systematical (1394991) | more than 5 years ago | (#25529985)

Its wrong, and dangerous. I prefer free lance work for compensating for my low salary.

Re:Fraud was common when I was a kid (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#25530155)

I prefer free lance work for compensating for my low salary.

Really? I've got a job for you, then. I'm, uh, not with the FBI or anything. What we...uhh...I need you to do involves breaking several federal laws. No, no, that's not a badge! I told you, I'm not with the Feds! No, I'm not wearing a wire!

Re:Fraud was common when I was a kid (1)

King_TJ (85913) | more than 5 years ago | (#25530387)

I was going to say pretty much the same thing. Back in the mid to late 1980's, I remember quite a few BBS's run by pre-teens and teens, primarily operating for the purpose of defrauding telcos, hacking systems, swapping credit card info, and generally causing trouble.

Honestly, I'd say maybe only 1 in 3 actually DID anything with the information, but just having access to it was a thrill, in and of itself, for the other 2 in 3.

I heard lots of stories of people who supposedly "carded" themselves all sorts of computer upgrades and the like. But the people I knew personally who attempted it were never successful getting anything. (One guy told me a story about having some item shipped to an abandoned house a few houses down from him. But he said right before the UPS guy dropped it off at the door, a suspicious looking vehicle pulled up and parked by the house, sitting there for hours. He figured it was a set-up to catch whoever ordered it, so he never did try to get his package.)

I guess the point is, this stuff is nothing new. It simply moved from the "BBS underground" to the Internet, where it's probably more difficult to keep it really "underground" for long, with so many more potential site visitors.

Re:Fraud was common when I was a kid (1)

TheMiddleRoad (1153113) | more than 5 years ago | (#25530813)

With the increase in fraud, it's actually easier to get away with things now. Police and FBI only bother going after the big defrauders. Small timers get ignored because there aren't enough resources to pursue them. Order a $1000 computer to an abandoned house and there's basically no chance of the FBI or police bothering. The credit card owner, however, might do it. Even then, the odds of prosecution are low, plea bargains are common, and short or no sentences are the norm.

Fucked up world we live in right now. Perhaps it's time to buy a gun?

I have written an article about this.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25529813)

Click [link removed by administration for phishing scam} to find out more!

Heh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25529863)

Script Kiddies :) I guess I was one, kinda.

I just got annoyed at people nuking other people, and one quick fix was to hack into their windows machine and change one line in system.ini

explorer=progman.exe

and then reboot the PC.

this was back in year 2k'ish

Put them to work... (1)

elloGov (1217998) | more than 5 years ago | (#25529973)

Start a QA department where you pay these little guys money to hack your systems. They obviously have interests which aren't being nurtured.

Parents? (2, Insightful)

rrohbeck (944847) | more than 5 years ago | (#25529993)

This probably boils down to parents that are clueless. "But he was only playing on his computer!"
So parents need to be educated that there's more you can do with a PC and an Internet connection than browse and play WoW.

Sniffing out Parents? (1)

Ostracus (1354233) | more than 5 years ago | (#25530089)

This probably boils down to parents that are clueless. "But he was only playing on his computer!"
So parents need to be educated that there's more you can do with a PC and an Internet connection than browse and play WoW.

Welcome to the new "But I'm being a parent!" [bbc.co.uk] . Be careful what you wish for.

Re:Sniffing out Parents? (1)

rrohbeck (944847) | more than 5 years ago | (#25530725)

Parents need to make it clear to their kids what is acceptable behavior and what isn't. 11 year olds probably don't quite see the impact and consequences of what they're doing or they think that they're anonymous behind a wire and the Net is a free-for-all.

Computer Education in K-12 would help.... (1)

Eganicus (1374269) | more than 5 years ago | (#25530045)

Let's teach them how to avoid getting caught in their K-12 Advanced computer classes. Isn't that a basic skill set these days? How to report news when a totalitarian government has blocked web access. ??? Then again, 4chan is cracking me up lately!

Wargames anybody? (3, Insightful)

Todd Knarr (15451) | more than 5 years ago | (#25530123)

Seriously, this has been how it is since the early 80s. 25 years ago it was the teenagers who were war-dialing and breaking into time-sharing systems. They're the ones who've got free time for it. As you get older you get into college or into a job and you've got a lot less free time for messing around like that. It only makes sense, then, that school kids would be one of the two major groups doing this (the other being those adults for whom this kind of crime is their job).

Re:Wargames anybody? (1)

east coast (590680) | more than 5 years ago | (#25530203)

It's a different landscape now a days too. Back in my day we were phreaking to run warez to and from BBSs. Today we have P2P, e-mail and IM.

This is actually (1)

nodesyn (1050376) | more than 5 years ago | (#25530189)

considered "news" I'm know this has been going on since BEFORE the internet was even available to the public. You know back when you had to dial into a BBS to communicate with other people... and swap files over a 1337 9600 bps modem

Re:This is actually (0)

east coast (590680) | more than 5 years ago | (#25530517)

and swap files over a 1337 9600 bps modem

9600? Pfft. N00b.

300 bps VicModem FTW

Not just cyber crime (1)

billcopc (196330) | more than 5 years ago | (#25530231)

Teenagers are doing more of everything these days, not just lame DDoS. If I had to pull an explanation out of my ass, I'd blame it on the increasingly pussy parents failing to keep their kids in line, and the historic legal loophole where minors can get away with anything, with just a slap on the wrist and/or a brief stint in juvey.

The attitude is that if you're going to do stupid shit, do it before you're eligible for PMITA federal prison.

Re:Not just cyber crime (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 5 years ago | (#25530525)

Teenagers are not doing "more of everything" these days. The media is just reporting more, because people are more likely to watch news that scares them, and everyone is scared about the impending downfall of our civilization because of out of control youth. Why do you think so many talk shows during the 90s were on the topic of teenagers running around having sex, smoking pot, and joining gangs? It was not because the phenomenon was new, it was because people are more likely to watch that than shows that do not scare them.

Talented teenagers with computer access have been around for a while, and have been hacking for a while. I did a bit of hacking myself when I was a teenager, nothing major just toying with some systems at my high school. Sometimes, teenagers neglect to think things through, and start using their skills stupidly (stealing credit card numbers, for example), but again, that is not something new.

Kids swapping KNOWLEDGE! (5, Funny)

droopycom (470921) | more than 5 years ago | (#25530339)

Wow!! This is indeed dangerous:

"people start to swap malicious programs, knowledge and sometimes stolen data."

Where did they find the KNOWLEDGE in the first place ?

We need to fight at the source, find the KNOWLEDGE dealers and arrest them!

We need to make the fight against KNOWLEDGE a national priority, nominate a KNOWLEDGE tsar or something!

Will somebody think of the children!!

Don't pay no mind (1)

Thelasko (1196535) | more than 5 years ago | (#25530453)

If you're under eighteen you won't be doing any time.
Hey Hey hey
Come out and play! [wikipedia.org]

Way overdue for another Operation Sundevil? (3, Interesting)

Phizzle (1109923) | more than 5 years ago | (#25530649)

I remember back in late 80s, things were getting out of hand with newbie kiddies just getting into hacking and phreaking and playing with credit card numbers and phone codes. They were creating too much noise that made investigations of bigger fish more difficult. So law enforcement folks got credit companies to bankroll Operation Sundevil, put up a sting BBS (Phoenix Fortress) and captured a tonn of minors, most of who had files with phone codes and credit card numbers because they shotgun downloaded everything that seemed "cool". There are a bunch of honeypot sites and rooms popping up now getting ready to reel in the next crop.

Serves them right (1)

jrothwell97 (968062) | more than 5 years ago | (#25530867)

The fact that prepubescent children are people who are most likely to be know-it-alls (not attempting to offend anyone in that age group, but it is the typical attitude) who, say, have defragged their hard drive, once, and think they're therefore computer experts. I once found on the stats panel that someone had reached my blog with the search terms 'HOW DO YOU HACK IN TO A COMPUTER'.

The fact that they've learned to Google is good, but if they can't turn Caps Lock off or pay a visit to the local library first, they have NO chances of covering their tracks when performing cybercrime.

IMHO, if they're caught, so be it. Might teach the little buggers to do their research - and that no crime is perfect and that you will get caught.

Targetting them, due to their own idiocy. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25530869)

It is always funny rewriting a script to target a groups site that was using them.

In fact, recently, this very same thing happened on 4chan, AGAIN, due to the incredibly high numbers of stupid kids on the /b/ board who actually listen to instructions.
God, the amount of people who downloaded and ran that script... such a high number of idiots in one place is astounding, and somewhat depressing.

Re:Targetting them, due to their own idiocy. (3, Informative)

Mesa MIke (1193721) | more than 5 years ago | (#25530963)

That's why they're called /b/tards.

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