Dutch Police have developed a program to keep young hackers on the right track, and to keep them from becoming cybercriminals. The pilot of the programme is operational as of now and will be evaluated after six months. Sanne Maasakkers, Ethical Hacker at Fox-IT, talks about the program with 3FM.
Young hackers often do not realise that they are committing criminal acts, or do so without specific reason, just to see if they succeed. They often do not realize the consequences this has for themselves, or for the organisations or individuals they affect. The police programme aims to show young hackers who have committed a crime how you can earn an honest living by using your hacking skills. The programme educates young hackers, for example, with mandatory internships at cybersecurity companies.
At 3FM, Sanne indicates that young hackers are often tempted to commit ‘digital mischief’, but that innocent discovery of hacking skills can turn into serious criminal offences. ‘We need to show young hackers that we can use their skills, and that we need them. Ethical hackers are hired by companies to hack their systems, so they can track errors or leaks, in order to fix them’. Sanne hopes that the program will give young hackers a positive incentive to use their skills in a useful way. ‘Ethical hackers are very much needed to combat malicious hackers.’