Teen Hacks Cops, Cops Slap Wrist
Idle hands really are the devil's tools.
One British teenager found out that lesson the hard way when his multiple attempts to break into the computer network of a northern England police department brought the police right to his front door.
The young would-be hacker was arrested and brought to Durham's police headquarters to explain his behavior. The move was a part of a "Restorative Justice" initiative that puts offenders face-to-face with their victims. In this situation, cheekily enough, the victim was also the agency charged with enforcement.
The teen, who was not named, presumably because he is a minor, told investigators that the summer vacation boredom blues got the better of him. He joined up with a group of hackers simply because it was something to do. He said wasn't aware of the seriousness of his actions or the potential consequences, he said. "Online groups can prey on individuals with time on their hands," said deputy chief constable Michael Barton.
Laws in the U.K. say that hacking can potentially be considered an act of terrorism, but luckily for the teen, Durham Police did not press charges. Instead, he was "asked to work with Darlington Borough Council’s Youth Offending Service," the Echo said.
Authorities have suggested that the first-time offender use his skills productively by teaching a course or building a website for a community group as a part of their community initiative.
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