Biggest Issues Comes With Ethical Hacking

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As a college student, I am doing some research on hacking. What do you think are the biggest problems, in your experience, with Internet hacking.

I wish you the best, but make sure you keep your activities legal. No sense getting a criminal record and ruining your career at the start! Don't hack into any systems you don't have permission to attack. If you want to experiment, do it on your own machines.

As for the biggest problems... there are so many it's hard to pick just a few, but I shall try. First off, the enormous number of poorly managed machines really make things easier for attackers. As the Internet has grown, the average skill level of system administrators has dropped greatly, leaving many systems ripe for the picking by even amateur attackers. Also, the widespread availability of high-speed always-on connections (cable modems and DSL lines) connected to home users' systems helps attackers. It's very easy to undermine these puppies and use them in a distributed attack. Other big problems include the fact that our underlying protocols (TCP/IP) are pretty weak and the fact that software vendors continue to release broken programs with major security flaws. The fact that we're still discovering buffer overflows on a daily basis in the year 2018 is somewhat depressing.

When we discuss ethical hacking there are many issues which can be listed, which will arise in many circumstances. For evaluating these issues and come up with a good solution or opinions the above discussed, structured ethical principles and ethical theories can be taken off. This will obviously give a clear picture to the reader. In this study for further more analysis, two important incidents will be assessed by me using both ethical theories.

A Dutch hacker who copied patient files from a University of Washington medical center (and was not caught) said in an online interview that he did it to publicize the system’s vulnerability not to use the information. He disclosed portions of the files to a journalist after the medical center said that no patient files had been copied. (Sara Baase, A Gift of Fire, 2003.)

If we critically evaluate the above scenario, it is obvious that the hacker has committed a cybercrime and he should be punished according to the Kantianism theory which tells “some actions are always wrong”. Even though the Dutch hacker didn’t misuse the copied files he has broken into the network and penetrated it. So it’s ethically wrong when we see in the perspective of Kant’s theory. But if we evaluate this using Consequentialism theory it will completely contradict with Kantianism theory. Though the hacker was not get caught he has come to an online interview to announce that there is a vulnerability in University of Washington’s medical center’s network which can be easily attacked. So this good behavior of the hacker shows that he has come to this decision concerning the betterment of the patients. which direct the theory “an action is good If the consequences bring the greatest benefit to a number of people “.If he has published all the copied files through the internet both parties will be get affected, the patients and the University. The files may contain confidential information of patients and which they never want to expose. So although this act can be identified as ethically correct whilst it's legally wrong. Therefore by this action, the Medical center gets a chance to secure and defend their systems from future attacks.

But an according to the statement “A solution to an ethical issue can raise another issue”

Anonymous. Maybe this act is ethically correct according to the theory of Consequentialism. But what if the hacker found some medical information about his friend? Which information is a kept secret? What if he tells him? What if the friends get to know that his confidential medical information has got leaked through the internet? These kinds of issues can arise which will sometimes take into an ethical dilemma.

If we move to the next case which is,

A 17-year-old hacker known as YTcracker, who penetrated several governments and military web sites (including those belongings to the Bureau of Land Management’s National Training Center, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and the Defense Contracts Audit Agency) said he routinely sends messages to government web site administrators insisting that they address vulnerabilities and adopt Unix or other more secure systems can be penetrated, but the messages largely go ignored. ytcracker said in his defacement of the website he targeted systems the government would look at and take seriously and secure it. (Federal Computer Week, 1999)

Though this case is Similar to the above discussed one, it provides a different idea. The hacker who has penetrated all these sites called YTcracker has only one intention that is to alert and notify the government organizations to protect their valuable information’s, which can be easily breached and gained access. If critically evaluate this case according to the Kantianism theory. The act of YTcracker is ethically wrong as it threatens the ethical principles to go beyond the theory.

But according to the point of Consequentialism theory, the act is ethical. Because the hacker hasn’t done any damage to the government organizations using their web sites. He has only warned and notified them to make them more secured. So a greater amount of people gets benefited because there are most sensitive information’s are available in government sites such as National Security, Military and NASA. So if the hacker leaks the information from their databases what will happen there are would be a huge problem for the US government.

But both of these incidents are illegal according to the Computer Misuse Act 1990 even they are ethical according to the theories. Because the hackers have offended unauthorized access to computer material (Misuse Act 1990).

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