We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Packet Monkey?

By R. Kayne
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A packet monkey is a derogatory term for a person who floods a website with data packets, creating a Denial of Service (DoS) attack. In such an attack the Web server slows or even crashes, becoming unavailable for regular business. While a DoS attack might sound difficult and even sophisticated to the casual computer user, a packet monkey uses software scripts written by others and has no real personal experience or understanding of hacking. Packet monkeys along with script kiddies are considered childish wanna-bes in the hacker community.

The Internet uses a standardized communication protocol so that any network or personal computer that conforms to the protocol can partake of the global network. This protocol takes data and breaks it into many smaller parts called data packets. Sending small packets along various routes improves transfer speed. At the destination address the data packets reunite to form the complete, original file. You can think of online data then as a jigsaw puzzle that is disassembled, sent in pieces, and reassembled.

In a DoS attack, a packet monkey uses a malicious script to direct a continuous flood of data packets at a Web server. Not only is the Web server overwhelmed by the sheer number of packets, but the reassembly process fails, causing error after error. Processing power taps out as reverberations build exponentially, and in severe cases, the server crashes, or goes offline. DoS attacks have been waged on several well-known websites and government sites at costs estimated to be many millions or even billions of dollars.

If a packet monkey doesn’t score points in the hacker community by pulling such a stunt, risking arrest and prosecution, why do it? These are commonly youngsters looking for bragging rights among their peers. Using tools someone else scripted to carry out a DoS attack won’t impress hackers, but it might impress friends. Kids might also use a DoS attack to build a reputation.

Unfortunately packet monkeys and script kiddies won’t be going away anytime soon. Malicious scripts are available ‘in the wild’ and there will always be a newer, younger generation willing to use them.

The online hacking community believes packet monkeys and script kiddies give hackers a bad name. The skill set of a true hacker will allow him or her to infiltrate a network, explore it, then slip out without leaving a trace. While there are malicious hackers, many make good money working for institutions that pay them to find and fix vulnerabilities in their networks. A packet monkey, by contrast, engages in what amounts to "online arson" using a borrowed lighter.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By anon35945 — On Jul 08, 2009

the articles at this site are informative and helpful. thank you.

recently, i found that my yahoo mail account had been cracked as some of my mail had been mixed and compromised and forwarded. does this mean that only the yahoo mail account is cracked or that the whole laptop had been taken over and that the hacker can have access into all the files and accounts in this laptop anytime he wants?

this is pretty scary. like having the belly exposed.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.