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Ethical Hacking

Written by Oreoluwa Alebiosu on February 17, 2014.

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. More >>