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Comment: Are We Really That Surprised A 15 Year Old Was Able To Hack A Giant Computer?

WHEN the news broke earlier this week that a 15-year-old computer whizzkid managed to hack communications giant Talk Talk I have to admit I was neither surprised nor incensed.

Like many people, I gave a little giggle at the fact the teen was from Northern Ireland. I smirked a little thinking about the brat sitting in his bedroom in County Antrim mischievously patting himself on the back like a modern Dennis The Menace as he hacked his way past the various security systems.

Cartoon: Brian John Spencer

Cartoon: Brian John Spencer

Now, don’t get me wrong. This kid has been arrested (at the time of writing this) for offences under the Computer Misuse Act. And rightly so. They have potentially committed a crime and therefore our justice system must deal with that.

I’m sure there are many Talk Talk customers upset, angry and somewhat dismayed by the whole fiasco but their anger certainly, in my opinion, should not be directed at the teenager.

Regardless of the crime committed you have to acknowledge that there is something unbelievable in the fact that a kid from Northern Ireland was able to hack past the firewalls (or whatever they are these days) of a multi-national corporation.

Right now I can’t get a simple piece of malware off my iPhone despite endless YouTube demonstrations and help forum visits. I’m now in a position where I will be forced to stand in the Apple Store and sheepishly say “I don’t really know what I downloaded” to a genius nearly half my age.

This news really is indicative of where we are heading technologically and proves that if we don’t wake up to the important part technology really has to play on our everyday lives, we will seriously get left behind as many kids just like this soar light years ahead of us in their digital intelligence and understanding.

Cartoon: Brian John Spencer

Cartoon: Brian John Spencer

There is a bigger picture here aside from the crime brat.

Regardless of what they did “just because they could” – which back in my day probably would have been giving your dad’s car a wee scoot down the street – the fact is they have exposed a massive flaw in the corporate system.

In my opinion that flaw is, that many adults, are very much underestimating the abilities and capabilities of the younger generations.

This teenager, will no doubt, be punished for their behaviour – but for me he’s opened a giant can of worms.

I’m now left asking how many more big corporations who hold our data have underestimated the power of a teenage IT’saavy mind?

And secretly to boot, I’ve a little sense of pride knowing that the next Steve Jobs could be from little old Norn Iron.

Big thanks to the fantastic cartoonist Brian John Spencer for the cartoons.  Find him on Facebook HERE and on Twitter HERE.  For more information log onto www.brianjohnspencer.com 

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About Tina Calder (114 Articles)
Journalist specialising in showbiz, entertainment, business, trade, human interest and lifestyle.

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