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Script Kiddies

Script Kiddies

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Script Kiddies

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  1. Script Kiddies A Real Threat to Today’s Computer Systems

  2. Script: • Set of computer instructions • Often used in web design • Able to create embedded web page features Examples: fancy buttons and interactive fields • Similar to programs written in computer language • Scripts have limited functionality and power than computer language programs 1

  3. Script Kiddy Profile Shawn Scripter is a 14-year-old male living in Kiddyville, Kentucky. Considering himself an expert at making and defacing web pages, he “borrows” script codes by cutting and pasting into html pages. Of course, he doesn’t have a clue what the code means or how it works – all he is interested in is the cool things that happen. Destroying a company’s web page and planting viruses with his scripts do some pretty awesome damage, giving Shawn a powerful and invincible feeling. Once known as a computer geek at school, he is now “one of the guys”. 2

  4. A Script Kiddy… • Is typically a young person with little respect or esteem, insecure, yet longing to belong with a group • Defaces websites and plants viruses with scripts and programs written by others • Gains a sense of control and power when hacking webpages • Cannot program, does not care to learn how, and cut/pastes script codes without understanding what the script does • Usually doesn’t know enough to mask his/her identity, leaving an easy path for authorities to trace • Also known as “ankle biters” or “packet monkeys” 3

  5. The Script Kiddy Toolkit Some tools commonly used by script kiddies (including our exemplar script kiddy Shawn) include: • Password Cracking Tools • Packet Sniffers • Denial of Service (DOS) Tools • Port Scanners • Integrated Attack Tools 4

  6. Password Cracking Tools • Use dictionary files or brute-force methods to discover passwords or break into a system • Common cracking tool names: Unsecure and John-the-Ripper 5

  7. Packet-Sniffers • Passive attack tools • Allow a person to: • Observe network traffic • Obtain usernames and passwords to gain restricted computer access • Common packet-sniffer names: Analyzer, Sockman, and Dsniff 6

  8. Denial of Service Process Tools • Designed to launch a denial of service (DOS) attack on websites • DOS attacks restrict owners from accessing websites or computer systems • Plant damaging programs on unsuspecting machines • Common DOS names: Tribal Flood Network 7

  9. Port Scanners • Can check many systems at a time • Look for open ports to gain illegal entrance • If computer does not respond, moves on to next system • Common port scanner names: Net Scan Tools and Superscan • Ring & Run analogy 8

  10. Integrated Attack Tools • Completely automatic programs • Scan a system and determine how to attack a vulnerable system • Attacks without user knowledge or intervention • Common integrated attack names: Natas and Saint 9

  11. Case Study 1: AnnaKournikova The AnnaKournikova.jpg.vbs virus is a perfect example of the damage and destruction that can be inflicted by a script kiddy.On February 13, 2001 the virus was released and spread very quickly across the world. People received an email, thinking it would contain a picture of the popular tennis star. When the unsuspecting recipient opens the email the virus was unleashed. It infected Outlook mail programs and mailed itself out to people in the recipient’s address book. Dutch authorities arrested the author of the AnnaKournikova virus, a 20 year-old man from the Netherlands, after he posted an apology on the Internet for the destruction caused by the virus. He was charged with suspicion of damaging computer programs and property and can receive up to four years in prison if he is convicted. 10

  12. Case Study 2: Mafiaboy In April 2000, a 15-year-old Canadian teen, using the name “Mafiaboy”, was arrested and found guilty of cyber attacks on several leading Web sites such as CNN,, Yahoo!, and The attacks were carried out by a denial of service approach using easily accessible tools. Estimated damage caused was $1.7 billion. He plead guilty to 55 counts of unauthorized access to a computer. Investigators experienced few problems locating the identity of the attacker, as Mafiaboy left an easy-to-follow trail that involved bragging about his attacks in chat rooms and using a school computer that backed-up logs. Mafiaboy was sentenced to two years in a juvenile detention center, one year probation following detention, and $160. 11

  13. Case Study Questions • What are some common characteristics of this script kiddy? • What type of tool did the script kiddy use? • What type of damage did the script kiddy inflict? • What were the charges and subsequent results of prosecution, if any? 12

  14. Protecting Yourself • Select passwords carefully • Install anti-virus software • Use a firewall • Disable unnecessary ports • If networked to other computers, disable file and printer sharing 13