A script kiddie, or skid, is a term that describes a young hacker who has much to learn yet acts as if he or she knows everything. 

Most of them are teenagers who are in it for fun and treat hacking as a game. Mostly they hack for bragging rights. They also don’t make a real effort to improve their hacking skills. Most don’t even know how to write a hacking program or ‘script’ and are content to pirate those made by others. This lack of skills often leads to their arrest because they leave a trail that’s easy for investigators to track down.

Read More about “Script Kiddie”

script kiddie

In Internet slang, “script kiddie” is a derogatory term used to describe a person who uses scripts or codes developed by real hackers to attack a network or website. Script kiddies have little to no coding skills, and rely on available tools or exploit kits to carry out an attack. Script kiddies also go by the term’s variations, such as “skiddie” or “skid.”

Script Kiddies vs. Real Hackers

Script kiddies differ from real hackers because they do not understand source codes in any way. In other words, they do not know how the tools they are running work or even how the attack they are engaging functions. These individuals merely download software to use against targets. But they can move on from being a script kiddie to become a novice hacker once they start learning proper programming and know the logic behind the codes they use.

Origin of Script Kiddie

According to LiveOverflow, a dedicated YouTube channel for hacking enthusiasts, the term “kodez kiddies” may have been a possible predecessor to the word. It often functions as a derogatory term. “Kodez kiddies” was mentioned several times in 1994 in Yet Another Bulletin Board System (YABBS), which was published by Alex Wetmore, then a freshman at the Carnegie Mellon University.

However, the modern use of the term was associated with an exploit called “crontab.” A forum thread from 1996 retrieved from R00t[.]org revealed a conversation between hackers at the time mentioning “script kiddies.”

The term also appeared in two articles in a 1998 issue of Phrack[.]org. The author of the first article described the act of using a port scanner to find hosting vulnerabilities as “script kiddie behavior.” The other occurrence of the term in the publication was in a sarcastic remark about a hacking website that got hacked. To wit, the passage read: “Let’s give out scripts that every clueless script kiddie breaks into thousands of sites worldwide.”

What Are the Types of Script Kiddies?

Script kiddies can come in different forms, such as:

  • Accidental hackers
  • Social engineers
  • Legally clueless hackers

Accidental hackers

Some script kiddies may be practicing or trying to hone their skills by following online tutorials and accidentally launch an attack on the network they’re connected to.

Social engineers

HyperText Markup Language (HTML) is probably the easiest computing language to learn. And many script kiddies start out by building web pages to trick users into giving out secret information. They may end up stealing personal data without knowing the consequences.

Legally clueless hackers

Some script kiddies may not be in it for the money. In fact, over the years, we’ve found they’re after popularity more. In many cases, when they’re caught, they claim they don’t know they’ve committed a crime.

What Attack Was Performed by a Script Kiddie?

The hacking attack targeting U.K.-based telco TalkTalk Telecom Group PLC was performed by a 15-year-old script kiddie. The unauthorized access lasted more than eight months and allowed the attacker to access unencrypted data.

The boy was arrested for violating the Computer Misuse Act, which penalizes unauthorized access to computer materials, unauthorized access with intent to commit or facilitate a crime, and unauthorized modification of computer materials.

Script Kiddie Use in Gaming

The gaming community comprises a tight-knit group of developers, hackers, and cheat-devs who peddle game leaks and cheats to a pool of clients. Script kiddies (also known as “enchiladas”) are this community’s version of “hangers-on.” They infiltrate gaming groups and forums to steal the codes that developers intend to sell. That is primarily the reason why script kiddies gained the ire of the gaming community. The other, of course, is that they don’t have the sophisticated skill set in game design or programming.

Key Takeaways

  • A script kiddie is a young hacker who has much to learn yet acts as if he or she already knows everything about hacking.
  • Cybersecurity experts don’t consider script kiddies real hackers in that they don’t truly understand code.
  • The most popular target of a script kiddie attack would probably be that targeting TalkTalk Telecom Group PLC in 2015.

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