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Cybercriminals Tapping Kids for Hacking

Hackers are now luring children into kiddie online games rigged with malware to infect computers with data-stealing Trojans. Parents are urged to be more vigilant to advise children not to download too much games especially from untrusted sites.

Websites offering fun games like “spot the difference,” “color an object” or virtual pets tempt children to play and unknowingly deliver malware and spyware into their parents’ computer to steal financial data or take control of the computer for use in other cybercriminal activities, according to computer security maker BitDefender.

Targeting children have become a modus for hackers because they can be easily drawn to online educational and fun games and because more children are using the Internet without parental supervision.

“Kids are more easily tempted into clicking on that big green download button or flashing icon in hopes of having more fun. A four-year-old, obviously, isn’t worried about online banking vulnerabilities,” said Catalin Cosoi, head of online threats lab at BitDefender, according to

Cybercriminals also have a good reason in picking kids for their online shenanigans as the number of very young online users are growing.

In a survey, BitDefender found out that 46.6 percent of children in the U.S. and the U.K. have their own social network accounts.
The same survey conducted on 1,649 adults between April 12 and July 10 showed that 24.7 percent of adults surveyed don’t monitor their kids’ online activities. More than 44.3 percent of surveyed adults said their children had accessed sites that they shouldn’t have.
Some precautions adults can take to keep kids out of the reach of cybercriminals are giving children limited account and access to a computer and anti-virus.

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