Ethics In Action

Submitted By contusions2013
Words: 482
Pages: 2

Ethics in Action According to the information technology magazine, Baseline, corporations and financial institutions lose about $48 billion dollars a year due to identity theft. (Cybercrime: Expansive and Expensive, 2005) About 27.3 million Americans have been victims of identity theft in the last five years, including nearly 10 million in 2004. (Cybercrime: Expansive and Expensive, 2005) Due to the incredible amount of time and money that is lost through identity theft and various other hacking activities, hacking is not an ethical activity. Some colleges teach virus writing in order to prepare students to work as an antivirus professional. While this might be a good way to learn how to combat viruses, it is unnecessary, as most antivirus professionals were never virus writers. Also, no matter what precautions that are taken in the classroom to prevent students from using these viruses, it is possible for them to take that information and skills and use them in an unethical way outside of the classroom. Even while hacking ethically, the law is still being broken. For example, if a hacker notices that someone is the victim of a bot and notifies them, no law is broken. However, if the hacker takes control of the bot and cleans it, even though he or she is doing someone a favor, it is less ethical due to the unauthorized access to the other person’s computer and the possible risk of damage to that computer. (Brodkin, 2009) Some hackers justify their hacking by exposing security flaws in operating systems and application software. The benefit to this does not justify the time and money spent to clean up after these attacks. (Standler, 2002) If a security flaw is identified, it is much easier and more ethical to notify the manufacturer of the flaw rather than repeatedly attacking their system. (Standler, 2002) Further, computer worms and viruses have been around for a long time. Even though the public is widely aware of their existence and possible effects, older viruses and