Risk
3/4/2008
02:42 PM
Tom LaSusa
Tom LaSusa
Commentary
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%
Repost This

Teens Still In The Hacking Biz -- On Both Sides

Way on the other side of our little blue planet, folks in New Zealand are reeling from the recent arrest of 18-year old Owen Thorn Walker, who masterminded a group of programmers that infected more than a million computers around the world.

Way on the other side of our little blue planet, folks in New Zealand are reeling from the recent arrest of 18-year old Owen Thorn Walker, who masterminded a group of programmers that infected more than a million computers around the world.Authorities contend Walker and his legion of hacking doom successfully stole banking and credit card information and manipulated stock trades. The FBI estimates the botnet they unleashed may have stolen as much as $20 million worldwide. In addition, Walker is allegedly responsible for placing advertising spam on about 1.3 million computers worldwide through systems based in the Netherlands. All total, he's looking at a decade of jail time if convicted.

John E. Dunn at Techworld.com writes "The world has been reminded that the era of the teen hacker is far from dead." Indeed, Dunn reports that just a few weeks ago a U.S. teenager plead guilty to hacking thousands of computers, including several belonging to the U.S. military.

In that case, authorities have been tight-lipped on details of the teen (hacker moniker B.D.H), leading to speculation that he's underage.

Does anyone remember that early '80s TV show Whiz Kids? The premise centered on a gang of teenage, mystery-solving computer experts. Despite their hacker-like skills, they solved crimes and used their abilities to help the helpless, defend the defenseless, and stop -- well, the stopless. Wouldn't it be nice if life imitated art?

Fortunately, for every couple of BDHs and Owen Thorns, there's a kid like Shane Kelly. This U.K. resident recently completed a Certified Ethical Hacker course, which instructs students on the various types of attacks, and how to help organizations defend against them. What makes Shane so special is that, at 16 years old, he is the youngest person to complete the course, which normally requires students to be at least 21. Shane plans to take his certification and apply it to a career in IT (helping companies defend themselves from the bad guys) and already has attracted attention of several key security executives.

We often report (read: lament) over the shortage of IT talent. With interest waning, students are dropping computer, science, and engineering courses left and right. Just as it's our responsibility as a society to make sure that there's plenty of this planet left for future generations, a similar goal for IT pros should be to cultivate interest in the technology sector among the young (lest we be forced to resort to coding via abacus). Imparting a positive attitude about our profession also can help steer these kids clear of its darker sides as well.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2012-0360
Published: 2014-04-23
Memory leak in Cisco IOS before 15.1(1)SY, when IKEv2 debugging is enabled, allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (memory consumption) via crafted packets, aka Bug ID CSCtn22376.

CVE-2012-1317
Published: 2014-04-23
The multicast implementation in Cisco IOS before 15.1(1)SY allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (Route Processor crash) by sending packets at a high rate, aka Bug ID CSCts37717.

CVE-2012-1366
Published: 2014-04-23
Cisco IOS before 15.1(1)SY on ASR 1000 devices, when Multicast Listener Discovery (MLD) tracking is enabled for IPv6, allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (device reload) via crafted MLD packets, aka Bug ID CSCtz28544.

CVE-2012-3062
Published: 2014-04-23
Cisco IOS before 15.1(1)SY, when Multicast Listener Discovery (MLD) snooping is enabled, allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (CPU consumption or device crash) via MLD packets on a network that contains many IPv6 hosts, aka Bug ID CSCtr88193.

CVE-2012-3918
Published: 2014-04-23
Cisco IOS before 15.3(1)T on Cisco 2900 devices, when a VWIC2-2MFT-T1/E1 card is configured for TDM/HDLC mode, allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (serial-interface outage) via certain Frame Relay traffic, aka Bug ID CSCub13317.

Best of the Web