|Type of paper:
|Information technologies Cyber security Ethical dilemma
There are numerous malicious activities or illegal transactions in the computer networks; some can be detected while others remain to be the secret of hackers. For instance, criminals can create private servers and use them in fraudulent activities or for personal gains. Through these servers, hackers can initiate various activities. For example, they can steal credit card information access, and bank accounts, and authorize illegal transactions without being noticed. Also, criminals can develop networks that can link various fraudsters; these links can then be used to communicate terrorist acts as well as drug trafficking processes. In the current computer system, there is the onion router, which provides the best opportunity for hackers to engage in unethical hacking. With the onion router, there are nodes created by criminals; these nodes are sometimes called onion router hidden services directories that receive traffic and direct users to the hidden services. These nodes are essential elements to the criminals as they use them to mask the ideal IP of users within the network.
In the global networking system, several activities occur on online platforms. These operational undertakings often attract the attention of hackers whose interest is to benefit from the information or transactions or to compromise the system for other purposes. Hacking is, therefore, a common practice that continues to grow amidst the increase in the use of computer and data systems. Hacking refers to the process of detecting weaknesses within the computer links or networks to manipulate the faults to gain unauthorized access. One primary example of hacking is the manipulation of algorithms or programming codes to gain access to the information stored in the system. Hacking negatively impacts the development of networks and systems. Most organizational networks are always vulnerable to hackers as a result of sensitive and confidential use regularly. With the increasing threats of hacking, many organizations and businesses are at a higher risk, and therefore, they ought to find measures to safeguard information technology assets. In this attempt, companies or organizations may attempt to apply ethical hacking. In some cases, organizations may employ ethical hacking for security purposes. In other words, ethical hacking give advantages to enhance capabilities for the organizations to secure their information and IT assets. Ethical hacking tries to shed a positive light on the illegal forms of hacking. However, every organization that approves moral hacking needs to consider the potential negative issues and impacts of the practice. The topic of ethical hacking is relevant, especially in the current digital system, where retrieving information may become complex amidst the activities of cybercriminals. Generally, hacking is considered to be unethical, especially when individuals implicated in the whole process are caught unaware. The complexity brought about by ethical hacking is an area that requires critical analysis even as many people continue to suffer as a result of hacking.
Obtaining Information Through Hacking
Obtaining information through hacking is illegal and unethical, and individuals involved in these activities are often considered criminals. With the growth in technology, a lot of people with advanced knowledge in the computer system find it more comfortable to engage in illegal online activities through attacking methods and acquiring information to benefit from it. In a real sense, hacking is a way of stealing; the only difference is that it is committed with technical skills. The damages caused by hackers vary depending on the type of information acquired as well as the level of systems that have been reached. For instance, when hackers can gain access to computer servers, they can access extensive sources of information, including critical ones. Uncovering of trade secrets, lost finances, swapping, and erasing files are some of the activities that could be committed by hackers. An individual or company can undertake these activities. Usually, it becomes unethical to access private information or individual data as doing so can cause severe damage to their aspirations and investments.
The Process of Hacking
In the process of hacking, some cases are considered to be ethical. For instance, an ethical hacker may be perceived as an individual who exploits vulnerabilities without interfering with the network that they are penetrating. In most cases, they have the authorization to do this to confirm the weaknesses that may be encountered by other cyber criminals. In other words, the above process is part of the cybersecurity scientific approach as the ethical hackers would attempt to ascertain loopholes, as well as weaknesses or vulnerabilities at the global or individual level before they can be maliciously exploited. Hackers continue to get smarter every day, and therefore, organizations ought to continuously enhance security protection. Consequently, it is essential to have researchers who can get into the minds of cyber criminals and spot or identify potential entry points and security vulnerabilities. Every company or organization has several employees who can play the role of ethical hackers and potentially identify different areas that may require security improvements. The process is usually done to aids in the protection of customers as well as the essential information.
According to Radziwill, ethics in hacking should incorporate decent acts that do not hurt a person or an organization. Knowledge has no morality, and curiosity is part of human. If there is the existence of a security loophole, then it becomes unavoidable, and therefore, it is better to know it than assume. Through ethical hacking, one can prepare the exact procedure that ought to be followed by cyber criminals and provide elaborate preventive measures. Accidentally accessing private information from a given network is not unethical; however, whatever steps taken thereafter may lead to unethical actions. For instance, it would be immoral for one to scatter information to other platforms or even to use the information for malicious gains. With human curiosity, it is common to find people wanting to access various sources of information; however, some people have harmful intentions. The initial definition of a hacker was a person who was strangely perfect at coding. However, with the rise of genius coding masters who are not friendly to the organizations, many people use the knowledge to compromise the system and gain malicious entry without any authorization.
Subashini and Kavitha, in their analysis of security issues in cloud computing, elaborates that in the current digital age, data and information are critical in businesses and individual security. In other words, many operational processes rely on data, with the rise of competition in business processes. Many organizations have invested more in the ethical hacking experts to monitor the use of the system and the possible remedies. Every organization has different moral standards on network usage. Information technology experts usually have access to confidential information, as well as the knowledge and data on the individual and company's systems and networks that provide them with a great deal of power. Therefore, for some workers with unethical behaviors or desire to compromise the system, the above power may be abused, either inadvertently or deliberately. Sometimes, training the workforce to adopt ethical practices is essential in ensuring secure and well-maintained systems. Organizations and associations for the IT pros are always on the verge of addressing the ethical aspects of the job.
Holzer and Lerums suggest that, generally, hacking characterized by cyber-attack is unethical irrespective of the kind of information that an individual or an organization may need. In many cases, security officers or criminal investigator may hack the system and gain access to the confidential information to be used in the investigation processes. In many cases, they tend to tap phone conversations, the flow or money in the banking systems, and even access health records of an individual. Since the entire process involves the acquisition of information without authorization or consent from the people being investigated, it becomes unethical, although it may become legalized. When court orders for the access of data without permission, it remains to be immoral but legal or legitimate. On the other hand, employees in different organizations may also develop a tendency to access confidential data and even use them for other malicious purposes. Safeguarding, the databases require honest, trusted individuals. However, this can only be achieved through constant training and supervision. In most cases, the training and education of IT professionals usually focus on technical skills and knowledge. IT experts are often taught or learn to perform different computer tasks; however, little consideration is given on how their abilities can be misused.
Lenca and Haselager, in their Journal, Ethics and Information Technology, suggest that most of IT experts in different organizations approach their work with the hacker's perspective. They attempt to exercise their superiority and technical abilities over confidential databases managed by large corporations. When this expertise is no trained on the ethical issues surrounding the system, they may end up turning the computer systems and networks for their own gain. The IT experts, when given full authority without proper training on the better techniques on the security of the data, they may access the private data without the permission of the owner. For instance, in the banking system, they may attempt to generate systems that deduct almost negligible from the transactions made, and in the long run, they end up with vast sums of money.
In the process of ethical hacking or general data and information management, there is always the concept of a "slippery slope" that relates to the ease by which an individual can engage in undertaking something that does not appear to be unethical. Such activities may encompass scanning an employee's email for fun, changing little information in the email messages, as well as redirecting messages to the wrong recipient. All these activities enhance hacking or cybercrime activities. In other words, when it comes to the management of information, these activities are considered to be highly unethical.
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