Arno Igne writes to tell us that the number of underage participants in "high-tech" crimes has risen steeply in recent history. Reporting children as young as 11 swapping credit card details and asking for hacks, many are largely unskilled and thus more likely to get caught and arrested. "Communities and forums spring up where people start to swap malicious programs, knowledge and sometimes stolen data. Some also look for exploits and virus code that can be run against the social networking sites popular with many young people. Some then try to peddle or use the details or accounts they net in this way. Mr Boyd said he spent a lot of time tracking down the creators of many of the nuisance programs written to exploit users of social networking sites and the culprit was often a teenager."
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