Ethical Computer Hacking
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Have you ever been a victim of a cyber crime? Something as simple as a weird pop up that won’t go away? Or maybe something a little bit more serious like your personal web page gets hi-jacked? All this “malicious” damage that causes you much grief isn’t so much the work of a hacker, per se, but more the work of a “cracker” or a “script kiddie”. Now you’re confused right? Well let’s just say everyone who knows how manipulate a computer isn’t doing it on bad and evil terms, like writing a virus to deploy on a certain date to permanently delete certain file extensions. But maybe they’re the people sitting hours on end to deploy a fix for that certain virus someone else is writing, or safeguarding a local bank’s network to make sure that virus cannot access the banks database. Hacking can be ethical by providing the Internet world with a tightened sense of security by detecting and preventing security flaws before it is too late.
There are a many types of hacks, and hackers in the cyber world. A hack can be any modification done to virtually anything, to make it do something better, or something completely different. Many hackers are hackers of electronic equipment, mostly computers, but even cell phones, routers, iPods, digital cameras, and even the Toyota Prius have been hacked to get better gas mileage with the hybrid-electric engine (Rupley). But besides modifying computers themselves or gadgets, hackers play a significant role in the networking world.
The Internet is a large collection of interconnected networks in which share files with each other, and hackers have been deemed the one’s who steal, delete, or compromise these networks and files, which is not completely true. This type of crime is most likely the work of a script kiddie, or a “cracker”, who is an inexperienced, unskilled “hacker” who attempts to infiltrate or disrupt computer systems by running pre-fabricated scripts designed to crack those systems (Script Kiddie). These are the people setting the very negative example of computer literate people around the world. They know no morals, or ethical value behind what they do, but to compromise, and cause havoc upon the end user computing world. Hackers fall into two categories: Black Hat and White Hat Hackers. While Black Hat hackers illegally crack into systems for malicious reasons, their White Hat counterparts probe and test for security flaws and IT research (Black Hat/White Hat). The term “hacker” can be explained as a person who enjoys learning the details of a computer system and how to stretch their capabilities beyond a person who learns the bare minimum to use a computer (Palmer). By this definition, a hacker can be anyone who is willing to expand their knowledge with a computer to better benefit themselves, or more importantly, others.
Many people disregard the ethical sense to hacking and believe all forms of hacking to be unjust, which is untrue, but hacking can be very beneficial. White Hat, or Ethical Hacking can be very useful by having security professionals attempt to break in to explore and try to exploiting systems to discover a loop-hole or security flaw in a network. This is similar to having independent auditors come into an organization to verify its bookkeeping records. These White Hat hackers are usually experts in their field and use the same tools and technology that Black Hat Hackers would use to infiltrate a system (Palmer). By eliminating potential holes in a network, the initial data could then be out of harms reach, and close guarded by a secure network. This is a very important aspect to running a successful and safe network.
One of the basic types of attacks done by hackers are Denial of Service Attacks, this is when a hacker infiltrates temporality disabled a major web sites such, such as eBay or Amazon, and it has a major effect on income and revenue for that particular company. The hacker then usually leaves