My eight-year-old son ordered an AK-47 and ammunition from the darkweb

EXCLUSIVE: My eight-year-old son is a wannabe hacker who ordered an AK-47 from the dark web. I only realized when it showed up on our doorstep

  • Barbara Gemen says her son, then eight, managed to buy a gun online 
  • She said he spent weeks researching how to do it after meeting criminals online
  • READ MORE: I was a hacker for 30 years – here’s what I saw on the dark web 

A mother is warning about the dangers of the ‘dark web’ after her eight-year-old son managed to order a gun and ammunition.

Barbara Gemen, a human resources expert in the Netherlands, revealed her horror after an AK-47 appeared on her doorstep.

She said her son, who she wants to keep anonymous, was ‘very, very excited’ to have managed to get the package — which was routed through nearby Poland and Bulgaria to avoid customs checks — after using the dark web.

But the horrified mother handed the weapon to authorities. The police and his school took no action, she said.

Ms Gemen’s son was groomed by a gang of cybercriminals, and she now campaigns to help young people avoid being lured by gangs (Pictured: Ms Gemen)

A package containing an AK-47 arrived at Ms Gemen’s door (Stock image)

Ms Gemen said: ‘It sounds like something from a movie, but I was shocked to learn that my eight-year-old son had embarked on a journey of becoming a cyber hacker, a path which was paved with alarming choices and lasting consequences.’

Her son, now aged 20, was an avid gamer in his youth and would regularly stay up late into the night playing computer games.

The youngster even took a job to be paid by others to get their accounts to a higher level for when they logged in at the weekend.’s tech correspondent spent a day on the Dark Web 

Identities and locations of darknet users stay anonymous and cannot be tracked due to layered encryption systems, making it a hotbed for criminals. 

But Ms Gemen said things took a turn when he met what she called a group of cyber-criminals in an online game.

He began with small actions, such as ordering a pizza online without paying, but Ms Gemen said he then started to use bank accounts to launder money for others — using computer games to mask the transactions.

She said that, after the fact, she learned her son had spent weeks on internet forums finding out how to order the weapon and ensure it arrived safely at his home address.

He would hide his activities from her through code words, she said, such as saying, ‘Pitt is joining us’ whenever she came into the room while he was online.

Speaking to EuroNews, she added: ‘My son started hacking at the age of eight. And that’s when he ordered a gun.

‘I think he spent a month trying to figure out how to order the gun and to get it delivered to our home.

‘He opened it and he was really, really excited that he managed to get a gun delivered to our home. 

‘[But] I was completely shocked. I immediately decided to do things differently at home.’

The gun had been ordered via the dark web, a part of the internet where there are no publicly available links, and which can only be accessed by special software such as Tor.

On illegal dark web markets, everything from guns to illegal drugs can be freely bought with cryptocurrency.

The boy had been working with an international group of hackers, getting up during the middle of the night to ‘work’, with the criminals luring him into increasingly serious hacking.

Ms Gemen said she received little support from the police or the boy’s school and educated herself on cybercrime by going through his browsing history and looking up terms online.

Research by Kaspersky found that just 11 percent of parents believe that their child would be capable of committing cybercrime.

Research by Kaspersky found that just 11 percent of parents believe that their child would be capable of committing cybercrime.

Ms Gemen’s quit her old job and now campaigns to help children who have become involved in cybercrime.

She said: ‘It’s so easy these days because a lot of kids have laptops, mobile phones, and basically you can do a hack with a few clicks. It’s a quite big issue to prevent young people from hacking. They often don’t know what’s legal or what’s illegal.’

She says that parents need to establish ‘cyber boundaries’ to keep children safe.

Research by Michigan State University in 2019 found that young boys who spent time playing video games and had the freedom to do what they want on the internet were more likely to be involved in hacking. 

Young people who have their own phone from an early age are more likely to hack.

Gemen said: ‘It is imperative that we educate and protect young minds from the blurred boundaries of a digital environment’.

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