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

hacking ethics acceptable

17 replies to this topic



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Poll: Is there such a thing as ethical hacking? (23 member(s) have cast votes)

Is there such a thing as ethical hacking?

  1. Yes, especially when it comes to governments or other organisations who want to hide or withold information from the public (3 votes [13.04%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 13.04%

  2. Yes, but I wouldn't want absolutely everything to be exposed if it meant it could be a threat to National Security (6 votes [26.09%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 26.09%

  3. Yes, but I hardly think we've seen any example so far of "ethical hacking" (3 votes [13.04%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 13.04%

  4. No, hacking of anyone's website should not be considered ethical (9 votes [39.13%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 39.13%

  5. No, although I blame the website owners for not having adequate protection against such attacks (1 votes [4.35%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 4.35%

  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 [4.35%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 4.35%

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#1 marko

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    Posted 01 March 2012 - 02:36 PM

    In light of the recent arrest's of 25 people considered to be involved in, or at least connected in some way to the group "Anonymous", I'm left wondering if there is actually such a thing as "ethical hacking".

    It has been claimed that this group will only target those organisations or governing bodies which attempt to distort or hide the truth, or those organisations considered to be simply "in it" for the money, whatever the cost.

    It's a bit of a conundrum for me personally, as I do see a greater good in it all somewhere but I can't help feeling the actions of hackers can leave a slightly bitter aftertaste!. Those who wish to uphold free speech and freedom of information can be considered very noble, but it does make me wonder how far should we actually go with freedom of information - do we really want everything and anything out there for all to see ... including those who may use it against us?. Will it mean larger bills for us all when power companies or media companies have to spend millions on protecting their websites?.

    So, the question is, if it's considered for the greater good of us all, can we find hacking ethical and justified?.

    Laying myself on the line here, I'd say there probably are some examples of where I'd consider it acceptable or ethical to hack or take down certain websites - but I really don't think we've seen a great deal of "ethical hacking" so to speak. Targetting government websites, to me personally, is just somewhat futile because despite certain governments causing issues for people, hacking or taking down their website isn't going to change things, nor is it going to cause that governing body any real drama - it's purely an inconvenience for the people who manage or maintain it. The publicity gained by the hacking group responsible may further their name, but it's hardly about to change the world I don't think. So, for me personally, I've voted "Yes, but haven't really seen any ethical hacking so far!"

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    #2 Claw

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      Posted 01 March 2012 - 04:02 PM

      I agree somewhat with you Marko,,but also,,some hacking into government services could in some ways be considered a form of "terrorism". Right or wrong government is the ruling body. Law makers make"laws". If hacking is against the law,,that makes it a crime .
      Like you said ,,it really changed nothing,,but it will and does raise the cost of everything involved,,and the burden usually falls on the back of the honest people. I'm "all for protest" or" any other means to improve life". But,,,most hackers should not have to"stoop down" to a level below the people or organization" they are attacking. Do you see my point???? "I agree with their intent to help" but there must be a more thourogh and better way. If hackers were to get what they want ,,"how will we know that they would stop there"????
      Who knows who or what would be next on their list !!!! So ,,yea,,if it was all for good and it really helped,,yes I'm for it,,but usually there is an" alterior motive for self gain and self promotion" !!!!

      #3 James (Jim) Hillier

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        Posted 01 March 2012 - 09:02 PM

        Yes, definitely. Its just another form of protest in my opinion, as Marko pointed out, no real harm has ever been done by Anonymous. What it does often do though is bring matters to the public's attention and open them up for closer media scrutiny.

        I actually like the idea; powerful corporations and corrupt governments (is there any other kind) need someone to keep 'em honest. Remember when WikiLeaks first began lifting the lid on officialdom, and Governments were so terrified they tried everything in their power to bring down the founder Julian Assange?

        In the 60's we had sit-ins...or was that love-ins...I always did get the two mixed up. :)

        Down through the yeas we've had tree huggers and civil disobedience, sit-ins and lie-ins, all manner of protests - all illegal yet all relatively harmless - and all primarily designed to help publicize a perceived injustice. I see ethical hacking as a logical extension of that behavior, modern methods for a technological society.
        Jim Hillier - Managing editor Daves Computer Tips.com

        #4 BobC

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          Posted 01 March 2012 - 10:57 PM

          First, I object to the term hacking in this sense. Hacking used to be when a person built something (e.g., a home-built PC). Somewhere along the way, the term was bastardized into malicious doings - especially on the internet (Oh, shades of 1984 (Doublethink and Newspeak)) and I suspect the 2600 Hacker Quarterly and others played a part.

          Second, while there are those who attempt to break into someone else's system just to see if they could do it and then leave without causing mischief may seem innocent, in the long run there will almost always be consequences - e.g., bragging about how one did it and then the "how-to" finding its way to someone who isn't "innocent". I don't think some of those commenting in favor would be pleased if someone cleaned out their bank account via "hacking".

          Third, while you can say sites should provide better security measures, it is the height of egotism to think that there is someone so smart they can come up with a foolproof scheme to prevent it. There is always someone smarter (eventually). The only way is to "pull the plug" - but then those on-line advocates would take there business to some other site.

          Fourth, while it may seem to some that what WikiLeaks was a great thing to do, it also created problems. The rest of the world does not always share the same point of view as the "Western World". What if certain world leaders were assassinated by some fanatic because of what was published. Understandably, you can argue that governments should not have done it in the first place, but they do - and often for self-preservation of their people (or at least that is the thinking). We do know governments are inconsistent in their actions. Look at now, OK to help Egyptian and Libyan rebels but not Syrian rebels (or Iranian rebels). As long as you have "simple-minded" leaders elected by "simple-minded" voters, you will always have these type of problems.

          Have to quit now as the "missus" is calling me to take her someplace for supper.


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          #5 Claw

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            Posted 01 March 2012 - 11:13 PM

            Wow,,don't mess with supper.Lol. As long as it's ethical hacking,,like I said,,no problem with that as long as it doesn't harm meor make things harder.
            Jim,,maybe you just "loved sit-ins" or,,,,you "Sat in on a couple of love-ins ". You ole dog ,,you !!!! :good:


            #6 James (Jim) Hillier

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              Posted 01 March 2012 - 11:22 PM

              Bob - I think you're reading too much into this mate, and definitely off topic. First of all we are talking about 'ethical' hacking by way of protest, not in order to clean out someone's bank account - you're on the wrong track entirely there.

              Secondly, nobody is debating whether WikiLeaks is a good thing or not - merely pointing out officialdom's panic at the very thought of such a thing. That the truth should out, heaven forbid!

              And how Middle Eastern politics could be introduced here is completely beyond me.
              Jim Hillier - Managing editor Daves Computer Tips.com

              #7 marko

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                Posted 01 March 2012 - 11:52 PM

                Jim, not sure if Bob was referring to another definition recently introduced to the term "hack" or "hacker" which was banded around last year. It was mainly due to the social media driven revolution in Libya, Egypt and Tunisia - the term "hacker" was then adopted to mean someone who challenged "existing order" but besides that I really don't think it's worth dwelling on terms too much or we'll go stir crazy !!.
                Please remember that we have people from many different timezones on the site and if your post requires a reply it could take longer at some at some points because of this.

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                #8 Claw

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                  Posted 02 March 2012 - 01:09 AM

                  Right with that Marko,,I suggest we all go "sit in on a couple of love-ins",,,with video cameras.LOL.

                  #9 C0ldf1re

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                    Posted 02 March 2012 - 02:15 PM

                    1. Take down the enemy websites. This may alarm and annoy some members of the public. They should reflect that we do is for their good.

                    2. Destroy enemy power stations, water works and subway stations. This may alarm and annoy some members of the public. They should reflect that we do is for their good.

                    3. Assassinate enemy personnel and sympathisers. This may alarm and annoy some members of the public. They should reflect that we do is for their good.

                    4. Set up death camps for anybody who is not definitely on our side. This may alarm and annoy some members of the public. They should reflect that we do is for their good.
                    Henry Fielding once said that a rich man without charity is a rogue; and perhaps it would be no difficult matter to prove that he is also a fool.

                    Live fast. Die young. Leave a beautiful body of code.

                    #10 jjj

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                      Posted 02 March 2012 - 03:10 PM

                      Yes Coldf1re, thinking along the same lines - whose ethical standard! ok for us but not for them.
                      In the long run hacking will only reduce the effectiveness of the internet - we already see it in having to
                      constantly update anti virus and system software, and the hassle of password management.


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