The Leading News & Information Service For The Facilities, Workplace & Built Environment Community

Saturday, 14 December

NCA Learns the Truth of Cybercrims at 17

In December, the National Crime Agency (NCA) launched a campaign to discourage young people from becoming involved in cyber crime, after analysis of investigations involving the NCA’s National Cyber Crime Unit over the last year found the average age of suspects to be 17.

The #CyberChoices campaign is aimed at educating the parents of 12-15 year old boys in particular. In addition to highlighting the type of illegal online activity children can become involved in, the campaign seeks to help parents and carers to spot signs of potential problems, understand what the consequences could be and to emphasise better ways for young people to use their skills and interest in technology.

Over the last year, the average age of suspected cyber criminals featured in investigations involving the NCA has been 17 years old, compared to 24 in the previous year. Research commissioned by the NCA has indicated that the majority of young people and their parents are not aware of what constitutes a cyber crime or the consequences of engaging in it.

The campaign aims to educate parents on the common forms of cyber crime potentially undertaken by teenagers. In an operation targeting users of Lizard Stresser, a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) tool which can knock websites offline by flooding them with data, all of the seven people arrested were under the age of 18.

Other types of malicious software called Remote Access Trojans (RATs) can also be popular amongst younger users. They allow people to remotely monitor and take full control of another computer. During an operation targeting users of the Blackshades RAT the average age of the 22 people arrested was 18, with the youngest purchaser of Blackshades just 12 years old.

Resources are available for parents, teenagers and teachers on the NCA website. They include guidance for parents, an educational unit for teachers, video resources featuring an ex-hacker discussing the consequences of his crimes, as well as a video for parents to watch with their children to help provoke discussion of the issue.

Richard Jones, Head of the National Cyber Crime Unit’s Prevent team said: “Over the past few years the NCA has seen the people engaging in cyber crime becoming younger and younger. We know that simply criminalising young people cannot be the solution to this and so the campaign seeks to help motivate children to use their skills more positively.

“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 cyber crime quite quickly, sometimes without even considering that what they’re doing is against the law.

“We want these young people and their parents, to understand that choosing that path can result in a criminal record, can limit their choices for their future and can put restrictions on their daily lives including the loss of access to the internet.”

The campaign is being supported by partners such as GetsafeOnline, CREST and the Cyber security challenge. Dr Robert L Nowill, chairman of the Cyber Security Challenge UK, said: “Young people are becoming increasingly savvy and switched on to the world of cyber, something that is critical to the future defence of our country. The issue is keeping them on the right side of the law as many become attracted to the environment and the kudos they earn from getting involved in criminal activities.

“We need parents to encourage their children to get involved with schemes, such as the Cyber Security Challenge UK, and channel these skills in a positive way; opening the door for a lucrative career doing what they love, for the good of the country.”

 

 

Picture: More and more teenagers and young people are getting involved in cyber crime. Many do it for fun without realising the consequences of their actions

Article written by Robin Snow

Share



Related Articles

FTSE 350 - General Data Protection Awareness Good

The Government will soon be introducing its new Data Protection Bill to Parliament. With this almost certain to come into effect next May, implementing the General Data...

 Read Full Article
FTSE 350 Cyber Governance Health Check

Britain’s top firms and charities urgently need to do more to protect themselves from online threats, according to new Government research and a ‘cyber health...

 Read Full Article
Andromeda Strained - International Cyber Op Dismantles Botnet

On November 29, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, in close cooperation with the Luneburg Central Criminal Investigation Inspectorate in Germany, Europol’s...

 Read Full Article
Action Fraud Helpline Goes Live For Live Cyber Attacks

Action Fraud, the national fraud and cyber crime reporting centre, has launched a 24/7 live cyber-attack helpline. During its pilot since October 2016, Action...

 Read Full Article
If Dolly Can Be Hacked, What About The Hand Dryer?

  Connected toys with Bluetooth, wi-fi and mobile apps may seem like the perfect gift for Christmas. But Which? has found that, without appropriate safety...

 Read Full Article
Yahoo Cyber Breach Was Bigger

Yahoo has announced (week ending Oct 6) that it is providing notice to additional user accounts affected by an August 2013 data theft previously disclosed by the company...

 Read Full Article
Do You Do Data? EU GDPR to Enter British Law

In a statement of intent (made on Monday 7), the government has committed to updating and strengthening data protection laws through a new Data Protection Bill. The...

 Read Full Article
BA Fracas Focused On Plug-in Failure

British Airways' parent company has allowed its Chief Executive to tell an audience the recent IT catastrophe (which affected 75,000 passengers) was caused not by...

 Read Full Article
Power Failure - BA Sticks to Feeble Excuse

British Airways' excuse for its catastrophic IT failure that has seen flight schedules resume but many passengers stranded and separated from their luggage, was so...

 Read Full Article
Ransomware - the Protection Racket

ThisWeekinFM has been making a racket about Cyber Security because vulnerabilities are exploited at a personnel and personal level - where FM's should have some...

 Read Full Article