August 08, 2011

Catch them young, Give them an interest, Chase the Boredom

This year at DefCon, the big news was DefCon Kids. A program for 8-16 year olds that sounds just fantastic. Here are some of the activities:

- wall of sheep
- solving ciphers
- meet the Feds

Details about these are in the article.

When this was first announced there was a major meltdown along the lines of "you're teaching babies to be criminals" or some such rot. Even in this article one of the lines was:

Are we introducing kids to computer security concepts too soon? Shouldn't we just let them be kids? Could these concepts be too much for them to handle?


Let me just smack my head against a wall here... sheesh. Don't we tell them to lock doors? Don't they get combination locks on school lockers? Aren't they admonished by teachers not to cheat on schoolwork?  You would think these kids are so simpleminded they can barely function and they should all be playing with Barbies and Transformers... BAH!

Now let me introduce you to CyFi... she's 10.

10-year-old hacker finds mobile game exploit

The California hacker - who revealed her discovery over the weekend at the DefCon conference - said she came across the vulnerability in January 2011 after she becoming "bored" with farm-style games.


There you have it - the bane of kidhood - boredom.  It causes more problems and leads to more crime than just about anything else. 

This girl is smart. She's figured out how to hack around a system all on her own.  Instead of wringing hands and wondering if she's "too young to understand" why not give her a peer group and people to mentor her and goals to reach.  She may one day be a totally awesome coder/cryptographer... you name it.  She's 10 with the entire world before her.  I can't tell you how happy I am to see DefCon reaching out to these kids and hopefully pointing them in directions that will help them and us as they grow up.

Posted by: Teresa in WebTech at 07:38 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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