A boy who lives in the Notre-Dame-de-Grace suburb of Montreal has just pled guilty to hacking websites and costing about $60,000 worth of “damage”.
In a story that sounds somewhat similar to the beginning of the old 90s movie Hackers, in early 2012, during student protests in Montreal, the boy, who remains anonymous (somewhat ironically) hacked into sites that belonged to the Montreal police, the Quebec Institute of Public Health and also the Chilean government’s website, to name a few. He reportedly did it and then bartered the information he was able to obtain with the hacktivist group Anonymous — for video games.
Anonymous has garnered a lot of attention in the past few years, and is a group that boasts no central leadership. If you want to be in Anonymous, you are, the decision is up to you. Some do take their activist activities to different levels than others though. They can be frequently seen at protest wearing the Guy Fawkes mask popularized by the graphic novel and movie version of V for Vendetta.
The boy, who is in grade 5, will find out what his sentence will be next month, though, as it has happened in the past, this may turn out to be the first mark on a resume that leads to work in cyber-security. His lawyer stresses the fact that he is still a child, and doesn’t understand the depth of the crimes he has committed. “He saw it as a challenge, he was only 12 years old,” the lawyer said. “There was no political purpose.”
Political purpose or not, this child has, like many others recently, highlighted just how weak the cyber-security of some websites truly is.