Teenagers are being encouraged to spread ransomware

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Ransomware-as-a-service gang is on the prowl of teenagers who can act as distributors for malware. As law enforcement is tightening the noose around black hat hackers in all ways, ransomware spreading groups are now focusing more on luring teenagers into their business distribution stream.

According to a study made by security software firm Avast, cybercriminals are openly advertising their malware-building tools and distribution schemes on online communities and gaming platforms.

Their modus operandi for attracting teenagers is simple. Lurk on messaging (mainly telegram), gaming, music, and movie streaming platforms and somehow entice the children to join their distribution gangs.

Their attraction scheme is simple: offer their teenage members’ money when in need and then ask them to distribute ransomware, information stealers, and crypto miners.

By doing so, they can achieve two things- get virtual control of the teenager’s computing device that can be used for future malicious activities. Two is to simply gain new members in the team so that the focus of the law enforcement officers remains on the hackers and the budding team of hackers can do the work.

For this reason, Avast researchers are urging parents to monitor their children’s activities and be open to money matters as much as possible. The security firm is also requesting parents to spend time with their kids to inquire about what ‘Stuff’ is happening in their lives and is there anything that they can share with them.

Parents of teenage kids are also being asked to educate their children about the dangers lurking on the internet and how easily anyone can make them prey to scams.

And instead of restricting their actions, it is better if they make their children responsible citizens of the future.

According to a report released by UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) school-going kids as young as nine are taking part in campaigns related to DDoS and ransomware attacks. And the year 2019-2020 witnessed a 107% increase in crimes conducted by students.

Was this a COVID-19 inducted lockdown effect?

 

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Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

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