Def Con is a long running conference for hackers to meet live and discuss all things hacking. Last year marked the second year for the Def Con Kids program, an initiative aimed at educating young children/hackers on the skills and ethics they will need. Topics include competing to find the most bugs in a mobile app, general hacking ethics to understanding digital forensics of an investigation of a crime scene.
Before we delve further into this topic, it’s important to clarify that not all hackers use the information they come across for evil. There are ‘white-hat’ hackers that report issues and vulnerabilities to developers in order to help them strengthen their software. For more on the negative side of hacking read this blog on aspiring hackers.
Unfortunately, guidelines around all things digital are still not completely ironed out, so perhaps it’s not wise to be encouraging children to enter into the hacking world. Or is it? The U.S. Government and the U.S. Department of Defense are looking at these child hackers as the future. However, is it realistic that children are able to understand the rights and wrongs of an industry that adults haven’t even figured out yet? There have been reports of children writing malware as an effort to show off to their friends or to play pranks on one another and while this could seem harmless, once information or an account login has been cracked, the information is vulnerable to other attacks – perhaps by hackers with more malicious intentions.
What do you think about child hackers – controversial or just a brilliant way to help kids develop an analytical mind? Stay with us for more interesting news on tech and internet security.