Script Kiddies A Real Threat to Today’s Computer Systems 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
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A Real Threat to Today’s Computer Systems
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”.
Some tools commonly used by script kiddies (including our exemplar script kiddy Shawn) include:
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.
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, eBay.com, Yahoo!, and Buy.com. 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.