Hacking is a serious problem in the world of computing. E-commerce operators, security organizations, governments, banking institutions and individuals have suffered huge losses because of intrusions by hackers. Ethical hacking has become a very popular but very sensitive security concept. Tests are being carried out in different parts of the world using different tools, methods as well as assumption of failure and success. Tiller indicates that the assumptions of success and failure that guide these tests are the core basis of differentiating between ethical hacking and malicious hacking.
Harris says that confusion arises whenever there are attempts to differentiate between the concepts of hacking and ethical hacking (5). One of the sources of confusion on these two concepts, notes Harris, is the fact that the toolset that security professionals in the world of computing use are the same tools that are used by malicious hackers (7).
Ethical hackers use the same process to access people’s computers and networks. Erickson observes that ethical hackers have to remain up-to-date with the latest technology in order to understand the vulnerabilities that are in a corporate environment easily (62). An example of ethical hackers in the U.S is the FBI and CIA. These two agencies are responsible for safeguarding the citizens from millions of things that terrorists could use to cause harm to the nation. Hackers are in the categories of these threats.
Ethical hackers sometimes engage the ethical community in order to learn about the new tools that they use as well as well as the attacks they are about to launch using these tools. The hacker community has changed dramatically over the past few years. Hackers are no longer thrilled about testing their programming skills in order to exploit the vulnerabilities that exist in people’s computers; they are looking for ways through which they can intimidate people and get paid for their hacking capabilities.