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UK agency: Cyberattack suspects' average age down to 17

Published:Wednesday | December 9, 2015 | 12:00 AM

LONDON, England (AP):

Britain's National Crime Agency warns that the average age of suspected cybercriminals has become younger, with investigations in the past year showing that suspects' average age dropped to just 17 compared to 24 in the previous year.

The law-enforcement body says in a recent case, a 12-year-old was among 22 young people arrested on suspicion of buying malicious software that allows users to take control of another computer.

The agency said many teenagers move quickly from "pranking" to higher-level cybercrime, sometimes without considering that they are breaking the law.

Yesterday, the body launched a campaign to educate parents of 12- to 15-year-old boys about cybercrime.

In October, a 15- and 16-year-old made headlines when they were arrested for a cyberattack on telecoms firm TalkTalk.