Young Austrian Hacker Acted 'Out of Boredom'
The Federal Criminal Police Office for Computer and Network Crime in Austria recently announced the arrest of the country's youngest hacker. At just 15 years old the teenage hacker has admitted to being prolific too, claiming 259 hacks over the space of three months.
Between January and March 2012, a 15-year-old from Lower Austria, breached public systems, institutions and authorities in Austria, and many other countries too according an official statement. Interior Minister, Mag.a Johanna Mikl-Leitner, said that the hacks demonstrate just how vulnerable computer systems are, while at the same time, they show just how technologically advanced today's young people are. The Austrian suspect reportedly told officers that his hacking skills were self-taught.
While incidents like this may start out as a prank, Interior Minister Mikl-Leitner stressed that they cannot be considered as petty offenses.
The teenager admitted that he had used hacking tools to search for vulnerabilities and bugs on web pages and databases. Mag Löschl Leopold, Director of the Federal Office of Computer and Network Crime, emphasized that the next step that the youngster took, in accessing user data, which he published on the Internet and on Twitter, was an illegal act. No figure was available yet for losses or damages incurred as a result of the breaches as investigations were continuing.
The hacker claimed that boredom and the need for attention from the media was the motivation for his actions. The Ministry of the Interior emphasized that Internet crime was not exclusive to the young and that, for example, as quoted by Director Leopold, in 2011 eleven percent of computer offenses were committed by 10 to 21-year-olds, 17 percent of 21 - to 25-year-olds and 46 percent of 25 - to 40-year-olds.
Austrian police recently announced a program due to begin later in 2012 where 300 specially trained police will visit schools and colleges to hold workshops and stage events aimed at educating youngsters on a range of computer related subjects which, the Ministry hopes, will help prevent problems in the future.
Efforts have been made to improve cooperation between the Austrian Economic Chamber (WKO) and the Ministry of Interior (MoI), the statement continues, in an effort to raise awareness about computer security for businesses and to improve crime prevention through a regular exchange of information, publication of manuals and a series of events on the subject of IT security.
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