back to article Peer pressure, not money, lures youngsters into cybercrime – report

Teenage hackers get mixed up in cybercrime mostly to gain bragging rights over peers rather than to get rich, according to a new study. The National Crime Agency report fingers peer pressure and kudos as a key reason for youngsters in getting mixed up with online crime. Few if any of those who stray on to the wrong side of the …

  1. wolfetone Silver badge

    In other news

    Water still a wet liquid and the Pope still following catholicism.

  2. Rich 11

    Instead of spending resources looking to suppress these highly intelligent young individuals and put them behind bars

    Not necessarily that intelligent if they got caught.

    1. DNTP

      Not necessarily that intelligent

      There's a difference between technical intelligence and common sense, and let's just say that in young people through all recorded history- one of those things has been uncommon and the other vanishingly rare.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Not necessarily that intelligent

        Im tired of the line that suggests getting caught makes a hacker rubbish. Thats just not true.

        "Hacking in and covering your tracks" is a phallacy. Since there is always collateral damage be it kit being forced offline or data being stolen. Whatever it may be.

        There is, was and never will be a situation where someone snarfs millions of records from a database without anyone eventually noticing.

        Also, getting caught and being charged are two entirely different things. Cybercrime is notoriously hard to prove.

        Its very easy to get caught, especially since the required skillset is relatively uncommon. Its easy to catch a knife weilding maniac but its much harder to prove he actually harmed anyone.

  3. Moosh

    Teaching kids about cyber security and ethical hacking early on

    Several problems here:

    1. Barely anyone knows how to code or has any real knowledge of cyber security

    2. Those that do have sufficient knowledge earn much more money doing things other than teaching

    3. Teaching is a horrible profession at secondary school level

    4. Absolutely no one else in the entire school would be able to understand what the fuck is going on beyond 1 or 2 actually interested students per year group and the teacher

    Schools have enough trouble finding competent math teachers, never mind actual cyber security or coding experts.

    1. Don MacVittie

      Re: Teaching kids about cyber security and ethical hacking early on

      All true, but they're already learning online, outside of the formal setting. So run with that, and give them places online that meet the need without driving them black hat.

      The problem would be keeping such places from becoming recruitment grounds for black hats or governments, but hey, not my job. :-)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Teaching kids about cyber security and ethical hacking early on

        They're getting recruited by black hats and governments already, so what difference would it make that some still are? For every one who is diverted into some sort of alternative online setting like you're talking about and stays on the "white hat" side, that's one fewer for the black hats and governments to recruit.

  4. tiggity Silver badge


    "Last year's TalkTalk hack is a prime example of how a young person working alone in their bedroom can significantly impact an entire business"

    .. Not really, Talk Talk got off essentially free, microscopic fine (when you think how many peoples personal data), no criminal charges.

    So, minimal impact on the business, not so good for customers who had personal data lifted

    1. Lamont Cranston

      Re: Talk Talk got off essentially free

      Their reputation got thoroughly trashed, the CEO has walked, and their share price isn't what it was before the hack. I'd say the incident has had a significant effect on their business.

      1. wolfetone Silver badge

        Re: Talk Talk got off essentially free

        Well, no.

        The way the CEO and TalkTalk handled the hack affected their business. Not the hack itself.

        1. Lamont Cranston

          Re: Talk Talk got off essentially free

          The Titanic might sunk as a consequence of the angle at which it collided with the iceberg, but I'd still give the iceberg some credit.

  5. Tom Paine

    A pint...

    ...for the Undertones reference. And hey, it's Friday

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: A pint...

      I was a big John Peel fan, starting with the last couple years of "Top Gear" (no, not that one!). I was listening the first time he played "Teenage Kicks" ... I never did understand his fascination with the song, I thought (and still think) it is simple dreadful pop. Just goes to show, if we all liked the same thing the world would be an awfully boring place!

      RIP, John. This round is on me.

  6. handleoclast

    Peer pressure?

    As far as young offenders are concerned, it's peer pressure of a sort. Being horny adolescents they're desperate to get laid. If they're weak and nerdy they're not going to impress the girls with their non-existent fighting skills. So instead they try to impress by cybercrime. Look at me! I'm an 3771 h4x0R!!!1!

    The cheapest, quickest and easiest way of deterring such people from cybercrime is to pay for them to have a session with a prostitute. After they've been laid once, the desperate need goes away and they're more amenable to thinking with their big brain rather than their little one.

    For the true criminals, of course, money is the reward. They're much harder to discourage.

    1. Tikimon

      Re: Peer pressure?

      Oh, I dunno about that. My first session (she wasn't a prostitute, lol) was more like putting out fire with gasoline. I regret to say that afterward I put more effort into the quest for sex, not less.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Peer pressure?

        "I regret to say that afterward I put more effort into the quest for sex, not less."

        True. Once you figure out that it isn't difficult to achieve you want more...a bit like hacking.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The young and dumb end up dead or in prison. That is the reality of crime and ignorance.

  8. JimC

    > Peer pressure, not money, lures youngsters into cybercrime

    I don't think that sentence really needs cyber in, judging by my experience of kids who get themselves into trouble.

  9. DCFusor

    Missing obvious human nature

    Most teens go through a period of rebellion against authority...then or (with more damage) later on. Ignoring this motivator is silly. Whether it's annoying music, pot, tattoos, weird clothes, piercing, it's done to annoy deliberately. Most of these things are looked back on later as having been pretty silly, once people grow out of it (if they're honest) and sometimes regret. If it's against the rules, and you might get away with it, teens are going to do it, period. That's without yet mentioning anything to do with computers, duh.

    So, if you find out what makes them not be crackers - you can solve the entire rebellion thing on any subject. GoodLuckWithThat.

  10. datafabric

    Same as it ever was

    Same as it ever was

  11. Suricou Raven

    Game modding?

    Game modding, as it involves learning actual technical skills and applying them in a non-economically-productive manner, is now considered a gateway to becoming an internet criminal.

    1. Will Godfrey Silver badge

      Re: Game modding?

      But of course! It has the potential to make a dent in the profits of the mega-corps, so is clearly anti-sheeple social

    2. Francis Boyle Silver badge

      Re: Game modding?

      I made once made a Quake 2 mod were all the soldiers were replaced with Daleks. If only I had resisted I wouldn't have ended up hacking the Democratic Party and Trump might not have been elected. Please forgive me.

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