Teen hackers unlock whatever they want

Filed under: Teens, Gadgets, That's Entertainment

As you're almost certainly aware, technology companies spend millions upon millions of dollars, trying to limit the ways in which people can use their products, or restrict consumers' access to certain kinds of content. For most of us, these are impenetrable barriers, so we're forced to accept them. However, with a little elbow grease, an inquisitive mind, and a lot of technical expertise, it's possible to hack just about anything.

But what's surprising, is that these multi-million dollar systems are often cracked by kids who are still in high school.

Like the 17-year-old from New Jersey, who recently "unlocked" the iPhone -- allowing customers to use the coveted mobile device on rival networks. (Otherwise you're forced to contract with AT&T to use the device.) The hack involves a combination of soldering and some serious ability with software, so it's certainly not an option for the everyday user -- but the fact that it's even possible is mind-boggling when you consider the time, effort, and money both Apple and AT&T put into making their product hacker-proof.

Or the Australian high school student that cracked the government's $84 million Internet porn filter in just 30 minutes. Not only that, but the teen did it in a way that covers his tracks, so his parents wouldn't notice that the filter was no longer working.

Not that I'm advocating teens spend their Internet time scouring for porn, but I think it's amazing that kids who are barely old enough to drive are picking apart some of the most sophisticated security software in the world. The pace at which technology evolves gives a kind of power to younger generations that's very exciting to see.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.