Grey Hat Cracking Should Be Legalized
During the last dedicated lecture, we had a longtime discussion about hackers and crackers. Indeed, those terms yield lots of debates that stir many questions up. What is the diﬀerence between a hacker and a cracker? Between a black, a grey and a white hat? Do grey hat cracking should be legalized?
First of all, it is good to precise that if we talk about the term ”hacker”, the original hacker was a person who liked plying with software and hardware itself on the only way to ﬁgure out how it works and for a personal beneﬁt. Thus, at ﬁrst there was nothing bad in being a hacker until this word was denigrated by medias and society and connoted as a bad thing (like pirates). Indeed, contrary to the term ”hacker”, ”cracker” really refers to a bad thing and both words are nowadays synonymizing. Then, I looked for accurate deﬁnitions of black, grey and white hats on the Internet. The black hats are known for ”violating computer security for little reason beyond maliciousness or for personal gain”. They are in my opinion the only kind of hackers who should be called ”crackers” because they often destroy data and mainly make the network unusable (denial of services attacks). Then, to the opposite, we have the white hats that break security systems for non-malicious reason. This term refers to an ethical kind of hacking because they perform within a contractual agreement. Between both, we have the grey hats. It is a combination of a black and a white hat which ”hack into a computer for the sole purpose of notifying” the owner of the system but without any agreement deﬁned beforehand. At this time, the English law for instance, says that the white hacking is a kind of ethical act and it is legal because it is based on a deal between the hacker and the tested systems owner and the access to the system is thus authorized for the hacker. Although, the International Council of Electronic Commerce Consultants has developed classes and...
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