Boy, 12, Pleads Guilty to Hacking Government Websites for Anonymous in Exchange For Video Games
MONTREAL - A 12-year-old Quebec boy pleaded guilty last week to three charges related to the hacking of government and police websites during the spring of 2012. The Court heard that $60,000 damage resulted from the boy's hacking spree, which included penetrating sites such as the Montreal police, the Quebec Institute of Public Health, Chilean government and some non-public sites. Some of the sites were out of commission for up to two days.
The 5th grade student did it all in the name of the activist/hacktivist group Anonymous but not because he had any political agenda. The boy traded pirated information to Anonymous in exchange for video games.
The boy, whose name cannot be published appeared in Court wearing his school uniform and accompanied by his father, said that he had been involved with computers since age 9.
"It's easy to hack but do not go there too much, they will track you down," he said.
The boy used three different methods of computer attacks. The first rendered sites ineffective by denying service to those attempting to access the websites and flooded servers. He would also alter information and make it appear as the homepage. His third approach involved exploiting security such that he could access database servers.
According to a police expert, the boy also taught others how to do it. Testimony showed that although others were arrested in the plot, the boy was the one who originated the website attacks.