Kids Use Coding Skills to Hack Online Games: Singular or Plural?

February 20, 2013 at 5:50 am 3 comments

What a strange story!  Are there really “kids” using coding skills to hack accounts?  Or is there one case of one 11 year old Canadian boy, which has AVG concerned about coding instruction?  And who’s calling C# “elementary”?  What elementary schools are teaching “C#”?

Why would AVG be concerned about kids learning to program?  It’s not the case that most CS classes cover “How to make a virus 101” or “Advanced how to cheat other gamers.”  I wonder if this is another case of “Don’t learn to code — leave it to the experts.”  Is it really threatening to IT firms that more teenagers are learning to program?

Kids as young as 11 are using coding skills to hack accounts on social media and gaming sites, according to one report. Antivirus firm AVG says children are writing malware to steal data and virtual currency from friends.

However, the hacks are still in their infancy, as researchers found errors that trace back to the original source. One author included his exact email address, password and additional information, revealing an 11-year-old boy in Canada. Most programming languages researchers found in the study were elementary, such as C# and Visual Basic. Check out the video, above, for more.

via Kids Use Coding Skills to Hack Online Games.

Entry filed under: Uncategorized. Tags: , .

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Don Davis  |  February 20, 2013 at 8:18 am

    This was quite amusing in a sad way. It takes me back to the 80’s and war dialing. If the child emailed his email address from his home IP – what are the chances that he wrote all the code or rather copied and pasted a la skriptkiddy? And just a thought, if someone’s site is getting hacked by an eleven year old, they might want to pick things up on their end rather than sowing FUD about eleven year olds and programming.

    Further, it does seem to be encouraging a sort of ‘people like us shouldn’t code / fear the hacker’ mentality. Are we surprised when a student gets called in for questioning just because his command line was showing?

    • 2. Mylene DiPenta  |  February 20, 2013 at 10:48 am

      Agreed. The real reason everyone should learn to code is so that when they become parents or school administrators, they won’t fall for silliness like this.

  • 3. lizaloop  |  February 21, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    Actually, the comments so far are about responsible use of tools, not coding per se. IMHO, learning to program today is like learning Latin in previous centuries. It promotes logical thinking, permits one to analyze important contemporary documents and is a useful tool for creating one’s own documents. An adult who distributes code that is vulnerable to hacks created by 11-year-olds is as foolish as someone who leaves confidential printed material around in the belief that nobody else is literate or who speaks inappropriately because it’s unlikely that anyone overhearing can understand the language.


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