Twelve Year Olds

The case of the twelve or thirteen year old hacking into some ones private network is becoming more and more common. Earlier this year, a thirteen year old in the ninth grader from a small Christian school in Ontario Canada hacked into his schools database and extracted personal information on both the students and the teachers. The student did not just hack into the network using his knowledge of the network and a connected PC  he actually used “external electronic devices” and other “hacking software” that he brought in to aid him. All done during class, this young ninth grader was able to copy all of the personal information the database was holding at the time and not even raise the suspicion of the teacher. Fortunately for the school the files that he stole were ‘read only’ so he didn’t have the ability to edit or delete anything. Probably the most shocking part of this hack is that he went completely undetected until he bragged about it to his teacher who reported it.

Another trend that seems to be getting more and more common in young hackers is hacking just to show they can. This is a real problem. The internet is constantly growing and as we all know you can find just about anything you could ever think of on the internet. This means that kids have access to tools and software that is too powerful and dangerous for them to handle. Kids of this age don’t understand the consequences of their actions and they think they are invincible or above the law when the truth of the matter is that they are not. This student is extremely lucky because he didn’t cause any damage permanent or temporary, nor did he bring the system down for any amount of time; all he did was gain access. He only faces minor charges and will not serve jail time. Other kids are not as fortunate however, and after doing some reading and downloading software available on a hacking blog, hack into Google or something and find themselves facing jail time, massive fines and a criminal record. 

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10 thoughts on “Twelve Year Olds

  1. My first thought was that this is actually quite impressive that someone this young is able to accomplish this without much effort at all. As you pointed out, these kids don’t realize the moral implications and consequences of what they are doing so they see no reason not to do it. The kid obviously did not realize what the consequences were since he gave himself up simply by bragging about himself to the teacher. Hopefully the kid realizes what he did and will make him think more in the future, which is possibly better that he discovers this now rather than later in life.

    • Unfortunately I don’t think kids will learn from him. I don’t know what its going to take but it needs to be something big for kids to realize that the consequences are long term and very serious and can potentially ruin any career options they had.

  2. Yes I think it is surprising that a kid could do what he did without much work, but I don’t think that what he did is the biggest issue. I think what people should really focus on is the fact that what he did was made possible because he was able to get so much information on how to actually do the hacking. Also I think you mentioned that he downloaded a program to actually do the hacking or something like that, and I think that this is the biggest issue. Just about anyone with internet access can download a program to hack something and all they have to do is run it.

    • Yes that’s definitely true. We all know how much information is out there but what is truly scary is the fact that there are full tutorials and often free downloads accessible to all. This is a messy gray area because we as Americans pride ourselves in our freedom to information so I wonder if these sites will ever be taken down.

  3. Yes, I agree this child did something wrong, but I also think that his punishment was fitting. He’s only a kid, and he didn’t know any better. A young teen doesn’t [usually] have extensive knowledge of cyber laws. The internet is a vast resource, and this was probably a way that he will learn an important lesson he won’t soon forget.

    • You’re totally right, he was very young and he had no intention to attack or destroy anything he was just seeking recognition and attention and he wanted to try out what he learned. And yes as you stated he didn’t know the consequences of what he did so he can’t really deserve a worse punishment but he did learn his lesson.

  4. I find it interesting that the thought pattern of ‘I did it because I could,’ isn’t only linked to young people or hackers. The information I have gathered over the years while reading or hearing about crime in news articles or criminal interviews indicates a skewed sense of reality. Young people are still developing their ability to reality check which is why we treat them differently. Additionally, If a young person continues into adulthood and still hasn’t developed a ‘sane’ sense of reality checking, it’s safe to say these ideals or thought patterns will prevail. Without any intervention, a young hacker will turn into an old hacker.

    • It isn’t just interesting it’s actually scary in my opinion. The fact that someone would go as far as breaking the law just for pride and bragging rights is crazy. This is something you don’t see very often in other crimes; people don’t go and murder someone or rob a bank just to say they could.

  5. I’m glad that he kid wasn’t punished too bad. It’s hard to imagine, especially for a kid, the trouble that you’re getting into when hacking on a computer. I have a good feeling that this won’t happen to him again. He’s learned his lesson.

    • I think it can be difficult even if your not a kid. It’s different from many other crimes because there are fine lines between legal and ten years in prison. I think he’s learned his lesson too, and as I said before I just hope it doesn’t affect his future.

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