Teenage hackers get mixed up in cybercrime mostly to gain bragging rights over peers rather than to get rich, according to a new study.
The National Crime Agency report fingers peer pressure and kudos as a key reason for youngsters in getting mixed up with online crime. Few if any of those who stray on to the wrong side of the law in cyberspace would have committed conventional crimes.
The study [PDF] published Friday, titled Pathways into Cyber Crime, was based on debriefs with offenders and those on the fringes of criminality. Financial gain is not necessarily a priority for young offenders. The sense of accomplishment at completing a challenge and proving oneself to peers in order to increase online reputations can be more important factors in driving cyber-offending.