Jobs in IT can pay fairly well, but the sad reality is that if you have even rudimentary coding skills, there might be a better short-term payoff in scamming people.
Criminal picture from Shutterstock
A recurring topic at the Tech Leaders event in Queensland (which I'm attending this week) has been the growing presence of malware developers. While new techniques constantly emerge, many scammers rely on the laziness of users. If someone hasn't patched their computer recently, then it's easy to exploit problems even after they have been fixed.
"These guys earn more money in one day than we do in a year," said Alexandru Novac, head of cloud architecture at security software developer BitDefender. "A student can build an app for two weeks and you start having the money coming in. People are making money from 10-year-old code."
Criminal activity results in punishment, but even that isn't always a deterrent. "I don't think there's anything we tell a criminal to make them repent," said Novac, noting that some hacker are re-jailed for offences within six months of release. "If jail doesn't stop you from doing this, I don't know what will."