Young Offenders Get a Second Chance to "Hack_Right"

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Police officers from the UK and the Netherlands announced a new campaign that would allow first-time cybercrime offenders to learn from their mistakes through a program called Hack_Right, according to Cyberscoop.

At the International Conference on Cybersecurity at Fordham University, the joint forces discussed the program that is intended to help young offenders who may not understand the severity of their crimes. Geared toward hackers between the ages of 12 and 23 years old, Hack_Right would allow youngsters to avoid the legal consequences of their crimes by participating in a program focused instead on educating teens. 

“We do this…to get out and find them and get them into computing clubs before we have to investigate someone and lock them up,” Gregory Francis, acting national prevent lead at the National Cyber Crime Unit of the National Crime Agency, reportedly said. “[Cybercrime] is not a law enforcement problem. It’s a societal problem.”

The program includes a community service project that requires 10 to 20 hours of ethical computer training and engaging in conversations with professionals who can discuss possible career paths and education opportunities based on their interests. 

“We should welcome any opportunity to show ‘at risk’ hackers ways in which they can use their skills for good, such as helping secure the internet,” said Ben Sadeghipour, head of hacker operations at HackerOne.

“I think the best way to educate the younger generation to do the right thing is to show them the benefits of being a white hat, since now you can get the same fame, notoriety and money as black hats used to, without the risk of going to prison. Encouraging young hackers to use their skills for good is what we’re about at HackerOne. We have hundreds of thousands of hackers on our platform, and nearly 54% of them are under the age of 24. We believe that bug bounty programs provide an environment in which young hackers can safely hone their skills while earning real money from it.”

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