An 8-year-old had no trouble buying an AK-47 online and mailing it home
2023/07/24

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A woman in the Netherlands revealed recently that her young son once managed to purchase an AK-47 off the dark web without her knowledge, calling it "something out of a movie."

"My son started hacking at the age of eight. And that's when he ordered a gun," said Barbra Gemen to Euronews."He started to spend a lot of time behind a computer and he started ordering things on the Internet without paying."

The concerned parent said the dark web purchases started off with something small, such as "free" pizza, but progressively the deliveries became more horrifying.

According to the parent, her son would use incomprehensible code phrases such as "Pitt is coming to our place" whenever she would enter a room, masking his dealings by communing with illicit actors via online games.

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Gemen claims that the hackers used her son to also launder money for others.

It wasn't until the automatic gun along with ammunition showed up at her doorstep that Gemen realized what was happening was much bigger than she and her son.

"I think he spent a month figuring out how to order the gun and have it shipped to our home," recalled Gemen, stating that her son had the gun routed from Poland to Bulgaria in an effort to avoid customs.

"He opened it and he was really, really excited that he managed to get a gun delivered to our home," she continued.

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 "I was completely shocked. I immediately decided to do things differently at home."

Gemen said she's turned the gun over to her local police department and no legal action was taken against her child.

She also began noticing a change in her son's personality, she said. "He started to wake up at night to sit behind a computer and he was really stressed. And that's when we find out he was working with a group of international hackers.

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In an effort to curb her son's budding life of crime, Gemen said that she contacted law enforcement as well as her son's school for advice, but alleged her concern was dismissed as "exaggeration."

Taking matters into her own hands, Gemen decided to start looking at her son's browsing history and informing herself about cybersecurity.

Things hit a breaking point when Gemen's son revealed that his hacker buddies had asked him to help them hack companies and send them stolen information.

According to Gemen, her son immediately told her what was going on and she helped him break off contact with them.

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"It's so easy these days because a lot of kids have laptops and cell phones and you can basically do a hack with a few clicks," said Gemen, who now works as a Cyber Special Volunteer with Dutch Police. "It's a pretty big problem to stop young people from hacking. They often don't know what is legal and what is illegal."

Alongside her dark web-sleuthing son, who is now 20, Gemen is currently working with a newly launched Dutch task force called the Cyber Offender Prevention Squad, or COPS, she told the Wall Street Journal in July, to educate parents on just how easy their kids can slip into the dark corners of the internet.

"They don't know it can be their own son or daughter," she told them.

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