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Thread: Computer Hacking and Ethics

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2003

    Computer Hacking and Ethics

    I found this interesting article covering "teenage hackers":


  2. #2
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Good article... I disagree with some of it, but as a whole it is fairly perceptive. I didn't really like the car analogy with kids who take a joyride being compared to someone who hacks a network. Rather, I would compare the kid who hacks the network with a kid who would steal a car to dissassemble it in order to get a better feel for how it works, except that the kid who did that would damage the vehicle while the hacker wouldn't. The cracker who breaks into a system with the intent of causing harm or doing electronic theft I have no empathy for... but a hacker who goes into a computer system (IE: a CANDU development team's system) to access information that is otherwise forbidden to them... that is to me more of what a hacker would do. I don't see how simply reading technical information on a nuclear reactor would be harmful to it's designers... but under the current laws of the US, if I break into the development team's system with the intent to steal the schematics of the reactor and sell them to someone for profit, my sentance is much less than if I did it in the pursuit of knowledge. An ethical hacker is not a stalker - they are not trying to invade your privacy (although they might if it helps them get real information), they are not a theif - because they will not steal - or copy - anything they could actually purchase (a good hack is a lot more work than simply buying your product), and they are not going to destroy your buisiness by sharing your project information with everyone. An ethical hacker is actually something positive for you... they will often show you how you got in because they know that a black-hat could follow the same path and do real damage. Normally an ethical hacker is just an exceptionally curious individual who is wondering what is so important to keep secret from the rest of the world. Personally, I think that laws should be changed so that ethical hacking carries less penalty than dark side hacking, rather than the other way around. I find it terribly wrong that the penalty for hacking doubles because the motivation of the hacker was NOT principally for personal monetary gain.

  3. #3
    @ΜĮЙǐЅŦГǻţΩЯ D0pp139an93r's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    St. Petersburg, FL
    I only have one thing to say concerning ethics and hacking...

    As long as it's exploration and not exploitation I have no problem with it.
    Real security doesn't come with an installer.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    And what would you say if I was just "exploring" your house, and not "exploiting" it. Just to see how your locks work, see, so it's okay, right?
    Government is like fire - a handy servant, but a dangerous master - George Washington
    Government is not reason, it is not eloquence - it is force. - George Washington.

    Join the UnError community!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    I don't think I have heard of an ethical hacker getting caught...

    And to Striek
    As far as my house is concerned, I could have 2 huge rottweilers waiting for you to walk in the door. lol. just kiddin. if you go through all that trouble to simply "look around" my computer, It's like did you enjoy all them pictures of my daughter at Easter? I mean come on now. There should be no reason for anyone to be nosing through my stuff, whether they screwed things up or not.

  6. #6
    Disgruntled Postal Worker fourdc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Vermont, USA
    Since we keep gravitating back to the inspect my other property comparism..

    Drive down my street. Park your vehicle. Look at my house, walk around the fence. Look over the fence. Check the lawn. The house needs painting. (today the walk needs shovelled 14 inches of white stuff). You can open the gate walk up the walk. Step on the porch knock on the door. peek in the window while you're waiting. Up to now, you haven't violated any laws. When you walk away, you'll take back images that your mind has captured.

    You didn't change anything, you didn't steal anything.

    Sorry for the rotten comparism

    "Somehow saying I told you so just doesn't cover it" Will Smith in I, Robot

  7. #7
    Senior Member RoadClosed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    OK sure you can run nmap against my PC but once you send any request for any type of connection then you have put a lock pick in my door lock on the front door or opened the window just a crack. You may have even turned the door handle just enough that the lock clicks open. That is not the same as just looking.

    If you scan my computer, chances are you did a little more than knock on the door, you may have tried a lock and found that the door swing open.

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