Ethics of Full Disclosure of Security Holes Essay

Ethics of Full Disclosure of Security Holes Essay

Length: 2901 words (8.3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Ethics of Full Disclosure of Security Holes


Introduction

Security breaches are making big headlines nowadays, and Microsoft is leading the charge. Its flagship operating systems and office suite are so bulky and complex, that it is impossible to be bug-free. The system administrators (the white hats) are up to their noses plugging all the holes from super hackers (the black hats). Yet they are also facing attack from another front – those that post vulnerabilities on the internet (the gray hats).

The gray hats are hackers that find security vulnerabilities and post them on the internet, forcing system administrators to patch up the holes. Usually, they inform the vendor ahead of time. Then, if they deem the company is not taking them seriously, and malicious hackers will exploit the threat, they post it on a forum. Though acting in good faith, the ethics of full disclosure of security holes are in debate, including: how full disclosure can cause more harm then good, how long vendors should be allowed to fix the problem, and liabilities for posting on the internet.

Issue 1: Full disclosure of security-related information can inflict more damage than good. You are showing people how to break into systems.

The debate about vulnerability-disclosure policies involves two main parties. Researchers at security companies say they want to get their latest findings out quickly to hasten software makers' response to bugs. Software makers, on the other hand, say they aren't given enough time to deal with a problem, and that publicizing it simply alerts malicious hackers to an opportunity.

There are super hackers out there who find security vulnerabilities, then write a script up on the internet, with one or two l...


... middle of paper ...


...on't publish code, 17 Oct. 2001, CNet News.com, 11 Mar. 2004, <http://news.com.com/2100-1001_3-274577.html?tag=st_rn>

6. Lemos, Robert, Microsoft developers feel Windows pain, 7 Feb 2002, CNet News.com, 12 Mar. 2004, < http://news.com.com/2100-1001_3-832048.html>

7. Lemos, Robert, When is Hacking a Crime? 26 Sept 2002, ZDNetNews, 15 Mar. 2004, <http://www.frame4.com/php/printout88.html>

8. Fried, Ina, Attack concerns slow Microsoft's pace, 16 Mar. 2004, CNet News.com, 16 March 2004, <http://zdnet.com.com/2100-1104_2-5173575.html>

9. Shankland, Stephen, Governements to See Windows Code, 14 Jan 2003, CNet News.com, 14 March 2004, <http://news.com.com/2100-1001-980666.html?tag=nl>

10. Lemos, Robert, New laws make hacking a black-and-white choice, 23 Sept 2002, CNet News.com, 14 March 2004, <http://news.com.com/2009-1001_3-958129.html>

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Source Disclosure and Journalist's Ethics Essay

- Reporter’s Privilege Journalism has grown and developed over the years along with journalistic ethics. Journalists have a code of ethics or a moral compass. Every story that a reporter produces has either a named or unnamed source. Several states have protective laws designed for reporters who have stories with anonymous sources, but Mississippi is one of the only states in America that does not have a shield law in place. Mississippi should enact a shield law giving reporters the privilege not to disclose anonymous sources....   [tags: freedom of speech, national security ]

Powerful Essays
1075 words (3.1 pages)

Ethics and Information Security Essay

- Ethics and Online Source Information What is Ethics. In my opinion, ethics give people free will to make right choices. People have free will to make choices that are governed with responsibility, accountability, and liability. We have a responsibility to perform in an ethical manner and be accountable for our choices or actions. Regardless of the circumstances and choices we make, there are consequences if we make the wrong choice. The question of whether an action or choice is ethical or not is fundamentally based on whether something is right or wrong....   [tags: Ethics ]

Powerful Essays
1140 words (3.3 pages)

Security, Software, and Ethics Essay

- Security, Software, and Ethics Introduction Every day, we use computer software to perform everyday tasks. These can range from sending e-mail, balancing your checkbook, web browsing, shopping and much more. Most people don't stop to think about the security of the software that we use on a daily basis. Users are more concerned about getting their work done, and security is little more than an afterthought. Security is a very important and often overlooked aspect of software development. Security is used to authenticate users, manage access to resources, and to ensure that data hasn't been compromised....   [tags: Software Computers Ethics Morals Essays]

Powerful Essays
4406 words (12.6 pages)

Essay about Solution for the IT Security Banking and Ethics

- ... Disconnect your computer from the Internet when you are not using it. Carefully consider your security settings. Examine all system settings, particularly the security settings, and select options that decrease your risk of data loss or intrusion.  Back up your data. Protect your backups. When you make your data backups, make sure they are kept in a safe, secure location. It does no good to secure your PC and leave the backups where anyone might find them.  Don’t store sensitive information in portable device without strong encryption  Don’t leave your computer / sensitive documents unlocked  Don’t discuss anything sensitive in public place....   [tags: practices, society, authorization, think]

Powerful Essays
809 words (2.3 pages)

Essay on Stanley Yelnat in Louis Sachar’s Holes

- In Louis Sachar’s Holes, Stanley changes his perspective of life through fear, courage, and perseverance. Louis Sachar began Holes as a basic concept of the area which would later be called Camp Green Lake (Sachar). The story puts us into the streets of Stanley’s neighborhood and immediately into the action. We meet the young Stanley Yelnats, who is about to embark on an unexpected journey that takes him through the extremely painful and unforgettable Camp Green Lake where he is forced to fight for survival against the unbearable heat and all of the dangers lurking in the sandy pit of a camp....   [tags: Holes Essays]

Free Essays
2010 words (5.7 pages)

Essay about Disclosure of Climate Change-Related Information by Chinese Companies

- This study explores the disclosure of carbon emissions and climate change-related information by businesses in China. 1. Background Climate change is one of the most important international issues and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) sets an overall framework for intergovernmental efforts to tackle the challenges posed by climate change (Guidance on how to measure and report your greenhouse gas emissions, 2009).With the increasing awareness of the severity of climate change, the reduction of CO2 emissions has become a predominant topic....   [tags: Climate Change Information Disclosure]

Powerful Essays
3051 words (8.7 pages)

Analysis of the Movie, Disclosure Essay

- Disclosure is a drama/thriller. The genre for this movie states, “Sex is Power”. Tom is a happily married man, a successful computer expert, and works for a major computer company “Digicom”, which is about to merge. He believes he is going to receive a promotion because of all his devotion and work for the company. Instead the job goes to Meredith, who is from another plant and with whom he was romantically involved in his bachelor days. She is now his new boss, who is very aggressive, sexy and dedicated to destroy him after he refuses to have an affair with her....   [tags: Disclosure Movies Sex Films Essays]

Powerful Essays
4404 words (12.6 pages)

Essay on Internet Terrorism - Security Holes and Cyberterrorism

- Internet Security Holes and Cyberterrorism     Abstract: This paper investigates and substantiates the potential for hackers to cause damage in the physical world. A fictional case study is provided along with an analysis of past, present, and future technological threats. The combination of a historic apathy towards computer security and an increased reliance on technology may soon lead to a real-world "cybercatastrophe".   I first learned about computer hacking from an article featured in the New York Times magazine several years ago....   [tags: Exploratory Essays Research Papers]

Powerful Essays
1767 words (5 pages)

Physics of Black Holes Essay

- Black holes - the strange scientific phenomenon that has astounded physicists and astronomers alike for decades. Popular subjects in science fiction novels, black holes are one of the greatest enigmas of the scientific world. Even today, the concept of a super-dense ball of matter that not even light can escape from is somewhat farfetched, and many scientists disagree with each other about nearly every aspect of a black hole. This project will attempt to shed some light on these mysterious formations, and will inform you the reader of the most popular and widely accepted theories surrounding them....   [tags: physics space black holes]

Powerful Essays
841 words (2.4 pages)

Holes by Louis Sachar Essay

- Camp Green Lake is a boys juvenile detention center in Texas. But there is no lake there. The boys spend each day digging five foot holes in the dried up lake bed. Stanley Yelnats, (yelnats is actuly spelt Stanley backwards) a boy who always seems to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. He is sent there for stealing a pair of used sneakers that had belonged to a famous baseball player. The sneakers had actually fallen from an overpass and landed on top of Stanley’s head. Stanley believes his bad luck is because of a curse placed on his family after his great great grandfather, Elya Yelnats, stole a pig from a gypsy, Madame Zeroni....   [tags: Novel Analysis Holes Sachar]

Free Essays
921 words (2.6 pages)