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In 2000, this 15-year-old hacker brought down some of the most heavily visited websites on the net: Amazon, eBay, CNN, Yahoo!. At the time, reports claimed the hack caused a billion dollars’ worth of damage to these companies.

Since that time, cybercrime has become big business, with some reports suggesting it’s on par with or bigger than the illicit drug trade. Identity theft features prominently in this underground frontier, with credit card information and entire identities up for sale by the thousands.

Tonight, CBC is airing Web Warriors, a one-hour documentary with an exclusive look at the world of hackers, and the cyber-sleuths who pursue them. If you miss it on TV, the entire documentary is available on CBC’s site as well.

And on the subject of teenage hackers, we’d like to point you towards Little Brother, the novel for young adults by BoingBoing blog coeditor Cory Doctorow. Little Brother takes place in the not-so-distant future where a group of teens use technology to protest the ever-increasing government surveillance around them. It’s a story that looks at hacking, jamming and surveillance, and offers insight into the privacy vs. security debate…all through the eyes of a 17-year-old.

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