Script kiddie

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A script kiddie, skiddie,[1] or skid is a relatively unskilled individual who uses scripts or programs, such as a web shell, developed by others to attack computer systems and networks and deface websites, according to the programming and hacking cultures. It is generally assumed that most script kiddies are juveniles who lack the ability to write sophisticated programs or exploits on their own and that their objective is to try to impress their friends or gain credit in computer-enthusiast communities.[2] However, the term does not necessarily relate to the actual age of the participant. The term is considered to be derogatory.


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.[3]

Script kiddies have at their disposal a large number of effective, easily downloadable programs capable of breaching computers and networks.[2]

Script kiddies vandalize websites both for the thrill of it and to increase their reputation among their peers.[2] 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 some cases, leave automatic crash reporting turned on.[4][5]

One of the most common types of attack utilized by script kiddies involves a form of social engineering, whereby the attacker somehow manipulates or tricks a user into sharing their information. This is often done through the creation of fake websites where users will input their login (a form of phishing), thus allowing the script kiddie access to the account.[6]

Game hacking[edit]

A subculture of hacking and programming communities, cheat developers, are responsible for the development and maintenance of clients. These individuals must circumvent the target program's security features to become undetected by the anti-cheat. Script kiddies are known to download and slightly modify something that a cheat developer created.[citation needed].

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Leyden, John (February 21, 2001). "Virus toolkits are s'kiddie menace". The Register.
  2. ^ a b c Lemos, Robert (July 12, 2000). "Script kiddies: The Net's cybergangs". ZDNet. Retrieved 2007-04-24.
  3. ^ Mead, Nancy R.; Hough, Eric; Stehney, Theodore R. (31 October 2005). Security Quality Requirements Engineering (SQUARE) Methodology (Report). Carnegie Mellon University. doi:10.1184/R1/6583673.v1.
  4. ^ Taylor, Josh (August 26, 2010). "Hackers accidentally give Microsoft their code". Archived from the original on January 20, 2012.
  5. ^ Ms. Smith (August 28, 2010). "Error Reporting Oops: Microsoft, Meter Maids and Malicious Code". Privacy and Security Fanatic. Network World.
  6. ^ "Script Kiddie: Unskilled Amateur or Dangerous Hackers?". United States Cybersecurity Magazine. 2018-09-14. Retrieved 2019-10-25.

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