The National Crime Agency has launched a new campaign designed to educate parents and carers about the dangers of cybercrime so they can better spot if their children are engaged in illegal online activities.
The NCA’s #CyberChoices initiative is targeted at parents of 12-15-year-old boys and aims to highlight the kind of cybercrime they could be involved in, as well as how to spot the warning signs of potential problems.
There’s also help to understand the consequences of cybercrime and an emphasis on better ways for kids to use their tecchie skills.
The NCA decided to launch the campaign after noticing that the average age of suspected cybercriminals had fallen from 24 to just 17-years-old over the past year.
Separate research it commissioned apparently revealed that most parents and young people don’t understand what constitutes a cybercrime or what the consequences can be.
“We know that simply criminalizing young people cannot be the solution to this and so the campaign seeks to help motivate children to use their skills more positively,” said Richard Jones, head of the National Cyber Crime Unit’s Prevent team.
“We have aimed the campaign initially at parents, because we know from research that they often are unaware of what their children are doing online. These individuals are really bright and have real potential to go on to exciting and fulfilling jobs. But by choosing the criminal path they can move from low level ‘pranking’ to higher level cybercrime quite quickly, sometimes without even considering that what they’re doing is against the law.”
The NCA called out DDoS tools and as two types of malicious software particularly popular with young people.
It said all seven of those arrested for using the Lizard Stresser DDoS tool were under 18, while a child of just 12 was found to have bought the Blackshades RAT.
More recently, a 15-year-old and two 16-year-olds were arrested as part of the investigation into the much publicized TalkTalk data breach.
SOURCE: Phil Muncaster