Cybercrime is awful enough to contemplate but the evil industry that promotes it is now even corrupting the younger generation. At least that’s what McAfee claims, and it has an expensive-looking report, the Virtual Criminology Report 2006, to back up that and other predictions of doom.

“Organised crime is grooming a new generation of high-flying cyber-criminals using tactics which echo those employed by the KGB to recruit operatives at the height of the cold war,” it says.

“The study reveals how Internet savvy teens as young as 14 are being attracted into cyber-crime by the celebrity status of hi-tech criminals and the promise of making money without the risks associated with traditional crime.”

Sounds like an over-paid job in the media or PR to me but, taking it seriously for a moment, the contention here is that Internet criminals are not just organised but plan ahead to the extent of having a recruitment plan, and long-term goals, and for all we know, and HR department.

There are several problems with this cobbled-together report, that has cut and pasted sensation from every corner of security news reporting: if offers not a shred of proof. There is much to ponder in this report, but I’d rather security companies didn’t make generalisations without more hard information. We’re way past the point where we want to be scared of Internet crime. It’s the time for detail.

That didn’t stop a load of websites reporting this claim as fact, of course. I’ll refrain from linking to them because it never pays to be smug.

The report itself is quite a good summary of trends, and is worth a read if you can strain your eyes to see past the white-on-grey text. We’ll link to it when the company puts in into the public domain.

In the meantime, I’ll assume it was meant as a piece if targeted marketing. Marketing, I hear you say? Of frightening security happenings? Never! Oh yes.