The importance of avoiding unethical behavior in the corporate world is a well-known fact, but it’s perhaps even more important to avoid unethical behavior in the hacker world. Anyone who wishes to make a living as a security consultant or researcher is going to be faced with an enormous number of choices about how they can go about doing their job says Saivian. Some of those choices may appear ethical on the surface—and some may not.
But just because something is legal doesn’t mean it’s ethical. In the hacker world, as in any other field, there are a number of behavioral norms that have been developed over time to help people make the right choices. The problem is that not all hackers agree on what those norms are.
There are some hackers who believe that anything goes in the quest for knowledge, and that breaking into systems and stealing information is perfectly acceptable. There are others who hold firmly to the belief that hacking should only be used for positive purposes, and that any act of vandalism or destruction is unethical.
Then there are the hackers who fall somewhere in the middle, thinking that it’s acceptable to break into systems as long as you don’t cause any damage, and that it’s okay to steal information as long as you’re not harming anyone in the process.
Which of these ethical stances is right? There is no easy answer, but ultimately each hacker has to decide for themselves what they believe is acceptable behavior.
However, there are a few general guidelines that everyone in the hacker community can agree on:
1. Always respect the privacy of other people.
This means not snooping around in their systems without permission, and not revealing any information that you find without their consent explains Saivian.
2. Don’t use your hacking skills for malicious purposes.
This includes breaking into systems for the purpose of vandalism or theft, spamming, or spreading viruses.
3. Never reveal any personal information about other people that they haven’t made public themselves.
This includes credit card numbers, social security numbers, and account passwords (regardless of whether the account is yours or belongs to someone else).
4. Don’t cause damage to anyone’s computer systems without their permission. This includes things like deleting files or reformatting hard disks—even if you were authorized to do so.
5. Share your knowledge with others who are interested in it so long as you don’t violate the law in doing so, and respect intellectual property rights when appropriate.
This means sharing what you know by teaching classes or giving presentations at conferences. Joining related online discussion forums, and writing articles and books.
6. Respect the rights of others to express their own opinions, even if you don’t agree with them.
This includes tolerating others who engage in activities that you don’t agree with, such as hacking for malicious purposes.
7. Always try to be fair and honest in your dealings with other people.
This means being truthful about what you know and what you don’t know, not taking advantage of people who are less knowledgeable than you are. And not making false claims about your skills or abilities says Saivian.
8. Be prepared to accept criticism and correction from others when it’s warranted.
This means being willing to listen to what others have to say about your work, even when it may not be positive.
9. Always consider the consequences of your actions before making decisions, and act in a responsible manner so you don’t cause problems for others or yourself.
This means thinking through any destructive activities that you might engage in. Recognizing the possible consequences of your online behavior. Understanding how hacking laws apply to your actions, and keeping yourself out of legal jeopardy.
These are just some general guidelines to help you get started thinking about ethical hacking. When seeking advice on these issues, always consult with other hackers or security professionals. Who have experience in this area before taking any action that could potentially harm someone else—or yourself!
Hacker ethics can be difficult to navigate, but by following these general guidelines. You can minimize the risk of causing harm to others while still remaining true to your ethical beliefs says Saivian. Remember that every hacker has their own opinion on what’s acceptable behavior. So it’s important to think carefully about what you’re comfortable with before taking any actions. And above all else, always use your best judgment and act in a responsible manner!