CHILDREN EARNING POCKET MONEY BY SPREADING COMPUTER VIRUSES
Avast, a global leader in digital security, has discovered an online community of minors who create, exchange, and spread malicious software (kompjuterski virus) to steal and misuse collected data. The community uses servers on the Discord platform as a place for discussion as well as for improving and exchanging computer viruses that will be used on their victims. In these discussions, some children have revealed their identities and ages, and they have also discussed the idea of hacking teachers and school systems. Groups planning such attacks number more than 1500 minor users.

Cybercrime as a Quick Way to More Pocket Money

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The types of viruses exchanged among teenagers target both minors and adults and include options such as stealing passwords, hijacking online accounts, crypto mining, randomly opening web browsers containing adult content, and even ransomware – completely blocking the device until a ransom is paid. “These communities are attractive to children and teenagers because hacking is considered cool and fun, and at the same time, it’s a quick way to make money,” said Jan Holman, a researcher from Avast. “However, these activities are not harmless, but illegal and can have significant legal consequences, especially if children reveal their and their families’ identities online,” Holman added.

How to Protect Children from Such Activities?

It is very important to teach children to be critical of overly attractive offers that can be offered over the internet. Precisely these offers, when downloaded to a computer, turn into hacking raids. Parents should also educate their children about the importance of password security and tell them never to share them with others, not even with their best friends. It is crucial to warn younger children not to reveal any personal information when playing online or visiting platforms that gather many people or players. Children still need ethical guidelines on what is right and wrong in the digital space. What may seem fun can cause serious harm to others or be a criminal offense. When committing cybercrime, children were led by the fact that they are safe because they are not yet legally responsible, however, many of them did not know that their parents are, and that they are responsible for them. It is important for parents to talk to their children about this and make them aware.

Discord in the Spotlight

This is not the first incident discovered and occurred on this online platform.

Amber Alert Saved a Girl Whose Kidnapping Was Arranged via Discord

Just three days ago, on July 23rd, an eleven-year-old girl from Texas was contacted via Discord by an adult man. He talked to the girl for a long time before finally offering her to meet in person, which she agreed to. The girl, named Imani, was reported missing to local authorities by her grandmother. The police immediately issued an Amber Alert, and fortunately, Imani was found alive and well a few hours later.
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Two Girls Planned a Teacher’s Murder via Discord

In Australia, an attempted murder of a teacher planned by two girls aged 13 and 14 years through Discord. After the attack on the 55-year-old teacher, a conversation between the students was discovered where they online plotted how to bring a 32cm kitchen knife into school. The girls planned to ask to speak privately with the teacher, and then stab her in the armpit. The armpit was their most interesting spot “because there is a large artery called the axillary artery which actually supplies blood to the arms and legs,” one of the girls wrote, adding “it’s also close to the heart, which means blood will spurt.”

Bans Will Not Protect the Child

Familiarize yourself with the platforms where your children spend time, and keep in mind that this, like any other platform, is not inherently bad. Bad things can happen on any site on the internet. Likewise, each of these networks offers countless benefits. It is not up to you to scare your child and to ban the use of the internet, but to teach them to properly and with the best intentions handle this powerful tool.

Source:

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11041387/Discord-messages-two-schoolgirls-planned-attempted-stabbing-murder-Perth-teacher.html

https://abc13.com/amber-alert-imani-stephens-child-abduction-11-year-old-girl-abducted/12067750/

https://securitybrief.com.au/story/minors-using-discord-servers-to-spread-malware-for-cash

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