In about a month the first graduates of the new Anonymous hacking school could start having an impact on the frequency of cybercrime.
"You could have a quarter of a million people who could be educated on how to hack, not professionally, but enough to be significant," says Karim Hijazi, CEO of security start-up Unveillance. He bases that projected impact on the number of followers that the hacking group LulzSec acquired on Twitter during its 50-day spree - 285,550. When LulzSec disbanded last week, its members announced formation of the school.
He says that from what he's read about the school, it will teach skills that include setting up Zeus botnets, the keystroke logging malware for stealing banking logins. "Every little script kiddy will know how to create a botnet."
And while individuals may not be skilled enough to create massive botnets, their cumulative effect could be significant, he says.
In addition to attacking Web sites and posting stolen data online, LulzSec served the purpose of recruiting new, younger members for Anonymous, Hijazi says. When LulzSec disbanded, it reaffirmed its endorsement of AntiSec - its hacking movement against corporate and governmental corruption - which is being carried on by Anonymous, a loosely organized hacking group from which LulzSec sprang.
The implication was for LulzSec members committed to AntiSec to join Anonymous. "It was a good campaign on behalf of Anonymous," Hijazi says.
Meanwhile, look out for malicious activity from the freshly graduated Anonymous hacker class. "They could buy up domains for command and control servers and could have a botnet up next week of some value," he says.