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Is hacking ethical or acceptable if it is considered for the greater good?


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Poll: Is there such a thing as ethical hacking? (25 member(s) have cast votes)

Is there such a thing as ethical hacking?

  1. Voted Yes, especially when it comes to governments or other organisations who want to hide or withold information from the public (3 votes [12.00%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 12.00%

  2. Yes, but I wouldn't want absolutely everything to be exposed if it meant it could be a threat to National Security (7 votes [28.00%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 28.00%

  3. Yes, but I hardly think we've seen any example so far of "ethical hacking" (4 votes [16.00%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 16.00%

  4. No, hacking of anyone's website should not be considered ethical (9 votes [36.00%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 36.00%

  5. No, although I blame the website owners for not having adequate protection against such attacks (1 votes [4.00%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 4.00%

  6. No, and I think the hackers are just as bad as the companies or governing bodies they target as it's only a matter of time before they will try and extort from it (1 votes [4.00%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 4.00%

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#11
marko

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Let me put it another way then, and I'm by no means reflecting my own personal views here but merely attempting to expand the conversation in as legible a manner as I can.

Hacking could work both ways and those for and against could possibly have their opinions swayed depending on the hack in question.

There are sites out there that cannot be touched because they are hosted in countries who do not adhere to the same laws we do. I'm talking about sites which spread hatred, racism, child porn and all other manner of vile stuff. For hackers to take down these sites would be a blessing as far as I'm concerned and would most certainly come under the term "ethical hacking".

That's just an extreme example of what I'm referring to regarding "ethical hacking" but as we move closer to middle ground we could have all manner of sites caught up in the debate like YouTube, Facebook, Bebo, Microsoft, and other high profile sites which the hackers consider to be too wealthy, greedy or simply need to be taught a lesson. This is when those actions could be questioned as being "ethical" and the entire definition comes under the spotlight. I, for one, am not condoning hacking at all, but I certainly wouldn't loose any sleep when those sites which gain from other peoples misfortune, misery, pain, poverty or other derogatory circumstances were taken down by hackers. I know it throws open another argument of "who decides what is right and wrong" or "who deserves to be hacked and who doesn't" but I think as particularly open minded and responsible individuals we would all be in agreement on a certain class of site which wouldn't have a place on the internet if we had the choice.
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#12
Claw

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There are sites out there that cannot be touched because they are hosted in countries who do not adhere to the same laws we do. I'm talking about sites which spread hatred, racism, child porn and all other manner of vile stuff. For hackers to take down these sites would be a blessing as far as I'm concerned and would most certainly come under the term "ethical hacking".

I, for one, am not condoning hacking at all, but I certainly wouldn't loose any sleep when those sites which gain from other peoples misfortune, misery, pain, poverty or other derogatory circumstances were taken down by hackers.


On a personal notice,,I usually never agree on anything. But Marko,,you have just earned my complete 100% agreement on these two statements.Those words are exactly what this post is all about. Bravo,,buddy. :good:

#13
AlphaCentauri

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There are different ways to see "ethical hacking."

When I hear the term, I mean people with the skills to do damage who use those skills to help less knowledgeable people protect their servers and websites. Such hackers tend to hold themselves to a certain ethical standard. Hacking a site and then reporting it to the owner in hopes of getting a reward tends to be what a lot of people do, and they feel justified as long as they don't withhold the information from webmasters who are not willing to pay. But that isn't just harmless testing. Once a site has been breached, the website owner has certain responsibilities to the people whose information was there. They may have to pay thousands of dollars for credit monitoring, and they may go out of business due to loss of trust. So I think that type of ethical hacking also requires an advance agreement with the website owner and a non-disclosure agreement regarding their clients' information.

With Anonymous, I wouldn't call it "ethical hacking." I would call it "civil disobedience" carried out by hackers, or in the case of Bradley Manning, someone who violated his nondisclosure agreement. You can see what happens in Afghanistan if a Qu'ran gets burned; it's just not responsible to release secret information indiscriminately. And very few hackers have enough knowledge of various cultures and political situations to really know what it would be irresponsible to reveal. The wikilieaks episode showed massive hubris.

That being said, I would be happier than anyone if ALL governement officials conducted themselves as if anything they did or said might eventually become public. They work for us, after all. Many wars would never happen if the citizens of the countries involved had full access to the same information their leaders did.

The most effective civil disobedience is that which demonstrates the injustice of the laws being violated. The civil rights protests in the US were a good example. African Americans simply went to restaurants that refused to serve them and sat patiently, not being served. Then they were filmed being beaten and dragged from the restaurants, all the while remaining peaceful. While a large percentage of white Americans didn't support segregation, changing it wasn't a top priority for them. Those images on television galvanized the support for civil rights laws.

#14
Claw

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You make a good point there Alpha,releasing secret info is really not in the best interest to anyone accept those trying to profit from it.
Now,,when it comes to civil rights,,I try and stay clear of that,,because no matter how many sides you have,,somewhere some group will always feel left out. The civil debate will go on forever. But "ethical hacking",,whether right or wrong,,may also be a "debate" that will go on forever.

#15
BobC

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I don't know how many of you have ever been the victim of hacking, but I have (not due to anything I did). I use Yahoo for my e-mail. I and others who have used Yahoo have had our address lists "hacked" and then used to send out spam - to those on the list and others - and often attributed to me and "the others". Of course, complain to Yahoo they have been hacked, and they will not admit that it is their problem but make accusations as to I and others practice poor on-line habits (and I am border-line paranoid - no credit card, banking other other personal information is kept on my PC or sent anywhere). Of course, all Yahoo had to do was to examine the headers of the "supporting e-mails" I sent to support my contention. Only my wife and I live in our house and she still lives in the 19th Century and won't touch my PC. I have also worked in the field or used computers for over 50 years, so I have at least sufficient knowledge to know there is always someone (actually many) smarter. Since I am older than Jim Hiller (a grandpa too, but not yet a great-grandpa) - I guess that makes me "older than dirt" - anyway, have a "yard of beer" on me Jim (but, I won't give my credit card info over the internet).

P.S. Off topic - Jim, try Ubuntu 10.04(.03) - you can do a Wubi install (into a Windows directory, which I have done on my XP lap-top) or use VirtualBox (which I've done on my new Win. 7 Desktop). I think you might be surprised, based on your DCT blog posts (I could not get logged in to post there). I don't like the new distros with their Unity and Gnome 3 desktops (I guess I'm 18th Century).

#16
Guest_James (Jim) Hillier_*

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Hey Bob - I'll just correct you on one point mate - I am indeed a great grandpa, twice over.

That said, I did get married at a very young age so no doubt would be a fair bit younger than your good self. :)

I shall try Linux again Bob, probably Kubuntu because I much prefer KDE to Gnome. I have a very good machine and plenty of HDDs so I generally go for full install, besides which I'm not particularly fond of VMs.

Thanks mate for the suggestions, you've got me all enthused again.

Cheers...Jim

#17
jjj

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Its been a couple of interesting weeks -


Scammers Scammed -

http://www.couriermail.com.au/business/aussie-woman-scammed-nigerians-court/story-fn7kjcme-1226279659427

Hacking Conference Hacked -



Hackers Hacked -

http://www.forbes.com/sites/davidthier/2012/03/03/anonymous-got-hacked-while-hacking/

FBI uses hacker arrested for hacking to hack and bring down bring down rival -

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/46658033/ns/technology_and_science-security/#.T1f7X8Bl8eA

Maybe I should post this in the Jokes section ?

#18
Claw

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Hey jjj buddy,,you just made my day. It's always nice to know that these guys can't outsmart themselves. Kind of like shooting an arrow in the air,,and it turns and get them in the butt. :good:





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