The Ethics of the Hackers

Giulia López


In present days, many software programmes are being developed and this gives an ever increasing range of options to all kind of users. Yet, many of these users are not fully aware that they are being spied by hackers. Ethical hacking, one of the reactions to this situation, tries to increase security protection by identifying and protecting existing security leaks on systems owned by third parties.

Actually, ethical hacking information security is one of the fastest growing areas in the sector of information technology. Information security would be an easy task if you would only need to install an antivirus programme and build a firewall to prevent attacks. Yet, the truth is that information security should be approached from several levels. In order to do this, measures preventing the unauthorised use, modification, misuse or denial of using facts, data, knowledge and/or capabilities should be adopted and a proactive approach to manage the risk should be taken.

Good ethical hackers must be aware of the methodology the initial hacker has developed in terms of identification, host or target scanning, gaining and maintaining access, and clearing tracks. An ethical hacker must have a deep knowledge of the different methods and tools that a true hacker can use and not only a superficial knowledge of the methodology that the hacker has used.

A safe user must be aware of at least some of these methods and tools, since many hackers attack those people that do not have enough knowledge of the different methods that can be used to spy a system. The software developer must also be aware of such methods and tools, so that he can cancel all loose elements in his programme, which should never be found, even with the use of new tools. Whenever new tools are developed, we can expect that hackers will also develop new hacking strategies, but at least we must make all efforts to prevent our software from being attacked by some of said tools. This should be the main target of ethical hackers.

A successful ethical hacker should have the skills and knowledge of the professional intruder in order to imitate his intrusion and should also have enough elements to minimise the week aspects in his software targeted by the hacker. Ethical hacking means analysing the potential threat to a given system or network by imitating the potential actions that the enemy may carry on. The skills and attitudes an ethical hacker must have are described in this paper, as well as the ways in which the ethical hacker can protect his customers by finding and closing any security gaps in software.

The paper makes a full description of the entire process of ethical hacking, starting from the different skills and knowledge a good ethical hacker must have. Nowadays security efforts need to plan for the unplanned and to anticipate intrusions before these take place. All companies should be aware of the benefits implied by a hiring a professional and trusted ethical hacker. The security of the entire company may be in his hands. Preventing unwanted threats is not only good for all types of companies, it is also a basic requirement for any contemporary corporation. The future is already here and ethical hacking is part of it.

Social hackers encourage activity amongst online groups, and are willing to break social norms to do so. They are, by their nature, controversial. They break norms because they want to live in a network of conceptual meeting spaces. They imply that groups are, of themselves, degenerate. The group mind is for them a real fiction. They want to live as people-in-general and seek to evoke structure which supports that.

Social hackers are disruptive to the extent that they act by their own culture, rather than that of the group. The proper excuse is that they might participate in the group as people-in-general. Hence, the proper ethic for social hacking is to foster structure that supports the individual activity that is framed by the group purpose. This means contributing to the coevolution of that culture through genuine activity. Any semi-automated social hacking should be sensitive to the coevolution of the group culture.

Ethics is a most profound and intensely individual responsibility. It is quite a challenge to clarify such principles for ourselves, and then formulate them generally, so that we might apply them as a network of social hackers leveraging software tools to engage online groups. Social hacking is a behavior open to all. We social hackers must seek and find a universal ethic, a social protocol by which we conduct our open conspiracy.