Free, easily available hacking tools on Internet are turning kids into criminals

The Internet is creating a new breed of criminals - cyber criminals - who are not even entirely aware of the consequences.

According to a report by National Crime Agency (NCA), the recent leak of hacking tools on the Internet is not only a regular problem anymore but it has now become a global issue which is far more serious than it looks like. Hackers have long been using these tools and victimized public and well as companies. But now the school-going kids, who are getting their hand on these free and easy-to-use hacking tools and turning into cyber criminals.

As per the NCA reports, many kids start by getting involved with cheat codes for games and mods on several websites and forums and then further proceed to criminal hacking forums without knowing the consequences. Completing challenges or praises from peers act as motivations behind those kids' criminal activities.

NCA report was created on the basis of some interviews of people who have been arrested or warned for cyber-crimes. Among the interviewees, many were just teenagers.

The report found that teenagers who were otherwise not likely commit any other crime were already a part of cyber crimes. The easily available, free hacking tools on the Internet, low risk of getting caught and the wrong perception that hacking is a victimless crime are responsible for "an environment in which more young people are becoming involved in cyber-crime", the NCA said.

Mentors, role models, positive opportunities and similar options could help deter the young from committing cybercrime, the NCA added. Interventions by ex-offenders, computer professionals or police could also help divert younger people, it said.