Friday, December 10, 2010

What should we do when kids are behind cybercrime?

By now most of us have read the news that PayPal, Visa, and Mastercard had a rough week on the internet during the busy holiday season.  This was due to distributed denial of service attacks launched against their company websites.

The Dutch National High Tech Crime Team thinks they have caught their man.  Well, sort of, the alleged guilty "man" is just old enough to drive by U.S. standards but not old enough to vote or join the U.S. military.  The boy has confessed to taking part in the attacks and his computer equipment is under evaluation.

Because of the duration of the attacks, it is believed he did not act alone.  The Dutch Attorney general was quoted in the IDG News article as saying "probably thousands of computers" took part in the attacks.

So what should we do when our kids are behind cybercrime?  Just as we ask in the physical world, where did we fail to teach them right from wrong, what should our response be?

2 Steps to Prevention:
1.  Education - make sure children know that cybercrimes and hacking companies as if it were a sport are a crime
2.  Awareness - teaching parents to look for the signs that their kids are not doing school work or just reaching out to others but are pursuing cybercrimes

If they find this young man guilty as charged, should he be tried as an adult or child?

"Dutch Arrest 16 year old related to WikiLeaks Attacks', Jeremy Kirk, IDG News, December 9, 2010.

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