9 May 2013

5 Child Hackers Who Got Busted

Computers in Japan

Everyone hears about adult hackers who leave enough breadcrumbs behind to be caught. With many services now moving to online systems, the world is becoming much more aware of security flaws within both software and hardware designs.

One hacking group that makes headlines regularly are known as Anonymous. Blamed for many website outages and DDoS attacks on various websites they deem a threat to the many forms of freedom, the hackers of this group aren't only adults. There are many minors that may also be involved in the ongoing attacks across the world, and not all of them get away clean.

Michael William Cook
Recently, Michael Cook of Acworth, Georgia was arrested and charged with several accounts of cruelty to children and the sexual exploitation of children after pictures of his victims were post on a child pornography website.

The photos Cook posted to the site were acquired by hacking into phones and stealing explicit images stored on the child's cell phone. By clicking on a link in an otherwise-innocent text the victim received, they would be unknowingly installing malware that allowed Cook access to their phones.

Cosmo the God
At only the age of 15, a hacker known as Cosmo the God has been banned from the Internet and electronics until he turns 21. What could a child of 15 possibly have done to warrant such a harsh sentence?

Cosmo belonged to a group of hackers known as "UGNazi." When social media giant Twitter went offline over the summer, UGNazi took credit for the downtime. They've also been reported to have taken down the CIA's website.

This 15-year-old student was arrested after suspicion of hacking into 259 companies over the course of three months.

ACK!3STX allegedly stole data from the companies he hacked into and published it publicly. In addition to the theft of data, this young hacker defaced the websites of many of his victims while also boasting on social media site Twitter.

When asked why he would do such a thing, the young man simply replied that he was bored and wanted to see what he was capable of doing. He was finally caught when his anonymizing software failed to cover his tracks.

Ryan Cleary and Jake Davis
This British duo was charged for targeting the businesses of Sony and Nintendo as well as organizations like the CIA and the Pentagon. Carrying out DDoS attacks on the servers, they were able to successfully crash the various sites resulting in a lack of outside access to them.

Having plotted in coordinations with several members of other groups like Anonymous and Internet Feds, it goes to show that the youthful should never be underestimated in the online security world.

After being arrested and accused of hacking into U.S. government websites as well as Interpol, this Athens 18-year-old not only had his computers and other devices seized but also over 130 fake credit cards and a sum of cash that was hidden within a book.

Not only was the teen charged with illegal weapons possession and illegal violation of privacy as well as fraud and computer forgery, he was also reported to have a back tattoo that read: "Capitalism is opportunity and opportunity is freedom."

In the world of online security, the youthful are becoming much more aware of their capabilities. These stories are hard evidence that when a creative mind is paired with a bored individual and the temptation to access data and information that is otherwise unavailable grows, incredible things can happen at the hands of the young.

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License: Creative Commons image source 

About Today's Contributor:
Allison Wilmont is a network administrator who also writes about online computer science degrees at Top Computer Science Degrees.

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