Ethical Hacking?

| January 16, 2020

Question

Ethical Hacking? Hackers and virus authors cause millions of dollars worth of damage to PCs and networks annually. But hacking is a very controversial subject. Many hackers believe they are actually working for the “good of the people” or “exercising their freedom” when they engage in hacking activities. However, in most jurisdictions in the United States, hacking is punishable by stiff fines and jail terms. Using the concepts learned in the second Word chapter, and the 2nd half of the Writer chapter, write a 600 word research paper in response to “Ethical Hacking: Is there such a thing?” This paper should follow the MLA style that you learn in the Microsoft Word chapter of the book. You need at least 3 references for this paper, and make sure to include any references that you use on a Works Cited page.

Answer

Title: Ethical Hacking?

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Hacking is a serous problem in the world of computing. E-commerce operators, security organizations, governments, banking institutions and individuals have suffered huge losses because of intrusions by hackers. Ethical hacking has become a very popular but very sensitive security concept. Tests are being carried out in different parts of the world using different tools, methods as well as assumption of failure and success. Tiller indicates that the assumptions of success and failure that guide these tests are the core basis of differentiating between ethical hacking and malicious hacking.

Harris says that confusion arises whenever there are attempts to differentiate between the concepts of hacking and ethical hacking (5). One of the sources of confusion on these two concepts, notes Harris, is the fact that the toolset that security professionals in the world of computing use are the same tools that are used by malicious hackers (7).

Ethical hackers use the same process to access people’s computers and networks. Erickson observes that ethical hackers have to remain up-to-date with the latest technology in order to understand the vulnerabilities that are in a corporate environment easily (62). An example of ethical hackers in the U.S is the FBI and CIA. These two agencies are responsible for safeguarding the citizens from millions of things that terrorists could use to case harm to the nation. Hackers are in the categories of these threats.

Ethical hackers sometimes engage the ethical community in order to learn about the new tools that they use as well as well as the attacks they are about to launch using these tools. The hacker community has changed dramatically over the past few years. Hackers are no longer thrilled about testing their programming skills in order to exploit the vulnerabilities that exist in people’s computers; they are looking for ways through which they can intimidate people and get paid for their hacking capabilities.

In some companies, security professionals test the security installations have been put in computers in order to ensure that they are not vulnerable to attacks by hackers. These tests involve use of hacking tools in order to carry out brute-force attack with an aim of testing the strength of passwords. While doing this, these security professionals perform the role of ethical hackers. A rather unattractive to becoming an ethical hacker is writing down the passwords of employees’ computers and then eyeballing it in order to ensure that it is strong enough to withstand hackers’ tricks.

Ethical hackers also perform the tasks of ensuring that router and firewall configurations will be able to provide the level of security that is needed by the company. In this capacity, says Tiller, the security professionals may make changes in the configuration settings and implement access control lists in addition to running tests on these configurations in order to ensure that their stability meets the company’s security standards (121). All these tests have to be done using hacking tools. Moreover, these tools have to be used to carry out many types of attacks, thus allowing the security team to see how the system perimeter will react under certain circumstances.

Hacking tools can also be used to identify when hackers are trying to launch attack on a computer or network. The recognition work is the responsibility of engineers, security professionals and network administrators. For this reason, it is important for hacking to be perceived as a procedure that is used in order for a result to be achieved. Likewise, hacking tools are software tools like any other, only that when they fall into the hands of malicious hackers, they can be used to exploit vulnerabilities within a system for malicious intent. Ethical hackers use these tools for defensive purposes while malicious hackers use them for offensive purposes.

Works Cited

Harris, Shon. Gray Hat Hacking: The Ethical Hacker’s Handbook, McGraw Hill: London, 2008.

Erickson, Jon. Hacking: The Art of Exploitation, Routledge: London, 2003

Tiller, James The ethical hack: a framework for business value penetration testing, New York: CRC Press, 2005.

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