Cybercrime is no longer solely the domain of professional criminals. Today, many teenagers and young adults have access to complex technological equipment which can be exploited for criminal purposes.
Yesterday (June 26), the Australian Federal Police (AFP) released information on an operation that saw six young people issued with warning notices for suspicion of cybercriminal activities.
Earlier this month officers attended residences in Brisbane, Sydney and Perth in order to educate both the suspects and their guardians on the risk of such behaviour.
“Activities such as hacking, creating or propagating malicious viruses or participating in DDOS attacks are not harmless fun,” said the national manager of high tech crime operations Neil Gaughan.
“They can result in serious long-term consequences, such as criminal convictions and perhaps jail time.”
However Mr Gaughan added that no arrests had been made, and that the operation was purely intended as a deterrence measure to help educate the community while preventing any further illicit behaviour from taking place.
“These activities are just part of the on-going commitment by law enforcement to deter cyber criminals,” Mr Gaughan added.
Serious cases of cybercrime being perpetrated by young people are becoming more common in the media. Earlier this month, Essex police indicted a 19-year-old man on suspicion of violating the Computer Misuse Act and the Criminal Law Act 1977.
Ryan Cleary was accused of developing and maintaining a large botnet which was used to conduct DDOS attacks as part of the Lulzsec hacking group.
According to the AFP, hacking and other computer related cybercrime offences can carry a maximum penalty of up to ten years in prison.
The AFP encourages Australians to use the internet and other technology safely in order to ensure they stay safe from cybercrime.