Resources for becoming a better hacker - Part 2, ethics

19/04/17 — capitol


The second topic for our series on learning material will cover a slightly unorthodox subject regarding hacking, the ethical aspect of the hobby.

It’s easy to just disregard the subject, either from the viewpoint that all hacking is criminal and therefore unethical, or from the standpoint that if it can be done then it should be done and therefore ethical.

The truth is of course somewhere in between, and it’s quite personal where you land in the spectrum. I would therefore like to present a reading list on the subject, so that you can come to your own conclusions.

Lets start with a classic from the book Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution: Hacker ethics.

And a critique of it here.

It doesn’t really have anything to with computer security, but its still quite important to have read.

Lets start touching on the security aspect of hacking with some jargon.

There can be many reasons to investigate the security of a system, one is hacktivism, a loaded word that was first coined by Cult of the Dead Cow, the original paper can be interesting to read.

Or a hacker might be working within a academic or business context that need a code of conduct.

If you are more academically inclined, then this is a good read and here is an overview of other papers.

There is also very different attitudes on what to do with found security holes. A spook or a black hat might want to keep the information secret, in order to weaponize it, while a white hat will report it.