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Could hacking be transformed into a force for good?


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There is no denying that hacking has caused a large amount of controversy in recent years, especially with the ongoing speculations surrounding the 2016 Presidental Elections. But what if hacking could be transformed into a force for good? 

R00tz Asylum is testing this idea out through their non-profit organisation. They warn that even voting systems across the world have the ability to be hacked by children. 

Through replica websites, the organisation, run by Nico Sell, allowed children to successfully hack mimicked websites. The sites appeared to be highly secure with a low risk of hacks. Of course, hacking real websites is illegal, so by creating thirteen replicate sites, the company could test hacking resilience in a safe and legal manner.

Within a study group of 39 children, aged between 8 and 17, 35 had success in hacking the replicas that they were challenged with.

11-year-old Audrey Jones, taking the grand total of ten minutes to be successful in her hacking challenge, told the BBC that "The bugs in the code make us [able] to do whatever we want."

Over 300 excited children took part in the annual hacking competition based in Las Vegas within the kids' Zone of Def Con, with half of those involved being girls. The hacking activities available within the event also included related practical activities, including soldering and lock picking.

Unsurprisingly, the main theme of the event this year was elections, and with this as the chosen theme, there were many flaws discovered by young people in how the voting systems are run.

Involving young people in the assessment of hacking and security technologies was an innovative way to learn more about their weak points. Getting young people interested at such a young age is also what will give us the security solutions of the future. 

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