A survey of 1,000 university students in the UK found that over a fifth had hacked into computer systems.
They survey was conducted by security outfit Tufin Technologies, apparently with support from the Association of Chief Police Officers. The figures are surprising given that IT has been on the slide in British universities with less than 4 per cent of university students studying computer science.
The survey found that 37 per cent had hacked Facebook accounts, 26 per cent email accounts with 10 per cent breaching online shopping accounts.
Although 39 per cent of hackers use their own computer, others have used public computers and networks with 32 per cent a university machine and 23 per cent using an internet café.
Tufin wasn’t clear about what constituted ‘hacking’, raising questions about the accuracy of the findings. It would seem likely that bragging rights would play a part in the 20 per cent figure, but ACPO pointed out that the findings were indicative of worrying attitudes to hacking.
“What is concerning is the attitude of many of those surveyed felt that hacking was acceptable, or even something to be admired – it is not,” said ACPO e-crime boss Deputy Chief Constable Stuart Hyde.
“Hacking is illegal and we need to ensure everyone understands that."