A Montreal fifth grader pleaded guilty this week to hacking multiple government and public websites for the web collective Anonymous in exchange for computer games. According to the Toronto Sun, the boy — dressed in his school uniform and accompanied by his father — told court officials that he had played a part in a 2012 hacking raid on sites that included the Montreal Police Department, the Quebec Board of Public Health, the Chilean federal government and others.
The court did not reveal the boy’s name, but the Sun said he lives in the suburb of Notre-Dame-de-Grâce and that his actions were not motivated out of political interest or intent, but that he seized classified information for Anonymous for fun and to get new video games.
The boy pleaded guilty to three charges and police say that he did roughly $60,000 worth of damage to secure networks, although a specific amount is difficult to ascertain. He will be sentenced in November.
The young hacker has reportedly been interested in computers since the age of nine. He used a combination of techniques to access and crash the websites he hacked and posted instructions and warnings to other hackers about the sites.
Other Anonymous members have been arrested for the hacking raids, but the Montreal boy was purportedly the tip of the organization’s spear, able to dismantle and overrun secure networks faster and better than any of the hacktivist collective’s in-house talent.
“He saw it as a challenge, he was only 12 years old,” the boy’s lawyer said in court. “There was no political purpose.”
David Ferguson is an editor at Raw Story. He was previously writer and radio producer in Athens, Georgia, hosting two shows for Georgia Public Broadcasting and blogging at Firedoglake.com and elsewhere. He is currently working on a book.
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