Getaways have youth on their side. If caught, they’re unlikely to get more than a slap on the wrist for their actions.
Their hacking skills are generally basic, but Getaways are keen to impress their peers and will invest significant amounts of time in their dubious online activities, learning new skills and playing with the latest tools.
On occasion, they can be used by other Suspects as proxies or diversions.
Too young to go to jail for hacking – they’re more likely to ‘get away’ with a caution or reprimand - the Getaway has plenty of basic hacking skills. They see the challenge of breaking into systems and companies as a way to hone their abilities, impress peers and get noticed by the real ‘Black Hat’ hackers.
Often, The Getaway doesn’t understand the consequences or legality of their actions, but the more aware and daring know that their youth will prevent them from being sent to prison for what they’ve done.
Over time, they may also evolve into ‘Professionals’ (or other Suspects), or turn to more legitimate employment where they can use their skills to a positive end.
Getaways are often motivated by curiosity, power, inclusion into a notorious group, or the next thrill. The urge to tinker, investigate, break and get one-up on authority figures are often key driving factors. The knowledge that they may only get the equivalent of a slap on the wrist for something that would earn an older person a custodial sentence or criminal record is further incentive.
Getaways are also influenced by other Unusual Suspects, such as the Professional, the Activist and the Nation State Actor, who may manipulate or recruit them to do their dirty work. Getaways can be used as a diversionary tactic by other cyber criminals, creating a smokescreen of small, obvious attacks to mislead or distract security teams and investigators.
The Getaway’s skills and aptitudes vary widely, from scripted attacks downloaded from the internet and used indiscriminately to sophisticated, targeted attacks aimed at achieving specific goals.
Young cyber criminals often use a wide variety of skills. This includes social engineering – the ability charm, mislead and confuse people in person, over social networks or chat, or over the phone to extract information they need to break into networks. This approach requires no small amount of social aptitude, intelligence and wit.
The Getaway is always keen to learn and understand new techniques – and may thus work in groups, either as part of an Activist gang, or in smaller, autonomous groups of like-minded individuals.