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Kids hacking for fun?

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(GuyClapperton)
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There's a disturbing story kicking around the UK wires at the moment - young people are hacking into other people's computers purely for fun. Here's the BBC's take on it. I saw the PR person who organised the survey only last week and can confirm she's not a time waster, I've known her for a number of years. If she says kids have replied to this survey confirming they're hacking, and doing it to cause disruption because they find it entertaining, then that's what they've said.

Now read that sentence again. It's what they've said. That doesn't actually mean it's true. I understand the survey was conducted anonymously, but come on, how often have you lied in a survey?

I know I have. Immediately someone asks how often I exercise my self-image takes over, and I lie through my teeth - seven times a week, I say, forgetting to add that this only works if you count taking the dog for a walk as strenuous. Asked how many units of alcohol I get through per week I come out with an answer uncannily close to the British Medical Association's recommended safety threshold for an adult male, and asked how often I have sex I dodge the question by asking 'you mean with someone else there?' - it's an old line off an Addams Family movie but it gets rid of the overinquisitive fairly quickly.

So yes, asked whether they know how to hack into a computer network I can well imagine a load of teenagers answering in the affirmative because there's no way they were going to admit otherwise. And do they do it for fun? Of course they do! I mean, why wouldn't you say so?

None of this means it isn't happening. But before we ascertain just how difficult and dangerous the position actually is, I'd want to see a little more research.

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