What are Script kiddies? Are They Really Dangerous?

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Most of us have a picture in our heads of what hackers look like. We think about scenes from movies with expert cyber criminals typing blazingly fast and breaking into secured networks almost instantaneously. 

While many real-life versions of these hackers can do some impressive and frightening things, these are not Script kiddies. 

Script kiddies, also referred to as skiddies or skids, are novices who use scripts and programs developed by other hackers/programmers to attack internet users and networks and cause other forms of harm. 

While they may not be as skilled as real hackers, it does give them significant power to do a lot of harm. Learn about Script kiddies and how you can stay safe online below. 

What are the Script Kiddies?

The name says it all. Script kiddies are people, often children or young adults, who lack programming knowledge and use other people’s software to launch cyber-attacks. Many times, they even use these programs without understanding how they work or what they do. 

Typical scenarios include children who get their first computer. Then they watch some film or TV show about hacking and decide to become a hacker. They’ll search forums and maybe go through a few tutorials to get a sense of how they can weaponize the software. Then they’ll find ways to unleash it on their targets. 

Leveraging Software Against Users

Script kiddies take advantage of the free and open-source software across the web to target websites and individual users. For instance, they can use programs intended for security or forensics to launch DDoS attacks. It could cost thousands of dollars in damages and lost revenue. 

Script kiddies can also access private networks by using pen-testing apps or plant malware. And they’re big on creating social engineering scams. This is really just the beginning of what they can do. 

Are Script Kiddies Worse Than Real Hackers? 

Yes and no. Real hackers can obviously do much more harm if they want to, but Script kiddies are unpredictable. Hackers often have clear aims and will target businesses, governments, or even hospitals. Script kiddies may just have a personal vendetta against you. Worse yet, they can leverage things they know about you, such as where you live and work, to target you directly. 

Hackers or script kiddies, you need to take digital security seriously. These are just two types of cybercriminals. We haven’t even covered other threats like Botnet, cyberterrorists and plain old con artists. 

How to Defend Against Script Kiddies

With hackers, crackers, Script kiddies, thieves, and more, the online world can be a scary place. But a few simple and affordable cybersecurity tools and strategies can pay off immensely in making things much safer. 

First, you need a VPN. What is a VPN? A VPN or virtual private network anonymizes your IP address and encrypts your connection to the internet. The result is a massive increase in your privacy and security. It is effective against both hackers and Script kiddies who often use IP addresses to track user activity. 

The best way to use a VPN is to enable it anytime you connect to the internet. VPNs have other benefits, too, such as concealing your browsing activity from network admin and ISPs and bypassing content restrictions. 

Now’s also the time to up your device, account, and network security. Ensure all devices have strong passwords and PIN codes that are instantly required anytime you shut down/restart your device, are inactive for 2+ minutes, or close the screen. 

Likewise, improve your account security by using complex passwords. You should even consider password managers which store those complex passwords in secure digital vaults. Don’t forget about two-factor authentication and fingerprint or facial recognition locks, either. 

Finally, you need to harden your network security, especially your business network. Start with a strong password and WEP encryption. Research and use a range of network security and monitoring tools. For example, firewalls are great and effective in regulating network traffic. You can also run programs that monitor and block authorized access attempts. 

Don’t Let Script kiddies Harm You

Expert hackers or Script kiddies, the potential risk they pose to you remains the same. Arm yourself against all digital threats and start using cybersecurity tools as soon as possible.