There are a lot of fun advertising signs in Chennai. I see them all the time, and many make me giggle. I’m a visual person, so for the most part, I do pay attention to commercials and advertisements. I mostly look for good design, fonts, placement of objects or text, and interesting advertisements of things I’d like to have. Sometimes they just grab my attention, like this one. There is actually nothing special about the advertisement. It has images of happy faces, and really plain fonts. It only 2 colors (blue and white).
So, it’s actually kind of amazing that it caught my attention. I was riding in a car on the way home from work today and there was lots of traffic. The car is pretty low to the ground, so I find myself looking up to see all the people, cars, trucks, and advertisements. We were stopped, and there it was. I read it to myself, and thought about all the things that tend to have a moral compass or ethically minded professionals. I never really thought hacking was one of them.
So what about a moral code? What does it mean to be ethical or moral? Well, it has to do with what’s right and wrong. Usually ethical practices are a set of guidelines or standards people might follow. It’s a belief that someone says should be followed. So how can hacking be ethical? Isn’t it immoral or unethical to actually hack someone? I know they exist. Governments pay people to hack their own systems to see if their system can stand up to other hackers! So what does that mean? And if there is a course in it, wouldn’t everyone be able to hack everyone else?
Well, I wanted to find out what an ethical hacker actually meant. I’m not a technology person, and I just thought there may be more to the story about the name of this career path. Here’s what I found out:
Ethical hackers actually do get some kind of qualification to help evaluate computer system securities. It costs about $600 and you can complete it as an independent study course. Then you are certified for a year or so, and must be re-certified each year. This sounds way to easy to me— but I don’t know code.
So, it’s what I thought it was. But, maybe, it’s time to re-brand “ethical hacking” and change the name to make it less of a stigma. How about good old fashioned “computer security”. Ahhhh, but that may not sound cool enough.