Nearly 90 percent of our society now depends on the computer system based on complex system. With the increasing use of computers and the explosive growth of Internet have many good things: electronic commerce, online banking, e-mail, video conferencing, etc. Improved security to prevent criminal hackers has become an important issue for society as a result. There are many ways to protect this information; it appears that Ethical Hacking is a better way. Therefore, whether or not to teach the “Ethical Hacking” as a course in higher education has become an interesting argument. This article will analyze the ethical, legal and social issues of hacking.

To discuss the ethical, legal and social problems, one must understand the definition of Ethical Hacking. The Word Spy says that “Ethical Hacking is a hacker who is trying to cut in an attempt to infiltrate the system’s weaknesses, so it can be repaired to learn” (The Word Spy, 2003). The question arises here whether the Ethical Hacking is ethical or unethical.

Ethical Hacking, often carried out by the white hats or computer scientists is the use of programming skills to determine the weaknesses in computer systems. While the black hat or unethical hacker exploits this vulnerability to evil, personal gain or for other reasons etc. The ethical hacker review this, he says, and may suggest changes in the systems that make them less likely to be penetrated by black hats.White hats can work in a diversity of behaviors. Many companies use ethical hacking services of consultants or full-time employees and information systems to be as safe as possible.

The work of ethical hacking is still considered piracy since it uses the knowledge of computer systems in an attempt somehow to enter into the system with purpose or by accidentally. This work was carried out because the ethical point of view of the system security is data processing. They reasoned that if a white hat somehow makes the security protocols of a system to break, so can a black hat. Therefore, the purpose of ethical hacking is to determine how to break or create wrong things with the current running programs, but only at the request of the owner of the system and, in particular, to prevent others from failing the security to enter.

People in the field will do ethical hacking in a variety of ways. Many people are computer users with much experience but not everyone has a background in computer science. In some cases, the white hat was your first experience as a black hat. Black hat hacking is a criminal level though both of the white hat and black hat might have served in prison for the resumption of a career in a more productive and positive way, as a hacker. The computer world is made up of former black hats who are now in ethical hacking courses. On the contrary, some white hats, like Steve Wozniak, never committed any illegal act, but simply have the knowledge and skills to troubleshoot any computer system for analysis.

With the increasing use of Internet concerns and security, especially when it comes to issues such as consumer information or personal health information, there is huge requirement for computer experts to work on ethical hacking. Even those sites owned by organizations such as the U.S. government have been cut in the past and concern about data theft remains incredibly high. Systems design or being impervious to identify the current weaknesses of a system are vital parts of keeping the information secure and private in Internet, and even with the current legion of ethical hackers to carry out this work, there is still lot more work to do.

Those interested in the field of ethical hacking often acquire much of their skills on their own, and many have a special talent and an affinity for computers. Some knowledge can also be obtained through formal education in computer programming. This work requires creativity, and an ethical hacker should be able to think outside the box and should come with all the alternative ways that may arise when a system is affected by the black hats.

From the perspective of most hackers, freedom of information includes the right to the source codes and programs thereof. This freedom includes the right to information stored in a computer network. Sometimes, hackers argue that the doctrine of freedom of information gives them the right to unrestricted access to computer accounts, passwords, and e-mails. At this point, the ethical position of hacking is to become “system cracking” (Granger, 1994). If the information system has become free for all, there is no such thing as private property, and no privacy. Teaching someone to be an ethical hacker seems to teach someone to enter someone’s home and assessing the vulnerability of that house. As ethical hacking is taught in school, how do you know that students are not planning to attack the system? If they find a huge vulnerability, how do you know it will not work, or brag about the Internet? Moreover, to teach someone to enter a system is also a violation of someone’s privacy, Miller (1997) states that the violation of someone’s privacy is morally wrong. Some may argue that the hacker simply tries an attempt to remedy the weaknesses of this system and does not have access to personal information or confidential information. However, once the hacker skills they have learned are given to someone, it is impossible to predict that the hacker will only use your skills to see what kind of confidential information that is in the system. Once the hacker finds out that the information is good for oneself, elements, such as bank accounts, medical records, credit history, employment history and the defense all information can be easily changed by the hacker. It is clear that in such a situation, it seems that the teachings of Ethical Hacking cannot be a good idea.

The Government of Australia and most of the countries have no laws to make it clear that if the Ethical Hacking is taught as a course in higher education is legal or illegal. However, most countries have it in computer crime law prohibiting piracy. U.S. state Florida was the first state to pass computer crime law, as piracy is illegal in 1978 (OzEmail, 2003). In Australia, federal law passed that unauthorized access or modification of restricted data as an offense against the law (the Law on Cyber Crime, 2001). Obviously, if someone is hacking into the computer it is considered as a computer crime, so that the course of the Ethical Hacking is not necessary. Ethical Hacking in fact, is not the only way that the system can improve safety. Software, such as intrusion detection systems, can control a computer system for unauthorized activities or suggest improper activity. A firewall can prevent hacking or attack. However, the activity of Ethical Hacking is allowed by the network if the owner knows in advance. Otherwise, this activity is treated as a crime against the law.

In today’s society, businesses, organizations and governments are very dependent on computers and the Internet. Adequate protection of information assets of an organization is a necessary subject. Many organizations have implemented security software or devices such as firewalls or intrusion detection systems to help protect their information and quickly identify potential attacks. IBM Systems Journal says that “some organizations realized that one of the best ways to get the intruder threat to their interests would be to assess the independent computer security professionals should try to break into computer systems IBM” (2001). This can be a good way to assess the vulnerability of the system. However, to get away from the penetration test team in their systems, the organization faces a number of risks. Some companies even send your system administrator to Ethical Hacking was formed as an institution of tertiary course of the race. At this point, the person expected to be trained reliable and ethical. Otherwise, it is not a good way to do that with the current security through the Internet, โ€œEthical Hackingโ€ as the most effective way to fill holes in their security and prevent intrusions. In Ethical Hacking someone would learn that it simply means that as another hacker in the society. Regardless of the motivation is to improve current security system; no one can predict what might happen after the person to acquire knowledge of piracy. If a hacker is there in the society simply means that there is a risk in the system where hacking can be increased. Therefore it is inappropriate for learning Ethical Hacking as a course in higher education.


  • Baase, S. (2009) A Gift of Fire: Social, legal and ethical issues for computing and the internet (3rd edition), Pearson. Chapter 2: Privacy.
  • BCS. (2012) BCS Code of Conduct [online] Available from:[Accessed 10 March 2017]
  • Electronic Privacy Information Center. (1994) Control of Information: The means of Dissemination Matters[online]Available from: [Accessed 12 March 2017]
  • Schultz, R. (2006) Contemporary Issues in Ethics and Information Technology, IRM Press. Chapter 8: Privacy and Security.
  • What is ethical hacking [online]. Available From: [accessed 11 March 2017]

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