British law enforcement officers proposed to complain about hacking children for using legal software

Officers complain about hacking children
Written by Emma Davis

Twitter user @G_IW posted a photo of a weird information leaflet bearing the logos of the British National Anti-Crime Agency (NCA) and the West Midlands Regional Organized Crime Unit (WMROCU). According to information on it, British law enforcers asked parents to complain to the police about children that are allegedly hacking and using legal software.

As you can see in the picture below, the leaflet warns parents that if their child uses virtual machines, the Tor browser (by the way, how are things going with vulnerability, which for many years has been exploited in DDoS attacks on .onion sites?), Kali Linux, WiFi Pineapple, Discord and Metasploit, their child is most likely a hacker.

Officers complain about hacking children

In such cases, parents are encouraged to contact the police for advice, and so that law enforcement officers can influence the child and move his hobbies in a positive direction.

The set of tools mentioned in the leaflet and the message as a whole caused a lot of bewilderment, discussions, as well as jokes from the IT community. For example, the developers of Kali Linux were ironic that they directly explained to the children where to start.

Have to admit it’s sort of nice they give kids a roadmap on where to get started. We all know the easiest way to get a kid to do something is to tell them they can’t or should not, then they list specific item not to do. To bad they did not link to”, — wrote Kali Linux developers in their Twitter-account.

In an interview with The Register, the developer said that parents should not call the police because of the children chatting in Discord and should not take these “warnings” too seriously.

However, not everyone was as generous as the developers of Kali Linux, and law enforcement officers were also very harshly criticized, which is why representatives of the National Crime Agency were forced to make an official statement, saying that the NCA did not participate in the production or release of these leaflets.

As a result, WMROCU had to answer. Police acknowledges that a third party created leaflets for teachers and parents as a safety memo.

Law enforcement officers gave the ZDNet magazine a more detailed comment:

This leaflet was created to raise the awareness of teachers, parents and guardians so that they can give children advice on how to stay safe on the Internet. The memo highlighted some of the tools that children could use at home. The mentioned software is legitimate, in the vast majority of cases it is used legally and can give a great advantage to those who are interested in developing their digital skills. However, as with any other software, it may not be used for its intended purpose”

The purpose of this memo, according to representatives of WMROCU, was to provide a brief reference guide on the entire spectrum of available software so that those who bear parental responsibility for children and youth can start a conversation about the safe and legal use of computers and technologies.

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About the author

Emma Davis

I'm writer and content manager (a short time ago completed a bachelor degree in Marketing from the Gustavus Adolphus College). For now, I have a deep drive to study cyber security.

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