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Vulnerabilities / Threats

2/7/2008
12:33 PM
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World's Youngest Hacker Is No Script Kiddie

Once-bullied 16-year-old is now ready to go after cyberattackers - as a certified white hat hacker

When you think teenage hacker, you typically think of a troublemaker changing his grades or defacing Websites. But a 16-year-old U.K. student recently earned the distinction of becoming the world's youngest ethical hacker.

Shane Kelly finished a Certified Ethical Hacker course that typically requires students to be 21 or older to earn certification, according to a published report .

Kelly turned to computers as an escape from years of bullying he suffered at school. "I have been interested in computers since I was 10 or 11. I was bullied in my early years at school and computers became a real hobby," he told NewsFactor.com.

The teen has apparently attracted the attention of several key security executives. "Shane has great skills in the ethical hacking world and applying these skills in protecting business, demonstrating there are no minimum age limits," said Rajive Kapoor, head of business development at Security Systems Resource International, in the report. "Safeguarding business assets from malicious hackers, some younger than even Shane, has become a major challenge, costing business billions of pounds every year."

Kelly, who earned his ethical hacker certification in Birmingham at New Horizons Learning UK, hopes to parlay his new certification into an IT career. "This qualification proves your knowledge of attacks and how organizations can defend themselves -- hackers can cause incredible damage to companies," he says.

— Kelly Jackson Higgins, Senior Editor, Dark Reading

Kelly Jackson Higgins is the Executive Editor of Dark Reading. She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise ... View Full Bio

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