Woburn, MA – May 18, 2023 – Today Kaspersky announced the latest season of hacker:HUNTER, the first real cybercrime series. This season tells the stories of children for whom hacking turned into their favorite game. For the second year in a row, the series, co-produced by Kaspersky, will be broadcast worldwide by Euronews, Europe’s leading international news channel, with the first episode set to premiere on May 19.
Modern children enter the online world from an early age, with recent studies showing that 70 percent of them spend at least three hours on devices daily. At the same time, only about half of parents use parental control apps or supervise children as they use digital devices, while the rest pay less attention to their children’s digital behavior. The new hacker:HUNTER series asks why so many hackers are kids and explores the way they end up on this dangerous path.
The four-part series provides an overview of how kids might get acquainted with the hacking world, the tools the cybercrime industry has to offer to help even those with the lack of advanced programming skills to try their hand at hacking, what stance the penal system takes with regard to minor offenders and, finally, raises the question of whether there is a way out from the cybercriminal life.
· “Recruitment” reveals how cybercriminals identify skilled children through online games and then groom them so they can carry out hacking tasks. The series is built around the story of an 8-year-old whose mother learned her son is involved with a hacking group when he ordered a gun to their home.
Euronews release – May 19
· “Script kiddies” is devoted to the same-name phenomenon and tells about the underground industry serving the needs of people who lack the technical skills but still attempt hacking. The episode reconstructs the testimony of a teenage script kiddie who hacked his school using publicly available tools and scripts and was eventually expelled.
Euronews release – May 26
· “Punishment” is focused on the story of the creator of one of the most popular hacking forums for selling breached data in the world, who set up the underground forum at the age of 14. The episode tells about his subsequent detention and raises the question of how minors should be punished for the offenses they commit online.
Euronews release – July 2
· “Rehab” aims to help the audience answer the question of whether hackers can be rehabilitated and if they can eventually be trusted. To do that, the episode takes us to the Dutch hacker rehabilitation center to talk with the rehab program professionals and former hackers.
Euronews release – July 9
The series features expert comments from Kaspersky Global Research & Analysis team (GReAT) deputy director Marco Preuss and head of GReAT DACH Christian Funk; security researcher Mike Jones; cybersecurity lawyer Alexander Urbelis; clinical psychologist Kelli Dunlap; extradition lawyer Ben Cooper, and others.
“Kids are curious,” said Rainer Bock, hacker:HUNTER’s executive producer. “Kids want to play. And that’s just amazing! For this season of hacker:HUNTER we asked ourselves what happens if that curiosity is turning into criminal behavior? Is it even possible for a 14-year-old to figure out that they are doing something illegal while sitting on their computer in their kids room? It is a fascinating topic and our four episodes are a short, entertaining and simple introduction to it – both for parents and anyone interested in digital culture.”
Following the broadcast on Euronews, the episodes will also be released by Tomorrow Unlocked, Kaspersky’s YouTube channel about technology culture.
The new hacker:HUNTER season was directed by Hugo Berkeley, Didi Mae Hand, and Lara Maysa Ingram. The same director lineup worked on the hacker:HUNTER “Next Level” series, which was the first documentary series co-produced by Kaspersky and Euronews and released in the summer of 2022.
The hacker:HUNTER “Next Level” TV audience totaled 98 million people across 30 countries worldwide.
Watch all hacker:HUNTER episodes here.