Ethical Hacking Essay Paper
Almost 90 percent of our society now depends on complex computer based system. With the increasingly use of computer and explosive growth of the Internet has brought many good things: electronic commerce, online banking, e-mail, video conferencing etc. The improvement of systems security to prevent criminal hacker has become an important concern to society. There are many ways to protect those information systems; it seems that the Ethical Hacking is a better way. Therefore, whether to teach or not teach the "Ethical Hacking" as a course in Tertiary education has become an interesting argument. In this article will analysis the ethical, legal, and ethical implications of this issue.
In order to discuss the ethical, legal, and social implications of this issue, one has to understand the definition of Ethical Hacking. The Word Spy states that "Ethical hacking is a computer hacker who attempts to infiltrate a secure computer system in an effort to learn the system's weaknesses so that they can be repaired" (The Word Spy, 2003). The question arises here is whether Ethical Hacking is ethical or unethical.
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The "Computer Ethics" states in part that all information belongs to everyone and there should be no boundaries or restraints to prevent disclosure of this information (Johnson, 1994). From most hacker's perspective, freedom of information includes the right to source codes and the programs themselves. This freedom also includes the right to access information stored on a computer network. At times, hackers argue that the freedom of information doctrine gives them the right to have unrestricted access to computer accounts, passwords and email. At this point, the ethical position of hacking has become "system cracking" (Granger, 1994). When the information of the system has become free to everyone, there is no such thing of private property, and there is also no privacy concerns. Teaching someone to be an ethical hacker would seem as teaching someone to break into people's house and evaluate the vulnerability of that house. If ethical hacking has been taught in territory school, how do you know the students are not going to attack the system? If they find a really major vulnerability, how do you know that they won't exploit it, or boast about it on the Internet? Furthermore, to teach someone how to hack into one's system is also an invasion of somebody's privacy, Miller (1997) states that the invasion of somebody's privacy is morally wrong. Somebody may argue that it is sustainable the hacker is just attempts to search the weaknesses of that system without accessing any personal data or confidential information. However, once the hacking skills have been taught to someone, it is unpredictable that the hacker will not use their skills to peek some confidential information. Once the hacker found that the information is beneficial for their self, items such as bank balances, medical records, credit histories, employment records, and defence information all ease to be alter by the hacker. Clearly, when such situation happened, it seems that the teaching of Ethical Hacking might not be a good idea.
The Australia government and most of the country does not have a clear legislation to state that whether the Ethical Hacking to be taught as a course in Tertiary education is legal or prohibited. However, most of the countries have passed a computer crime law which prohibited hacking. The American state of Florida was the first to pass a computer crime law which prohibited hacking in 1978 (OZEMAIL, 2003). In Australia, the federal legislation has enacted that unauthorized access to, or modification of, restricted data it is an offense against the law (THE CYBERCRIME ACT, 2001). Obviously, if hack into somebody's computer is regarded as a computer crime, so the course of Ethical Hacking is becomes unnecessary. In fact, Ethical Hacking is not only the way that can improve system security. Software such as intrusion-detection systems can monitor a computer system for activity that suggests unauthorized or inappropriate activity. A firewall can prevent computers being hack or attack. However, if Ethical Hacking is being taught to someone, it is expected that the activity of Ethical Hacking is permitted by the system owner beforehand. Otherwise, such activity will treated as an offense against the law.
In the current society, business, organizations and government are very dependent on computers and Internet. Adequately protecting an organization's information assets is a requisite issue. Many organizations have deployed security software or devices, such as firewalls or intrusion detection systems, to help protect their information assets and to quickly identify potential attacks. IBM Systems Journal states that "some organizations came to realize that one of the best ways to evaluate the intruder threat to their interests would be to have independent computer security professionals attempt to hack into their computer systems" (IBM 2001). This might be a good way to evaluate the system vulnerability. However, to allow a penetration test team break into their systems, the organization may have faces some risks. For example, the penetration test team may fail to identify significant vulnerabilities; sensitive security information may be disclosed, increasing the risk of the organizations being vulnerable to external attacks (The Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants). Some organization even send their system administrator to be trained Ethical Hacking as a career course in Tertiary institution. At this point, the person who to be trained is expected trustful and ethical. Otherwise it will not be a good way to do so.
With the present poor security on the Internet, Ethical Hacking may be the most effective way to fill security holes and prevent intrusions. However, to teach Ethical Hacking to somebody would simply means there will be one more hacker in the society. No matter the motivation here is to improve current systems security; nobody can predict what might happen after the person gain the knowledge of hacking. And if there is one more hacker in society, it would simply means the risk of the system being attack by hacker will raise. Therefore, it is inappropriate to teach Ethical Hacking as a course in Tertiary education.
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Ethical Hacking Essay
Today, one of the most sought after individuals and/or companies are those who employ ethical hackers. Although the term “hacking” might seem vague and distrustful for most individuals because of how hackers are portrayed in mass media such as unlawful and people who are hunted by the government. Nevertheless, there are plenty of times when hacking is useful and productive.
In some cases, hacking can be used to fix systems and software, and more importantly to prevent future probabilities of these systems being hacked themselves. This useful application of hacking is called ethical hacking. Ethical hacking simply means attempting to hack one’s system, network, or software in order to identify the threats to it and mitigate it in the future. In other words, ethical hackers are the “preventers” for hackers such as black hats, who are generally regarded as cyber criminals for trying to infiltrate security systems simply for their own gain. Another term for these ethical hackers are “white hats” and most industries today, ranging from digital companies, security providers, and especially banks have hired them.
Because of the demand for these ethical hackers more and more people today are engaging and trying to learn to hack, both inside and outside educational systems. For one, this is important since it is believed that the technologies today and the abilities of the companies which create them, are just in their inception and thus more and more companies would need the help of these ethical hackers in the future. In other words, an increase in the jobs available even in the comforts of their own homes and just as any online jobs, could mean the decongestion of our cities. However, not all people are thrilled with the continuous increase of white hats in the society. For them, since white hats are just humans and are equipped with the knowledge that black hats have, then more black hats could also come from this population. Adding to the fact that these white hats are usually allowed more freedom with the use of such technologies, these increases the worrying of these people.
Following from the statements above, it is apparent that the number of white hats is continuously increasing. Therefore, in response to this situation and the potential risks that it carries in the future, I believe that it is necessary that more rules and regulations must be established in order to prevent any thing detrimental that might happen not only for these technologies but also for the people who use them. One of the most prominent tech savvy and entrepreneur in the world, Elon Musk, has already warned us about the dangers of AI. He said in an interview that “the machines will win”. In line with this, I believe that hacking (both ethical and unethical) is one of the things that would determine the fate of the world as AI technology continues to grow. For one, black hats might start the use of “destructive AIs” which could pose potential dangers for the existence of human life in this planet. On the other hand, White hats could then serve as the saviors if and when such a time comes. Countering the decisions that AIs could make regarding how the world should run, especially when taking the human factor is a part of its equation.
In conclusion, what this means is that hacking could be productive and essential for the advancement of technology in the world especially in this ever growing environment. However, as this trade grows, additional rules and regulations must be placed in order to keep hacking more helpful than destructive.