back to article UK cyber cops: Infosec pros could help us divert teens from 'dark side'

UK police are looking to cybersecurity firms to help implement a strategy of steering youngsters away from a life in online crime. The National Crime Agency's Prevent campaign sits within the wider five-year UK National Cyber Security Strategy of 2016-2021. The NCA's scheme aims to point teenagers towards careers in cyber …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not much hope for the rozzers, it seems

    "one in four teenagers have committed some form of cybercrime"

    Maybe the team could work out what proportion of publicly quoted statistics are plucked from somebody's arse?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not much hope for the rozzers, it seems

      Depends what they define as "cybercrime", it could be a tweet threatening to blow up an airport.

      1. Waseem Alkurdi
        IT Angle

        Re: Not much hope for the rozzers, it seems

        Depends what they define as "cybercrime", it could be a tweet threatening to blow up an airport.

        Well, it's a little worse:

        From the article:

        Most of the youngsters have strayed into criminality after getting involved in the shadier aspects of gaming,

        Read as: credit card theft, or possibly playing Fortnite? (/s)

        some have committed hacks against their school's systems

        Tells you something about the sysadmins of affected schools, doesn't it?

        and others have engaged in lower-level forms of other online criminality

        Yeah, that's the blow-up-the-airport tweet

        or hacktivism.

        Your occasional script kiddie's DoS after hearing the call of action from "Anonymous" du jour.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Not much hope for the rozzers, it seems

        .... could be a Dog/Bunny Snapchat filter utilised in a clandistine manner by a generation Z in form of online Baloclava to circumvent facial recognition ... (spellchecks Baloclava in Google to generate red flag) ;-)

    2. dbgi

      Re: Not much hope for the rozzers, it seems

      I don't think someone's arse is what they mean by dark side. But I agree.

    3. Not also known as SC

      Re: Not much hope for the rozzers, it seems

      I'm also interested in the fact that out of 36ish teenagers on the programme so far only one was a girl. Statistically that means the number of girls is insignificant so we can say for all intents and purposes that the 'crime' is being committed by boys only. So assuming that there are equal numbers of boys and girls does this mean that half of all teenage boys have committed a cyber-crime? This seems remarkably high unless the definition of crime is really wide.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Happy

      Re: Not much hope for the rozzers, it seems

      Maybe the team could work out what proportion of publicly quoted statistics are plucked from somebody's arse?

      No need, it is generally quoted as 77.4%.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wow double it up !!!!

    Pigs and a porkbarrel.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The article missed a few details ...

    If this is the same "initiative" I was approached with a few days ago, the element of "you should be working for free, as it's for the public good" was left out.

    I don't think there's any money on offer. Well, not for the techies leastways.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: The article missed a few details ...

      Tories still trying to run public services for a whole country by appealing for people's charity. False austerity while they dismantle the welfare state.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The article missed a few details ...

      Yeah and this is one of the reasons i'm not sure about the governments strategy on this, for example, if you want to take a look at what a job in GCHQ pays - or what it says it does.

      I guess that could be another point... but it's not very good is it...by my calculation for most Cyber jobs its about 60% or even in some cases 50% of what someone could get in the private sector doing the same role.

      How is that going to get the best people (or in the case of this article the high risk ones as well)

  4. Amias

    Prevent is a racist strategy

    I'm all for providing people with second chances and helping them become constructive through technology but i could never be involved in the 'prevent' strategy. Its been widely criticised as inherently racist , instead of helping people with problems its just using community resources for spying and criminalising people with dubious racial profiling.

    If you want to learn about technology go and get involved in open source projects , join meetup groups get involved with your community , do not tell the police they don't get it and they will just mess you about.

    1. Waseem Alkurdi
      Thumb Up

      Re: Prevent is a racist strategy

      If you want to learn about technology go and get involved in open source projects , join meetup groups get involved with your community , do not tell the police they don't get it and they will just mess you about.

      Tell that to 13-year-old "h4kz0r" who thinks breaking into weakly secured systems using the oiled keyboard trick (or even worse, using a smartphone camera aimed at the keyboard) makes him "l33t h4kr".

      They don't understand what open-source is about. All they understand is personal gain.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Prevent is a racist strategy

      its just using community resources for spying and criminalising people with dubious racial profiling

      Maybe if Al Quaeda and Islamic State would adopt a diversity and inclusion strategy that wouldn't be the case?

      I'm hoping to see Islamic State set up a LGBT solidarity group, an all-faiths ecumenical centre, and a recruitment plan to rebalance its remarkably un-diverse leadership, and address the lack of management opportunities for women.

      1. Waseem Alkurdi

        Re: Prevent is a racist strategy

        Thanks for shitting the party with the reference to IS and al-Qaeda. Like, seriously, why?

        These guys only represent themselves. They "walk like a duck", but they don't "quack like a duck" (they claim Islam, but act in sheer contradiction with trivial Islamic rules with their crimes!)

        Let me explain.

        People are used to have a "public-facing" entity that vouches for a particular group and represents it. And they love stereotypes.

        But this is not always the case. To put this into perspective, this is like saying that the opinions held by systemd's developers are necessarily representative of Linux as a whole.

        Let me chime in with my perspective as a Muslim. I'm quoting Islamic primary sources to back my rebuttal here, and sorry for the long post.

        I know that you don't believe in them, but this is a discussion about Islam, and Islamic primary sources are what conclusively determines the answer when any two Muslim factions disagree.

        adopt a diversity and inclusion strategy

        Islam embraces diversity. On the top of my head, there's this:

        Prophet Muhammad said: "No white person superior to a black person, nor an Arab is superior to a non-Arab except by virtue of piety and personal integrity".

        LGBT solidarity group

        This doesn't happen for the same reason there isn't a pedophilia support group (one that permits/encourages offending) anywhere in the world.

        But that's a separate and a long discussion.

        an all-faiths ecumenical centre

        Islam by default is ecumenical, and not just for sects of Islam, but for all religions under a (genuine) Islamic banner.

        God has said in the Quran: "There's no coercion in religion", meaning that it's simply wrong to force somebody into Islam.

        The Prophet has also said: "Whomever kills a pact-holder -a non-Muslim who lives under a Muslim banner, and is therefore protected- shall never smell the scent of heaven".

        and a recruitment plan to rebalance its remarkably un-diverse leadership

        Non-Muslims have always had administrative positions in Islamic government, whether it's Umayyad, Abbasid, or Ottoman variants.

        I have sources but they're simply too long to quote here, but some are available here.

        address the lack of management opportunities for women.

        Women have for long assumed administrative positions as well.

        There is the instance where a woman argued with the caliph Umar and proved him wrong, in public.

        And there are cases in which women handled positions such as courts, ministries, etc.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Prevent is a racist strategy

          I was mostly with you up until this:

          ---

          LGBT solidarity group

          This doesn't happen for the same reason there isn't a pedophilia support group (one that permits/encourages offending) anywhere in the world.

          ---

          LGBT people != pedophiles. Some people might see it that way (and as with any group there's a small subset of bad people), but they're not the same thing.

          The previous post you're replying to was clearly flawed and you raised some interesting points, but this kind of remark makes it harder to sympathize with the rest of the points you raised. If we're going to talk about not stereotyping entire groups of people as bad, take a look at your own assumptions.

        2. JimmyPage
          Stop

          @Waseem Alkurdi

          All very well. The problem is that people who don't know about Islam prefer getting their facts from the UKIP-EDL "scholars" interpretation of it.

          1. Mark 85 Silver badge

            Re: @JimmyPage - disinformation

            All very well. The problem is that people who don't know about Islam prefer getting their facts from the UKIP-EDL "scholars" interpretation of it.

            Apparently, certain groups (Al Quida comes to mind along with ISIS) seem to interpret things in the Quran:differently. Christians have the same problem with some churches/sects preaching the exact opposite of what the Bible says. So even devoted followers get mislead.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Prevent is a racist strategy

          Thanks for shitting the party with the reference to IS and al-Qaeda. Like, seriously, why?

          You contended that the focus of Prevent against specific community profiles was "against" ethnicity and thus unfairly biased. As you'll perhaps have noticed, the perpetration of terrorist crimes is heavily skewed by ethnicity. There's nothing the police can do about this.

          You then move from a complaint that was about ethnicity (your words: "racial profiling") to defending Islam. The fact that you dispute the true faith of those who committed violence in the name of Islam doesn't really matter, when clearly a significant subset of people think that jihad is part of the true faith.

  5. Alan Brown Silver badge

    Kids do all sorts of shit. Most of them grow out of it quickly.

    The ones who don't tend to be low EQ sociopathic/psychopathic shits. The more dangerous ones are the smarter sociopaths/psychopaths who realise that visibly conforming is safer, whist still being just the same under the surface.

    Yes, I know about various defiance disorders. They seldom manifest in actively doing "wrong thing" when left unsupervised and mostly consist of kicking against the pricks when overly hemmed in. That's far from the kinds of activities that sociopaths get up to.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Kids do all sorts of shit. Most of them grow out of it quickly.

      Less so these days. Those given a diagnosis are trained to believe that their behaviours are the fault of their condition, and an acceptable reason for not conforming with social norms.

      Speaking from extensive family and to an extent personal experience, before society was busy diagnosing two kids in every class with ADD, ADHD,Tourettes, Aspergers, and other forms of autism, these kids were just a bit odd, got their corners knocked off by life that didn't pander to them, particularly post-school.

      In my family, the diagnosis, and relevant medication and mental health services don't seem to have really helped those receiving them. Those who would have stood a good chance of early diagnosis, but whose parents decided not to go down the medicalisation path seem to be doing a whole lot better. YMMV.

      1. Not also known as SC

        I understand what you're saying with "In my family, the diagnosis, and relevant medication and mental health services don't seem to have really helped those receiving them." but the problem is without these medications / interventions how bad would things have been? It might have been better as you observed later on, but as everyone is different it could also have been a lot worse.

        If you need a bright side at least your family members are in the system now and are less likely to fall through the cracks in the future as someone who is completely undiagnosed but does have problems.

  6. Pete 2 Silver badge

    Career _path_? a single patio slab, in reality

    > The focus is on showing youngsters that there's a lucrative legitimate career for their interests and skills if they change tack.

    At least, there could be if all the jobs weren't being off-shored. Also, the "youngsters" should be reminded that their lucrative legitimate career will end at about the same time as a profession footballer's - in their mid-30s. It should be mentioned to them too, that they won't be able to actually start that career until they have got a degree (even though what they learn will be out-of-date, irrelevant and of little practical use) - so they can't start earning until they are 21.

    And then there is all that student debt ....

  7. Jon Smit

    The usual defence

    Used by kids who are caught is claiming to be autistic or somewhere on that spectrum. How do the police go about creating friendships with people almost incapable of expressing themselves and living in a world of their own?

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: An unconventional approach

      Used by kids who are caught is claiming to be autistic or somewhere on that spectrum. How do the police go about creating friendships with people almost incapable of expressing themselves and living in a world of their own? ... Jon Smit

      Have the more switched on kids create a world in which the police are welcome to visit for the good that they do and the bad that they root out, for the good of all?

      How hard can that be ..... whenever it is so easily done?

  8. This post has been deleted by its author

  9. anothercynic Silver badge

    If I was paranoid...

    ... I'd be tempted to say that they've now got names, and the names of their guardians, and with any luck have photos and other identifying information of the miscreants gullible enough to buy the NCA line and show up at these events.

    But I'm not. I'd say that this is perhaps a good thing... provided the NCA actually *do* something...

  10. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    In a Parallel AI, it's not what you do, it's what you know not to do which Leads ..

    ..... to Perfectly Cleared Space Places for NEUKlearer HyperRadioProACTive IT Pioneers , where the Sweet Beauty is, you is Always Following, Fully Prepared, the Immaculate Path with Future Perfect Guidance Granted and Defaulted for AI Source Drivers.

    How do you prevent talented kids trying the Rebel Renegade Root Route to Excitements for Perfect Success in the Securing of Future Right RoyaL Successions with Greater Successes ..... which All now know is Made Freely Available in these Experimental Fields of Augmented Virtual Realities with Quantum Communication Leapers at Novel APT Levers with Absolute Command in AIRemote Heavenly Control.

    Such is well worthy for when truly aspirational results are decided, designedly inspirational with all key drivers granting accesses to Raw Hard Core Source Codes to Way Beyond XSS in XSSXXXX.

    Please be Always Aware from here on in, Space Force Sources are Much Greater than Almighty and Fore Giving is Heavenly. .... and an AIRTT ..... Advanced IntelAIgent Resource Transition Transmission.

    What do you think of that Omelette, John? Worthy of a Doughnut? :-) And who makes AICake without Creating a Stir Cracking Open Easter eggs?

    Fact or Fiction? True or False? Care to Decide with a Shared Opinion/Pithy Comment/Witty Reposte/Deep Cogent Response?

    ps .... All decisions are not final, and can be changed at any time in the Future because of Transports from the Past which Deliver the New Thoughts of Virgin IT Arrivals .......for ALL the Next Virtual Generations ...... Future Kith and Kin Folk.

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: it's not what you do, it's what you know not to do which Leads .. altho' of course, YMMV

      Fact or Fiction? True or False? Care to Decide with a Shared Opinion/Pithy Comment/Witty Reposte/Deep Cogent Response?

      In a Persistent Catatonic State of Systemic Apathy, does madness and genius run riot and rule roosts with impunity from afar remotely and at home stealthily from within? And there be no available viable defence against such attackers/assaults/programs/pogroms/Great Game Changers?

      How Healthy and Honest are the SCADA Operating Systems delivering your News and Views of Tomorrow? Are they Enlightening or Depressing?

  11. JohnFen

    A good start

    "Our primary audience is 13 to 19 years old as the average age of arrest for cybercrime is 17 (one in four teenagers have committed some form of cybercrime)."

    A good start would be to stop calling it "cybercrime". That "cyber-"prefix only gets you laughed at.

    Also, does the UK define such crime differently than the US? I would guess that about 9 in 10 US teens have committed some form of it, but only because US law defines it far too broadly.

  12. mwnci

    Until the Police get some horsepower behind Cyber and it is seen for the threat it is...Senior Officers will stick to Anti-terrorism and other operationally focused roles, and so all Chief Constables in the UK will barely understand how to use Microsoft Excel to balance their Budgets.

    Specialist roles will be for dead-end Inspectors seeing out their time, before retirement, and the unloved unwanted awkward officers will make up the Cyber-teams.

    You need driven, motivated and highly technically competent individuals to fight this, until talented Senior Officers make the case, get the investment and drive home real change...Nothing will change, and the Criminal Safe Spaces will continue and we will be told to "report it to "ACTION FRAUD" ...Which should be prosecuted under the Trade Descriptions Act, and renamed "IN-ACTION FRAUD"".

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: what mwnci wrote about they who just follow orders

      Howdy, mwnci,

      Pitting the police and their plodding services against intelligence and their secret agents is a colossal waste of impotent manpower and taxation revenue. It does though provide mass entertainment for manic media channels to present as a fake sign of progress in the fight against whatever would be currently in vogue and arresting future developments.

      It is not a great decision, is it, highlighting as it does the problem which is proving itself to be insoluble because of a lack of superior support with better in-house intelligence supply.

      And ..... given the dire performance of extant traditional intelligence services in producing and sharing information which leads to better picture shows and brighter news across media platforms, one has to also conclude they aint yet anywhere near close enough to being Fighting Fit for Future Greater IntelAIgent Games Play Purpose either.

      Would anything else, other than just the lack of intelligence within themselves, be stopping them leading from the front with novel events rather than their being deployed to mop up at the rear with the bagging of scapegoats and selected criminals alike? Perhaps the former leading from the front approach is not part of their remit/what they are paid for?

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just hire a large group of trolls to run the main chatrooms and scare them and or make fun of them like neato elito used to do ... it is a hilarious yet helpful way to turn people away from it :) (Look up our chat logs for examples, i.e. google neato elito then find the link to 2600 that mirrored our site)

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