A Montreal fifth grader pleaded guilty this week to hacking multiple government and public websites for the web collective Anonymous in exchange for computer games. The boy broke into the Montreal Police Department, the Quebec Board of Public Health, the Chilean federal government and other websites.
Reportedly, his actions were not motivated out of political interest or intent, but that he seized classified information for Anonymous for fun and to get new video games.
The Anonymous group is a loosely associated international network of activists and hacktivists. The group became known for a series of well-publicized hacks and distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks on government, religious, and corporate websites.
He did roughly $60,000 worth of damage to secure networks, although a specific amount is difficult to ascertain.
The kid used a combination of techniques to access and crash the websites he hacked and posted instructions and warnings to other hackers about the sites.
“He saw it as a challenge, he was only 12 years old,” the boy’s lawyer said in court. “There was no political purpose.”