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Why Would a Teen Hack 259 Companies? Why, Boredom, Of Course

Adam Berry, Getty Images

Boredom, coupled with a desire to prove himself in the digital space, were the reasons that a 15-year-old Austrian hacked into the web systems of 259 companies in three months.

Fear not, though — officials have apprehended the troublemaker.

The teen exploited vulnerabilities in the infrastructure of several firms across multiple industries, ranging from adult entertainment to sports to tourism. His handiwork, which consisted of publishing data and defacing websites, was not limited to Austria, either.

The unidentified culprit’s attacks were random and he even bragged about his efforts via Twitter. He’s been described as antisocial and garnered the desired acceptance, praise and affirmation in the online realm.

The teen’s reign of digital terror, assisted by software that allowed him to remain anonymous for a time, spanned from January through March of this year. Upon being caught via his IP address through the Cyber Crime Competence Centre, he admitted responsibility for his actions and claimed his boredom and desire to prove himself were the ultimate motivators.

He had joined a hacker forum where he earned points for successful jobs and quickly ascended the rank, landing in the top 50 of 2,000 registered users.

Europol is currently assessing the damage, both domestic and abroad.

Oh, the power a disaffected teen can wield through a computer.


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