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April - 2009 - issue > Technology

Unveiling the Mysterious World of an Ethical hacker

Anuj Magazine
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Anuj Magazine
The Ethical Hacker Snapshot

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of the word ‘hacker’? Let me attempt to draw a snap here; a kid in his late teens or early 20’s displaying modern demeanors — wearing a turned around cap, having ruffled hair, wearing a spectacle, and dressed up casually in jeans and t-shirt. Someone who looks a bit immature in his mannerisms but at the same time sounds like a deep thinking individual, possibly knowing everything about computers and with a malicious intention to break into computer systems and networks and cause harm to individuals and organizations.
If you are like many others who are baffled by the mystery surrounding the hackers, your image of a hacker may not be too different from the one described above. In short, there is always a notorious vagueness surrounding the word ‘hacker’. So, who is a hacker anyways, and what’s so ‘ethical’ about a hacker?

The Ethical Hacker Defined:

The Oxford dictionary’s definition of the word ‘hacker’ is ‘someone who uses a high degree of computer skill to carry out unauthorized acts within a network.’ And the definition of the word ‘ethical’ is ’being morally correct’.
So in plain terms, an ‘ethical hacker’ is someone who uses a computer to gain unauthorized access to data in a computer or network and at the same time is morally correct and does not have a malicious intent.
In industry jargon, an ethical hacker is a computer and network expert who attacks a security system on behalf of its owners, seeking to detect vulnerabilities that a malicious cracker could exploit. Some experts even argue that hackers, by definition, are supposed to have ethical intent and so there is no need for the phrase ‘ethical hacker’. In this article, I have used the term ‘ethical’ in an attempt to counter the negative impression that exists around hackers.

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