It's not just adults who write and distribute Trojans, pre-teen kids are doing it too, AVG says.
I'd like to think that most 11-year-old kids are into video games, comics, collecting baseball cards, watching Cartoon Network, and things of that nature. Hell, I still do most of those as an adult, but what I find hard to fathom is a handful of pre-teen kids are spending their free time writing malicious code. It's true, according to a report by security firm AVG, which notes that the code is usually written using the .NET framework.
"We have found examples of young children writing malware, including an 11-year-old from Canada," AVG stated in a blog post. "The code usually takes the form of a basic Trojan written using the .NET framework, which is easy to learn for beginners and simple to deploy via a link in an email or posted on a social media page."
AVG says kids who write malware typically do so as a means of showing off their hacking ability to friends. It might deal with stealing someone's game logins, which are often connected to credit card details.
"Should we be surprised that young children are writing malware? Probably not," AVG says. "Kids are getting far more sophisticated in their technical development, particularly as most schools and homes now have PCs with internet connections. AVG’s Digital Diaries studies have pointed to kids of all ages becoming technically savvy at ages earlier than we expected, but while writing malware is surprising, technically the code, while harmful, is not that sophisticated."
Even so, those same kids might decide to experiment with increasingly dangerous code as they get older and more adept, AVG says.