AVG Exec Notes Kids Are Hacking, Stealing From Friend's Games at an Early Age

Forget the school bully who wants your kid’s lunch money: today’s 11-year-old wants your kid’s digital gold, and he’s writing malicious code to steal it. Feeling out of your league, yet?

AVG recently took to the airwaves and the Internet to warn parents that kids are learning to code at an early age – and that some of them are getting into serious trouble with those skills. It points to a recent Trojan for stealing data from gamers who play RuneScape.

A RuneScape Hack That Steals Data From Gamers

Cheating doesn't pay, especially if the tool you're using to cheat is actually stealling from you. Image credit: AVG.

“We have now seen a number of examples of very young individuals writing malware, including an 11-year-old from Canada,” writes AVG CTO Yuval Ben-Itzhak on AVG’s website. “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 the social media page.”

That’s not too surprising, really. Today’s kids are harnessing real power by learning programming – at the same time that they’re learning what right and wrong look like in the real world. With many parents having limited tech knowledge (and an even more-limited awareness of what their kids are doing while at the computer), kids are facing important right/wrong decisions without someone to set an example. So, when your kid takes his online character out and builds up a nice cache of gold, magic weapons, and other digital items, another kid may well be building a Trojan that can steal those items from him. From there, it’s not a big leap to attacking computers for much more important data.