Tuesday, 19 July 2022

.Legality of Ethical Hacking

 Legality of Ethical Hacking

Generally hacking has always been associated with negative connotations but actually ethical hackers are those computer programmers who use their skills in a constructive manner to help the government authorities or organizations to protect and prevent any damage to the network security. In fact ethical hackers are the one who keep the cyber criminals (also known as crackers) at bay. In today’s world when technology is growing at a rocket’s speed and with it the cyber-crimes as well.  In order to keep check on the cyber-crimes the role of ethical hackers has acquired a profound importance.

There are three categories in which hackers can be divided:

  • White hats: they are the security professionals who uses their skills to strengthen the network and secure it from bad guys. Generally called as ethical hackers.

  • Black hats: they are the malicious hackers or crackers who use their skills for malicious purposes. They are the one from whom the white hackers provide protection.

  • Grey hats: they become white hats or black hats according to the situations. They are generally self-proclaimed ethical hacker.

Why is it legal?

To resolve this issue of network security government and business houses started following the approach where they test their security by have computer security personal to break into their computer system. Here these professions intrude into the system just in a way a cracker would do but don’t damage the system or steal any information instead they report back about the loopholes and vulnerabilities of the existing system. So ethical hacking is legal as it is performed with the permission of the owner to discover vulnerabilities of the system and suggest ways to improve it. It is part of an information risk management program that allows security improvement. There many certified courses also taught by various institution on ethical hacking.

As computers has become a new tool to conduct business as well as crime, so the two worlds of information technology and legal system have had to approach each other independently and need to meet at a point called cyber law. The Information and Technology Act, 2000 (IT Act) covers all types of cyber-crime committed in the country including hacking which is provided under section 43 and 66. But in 2008 the word” hacker” was removed as ethical hacking is considered legal. Now every government body, private information security organizations, law enforcement professionals are constantly updating law and technologies to counter each new and emerging form of contract. Section 43A of the IT Act deals with the civil liability of cyber offenders. The section deals with the compensation that should be made for failure of protection of the date. Penal liability of cracking arises when the intention or the liability of the cracker to harm the system or steal any important information gets established. If the cracker only trespasses the system without any intention to harm, it only remains a form of civil liability under section 43A. The criminal trespass can also result in other penal activities punishable under Indian Penal Code like cyber theft that can be punishable under section 378 of Indian Penal Code.

Ethical hacking is legal and there is no controversy around it but it is very difficult to teach ethical hacking as a course because nobody can be so sure about the students intention with which they are studying the course and their purpose only will differentiate them from the cyber criminals.


Technological advancement is essential for human development but it should be a regulated one otherwise in no time will become a curse. Ethical hacking is a relative issue and staying inside the lines will depend upon the individual’s interpretation thus regulation of it becomes highly complex.  There needs to be more awareness in the country regarding hacking and cracking. The laws made by the government are stringent but lack a bit of enforceability and awareness in the society. Most of the minor cases of hacking go unnoticed because people abstain from filing cases for petty crimes even when there is harsh punishment for it. Also, it is very difficult to track a virtual hacker due to lack equipment. Since hacking can happen anywhere in the world, it gets tough for the police to trace him and punish him in another country. The punishment can also be a bit harsher to prevent people from indulging in such acts.

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