Script kiddie

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Script kiddie or skiddie[1] (also known as skid, script bunny,[2] script kitty)[3] in programming culture is an unskilled individual who uses scripts or programs developed by others to attack computer systems and networks, and deface websites (See: DDoS). It is generally assumed that script kiddies are juveniles who lack the ability to write sophisticated programming programs or exploits on their own, and that their objective is to try to impress their friends or gain credit in computer-enthusiast communities.[4] The term is generally considered to be a pejorative.


In a Carnegie Mellon report prepared for the U.S. Department of Defense in 2005, script kiddies are defined as

"The more immature but unfortunately often just as dangerous exploiter of security lapses on the Internet. The typical script kiddy uses existing and frequently well known and easy-to-find techniques and programs or scripts to search for and exploit weaknesses in other computers on the Internet—often randomly and with little regard or perhaps even understanding of the potentially harmful consequences.[5]

Script kiddies have at their disposal a large number of effective, easily downloadable malicious programs capable of breaching computers and networks.[4] Such programs have included remote denial-of-service WinNuke,[6] trojans Back Orifice, NetBus, Sub7,[7] and ProRat, vulnerability scanner/injector kit Metasploit,[8] and often software intended for legitimate security auditing.[9] A survey of college students in 2010, supported by UK's Association of Chief Police Officers, indicated a high level of interest in beginning hacking: "23% of 'uni' students have hacked into IT systems [...] 32% thought hacking was 'cool' [...] 28% considered it to be easy."[10]

Script kiddies vandalize websites both for the thrill of it and to increase their reputation among their peers.[4] Some more malicious script kiddies have used virus toolkits to create and propagate the Anna Kournikova and Love Bug viruses.[1] Script kiddies lack, or are only developing, programming skills sufficient to understand the effects and side effects of their actions. As a result, they leave significant traces which lead to their detection, or directly attack companies which have detection and countermeasures already in place, or in recent cases, leave automatic crash reporting turned on.[11][12]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Leyden, John (February 21, 2001). Virus toolkits are s'kiddie menace. The Register.
  2. Script bunny - definition.
  3. Baldwin, Clare; Christie, Jim (July 9, 2009). "Cyber attacks may not have come from North Korea". San Francisco;
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Lemos, Robert (July 12, 2000). Script kiddies: The Net's cybergangs. ZDNet. Retrieved on 2007-04-24.
  5. Mead, Nancy R.; Hough, Eric D.; Stehney, Theodore R. III (May 16, 2006). Security Quality Requirements Engineering (SQUARE) Methodology CMU/SEI-2005-TR-009 (PDF). Carnegie Mellon University, DOD.
  6. Klevinsky, T. J. ; Laliberte, Scott; Gupta, Ajay (2002). Hack I.T.: security through penetration testing. Addison-Wesley. ISBN 978-0-201-71956-7. 
  7. Granneman, Scott (January 28, 2004). A Visit from the FBI - We come in peace. The Register.
  8. Biancuzzi, Federico (March 27, 2007). Metasploit 3.0 day.
  9. The Growing Hacking Threat to Websites: An Ongoing Commitment to Web Application Security. Frost & Sullivan (September 2, 2012). Retrieved on November 30, 2013.
  10. Zax, David (September 22, 2010). IT Security Firm: Fear Students. Fast Company.
  11. Taylor, Josh (August 26, 2010). Hackers accidentally give Microsoft their code.
  12. Ms. Smith (August 28, 2010). Error Reporting Oops: Microsoft, Meter Maids and Malicious Code. Privacy and Security Fanatic. Network World.

See also

External links