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Kids As Young As 11 Are Writing Malware, Says Anti-Virus Firm AVG

The aim is to steal virtual currency from their friends' social media and gaming accounts.

Kids As Young As 11 Are Writing Malware, Says Anti-Virus Firm AVG

Children as young as 11 have been writing malicious code in order to hack into their friends' gaming and social media accounts, says a report.

According to the BBC, the practice of teaching kids how to code has created an unexpected problem: The youngsters use it for nefarious purposes—in this case, says Yuval Ben-Itzhak, CTO at AVG, to steal virtual currency on some gaming sites and social networks. One perpetrator in Canada was found to be just 11 years old and had included his email address and password in the code, something a more experienced hacker would never do.

Coding initiatives for the youth are springing up everywhere, from out-of-school classes such as Coderdojo to the fantastic Raspberry Pi, a British-born basic, super-cheap computer that even Google is getting behind. Governments need kids to know their coding onions, otherwise, where will the new generation of young app-rentices and future Zucks come from?

The answer, says Ben-Itzhak, is to teach code-savvy children what is and isn't acceptable on the code front. "You teach your children that you can't take a toy without paying, so I think this type of message needs to get to the kids when they are writing software, too."

[Image by Flickr user Sebastian Fuss]