In hacker culture, a script kiddie (as opposed to "speed kiddie"), occasionally script bunny, skiddie, script kitty, script-running juvenile (SRJ), or similar) is a derogatory term used for an inexperienced malicious hacker who uses programs developed by others to attack computer systems, and deface websites. It is generally assumed that script kiddies are juveniles who lack the ability to write sophisticated hacking programs on their own, and that their objective is to try to impress their friends or gain credit in underground hacker communities.
Script kiddies have at their disposal a large number of effective, easily downloadable malicious programs capable of harassing even advanced computers and networks. Such programs have included WinNuke
applications, Back Orifice
and any auditing program as well.
Another simple means of attack is a mass mailer worm. These are spread through e-mails and, once opened, they can be automatically sent throughout entire systems, often without the users realizing it. The purpose of a worm varies, from sapping the targeted computer or network of bandwidth and therefore slowing performance, to deleting or encrypting files. Other commands are possible.
In a denial-of-service (DoS) attack, the attacker tries to shut down network activity in a target system by sapping the computer network of bandwidth or other resources. A number of distinct DoS attacks have been created that pursue this goal through different means, such as SYN flood, ICMP flood (a.k.a Smurf attack) and ping floods. If the server gets overwhelmed with excessive amounts of information, it will stop responding, and may require a restart.
Script kiddies are often able to exploit vulnerable systems and strike with great success. The most infamous examples include:
- Michael Calce, a.k.a. MafiaBoy, from Montreal, Canada, was arrested in 2000 for using downloaded tools to launch DoS attacks against high-profile Web sites such as Yahoo!, Dell, eBay, and CNN. He was 15 years old at the time. The financial damages were estimated at roughly $7.5 million. He pleaded guilty to 56 criminal charges. On September 12, 2001, Calce appeared before the Montreal Youth Court in Canada and was sentenced to eight months "open custody", one year probation, and restricted use of the Internet.
- In 1999, NetBus was used to discredit a law student named Magnus Eriksson studying at the Lund University in Sweden. Child pornography was downloaded onto his computer from an unidentified location. He was later acquitted of charges in 2004 when it was discovered that NetBus had been used to control his computer.
- Jeffrey Lee Parson, an 18-year-old high school student from Minnesota was responsible for using the B variant of the infamous Blaster computer worm. The program was part of a DoS attack against computers using the Microsoft Windows operating system. The attack took the form of a SYN flood which caused only minimal damage. He was sentenced to 18 months in prison in 2005.
- (2005). 1337 h4x0r h4ndb00k. Sams Publishing. ISBN 0672327279.