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New AVG Technologies Threat Report Reveals Pre-Teen Children Developing Malicious Code

Stocks in this article: AVG

AVG Technologies N.V. (NYSE: AVG), the provider of Internet and mobile security to 143 million customers, today released its Q4 2012 Community Powered Threat Report Q4 2012 Community Powered Threat Report. This quarter’s report investigates a number of malicious software developments, including the case of a Trojan developed by an 11-year-old child to steal game login information.

Pre-teens turning to malware?

In a world filled with laptops, tablets and smartphones, today’s children become digitally fluent far earlier than previous generations. Now, AVG has found evidence that pre-teens are writing malware designed to steal login details from online gamers, both young and old.

While stealing someone’s game logins may at first seem a minor problem, online gaming accounts are often connected to credit card details to enable in-game purchases, and may also have virtual currency attached to them amounting to hundreds of dollars. Furthermore, many gamers unfortunately use the same login details for social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, potentially putting the victim at risk of cyber-bullying, in addition to identity theft and major inconvenience.

“We have now seen a number of examples of very young individuals writing malware, including an 11-year-old from Canada,” said Yuval Ben-Itzhak, Chief Technology Officer at AVG Technologies. “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 a social media page.”

“We believe these junior programmers are motivated mainly by the thrill of outwitting their peers, rather than financial gain, but it is nevertheless a disturbing and increasing trend. It is also logical to assume that at least some of those responsible will be tempted to experiment with much more serious cyber-crimes.” (Find more information on page 19 of the report).

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