Hacking, ethical or not?
Is ethical hacking important to the citizen?
Ever since the dawn of the internet, a plethora of tasks and activities have been made possible to be conducted online. Activities such as banking, communication, shopping, food delivery and these days schooling is being done through internet enabled facilities. Through this, the data of many users is being transported across the platforms and are being transacted every second.
But, with this ease of activity also comes the negative aspect of hacking, which is the illegal theft of one’s personal information online. Now, under this term there are two major differences. One aspect is the ethical hacking and the other cracking.
What is ethical hacking?
Ethical hacking is a branch of study where computer security experts (ethical hackers/white hat hackers) find the vulnerabilities and weaknesses of a system with the permission of the owner of the system who is responsible for fixing of vulnerability. So, it can be called a good hacking which finds out any probable way to hack the system and fixes it before it is hacked by black hat hackers. It is also understood as a preemptive action by the original owner of the system.
Of course, this term has been widely disputed as in its literal sense, when broken down, ‘ethical’ and ‘hacking’ can be seen as two opposite spectrums and when used together are rather hypocritical.
Before going into the lawfulness of ethical hacking, we need to remember that hacking and ethical hacking are extraordinary. Hacking is an unjust demonstration under Indian legitimate framework. Albeit ethical hacking isn’t so common in India yet it is a developing calling. There are different establishments and universities in various urban areas of India which offer courses of moral hacking. India rose as the third most weak nation as far as danger of digital dangers, for example, malware, spam, and ransomware, in 2017, climbing one spot over the earlier year, as per a report by security arrangements supplier Symantec.
Although Indian laws don’t explicitly manage ethical hacking, yet hacking is a culpable offense in India. The demonstration of Hacking contradicts the hidden standards of India legitimate framework. The subject of moral hacking has not been managed expressly in Indian laws, along these lines, it appreciated nonpartisan status under Indian lawful framework.
Current laws in India, regarding ethical hacking
The main provision provided by law with regards to digital hacking or digital trespass is the Information Technology Act, 2000. The Act provides a legal framework for electronic governance by giving recognition to electronic records and digital signatures. It also defines cybercrimes and prescribes penalties for them. The Act directed the formation of a Controller of Certifying Authorities to regulate the issuance of digital signatures. It also established a Cyber Appellate Tribunal to resolve disputes arising from this new law. The Act also amended various sections of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, the Indian Evidence Act, 1872, the Banker’s Book Evidence Act, 1891, and the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934 to make them compliant with new technologies.
Chapter XI Section 66 of IT Act, 2000 particularly deals with the act of hacking. Section 66(1) defines a hack as, any person, dishonestly or fraudulently, does any act referred to in Section 43 is called hacking, and Section 66(2) prescribes the punishment for it. Hacking is a punishable offense in India with imprisonment up to 3 years, or with fine up to two lakh rupees, or with both.
Chapter IX Section 43 of IT act, 2000 prescribes a penalty for the damage to computer or computer system. It is a common thing which happens whenever a computer system is hacked. Black hats damage the system that they hack and steal the information. This enumerative provision includes a lot of activities.
Why are these laws important now more than ever?
With the Corona-virus pandemic bringing a halt to every major institution in the country. Many offices, firms and educational institutions are seeking the use of online platforms to continue their work and completely stop their operations.
This then puts the onus on the net to have the workload of all these departments in it, constantly sharing large amounts of data and information through the net.
This is also an opportunity for hackers to infiltrate accounts and gather or leak personal data of others which could lead to severe losses and even death of many.
India ranks third in the world, for countries where cyber-crimes and threats are prevalent as per a report submitted by Symantec. Remembering this information, it is outlandish to overlook the need and significance of moral hacking in the current lawful situation. It is a lawful method of hacking a systems administration framework and needs to work under certain guidelines. To the extent the administering rules are followed, the demonstration is supported. Moreover, moral hacking incorporates the consent of the proprietor of the framework and that is done in consistence with the law which again reinforces the legitimate of moral hacking.
ethical hacking as a profession-
-in the Government
Nowadays government of different countries is facing a problem with respect to their cyber security. Although Government of India does not offer Job of the ethical hacker in any of its departments. In various government departments, cyber security experts are employed for the cyber-related work.
Moreover, various government agencies and wings of the military and law enforcement, defense organizations, forensic laboratories, detective companies, and investigative services need ethical hackers. Investigative agencies like the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Federal Bureau of Information (FBI) employ cyber security experts but don’t divulge their information in public.
Ethical hackers are euphemistically called cyber security experts. The profession of Ethical hacking is not only limited to IT companies but other companies also hire ethical hacker now. Companies like Wipro, Infosys and IBM Wipro, Infosys, IBM, TCS, Tech Mahindra, HCL, Airtel, Reliance are some of the examples of the companies which are known for ethical hacker recruiters.
There is no uncertainty that hacking represents a genuine danger to the virtual world. Relatively few individuals in the nation know about this burglary. There should be more mindfulness in the nation with respect to hacking. The laws made by the administration are rigid yet do not have a touch of enforceability and mindfulness in the general public. The majority of the minor instances of hacking go unnoticed in light of the fact that individuals keep away from documenting cases for unimportant violations in any event, when there is unforgiving discipline for it.
Ethical hacking needs to be given more importance to the people. This gives them their own understanding if the issue and also provide them the ability of defending themselves from cyberthreats in the future.
In this era of the internet, it is better to know the tools of the trade and stay safe from the threats of the internet. To be educated about it, is being protected from it as well.
Author: Tarun S,
IFIM law School, 2nd Year