Hacking is the act of identifying weaknesses in a computer system or computer networks, then coming up with counter measures that can take advantage of the found weaknesses to penetrate the system. What sets an ethical and criminal hacker apart is the motivation behind the hack and not the process itself.
To be an ethical hacker, one must abide by the following rules:
- Identify the devices or networks to hack or test and determine the hacking processes.
- Get written permission from stakeholders of the computer or network before the hack.
- Protect the privacy of the system and information of the organization being hacked.
- Create a clear report of all the identified weaknesses and present to the organization.
- Inform software and hardware vendors of any identified weaknesses in their products.
Do we need ethical hackers?
Private companies, organizations, government agencies, and individuals today are in constant need of ethical hackers as their first defense in protecting their computers and networks from the bad guys. The increasing use of computers in processing, transmitting, and storing information means that IT security needs more than just a steel door with a lock. The primary purpose of an ethical hacker is to determine whether a client’s computer or network is adequately protected. As information becomes, the most valuable asset organizations have, keeping it secure protects not only the interest and image of an organization but also safeguards the data integrity of their users.
Black hat hackers cause thousands of businesses millions of losses every year. Ethical hacking has emerged as a step ahead of the hackers that the organizations take to preempt and prevent attacks on their computer systems and information network. It is, therefore, justifiable to say that white hat hackers are the necessary tech-savvy guardians that individuals, businesses, and even governments can depend on to protect their interests.
Is ethical hacking legal?
As long as the hacker abides by the five core rules of ethical hacking stipulated in section 1.4, the hack is considered legal if the stakeholders approved it in writing. The International Council of E-Commerce Consultants (EC-Council) offers a certification program that you can test your hacking skills, and if you are up to it, you get a recognized certificate. Note, however, that because of the rapid advancement in computer and information security, you will be required to renew the certificate after a while.
Published on Sat 22 February 2014 by Randy Nugent in Security with tag(s): ethical hacking