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Enemy at the Water Cooler by Brian T Contos

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that it was not initially intended to perform.Today, the media largely uses the
terms hackers, crackers, cyber criminals, and the like interchangeably.The individ-
uals and groups that I refer to in this book are not the classical hackers, but
are those who use the hacker’s skills with malicious intent. I’ll refer to these
people as cyber criminals, malicious insiders, attackers, or simply as criminals
who also happen to have a computer.
Script Kiddies
I’m only mentioning this group as a way of showing the juxtaposition of script
kiddies contrasted against true cyber criminals. Script kiddies, when compared
to the other cyber criminal groups, are technologically unsophisticated.They
generally fall into the FBI’s SAM profile—Socially Awkward Male.They des-
perately want to belong and be acknowledged as hackers.They use scripts and
applications written by others, but lack the level of skill to be considered
more than a novice.They also fit the media’s stereotypical image of the rebel-
lious teenage hacker.
From the perspective of most organizations, script kiddies are nuisances.
They run port scans checking for open conduits of communication; they
attempt to crash servers or even take control over them, but they typically do
little more than create a lot of log files and network noise for the organization
they are attacking.They spend hours launching Linux server attacks against
Microsoft Operating Systems.They revel in the excitement of getting access
to a system, and they brag to their friends online.Then they may find that it
wasn’t a system that they had actually accessed, but rather that it was a honey
pot or honey net—a server or network of servers set up as a trap to contain and
monitor malicious activity.The honey pot looks interesting to a script kiddy,
but it contains nothing sensitive.
A script kiddy’s primary motivation is to obtain bragging rights—which,
in a way, makes him one of the few persons discussed here who is still merely
looking for approval from his peers. In general, script kiddies cannot sell their
limited skill for profit and are not a significant threat. I say “in general,
because they can always get lucky, and even if they do not, their incessant
probing of the network can create data overload that hides real attacks among
the tsunami of alerts and logs generated by network devices, servers, applica-
www.syngress.com
14 Chapter 1 • Cyber Crime and Cyber Criminals 101
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