Illegal Vs Unethical

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Illegal Vs Unethical

Post by WalkAroundHax on Sun Jan 23, 2011 7:41 pm
([msg=52721]see Illegal Vs Unethical[/msg])

In this post, I will be telling you 2 stories, one of which I will be inquiring whether it is illegal or unethical, the other of which I will be inquiring whether it is ethical or unethical.

Situation 1:

Yesterday, I was bored, so I decided to "hack" one of my friend's Facebook accounts. I retrieved the E-mail from the "info" page on their Facebook profile. I then went to Yahoo mail and click "I cannot access my account." And it prompted me with two security questions. I simply used logic and resources available to me on Facebook to answer such questions. I.E. - The question was "What is your favorite author?", so I went to the "info" page on their Facebook profile, and looked at the books that they liked. Next, I Googled the author of the book listed on the page and then answered the questions. After gaining access to their E-mail, I went to Facebook and clicked "I forgot my password." And sent the security code to the E-mail I gained access to, and changed the password. I didn't do anything major with the account, just made a pointless status with the alphabet in it, but people began to get very frustrated and cuss me out. (Many of you, including myself, will deem this unethical.) I then got slightly angry and began to "hack" their profiles as well, and when I got to about the fifth person's account, his mother threatened to call the police if I did not return the account and stated that my activities were "hacking" and were illegal.
The technical definition of "hacking" is the modification of hardware or software to change the use in which the designer intended, which I did not do.
Regardless, I returned the account, and was done "hacking" Facebook profiles.

My question to you is - Would you consider this hacking? And is this Unethical & Illegal or Unethical & Legal.

Situation 2:

Well, after Situation 1, I was yet again bored, so I was reviewing random posts on my Facebook news feed. I noticed a particular post by an arrogant kid that goes to my school and this got me to thinking of what he had said just a week ago.
[Back Story]
A couple years ago, (Eighth grade) a multitude of girls were convinced to send around nude photos of themselves by guys in my grade. This caused a school-wide controversy, and eventually I was questioned about it and there was a school assembly with police involved as well. This is when the "Sexting" trend started at my school.
[/Back Story]
I remember this kid stating that he had gotten nude photos from his ex-girlfriend (16 years old), and he had them on his E-mail. I resented his arrogance and the fact that he stated he was going to use it for black mailing purposes, so I gained access to his E-mail via the way described above, found the picture on his account, and deleted it.

My question to you is - Was this the ethical decision? or Should I have contacted some sort of authority figure?
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Re: Illegal Vs Unethical

Post by Goatboy on Sun Jan 23, 2011 7:55 pm
([msg=52725]see Re: Illegal Vs Unethical[/msg])

Situation 1: Illegal, unethical, not "hacking", and entirely immature. Hacking is not strictly limited to modification of hardware/software, but I would never call something like this a hack.

Situation 2: I wouldn't have done the same thing, but I can't blame you for it. Still illegal, but meh.
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Re: Illegal Vs Unethical

Post by pretentious on Sun Jan 23, 2011 8:37 pm
([msg=52731]see Re: Illegal Vs Unethical[/msg])

Goatboy wrote:Situation 1: Illegal, unethical, not "hacking", and entirely immature. Hacking is not strictly limited to modification of hardware/software, but I would never call something like this a hack.

I agree, it's illegal and unethical. I'd like to know your definition of "hacking" though.
Situation 2: Is also illegal but noon's going to hate you for it.

I think any "hacking" situation you throw at us, is always going to be illegal. The legal definitions of "Hacking" that I've found are very general and can cover virtually anything. I recon the anti hacking laws have been put in place because 30+ year old network admins are sick of getting outsmarted by 13 year olds. I found a pretty serious looking vulnerability in a website and sent a message but to the guy who built it, hasn't fixed it yet. I'm thinking, instead of leaving the door to your house open and then bitching and trying to pass legislation when someone steals your TV, how about you close the door and install a dead bolt. Anyway, a little bit off topic, sorry guys, just wanted to share :D
Goatboy wrote:Oh, that's simple. All you need to do is dedicate many years of your life to studying security.

IF you feel like exchanging ASCII arrays, let me know ;)
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Re: Illegal Vs Unethical

Post by WalkAroundHax on Sun Jan 23, 2011 9:00 pm
([msg=52732]see Re: Illegal Vs Unethical[/msg])

pretentious wrote:
Goatboy wrote:Situation 1: Illegal, unethical, not "hacking", and entirely immature. Hacking is not strictly limited to modification of hardware/software, but I would never call something like this a hack.

I agree, it's illegal and unethical. I'd like to know your definition of "hacking" though.
Situation 2: Is also illegal but noon's going to hate you for it.

I think any "hacking" situation you throw at us, is always going to be illegal. The legal definitions of "Hacking" that I've found are very general and can cover virtually anything. I recon the anti hacking laws have been put in place because 30+ year old network admins are sick of getting outsmarted by 13 year olds. I found a pretty serious looking vulnerability in a website and sent a message but to the guy who built it, hasn't fixed it yet. I'm thinking, instead of leaving the door to your house open and then bitching and trying to pass legislation when someone steals your TV, how about you close the door and install a dead bolt. Anyway, a little bit off topic, sorry guys, just wanted to share :D


Thanks for the information, it was helpful. As to your anti-hacking laws comment, the 30 year old network admins need to learn what their doing so they don't get outsmarted by 13 year olds, and actually get some good security protection. I only have a little bit of legit hacking experience, not enough to do anything major though, but I like to see what I can do with computers.
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Re: Illegal Vs Unethical

Post by pretentious on Sun Jan 23, 2011 9:32 pm
([msg=52733]see Re: Illegal Vs Unethical[/msg])

WalkAroundHax wrote: As to your anti-hacking laws comment, the 30 year old network admins need to learn what their doing so they don't get outsmarted by 13 year olds, and actually get some good security protection.

Yeah...
WalkAroundHax wrote:I only have a little bit of legit hacking experience, not enough to do anything major though, but I like to see what I can do with computers.


When you say "Legit hacking experience" i hope you don't mean stealing people's email accounts by using their face book info. Don't get ahead of your self. Try out the challenges on this site and see how you go. I fear reality is going to hit you like a ton of bricks
Goatboy wrote:Oh, that's simple. All you need to do is dedicate many years of your life to studying security.

IF you feel like exchanging ASCII arrays, let me know ;)
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Re: Illegal Vs Unethical

Post by Goatboy on Sun Jan 23, 2011 10:01 pm
([msg=52735]see Re: Illegal Vs Unethical[/msg])

pretentious wrote:I agree, it's illegal and unethical. I'd like to know your definition of "hacking" though.
Situation 2: Is also illegal but noon's going to hate you for it.

I don't really have a clear-cut definition of hacking. I like to use Justice Potter Stewart's "I'll know it when I see it" stance. And I think the owner of the account would hate you if you deprived him of his porn.


pretentious wrote:I think any "hacking" situation you throw at us, is always going to be illegal. The legal definitions of "Hacking" that I've found are very general and can cover virtually anything. I recon the anti hacking laws have been put in place because 30+ year old network admins are sick of getting outsmarted by 13 year olds. I found a pretty serious looking vulnerability in a website and sent a message but to the guy who built it, hasn't fixed it yet. I'm thinking, instead of leaving the door to your house open and then bitching and trying to pass legislation when someone steals your TV, how about you close the door and install a dead bolt.

Hacking is not illegal. Illegal hacking is illegal. If I "hack" my laptop's wifi card to increase the range beyond what it was designed for, that's not necessarily illegal. If I edit my Linux kernel's source to include my own beneficial rootkit, that's not illegal. And hacking laws are not put in place because admins are sick of getting outsmarted. They are put in place because some actions cause damage (such as stealing proprietary source code or defacing a web page). I think you have a rather outdated, "1995 Hackers movie" view of network admins and hacking in general. And your example of not having laws about stealing televisions makes no sense. A deadbolt will not stop a dedicated thief, just as a firewall will not stop a dedicated attacker. The laws are there basically as a deterrent against crime and as a way to repair damages.


WalkAroundHax wrote:... the 30 year old network admins need to learn what their doing so they don't get outsmarted by 13 year olds, and actually get some good security protection. I only have a little bit of legit hacking experience, not enough to do anything major though, but I like to see what I can do with computers.

See my above "1995 Hackers movie" comment.
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Re: Illegal Vs Unethical

Post by insomaniacal on Sun Jan 23, 2011 10:14 pm
([msg=52738]see Re: Illegal Vs Unethical[/msg])

The network admin scenario is mostly nostalgic I think. Most qualified network admins and even webmasters don't leave giant gaping holes in their security anymore. Laws are there because the legal system needs a way to protect innocent victims that get screwed over. If you left your keys in your car and someone stole it, wouldn't you be angry? Sure you can argue that you acted stupidly by leaving the keys there, but that doesn't justify the crime. "Hacking" is the same way. Hacking can be beneficial (Goatboy's Wifi card example, 90% of stuff on Hackaday), illegal, unethical, ethical, moral, righteous, and anything else.

It's hard to put a solid definition on it either. Generally, when cleverness, unorthodoxy, and technology converge, you get a hack, at least, that's how I see it.
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Re: Illegal Vs Unethical

Post by pretentious on Sun Jan 23, 2011 10:44 pm
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Goatboy wrote:I don't really have a clear-cut definition of hacking. I like to use Justice Potter Stewart's "I'll know it when I see it" stance. And I think the owner of the account would hate you if you deprived him of his porn.


Fair enough, though I'm not too sure what to make of the under age porn comment :?
goatboy wrote:Hacking is not illegal. Illegal hacking is illegal. If I "hack" my laptop's wifi card to increase the range beyond what it was designed for, that's not necessarily illegal. If I edit my Linux kernel's source to include my own beneficial rootkit, that's not illegal. And hacking laws are not put in place because admins are sick of getting outsmarted. They are put in place because some actions cause damage (such as stealing proprietary source code or defacing a web page). I think you have a rather outdated, "1995 Hackers movie" view of network admins and hacking in general. And your example of not having laws about stealing televisions makes no sense. A deadbolt will not stop a dedicated thief, just as a firewall will not stop a dedicated attacker. The laws are there basically as a deterrent against crime and as a way to repair damages.


Ok, i should have specified that manipulating ones own property is fine. I probably also shouldn't have used the words "I recon" I didn't really mean it seriously. As for the the open door analogy, fair point. to get rid of the figurative ideas( because they've made me look stupid) who, do you guys think, should take the responsibility to prevent these illegal actions occurring? Is it as simple as saying the hacker should simply respect the rights of the webmaster?
Goatboy wrote:Oh, that's simple. All you need to do is dedicate many years of your life to studying security.

IF you feel like exchanging ASCII arrays, let me know ;)
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Re: Illegal Vs Unethical

Post by WalkAroundHax on Mon Jan 24, 2011 5:01 pm
([msg=52781]see Re: Illegal Vs Unethical[/msg])

pretentious wrote:
WalkAroundHax wrote: As to your anti-hacking laws comment, the 30 year old network admins need to learn what their doing so they don't get outsmarted by 13 year olds, and actually get some good security protection.

Yeah...
WalkAroundHax wrote:I only have a little bit of legit hacking experience, not enough to do anything major though, but I like to see what I can do with computers.


When you say "Legit hacking experience" i hope you don't mean stealing people's email accounts by using their face book info. Don't get ahead of your self. Try out the challenges on this site and see how you go. I fear reality is going to hit you like a ton of bricks


No, I don't consider utilizing peoples' Facebook pages to get into their E-mail legit hacking, thats why I including quotes around "hack" every time I used it. The people deemed it as hacking.
Also, at school today, there was a LOT of drama about it, and I was wondering if I could get in any type of legal trouble for it? (They don't know exactly who I am, they have several suspected kids though.)
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Re: Illegal Vs Unethical

Post by insomaniacal on Mon Jan 24, 2011 5:40 pm
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You probably could get into trouble, but unless your school is run by total pricks, you'll probably get off with some disciplinary stuff (Suspension/Detention).
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