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Ethical Hacking

According to Margaret Rouse, the Editorial Director of Whatis.com, 'an ethical hacker is a computer and network expert who attacks a security system on behalf of its owners, seeking vulnerabilities that a malicious hacker could exploit. To test a security system, ethical hackers use the same methods as their less principled counterparts, but report problems instead of taking advantage of them. Ethical Hackers are also known as 'white hat' hacker, or penetration tester' (Rouse, Margaret). Government organizations and major business organizations try to hire ethical hackers and penetration testers to hack or probe their networking systems, so as to prevent data theft or fraud from the black hat hackers and fix computer security vulnerabilities.

Margaret Rouse goes on to explain that one of the first examples of ethical hackers at work was in the 1970s, when the United States government used groups of experts called red teams to hack its own computer systems. The red teams were, therefore, hacking with ethical implications (Rouse, Margaret). A red team is an independent group that challenges an organization to improve its effectiveness. The United States intelligence community (military and civilian) has red teams that explore alternative futures and write articles as if they were despotic world leaders.

I strongly support the essence of hacking with an ethical implication. According to Brinkman, consequentialism is used to denote any theory of ethics that holds the consequence of an action, not motivation behind the action, makes the action good or bad. Ethically hacking may lead to the prevention of data theft or fraud, making it a reasonable approach according to consequentialist theory. Spinello mentioned that utilitarian theory suggests that the right course of action is to promote the general good. Testing one's network security system in order to prevent it from being hacked promotes the general good of a society, therefore, the utilitarian theory supports ethical hacking. In conclusion, I support ethical hacking because it promotes the general good of a society according to the utilitarian theory, and its consequence may lead to the prevention of data theft or fraud.


Rouse, Margaret. "Ethical Hacker." http://searchsecurity.techtarget.com/. N.p., 1 June 2007. Web. 02 Mar. 2014.