FBI targets teens with cringy anti-hacking campaign

Brittany A. Roston - Dec 14, 2016, 3:48 pm CST
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FBI targets teens with cringy anti-hacking campaign

It’s difficult not to feel a little embarrassed for the FBI in light of its recently published anti-hacking advertisement. Made in collaboration with Europol, the ad shows two teenagers, one dolled up like an Ivy Leaguer and the other replete with emo affectations in a dark hoodie, both of them labelled with things like health status, ‘cash total,’ and, of course, their hacker/non-hacker designations.

According to a recent release from Europol, government agencies around the world are engaging in a prevention campaign that aims to reduce the number of teens and young adults who think it’s a good idea to use DDoS tools and other things to commit cyberattacks. “Many do it for fun without realizing the consequences,” Europol says, “…but the penalties can be severe and have a negative impact on future prospects.”

If we’re to go by the anti-hacking advert the FBI tweeted out (above), those negative consequences include things like having considerably less money, poorer health, less stamina, and less dexterity, of all things. How using a DDoS tool (the subject of Europol’s release) causes less dexterity is not clear.

Of course, anyone who knows anything about teenagers knows the FBI’s cheesy graphic isn’t likely to stop kids from doing something dumb online, especially not when things like stamina and dexterity are highlighted as potential losses. Instead, it’s just another cringy fellow kids campaign that’s probably wasting taxpayer dollars.


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