Is Ethical Hacking Truly Ethical?

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From the macro/micro perspective, the world of the electron, despite its extraordinarily minuscule size, is the foundation of society. Computers have not only brought us electronic shopping, email, and online banking, but now control our cars, how we board a plane, our MP3 players, and almost every other aspect of our lives. With any great advancement in civilization, there are always those souls who seek to capitalize on the misfortune of others by finding some way to exploit a weakness in the newest technology available; the computer industry is no exception. With the thousands of Gigabytes of data stored on our home computers, from tax information to social security numbers and banking information, it was only a matter of time before someone came along with the idea of gaining access to all of our personal information and using it against us: the cyber criminal was born. In 1990s, when evidence of computer criminal activity began to surface, the popular U.S. news media, degenerating into their current non-journalistic preferred writing style, came up with a name for this cyber criminal that would ‘strike fear in the hearts and minds’ of the populace. They wanted to make their stories more interesting and sell more newspapers. Instead of using the industry-acknowledged correct term for someone who illegally breaks into a computer system with malicious intent, a cracker, the popular media decided the then neutral word, hacker, was a better descriptor for the cyber criminal. This was a blow to the legitimate hackers operating in the computer industry. In the early days of computers, a hacker was someone held in high regard; they were the innovators who could figure out a problem by ‘hacking’ together a software solution. Ha... ... middle of paper ... ... Crime: How to protect yourself from computer criminals. Lake Geneva: Limelight Books. 1997. Print. "Robin Hood of Hacking." Irish Times 26 June 2010: Newspaper Source Plus. Web. 13 Mar. 2011. Schell, Bernadette H. The Internet and Society: A Reference Handbook. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 2007. Print. Schell, Bernadette H., Dodge, John L., and Moutsatsos, Steve S. The Hacking of America: Who's Doing it, Why, and Wow. Westport, CT: Quorum Books, 2002. Print. "Security ethics." Nature 463.7278 2010: 136. Academic Search Premier. Web. 13 Mar. 2011. Stephenson, Peter. "Hiring Hackers." Information Systems Security 8.2 1999: 10. Academic Search Premier. Web. 1 Mar. 2011. Thompson, Samuel T. C. "Helping the Hacker? Library Information, Security, and Social Engineering." Information Technology & Libraries 25.4 2006: 222-225. Academic Search Premier. Web. 15 Mar. 2011.

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