Schoolboys and future felons

Hacking websites used to be child’s play. Real hackers (you know, the folks who could spin a Defense Department database from a Pentium I laptop, bouncing packets off the moon via a HeathKit box, coding in C, while blindfolded) called them script kiddies. People don’t seem to understand that the child aspires to be like his mentors – bad behavior will be emulated.

So when I hear that many web site hackers are schoolboys, I just have to wonder what those kids will be up to next year.

I don’t really care what the reason for this “trend”, but with web site attacks soaring, the powers that be need to figure out how to divert these kids’ energies to more productive endeavors. Whether they are social introverts (like me), expressing their intellectually curiousity, or just plain smart (unlike me), there has to be a way to harness the creativity and information technology aptitude that are otherwise directed towards destructive capacities.

Conservatives will say the answer is to take computers out of schools, and away from the children. The liberals will say there aren’t enough computers to go around the educational system, and will attempt to create a child computer hackers coalition, funded by taxpayers of course. I am neither, and I still don’t know what the answer is.

But I bet there is one.