Ethical Hacking

A hacker is an individual with technical skills and creative savvy who is willing to push the limits of technology in order to discover the boundaries and weaknesses of a computer or networked system in order to gain unauthorized access to that system. The use of the term hacker often means that the individual is willing to cross ethical boundaries in order to test and gain access to a system. An ethical hacker is an individual hired by an organization to break into the selected organization’s information systems but to do so in a principled manner. Ethical hackers use the same methods and techniques used by traditional hackers with one difference, the ethical hacker is someone who is trusted by the organization to discover vulnerabilities or weaknesses in a system and then report these issues back to the organization so that the issues can be fixed. For example, a bank might hire an ethical hacker to test the security of their banking system. If the ethical hacker discovers a method to steal money from the bank undetected, the ethical hacker will report this information and not use it to their advantage.

Ten years ago, the term ethical hacker was viewed as an informal term used by management. It was used to describe individuals that were willing to cross traditional ethical boundaries in order to protect systems from those outside individuals that are not concerned with ethical issues. The primary concern is that an ethical hacker has to be willing to push the ethical boundary to match those conditions that would be used by a traditional hacker. Some security experts state that the term ethical hacker is a misnomer. An ethical hacker seems to imply the same contradiction that we might find in attempting to define an ethical thief.

Using the module readings and the Argosy University online library resources, research perspectives regarding ethical hacking.

Respond to the following:

  • Can the actions of a hacker be ethical and still be effective? Why or why not?
  • What ethical issues does management need to consider when attempting to secure information systems?
  • What are some possible benefits of hiring ethical hackers?
  • What are some possible detriments to hiring ethical hackers?
  • Should management hire ethical hackers to verify the security of their information systems?

Give reasons and examples in support of your responses.

Write your initial response in approximately 300 words. Apply APA standards to citation of sources.

By Friday, July 19, 2013, post your response to the appropriate Discussion Area