An unskilled computer prankster who can only ape skilled hackers by downloading and using their programs that are designed to infiltrate and compromise computer networks.
Hackers, in their online communities, say the media incorrectly use the blanket term “hacker” when referring to those responsible for the assaults, which don’t involve breaking into a secure system. They prefer “packet monkeys,” which is a derogatory term for any simple life-form that could download software from the Internet and launch such attacks.
—Jennifer Beauprez, “Hackers deride cyber pranksters’ ‘senseless acts’,” The Denver Post, February 12, 2000
A DDoS attack is not a “hack”. A hack is “an incredibly good, and perhaps very time-consuming, piece of work that produces exactly what is needed.” Remember, hackers are good guys who fix things. Reporters love to mangle language by attributing DDoS attacks to “hackers” when they really mean to say “criminals” or “attackers”. I prefer the usage “packet monkey” to describe these bottom-feeders.
—Seth Ross, “Attack of the Packet Monkeys,” Securius Newsletter, February 18, 2000
“Macki”, a member of the hacker group 2600, told a reporter “we are currently building a consensus among other groups to address the media’s misuse of the term hacker as a community, (and) to defend our good name”.
Hackers call these sorts of people “crackers”, to separate themselves from the cyber vandals, and see them as little more than “packet monkeys”, whose only ability is to flood a site with packets of information.
—Rodney Chester, “Crunching the Net,” Courier Mail (Queensland, Australia), February 11, 2000
In network communications, a packet is the basic unit of transmission. That is, any data that's sent over the network or the Internet is broken down into separate packets which are then shipped out and reassembled at the destination.
"Real" hackers seem to revel in denigrating any artless wanna-be that merely copies the work of others. Besides packet monkey, other e-epithets used are script kiddie, script bunny, and code kiddie.