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Articles - Script Kiddies II - An advice to parents

After the feedback on the previous article, I thought that it would be beneficial to write another, exploring the Script Kiddie problem in a bit more depth. If you haven't already read the previous item "Script Kiddies - Vermin of the Internet", it may be a good idea to peruse that first to give you some background.

Over the years, I have witnessed a great number of strange things occur on computers. Some incidences are simply PEBCAK problems (Problem Exists Between Chair and Keyboard - user error), hardware failure or, for want of a better term, "system brainfarts" - no identifiable cause.

But other occurrences are more sinister.

I remember one client reporting that her teenage daughter had been in an online chat room that night when suddenly the computer's CD-ROM tray began opening and closing of its own volition.

In the address bar of Internet Explorer a message was slowly typed out.

It read, "You are dead!"

You can imagine the effect that this experience had on the 14 year old girl in question. This incident was more than likely a Script Kiddie attack, utilising a Trojan that was installed on the computer.

So how did this Trojan end up on the system? It was brought home from school on a disk, hidden in a program. This may have been deliberate as the school in question had a number of Script Kiddies in attendance. I became used to hearing their names mentioned.

Schools, along with the Internet, government departments and the workplace, are incredible sources of Trojan infestations. The kids constantly swap programs, and in their rush to install them will fail to scan properly. If your virus scanner is configured to be running all the time, this isn't such a problem. But for people with low-powered systems, 24/7 virus scanning really slows their computer down.

When out on the Internet, kids also have a tendency to reveal a great deal of information about themselves. The Internet is not a play-ground or a baby-sitter. It is a tool, akin to a chainsaw. Like a chainsaw, it can benefit or destroy.

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And that brings me to the next point. Script Kiddies tend to be teenagers, still living at home. Unfortunately, there are also a number of "adults" who engage in the practice (that's all the more reason to label them "Script Kiddies"...immature and unthinking).

It's been my experience through my business that the family computer tends to be a breeding ground for all kinds of software. I have heard the startled comment, "how did that get on there?" many many times when attending to ailing systems.

Not only might there be Trojans lurking on your system (this is easily fixed with the use of a good virus scanner), there may be the other end of the spectrum - the software that is used to illegally access other machines. These programs are not illegal, network administrators find them of great value in troubleshooting their systems. A number of these tools are free and easily accessible.

.............Do you know what software is installed on your computer?

I was going to publish some of the names of these programs, but thought twice as the information may actually prompt the birth of yet another "Script Kiddie"

If you would like a list of some of the popular programs utilised to carry out this practice, please email me. I am currently compiling a list of these programs along with instructions on how to detect them. I can guarantee you that you probably won't find them under the Start/Programs menu!

If your kids are engaged in this type of activity, it may be that they just need some information. They may not be fully aware of the damage they can cause, or of the legal implications to themselves and to you. As a parent, in most countries, you can be prosecuted for the illegal activities of your children. Script Kiddie tracing is becoming more refined as the problem increases.

Once again, while I have been drafting this article, port number 12345 has been "probed" a total of 5 times on my computer.....somebody's bored..... There are ways to "nuke" the person/s doing it, but as my more experienced associates inform me, this only lets the person know I am here. It's better off just reporting the infringement to the originating ISP - a subject for another article.  

Do you know what your kids are doing on your computer? No? Better take a look then...

Related articles:

Script Kiddies - Vermin of the Internet

http://www.tamingthebeast.net/ articles/scriptkiddies.htm 

Script Kiddies III - Grill a kiddie!!

http://www.tamingthebeast.net/ articles/kiddies3.htm

Script Kiddies 2002 - an update

http://www.tamingthebeast.net/ articles2/script-kiddies-2002.htm 

Michael Bloch
Taming the Beast
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