Teenagers increasingly involved in cybercrime, U.S. advisory board warns

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Teenagers are increasingly participating in underground cybercrime, according to a U.S. government advisory board.

The board, which is part of the Department of Homeland Security, is recommending that Congress fund juvenile cybercrime prevention programs to help steer young people away from illegal hacking and other online crimes.

The recommendation comes as the board investigates Lapsus$, a teenage hacking group known for its attacks on major companies like Microsoft, Nvidia, and Rockstar Games.

To back this up, a 2022 survey by the University of East London found that about 48% of European youths between the ages of 16 and 19 self-reported engaging in criminal behavior online.

The survey found that one in 10 teenagers had participated in criminal hacking, while about 20% had used illegal virtual marketplaces and 12.5% had done some form of money laundering.

The board say that juvenile cybercrime prevention programs should focus on raising awareness and educating young people about cybercrime, as well as rehabilitating youth cybercriminals to reduce recidivism. The programs should also address “gateway” online behaviors, such as digital piracy, cyber-stalking, and sexting, which can lead to more serious criminal activity.

The sources for this piece include an article in Axios.

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