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Hacking Essay

1769 words - 7 pages

Determine if hacking into a Web site is ever justifiable, applying your theory to a real-world case in which someone hacked into a system, including the name of the company and details.

In general, hacking or more specifically cracking is not justifiable due to the negative connotations associated with the term. Hackers are generally categorized into three categories, white hat, black or grey hat (Arnone, 2005). White hats are personnel that are often employed to find holes, penetrate or exploit a security system so the company can take corrective actions. Black hats are typically associated will malicious activity (cracking) such as developing and deploying viruses, worms, theft or damaging a system. The gray hats are somewhere in between the white and the gray hats. Arnone discusses how the federal government is utilizing hackers to test their own security measures and learn how to secure their systems by understanding how hackers operate and gain entry into network systems (Arnone, 2005). The white hat hacker has proven value by showing a company where their security vulnerabilities lie. White hackers are also in demand. They are hired by consultants for many Fortune 500 companies to find external and internal weaknesses and report them in order for those holes to be closed (Wiles, 2008).
There are some instances in which hacking can be justified. Hacking for National Security can be justified although controversial. The military has been using hacking techniques for decades. While not specifically tied to a computer, they have deceived the enemy using fake radio broadcasts, such as the preparations for the invasion of Normandy in World War II. The military has monitored radio conversations by eavesdropping or cracking encrypted codes. Since 9/11, the department of Defense has been subject to thousands of cyber attacks and is fighting an enemy that relies on the Internet as a form of mass communication. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta recently stated that “we could face a cyber attack that could be the equivalent to Pearl Harbor.” Panetta explains that an attack could take down several of our nation’s systems such as power, government, financial and banking (Beck, 2011). The 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review Report highlighted the need for capabilities that locate, tag and track terrorists in all domains including cyberspace (DoD, 2006). The previous Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, activated a new command (U.S. Cyber Command) dedicated to cyperspace in order to address this new risk to national security and secure U.S. freedom of action in the cyber domain (Jackson, 2009).
U.S. and British officials revealed that they launched a cyber attack on Inspire magazine, an al Qaeda online magazine. The attack replaced instructions for making a bomb with a cupcake recipe (FOX News, 2011). The FOX News article also discusses how an al Queda network was disrupted bringing down the al-Shamukh web-site, a popular...

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