Looks can be deceiving, and the face of cyber crime is getting fresher and fresher. Young computer whizzes lured to the dark side are still very much active, as proven by news that a teen hacker—all of 18 years old—was nabbed in the worldwide effort to put botnet masters behind bars.
Owen Thorn Walker of New Zealand, who used the handle “AKILL,” reportedly masterminded a group operating a botnet that has caused losses of $20 million, according to Techworld. Their botnet has allegedly compromised 1.3 million systems to collect credit card information and manipulate stock trades.
Walker stands to face 10 years in jail if proven guilty. Local New Zeland police worked hand in hand with the FBI, US Secret Service and Dutch authorities in the investigation, according to The New Zealand Herald.
Teen hackers are hogging the news of late, but the good news is, the international community is on to them. The most recent botnet gang that was caught and which police have dubbed the largest and most damaging in Canada even involved minors. If sound advice applies to this global effort to straighten out these juvenile delinquents, it’s to get them while they’re young. Because with their whole lives ahead of them, there’s at least hope that they can turn their life around, and side with the good someday. Perhaps they should even work in security because sometimes, as they say, it takes a thief to catch a thief.