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Beyond the expected

COMPUTER HELP

By grumpyrhonda - 28 July 2010 27

Hi all

I have a 14 year old son who seems to be quite clever with computer stuff.  He is a gamer and has also been teaching himself to create programs and those little windows pop up boxes.  I need to give him direction in his computer stuff but have no idea what he is doing let alone how he is doing it.

He talks about IP addresses, hacking, blocking hackers, dossing, automatically resetting an IP, having a fake IP.  I ask him what he means and he says that if anyone looks up our address, they will see we are in India or something like that.  I have no idea on how to help him and I am hoping there are some rioters out there that can guide me in trying to keep him on the right side of the law as I can see him having a future in this computer stuff somewhere.

He worries me as he is into things I can’t even begin to understand.  I’ve tried to investigate courses but haven’t been able to find anything suitable.  Most courses are for kids 16 and over.

[ED – if he isn’t spoofing his MAC as well then all he’s got is a false sense of security]

What’s Your opinion?


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27 Responses to
COMPUTER HELP
MWF 9:03 pm 28 Jul 10

My 12 year old “jailbroke” his iPod touch. This is bad isn’t it?

He says: “Now I get apps for free”. This is bad isn’t it?

I have set up the family PC so that he can’t download anything onto it without me (the PC Administrator) putting in my password and approving it. It saves a lot of scary viruses these kids pick up from their hacking and chat codes sites.

I also run a virus scan on the family PC twice a day.

justin heywood 8:49 pm 28 Jul 10

One said :

If he is using M$ then you can skip the moral sense issues in regards to copyrights – 50% of it was ripped off

addresses, hacking, blocking hackers, dossing, automatically resetting an IP, having a fakeIP, etc.. Have Nothing to do with illegal use or content unless your australian brainwashed by the media – where in such a case of being an Australian brainwashed by the media I would worry for your child lol

As for good teaching stuff – books r good – start with basic history of how one human got more money than another by creating systems of snakes and ladders for the monkeys to climb. Then skip over to the Product safty health warning that came with the PC becasuse I can bet no one reads them

What?

One 8:25 pm 28 Jul 10

If he is using M$ then you can skip the moral sense issues in regards to copyrights – 50% of it was ripped off

addresses, hacking, blocking hackers, dossing, automatically resetting an IP, having a fakeIP, etc.. Have Nothing to do with illegal use or content unless your australian brainwashed by the media – where in such a case of being an Australian brainwashed by the media I would worry for your child lol

As for good teaching stuff – books r good – start with basic history of how one human got more money than another by creating systems of snakes and ladders for the monkeys to climb. Then skip over to the Product safty health warning that came with the PC becasuse I can bet no one reads them

gospeedygo 7:17 pm 28 Jul 10

Have him read Underground by Suelette Dreyfus (http://www.xs4all.nl/~suelette/underground/justin/contents.html)

Brindabella 6:41 pm 28 Jul 10

Yep, he’s turned to the dark side all right. The signs are there for sure- IP address, MAC, Trojans, spoofing. He probably talks about DNS a lot also.

You’ve got to do something….and fast.

He’s also probably got quite a few on-line “associates” from eastern Europe, Russia and the Philippines.

Oh, and he knows about “Black ice” and has probably written his own .NET reflector.

He needs http://www.ethicalhacking.com/ Enrol him today.

😉

cutrush 4:51 pm 28 Jul 10

I think the best approach would not be to direct him to keep his computing on the right side of the law, but to raise him with a good moral sense of right and wrong in general. That should take care of all avenues of his interests, not just in the IT world. To keep track of his IT goings on you would have to do a course yourself to be able to understand what he is doing and have any chance of regulating it. If he’s a good kid he’ll do the right thing.

Either that or buy a straight jacket before he learns how to control computers with his mind.

Woody Mann-Caruso 4:03 pm 28 Jul 10

Can he get me a crack for Office 2010?

Jivrashia 3:55 pm 28 Jul 10

He worries me as he is into things I can’t even begin to understand. I’ve tried to investigate courses but haven’t been able to find anything suitable. Most courses are for kids 16 and over.

I think he is relatively harmless.

But what does worry me is that he may be a bit too sure of himself, yet still gullible due to his youth, and end up undertaking errands for real cyber-crims for a quick buck.

The worst he might do is use a stolen credit card and have the Feds come knocking on his door.

Okay, I guess that’s not a trivial matter…

troll-sniffer 2:14 pm 28 Jul 10

Wasn’t there a cool song in the sixties that went by the title

“Help me rhonda
Help, help me rhonda
Help me rhonda
Help, help me rhonda
Help me rhonda
Help, help me rhonda
Help me rhonda
Help, help me rhonda
Help me rhonda
Help, help me rhonda
Help me rhonda
Help, help me rhonda
Help me rhonda yeah
Get her out of my pc”

Oh wait, this is Rhonda needing the help. Sorry.

s-s-a 12:49 pm 28 Jul 10

It’s great to see him take his skills out of the bedroom!

I guess that’s not a line you’d want to be using about him in 5-10 years time LOL

trix 12:47 pm 28 Jul 10

I second the suggestions about the PCUG, due to perhaps finding some adult mentors, but I do question some people’s blase attitude towards what he might be getting up to. Kevin Mitnick was locked up for years and took quite some time to rehabilitate himself (of course, he’s now worth squillions … legitimately).

It’s not that the kid may go out of his way to do nefarious deeds, but that there is quite a lot of one-upmanship involved in some of those pursuits – and someone might say “I can do this cool thing” (hacking someone’s website/whatever) and then the challenge is on.

I’d personally be signing up with OpenDNS and blocking everything and everything related to warez, hacking (yeah, yeah, it had a more positive sense in the 80s, but it’s not the 80s any more) and so on. I’d also be having “the talk” about running any app that he hasn’t created himself or obtained from a reputable source. And by reputable source, it’s not his mate on the web forum, but from vendors or sites maintained by reputable industry professionals (whose names you will be able to google and see for yourself if they appear to be kosher).

I also very much second the suggestion that he have his own PC for developing/playing around on. I’d also recommend that it isn’t hooked up to the Internet (except on the occasions Windows (or whatever) should be updated), so if he needs to download something for it, it’s virus-scanned and copied to a USB drive for transfer.

bd84 12:40 pm 28 Jul 10

Unplug the modem and destroy it, that will stop him properly.

M0les 10:44 am 28 Jul 10

Hola Rhonda,
First off: Don’t worry. He’s probably not doing very much that’s illegal or criminal. It sounds like he’s just a quick learner with a keen interest in inter-networking technologies (“IP and friends”).
There are probably very few formal courses in this area that could teach him much (And I doubt any in Australia).
I think “computer-club” like social meet-ups are probably the most viable way for him to progress before tertiary education. That and good-ol’ surfing The Internet.
The Canberra Linux (Users Group http://clug.org.au/) and PC Users Group (http://www.pcug.org.au/) might be possibilities and have monthly meetings. The CLUG is very technical and speciailised, PCUG is quite general and broad (I haven’t been to a PCUG meeting in yonks).
Although it’s a bit more in his future, The ANU does a good bachelor’s degree in Computer Science that can really fill-out the background on all things Comp-Sci, including programming, communications, computer design and whatnot.

Lazy I 10:36 am 28 Jul 10

Sounds like the usual gamer + script kiddie of that age. Don’t mistake gaming as a good trait, just because he sits on the computer all day doesn’t make him a computer genius, but giving him access to tools as early as possible will help.

Buy him a cheap ex-gov PC to knock around on so your primary PC isn’t in danger (www.dola.com.au) Get him to download Linux (free and easy.. http://www.ubuntu.com is good for new starters) and play around with that. He will learn more about the ‘nuts and bolts’ through doing that and reading the related documentation than any CIT or night course will teach him… and it will cost you far less. Joining local communities (www.clug.org.au) will also give him free and helpful advice in addition to what is available online.

There are plenty of books out there for getting started too, for networking related material (which is what you reference in your original post) look at Cisco press, especially CCNA courseware.. this kind of courseware is being picked up by High Schools around Australia and has practical real world applications (something the Editor should probably read too by the looks of his comment), they are generally available on Amazon for far cheaper than your local book shop.

lulu 10:30 am 28 Jul 10

You could be talking about my own 14 year old son who has his own free online server, uses proxies, makes web-sites and taught himself to program in C by ordering “C for dummies” from amazon.com for 1c plus postage. He assures me that hacking and cyber-crime are not necesserily synominous. Perhaps they should get together.

He also taught himself to DJ and now now playing a few gigs. It’s great to see him take his skills out of the bedroom!

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