A script kiddie, skid, script kitty, or script bunny is an inexperienced hacker who relies on available tools to attack a website or network. Script kitties have little to no coding skills and minimal hacking skills if any.
Most script kiddies lack hacking skills and pirate other hackers’ work to compensate for their lack of programming skills. In most cases, they also do not understand the tools they use.
Script Kiddie vs. Real Hackers: What You Need to Know?
Script kiddies are not your typical hackers. Script kiddies differ from real hackers in many ways, as explained in the table below:
|Less experienced in hacking skills or activities
|More experienced in cybersecurity exploits
|Uses “hacking” as a fun activity or to gain recognition
|Mostly uses hacking for malicious intent or personal gain
|Do not understand the tools they use and pay less attention to advancing their technical skill
|Always trying to upgrade their skills, and they know the tools they use
|Usually have no idea what they are doing or why they are doing it
|Know what they are doing and why they are doing it
|Wannabe hackers who use other people’s “scripts” without understanding them
|Elite hackers who can create new attacks, use their security tools, and have a more profound knowledge of computer attacks
|If the attack fails, they will move on
|More persistent in their targeted attacks
|Immature exploiters who use other people’s scripts to cause harm to computer security systems
|Can also perform “good hacking” to come up with a solution for a programming problem
What Are the Characteristics of a Script Kiddie?
Some of a skid’s characteristics include:
- They are believed to be teens: Most people believe that script kiddies are young people of 13 years and slightly above. However, this is not the case. Script kiddies are novice hackers of any age (primarily young people) seeking attention and bragging rights.
- Script kiddies do not contribute to the hacking community: They do not try to advance their hacking activities, learn, or upgrade their skills. Hence, they do not contribute to the hacking culture. Due to this, other hackers view script kiddies with contempt.
- Script kiddies can do a lot of damage: Most people tend to undermine their power, but script kiddies can do much damage as novices. For instance, in February 2000, a 15-year-old launched a massive DDoS attack with a tool he downloaded online and modified slightly.
- They are “offshoot black-hat hackers”: Script kiddies certainly do not have the technical skills of a black-hat hacker. Instead, they rely on already existing tools to launch their attacks.
- Unsophisticated: Since skids do not know what they are doing, they cannot cover their tracks. As a result, it is easier to identify them and their location very quickly.
Types of Script Kiddies
There are several script kiddies, primarily based on their nature of attack and level of experience. They include:
- Novice script kiddies: These individuals are typically new to the world of hacking and use scripts to launch attacks without having any prior experience.
- Social engineers: Some script bunnies start by building web pages to scam people into giving out important information. Skids may end up stealing private info without knowing the consequences.
- Accidental skids: Some script kiddies may follow up on a tutorial online and accidentally launch an attack on networks or websites.
Regardless of their level of experience, script kiddies, whether a novice or not, pose a significant threat to individuals and organizations as they can cause widespread damage with minimal effort.
How to Protect Yourself From Script Kiddies?
Below are some essential considerations to protect yourself from script kiddies.
Update Your Software Regularly
By updating your software and operating system regularly, you can save yourself from security vulnerabilities that these hackers intend to exploit. Otherwise, they may gain access to your systems and cause untold harm.
Use Strong Passwords
Create unique and complex passwords for each account. Top this up by enabling multi-factor authentication wherever necessary.
Implement firewalls to help monitor and control incoming and outgoing network traffic. They will also help block links sent for malicious purposes or suspicious traffic.
Monitor Your Network
Use appropriate tools to monitor your network for suspicious activity.
Likewise, set up alerts to inform you of potential threats.
Back Up Your Data
Back up your data regularly to ensure that you can recover from a possible attack.
For robust data protection, it is best to have an offline backup option and another reliable online backup solution (like NordLocker).
Stay informed about cyber-attacks and news on the latest security threats and best practices for protecting yourself.
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In conclusion, script bunnies use pre-existing scripts or tools to launch cyber-attacks without a deep understanding of what they are doing. As a result, they can pose a significant threat to organizations and individuals since they cannot control the extent of damage they may cause.
So, follow the recommendations in this guide to reduce the risk of being targeted and minimize the potential impact of an attack.