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Half the cyber criminals appearing in court are under 25: report | #cybercrime | #infosec

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A “worrying” number of youngsters are involved in cyber crime and the divisions between online criminality and regular offences are becoming blurred, according to a new report by the police and public prosecution department.

In particular, they say, it is becoming easier to move into cyber crime even if people don’t have the technical skills because they can buy services and handbooks online.

“Via Telegram, internet forums and the dark web you can buy ready to use software and websites to scam people, complete with contact details and call scripts,” said the national police force cyber crime chief Stan Duijf.

Another development highlighted in the report is the age of people who have been arrested in connection with cyber crime offences. Half of those appearing in court are under the age of 25.

The report suggests that online gaming can provide a stepping stone into cyber crime, with youngsters learning about hacking and other tricks via game forums.

In one case, a 12-year-old boy who set up a DDoS attack on his school computer system was a “member of a global criminal organisation blackmailing companies by the age of 17,” public prosecutor Koen Hermans told broadcaster NOS.

In addition, cyber criminals are increasingly moving from the worldwide web into “regular” crime. Guns, munition and explosives are often found during raids on their homes, even when minors are involved, the report said. At the same time, police investigating regular offences often stumble upon online criminal activity.

In all, the approach to dealing with cyber crime needs to be far wider, spanning local authorities, schools and companies to make sure youngsters do not get involved, the report said.

Some 2.3 million people in the Netherlands were affected by some form of cyber crime last year, the report said.

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National Cyber Security