The Ethics of Hacking
Hacking can be defined as the act of breaking into an information system and or accessing data without authorization. Hacking, depending on the aim of the action, can be divided into either ethical hacking or black hat hacking. Ethical hacking is breaking into a system or taking advantage of a system’s loopholes in order to make the system better without bringing any harm. Criminal hackers, on the other hand, are those that have malicious intentions. Hackers can be classified as black hat hackers, meaning they are malicious, or white hat hackers, also known as ethical hackers. Ethical hackers assist companies in strengthening their security systems and fixing loopholes. Grey hat hackers are in between the other two groups and sometimes work to assist security experts, and other times are illegally breaking into systems. Cyber warfare is usually a competition between these groups, mostly white-hat hackers and black-hat hackers trying to outsmart each other (Chatterjee, Benoist & Nath, 2020). Ethical hackers are tasked with creating strong and reliable security systems, which they must always monitor to ensure malicious users do not penetrate their systems. It is also their task to learn about new tools and techniques hackers are always developing on a daily basis in order to be in a position that allows them to defend their systems from ever-evolving threats. Black hat hackers, on the other hand, need to be creative and find methods around the security measures that have been put in place to stop them while also avoiding capture.
In the scenario where my friend has lost his job, has had his internet connection disconnected, and is desperate to have an internet connection. When my friend requests me to hack into his neighbor’s wireless network, I will not accept the request due to this being both illegal and against my code of standards, although I would be highly tempted to assist my friend. It is also in bad taste and not a show of good neighborliness. In the US, it is illegal to use another person’s private wireless network without permission. In the case that an individual uses another person’s internet connection and engages in unlawful activities, the owner of the connection can be mistaken as the perpetrator or harassed by law enforcement as they conduct investigations. Once connected to another person’s internet connection, a user with malicious intentions can gain access to private information such as bank details or cryptocurrencies and use them fraudulently (Parkoon, Bennis & Debbah, 2019). As an ethical hacker, the role is to make systems better and improve security rather than put the neighbor’s cyber security at risk. Conducting the hack is also dangerous since there is always the risk that the neighbor will notice their wireless connection is being used. Once the friend has been caught, they might end up informing the authorities you conducted the hack. During the hack, it is also possible to end up damaging the target’s equipment, making it a lose-lose situation. In addition, it is also possible to get physically injured if the target of the hack finds out and reacts violently. There have been many recorded incidences of violent attacks due to trespassing, and illegally connecting to a person’s internet connection can be termed as trespassing on their property.
In the modern world, cyber space has become the new platform for warfare, crime, and the sale of illegal commodities. Some of the most complicated criminal activities have been performed on the internet. The internet is also home to many con artists and fraudsters, and exposing one’s internet connection to another user increases the chances of being conned. Illegally connecting my friend to their neighbor’s wireless network also exposes my friend to viruses, worms, and other malicious programs. This encourages the spread of computer viruses as data can be transferred or copied from his computer and end up infecting my computer as well. After hacking the individual’s network connection, the individual might reverse hack or pay hackers to reverse hack our computers and cause damage to both our computers and online payment details (Pandley, Pant & Tripathi, 2019).
The hacking process has several steps before reaching the end result; some of these steps include data gathering, scanning, gaining access, maintaining access, and finally clearing tracks. In order to perform all these steps successfully, it would be both time and financially consuming. Doing a small cost-to-benefit analysis, it might be cheaper and safer to purchase an internet connection as opposed to hacking the neighbor’s network. In order for a hacker to perform a successful hack, they require the tools of the trade, such as port scanners, sniffers, brute force tools, and dictionaries. Downloading these tools and learning how to use new ones can be time-consuming and mentally draining. Different tools are used in different parts and processes, which combine to make up the entire hack (Ali et al., 2018). On the other hand, hacking my friend’s neighbor’s wireless connection can expose flaws and loopholes in his system, which they can allow me to fix at the cost of allowing my friend to use their WIFI.
In assisting my friend in hacking and using their neighbor’s network, I would have broken my own code of conduct network; I would have broken my own code of conduct. I can also not commit the action as it is illegal, and if caught, my action can grant me a criminal record and dent my image in public. As a professional, ethical hacker, using my skills to commit an illegal act would heavily damage my chances of rising to higher levels in my career. Many professional organizations would not consider hiring an individual who has a record of committing criminal activities. If I ever wanted to run for a political seat or public service appointment, the act of hacking someone’s network connection for malicious reasons would discredit my chances in the eyes of voters or the appointment board.
This paper has found that committing any crime and, more so, cybercrime can have devastating effects on both personal and career objectives. Conducting a hack is a process, and, in most cases, it takes more than a day to complete all the steps. Anonymity on the internet is important, especially while conducting any illegal hacking activities, making it easier to get caught as a group but harder to achieve an objective when alone. Additionally, ethics is a major aspect of any career, especially hacking. When studying to become an ethical hacker, a student is equipped with all the tools and skills to commit crimes and take advantage of various computer systems. It is thus important to have a personal code of conduct and an ethical standpoint.
Ali, S., Islam, N., Rauf, A., Din, I. U., Guizani, M., & Rodrigues, J. J. (2018). Privacy and security issues in online social networks. Future Internet, 10(12), 114.
Chatterjee, P., Benoist, E., & Nath, A. (Eds.). (2020). Applied Approach to Privacy and Security for the Internet of Things. IGI Global.
Pandey, A, Pant& Tripathi, R, C (2019). A system and method for authentication in wireless area local networks. 86(2), 149-156
Parkoon, S, Bennis & Debbah, M (2019), Wireless network intelligence at the edge proceeding of IEE, 107(11), 2204-2239.
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Part 1: The Ethics of Hacking
This part of the assessment helps you consider whether hacking may be ethical in a given situation.
Based on the knowledge you have achieved thus far in the class, compose a minimum of a 1000-word, double-spaced paper that follows current APA style guidelines. You must cite at least two references to support your paper.
You are visiting a friend who lives in an apartment building. As a result of your friend’s recent job loss, their cable TV and Internet have been turned off. Your friend needs the Internet service to look for jobs and knows that you have been studying ethical hacking. Therefore, your friend asks you to help them get free Internet from a neighbor’s wireless signal.
Would you help your friend hack into the neighbor’s wireless signal? Why or why not? What are the ethical issues involved?
What might the consequences be to you and your friend if either of you is caught? You should consider this from both personal and professional perspectives.
1. States a clear position on the scenario and provides a detailed explanation to support that position.
2. Examine both sides of the situation to identify the ethical issues involved.
3. Considers the personal and professional consequences involved.
4. Demonstrates superior organization and is well-ordered, logical, and unified.
5. Contains no grammar and spelling errors.
6. Shows no evidence of plagiarism.
7. Cite at least two references.
8. Follows all writing requirements.