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Investigating Kevin Mitnick And Computer Hacking Beliefs Essay

The main persona of this case study Kevin Mitnick may be a specialist in computer technology. The main theme of this case study is how he uses his knowledge to exploit the use of his field. The research study points out how Kevin will go against the main element ethical behaviors by misusing his skills causing disturbance to personal privacy and also immense security problems. Hence from the point of view of three moral theories namely, result based, duty centered and the type based ethical theories, the activities of Kevin are analyzed in this coursework.

The following part of the course work then aims at analyzing the role of your engineer with regard to hacking. It clarifies the limitations that an engineer is destined by and also how an engineer must use his skills remember the pursuits of open public. The role of any engineer becomes more significant as the executive and technological segments have rapid progress and improvements. The advancements and improvements can be of the entities associated with these sections in terms of quality and volume. One of the known reasons for this immediate development is the dependency of the world on communication. Though there are fast improvements the contrary part is that, these breakthroughs can be honest or unethical.

One of the typical examples because of this is cyber space, which even the case study is dependant on. Due to popular for communication, rapid developments are made in the field of internet and networking which gives easy journey for the hackers to create consequences that can be catastrophic for a whole section of world or a large number of people. This problem of technology getting the capacity of both good and ill (i. e. moral or unethical) has been called the dual use dilemma [2]. The dual-use dilemma arises as a consequence of the fact that the same little bit of methodical research sometimes has the potential to be utilized for injury as well for good. The below portions evaluate the different ethical issues that your case study presents with respect to the three different ethical theories.

1. 1 About the case study:

The case study illustrates how Kevin utilizes his skills for several illegal works which raises the question of ethical issues. Most of Mitnick's activities show that he has performed hacking only for challenges or sometimes to take revenge on people. None of his actions illustrate that he was greedy about profit but he has already established a very long history of computer misuse.

When he was a teenager he learned to hack the public university district's computer system and also he had hacked into a phone company's computer system and changed the phone bills. When he was punished because of this criminal offense he hacked in to the company's system again and disconnected the probation officer's cellphone line. He also stole software from the companies by hacking and also modified his conviction data in the authorities computer data files. He made use of companies' sites to make free long distance phone calls and also tried out to plant a false history against a corporation which refused to offer him a job.

Mitnick experienced even hacked into personal computers of UNITED STATES Air Defence Demand (NORAD) in Colorado Springs. NORAD was a caution system that could detect missile episodes directed towards United States. Damages made by hacking into such systems can have catastrophic effects on a very large geographic area [1]. But nevertheless the biggest blunder which Mitnick devoted was breaking in to the NORTH PARK Supercomputer Centre which led to his arrest.

1. 2 About Hacking:

Computer hacking is broadly thought as intentionally accesses some type of computer without authorization or surpasses authorized gain access to. Also various expresses and federal laws govern computer hacking [3]. Usually people who take part in computer hacking activities are known as Hackers. Computer hacking can be honest or unethical based on the scenario, the way the hackers skills are being used. When a hacker is employed by way of a company to find flaws in the company's security system by endeavoring to hack to the companies system then your hacking is moral since the hacker has been utilized by the business themselves. This kind of honest computer hacking really helps to prevent identity fraud and a great many other computer crimes. The abilities which the hackers have can be utilized in a constructional way for developments of technology. An example for this is, Dennis Ritchie and Ken Thompson who were previously hackers developed the UNIX operating-system [4].

In [1] the hacker code of ethics from Levy [2001] provides an illustration of source of hacking. The origin of hacking tracks back to getting usage of the computers which were faulty to set the challenge right which were common in those computer systems. Everything of the computer systems was required by the hackers to analyze, identify and repair the problem. This initiated the drift for hacking computers which are now misused. This case study shows how Mitnick misused hacking.

2. Consequence Centered Ethical Ideas:

In this segment all the ethical issues are examined predicated on the point of view of Effect based ethical theories. According to Consequence based theories [5] a person's action is reported to be morally right if the best achievable repercussions are obtained in the problem or if the best achievable effects are obtained if everyone works the action in that type of situation. What makes it right or incorrect is just the goodness or badness of the consequences of action. These theories tend to be known as utilitarian theories because these theories usually involve the idea of power in producing good implications.

In [1] a moral system is explained to be informal where as co-existing by respecting each other's moral value is found in a modern culture. Hence you need to not go beyond the moral boundaries which can create dreadful implications for the others in the population. For instance, a person playing music for him with very very soft sound wouldn't normally impact others but if he takes on the music very loudly then that can become noise to the rest of his neighborhood friends and disturb them. Similarly in this case review as well, Mitnick though he does not hack personal computers for profit, he trespasses the privacy of other people in the culture.

Several consequences increased because of Mitnick's action have given a tough blow to the personal privacy and security of folks in the modern culture. Though occasionally Mitnick hacked the business's database to use revenge on the companies or perhaps as challenging, the non-public information about the customers that happen to be stored in the business's databases was intruded and shown which was a significant security breach. Hence Mitnick's activities which in turn created some consequences had adverse effects on the society.

One of Mitnick's major action which could have had a huge impact on the society was he previously planted a wrong story against a business which got refused to provide him a job. But fortunately this false account was sensed before it come to the world and it was terminated. If this incorrect story had reached the culture then it could have created a poor impression for the employees and the buyers of the company against the business. In terms of results, the recent development of internet and the search engines can give way to easy pass on of information and also easy access to directories worldwide. These can in turn give way to disasters that are caused by legal and terrorist activities.

Tavani in [2] also offers us another feature of consequence centered theory which is explained by Moore. Moore talks about which values are essential for the success of the culture. Those beliefs are delight, life and autonomy. Moore also says that, for an individual to achieve these core prices, a proper balance must be maintained in the contemporary society. In case the individual's actions disturb any one of these worth then it creates an imbalance in the world and hence straight affecting to lack of any of these three core ideals which creates several problems.

Even in countries where individualism is given more importance, Mitnick's activities are believed to be not morally right. Whenever we consider his hacking situations, it moves against his own (or an individual's) moral boundary. A accountable citizen of your world has his own moral responsibilities towards the society to be able to co-exist with the other people in the culture which Mitnick did not fulfill. His activities like hacking into a company's databases to make long distance cell phone calls, planting false account against a company and using bogus identity for getting license could experienced severe effects on the culture. As an individual Mitnick failed to distinguish between your bad and the good, also he didn't evaluate what consequences his actions could create for him as well as the society. Hence we can conclude that Mitnick has truly gone against his honest rules with respect to Consequence founded theories.

Another consequence based theory is Utilitarianism. This idea of utilitarianism originated by John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) as mentioned in [2]. The theory of utilitarianism [6] areas that "the belief that the right action in any situation is the the one which produce the best overall end result which gives similar consideration on everyone's interest". The utilitarian approach [7] assumes that the electricity basic principle can be portrayed as "the best good of the best number" ought to be the basis for deciding the house entitlements. Utilitarian theories can be divided into 2 types. They are

Act Utilitarian theory

Rule Utilitarian theory

2. 1 Act utilitarianism:

According to Act utilitarianism, any effects produced due with an action performed, which does the greatest good to large number of individuals then such an action is reported to be ethically appropriate [1]. To be able to determine the right action, we have to first find the complete alternative take action for that situation and also the net energy function on their behalf [5]. From the whole acts, the work which has the higher net utility can be explained as the right action. To do any of these other alternatives would be incorrect because to do any of them wouldn't normally be to increase the total amount of positive over negative value on the planet, and someone's duty is always to do that which has such maximization as its effect. Sometimes the Take action utilitarianism can be known as Situation ethics.

According to do something utilitarianism, hacking (unethical hacking- minus the permission of the owner) is morally wrong. Hacking only gives personal gain to the hacker while it destroys the privacy and data of the complete society and also damages the complete security system set up by the company. Hence hacking can't be a permissible work in function utilitarianism theory.

In the research study, we can see many incidents of Mitnick hacking into different directories for different missions. Once he hacked into a company's network to make long distance telephone calls and deceived the company of its charges. He also planted a bogus report of the financial conditions of the company which refused to offer him employment which made the business suffer huge loss. He also hacked in to the security system of United States which was made to detect missile disorders directed towards the country. The first two functions had adverse effects only on those companies but the third act acquired an impact on a whole country which experienced an extremely huge people. These actions of Mitnick made only Mitnick happy as the rest of the society had a negative impact that was very much against take action utilitarianism. Hence we can again conclude that Mitnick had gone against the honest principles with respect to Take action Utilitarianism.

2. 2 Guideline Utilitarianism:

Rule Utilitarianism [8] is the view that rightness or wrongness of the action is to be judged by the goodness and badness of the results of a guideline that everyone should perform the action in like circumstances. This theory usually instructs us how to act in a specific situation by simply framing a guideline rather than pondering which action would create the best consequence for that one situation. These guidelines have to be dependant on retrospective calculation which possible rules have the greatest net utility. Following the rules may appear right but sometimes it might not exactly supply the best consequence. Act Utilitarians use situation-by-situation calculations which are turned down by the rule utilitarians. This situation-by-situation might not precisely predict the results of the actions as well as are not very reliable and successful.

When we make an effort to apply rule utilitarianism to the research study, then we can monitor again that Mitnick has truly gone against many guidelines and procedures of the contemporary society. He tried to have wrong personality for himself for the driver's license and also posed as a officer to obtain the license information that was quite definitely against the rules made by the contemporary society. Also Mitnick tried out to hack into a company's network to make free long distance calls again looking to trespass others property without their agreement. Many of these functions show that Mitnick had gone against the rules as well as the consequences of these actions got only negative impact on the society. Hence we can again conclude that Mitnick had gone against the honest principles regarding Rule Utilitarianism.

One of the main disadvantages of Consequence based theory is the fact that it generally does not give importance to an individual's feelings or the minority people. Hence there a wide range of critics against utilitarianism and consequence based mostly theory. Immanuel Kant argues against outcome based theories and says that importance should be given to obligation performed by the average person instead of the results which arise because of the actions.

3. Duty based Ethical ideas:

Constitution of every country prescribes that it's the foremost duty of every citizen of that country to respect the laws and regulations of the country. In a similar way, it's the duty of each citizen to respect the other fellow citizens and also the confidentiality and level of privacy of other entities has to be protected as given by regulations of the country.

Duty based ethics are worried with what people do rather than with the results of their actions [9]. Duty established ethics is also known as Deontological ethics. The word 'Deontological' comes from the Greek term deon, this means 'duty'. These ideas are sometimes called as nonconsequentialist as we can not justify an action if it is going to produce good implications or not [10].

Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) who was simply one of the greatest philosophers of all time standardizes deontology as categorical essential. This system is dependant on two essential concepts namely:



Universality implies that the guidelines and regulations means to everyone on this world. Hence everybody has to follow the guidelines and going against the rules would imply the individual is unethical. Impartiality implies that regulations is for everyone regardless of the caste, religion or race. According to impartiality there must be zero differentiation between all humans. In addition, it expresses that everyone should treat others as similar and also follow oneness.

In this case study Mitnick will try to have unauthorized access a company's data source which has so many people's information, which is against the law of the united states. By not fulfilling his tasks and going against the law of the united states, Mitnick is unethical with regards to the universality concept of deontology. Mitnick also will try to take revenge on the company which didn't offer him employment by planting a wrong story about the company. From this false story the business had to undergo huge loss. These actions show that Mitnick never treated everyone evenly. He distinguished between your common man and people whom he hated. This action of Mitnick again implies that he was unethical with respect to the impartiality theory of deontology.

From the aforementioned activities of Mitnick, we can again conclude that Mitnick had opted against the ethical principles with respect to Deontological ethics.

Duty based moral theories is also not completely accepted by everyone and there are critics for the same. In [11] a practice has been discussed in which each other's responsibilities are respected which is known as contradictory values. As a result of this it leads to many conflicts and confusion. Also another critic by name Ross argues that if two obligations conflict with one another, there can be confusions in the prioritization of both duties which are equally important. Hence another theory has been made which gives more importance to moral virtues predicated on character.

4. Character Centered Ethical Ideas:

Character based moral theory can even be known as virtue honest theory which judges a person by his character as opposed to the person's action or the consequences that occur from the action [12]. In this particular theory, to guage various situations ethically the character of any person plays a very important role. The character of the individual influences your choice taken. One is said to have good figure if he posses good moral principles such as love, kindness, credibility, courage and passion. Hence to have good moral judgments you need to contain the right characteristics. The advancement of Character based theory evolved because the time of Aristotle. This theory was the reigning theory for moral thinking through the ancient and medieval durations. The virtue theory contrasts with Consequentialism, gives more importance to results which occur from the activities, and also Deontology which gives more importance to the guidelines and laws and regulations made rather than the outcome of the action.

In character based mostly ethical theory, a person is fully alert to his duties on the society and he is able to make a decision whether he wishes to be a responsible citizen or not. The reaction between expertise and character of a person is the key constraint for the emergence of identity ethics. A person might master the content in his area and reach a very high level as a consequence to his abilities but it the technique how the person will utilize the talent. He is able to make good use of it or a terrible use. Quite simply the average person can create things which are constructive for the world or he can even create things which might be damaging for the population.

In the case study, character based ethical theory appears to be more appropriate to go over the actions of Mitnick. We see that Mitnick is perfectly versed with computers i. e. , has good expertise to handle pcs. Also he shines well in neuro-scientific cyber communication as well. Mitnick may have used his skills to do something best or constructive for the contemporary society but instead he chose to use his talents for his own benefits and also to fulfill his desires. All the activities of Mitnick in the event review show that Mitnick did have good identity. A person with good figure will attempt to help in welfare of the population remember everyone's interest but someone who is morally wrong will only build a havoc in the population. In the same way Mitnick also did not do anything for the contemporary society but instead he created many more problems to many people in the culture. Again even in this theory it demonstrates that Mitnick was unethical from the idea of Character centered ethical theory.

5. Prosecution of Kevin Mitnick:

To decide, all the ethical ideas and their rules contribute some significant characteristics. Even though all the ethical theories try to validate themselves and also try to follow the moral principles they have some flaws and failings. On the other hand, all the honest ideas can be merged and used to supply the most ethically right answer for the situation. For example, if the person breaks rate limit rule, then a utilitarian use the caustic theory and say if only somebody is damage scheduled to over speeding then the person has determined a blunder but a deontologist and guideline utilitarian will say that the person has gone up against the rule and hence he is wrong. Hence in this way combining the ethical ideas we can get variety of ways to investigate a problem and offer the most ethically accurate solution.

In the case study we researched all actions of Mitnick and its own end result, applied all the three honest ideas to his activities to summarize what Mitnick did was ethically right or wrong and also the prosecution of Mitnick. As we have mentioned all the three moral theories above, we see the particular one or the other activities of Mitnick is wrong regarding all the three honest theories that we can conclude that he was ethically wrong. Mitnick didn't value his world or the consequences that the contemporary society has to face because of his activities. He never cured everyone similarly and got the attribute of taking revenge. He also proceeded to go against the laws of the world. He didn't possess the commendable virtues when he devoted the cyber crimes. Hence Mitnick was ethically incorrect.

A little bit of article is extracted from the US Organization which is undoubtedly the world regulating body. This regulation holds best for all the hackers irrespective of the united states they commit the criminal offenses including Mitnick.

The Common Declaration of the individual rights, US [13] says that:

"Article 3

Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person. "

"Article 12

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family,

home or correspondence, nor to episodes upon his honour and reputation.

Everyone gets the to the protection of regulations against such disturbance or

attacks. "

From the aforementioned stated laws and also the evidence obtained from Tsutomu Shimomura (the last hacking of Mitnick before his arrest), it plainly demonstrates Mitnick had gone against law and should be punished. To be able to support this decision we've also mentioned the three honest theories that happen to be again against Mitnick and turned out that his activities were ethically incorrect. Hence the FBI was accurate in attempting to catch and prosecute Mitnick.

5. 1 Final result:

The case study gives us a definite image about Mitnick and his actions in the world of computers. To be able to justify what Mitnick performed was ethically right or wrong; we analyzed all the three moral theories and applied the same to the research study. By doing so we're able to conclude that Mitnick's action was ethically incorrect. This research study also throws light on offences taking place in the cyber world. In addition, it alerts us that if proper precaution is not taken in stopping such crimes then it could lead to awful conditions. Hence appropriate steps have to be taken up to reduce cyber criminal offense and make the society safer. Another stimulating simple fact in the case research is Mitnick is punished for only 22 weeks and then stored under probation for three years after which he's absolve to use the internet and computer as he chooses. May be the 3 calendar year probation period enough to reform Mitnick? Also is there any monitoring made on Mitnick after he is completely released? In addition, it boosts a question concerning how much time the hackers should be watched.

6. Role of the Engineer with regard to Hacking:

As observed in Tavani [1], the engineer has the unique experience of learning the theoretical aspects and implementing his knowledge in a functional manner. Technical engineers have extra ordinary talent to enhance the given piece of work into a final product which is often used. To have success in both business and job, good reputation is required. An ethical approach to work is regular with this as it includes competence, integrity and the personal and professional beliefs that support it [14]. The engineer's ongoing stand with the executive community and the customers is enhanced by these ideals. The engineer must keep in mind the below features while he creates the product in line with the requirements of his clients. The features are:

Protection of life and safeguarding people

Professionalism, integrity and competence

Commitment to community well-being

Sustainable management and look after the environment

Sustaining engineering knowledge

Hacking as defined earlier is an intentional usage of a computer without authorization or exceeds authorized access. The average person who performs this step is called a hacker. Before hackers were the those who were utilized by a business to hack the security of that company to check on how strong it is. This was ethical but now hacking is utilized mostly to gain access to unauthorized information which is contrary to the personal privacy of the individuals.

In Tavani [1] it talks about that hardware specialists design the machine while application technicians analyzes the product regarding its application and the software engineers are concerned only with development of the program for the product. The technicians who design the product from the commence to the end should also manage to locating the loopholes of the product as well which can provide way to hacking and also they should be well aware of the consequences. From the above dialogue of the research study we can see how harm hacking can cause on the individual and also the society, how it might tamper the privateness of the individuals. To be able to stop these designers should design much better system. Also a team of engineers can be create to lessen the cyber criminal offenses rate and also have more strict laws and regulations and fines resistant to the those who commit cyber crimes. In the given case study Kevin who was simply your personal computer security expert used his skills to gain illegal access to many companies and evolved many information. He misused his skills for his own advantage and to take revenge. Hence the role of an engineer plays a very important role in hacking. An engineer should develop technologies which are advantageous to the contemporary society as well they must be fault proof, should not have any loopholes for hackers to gain access to the info.

The Relationship of Processing (ACM) and the Institution of Electrical and Consumer electronics Engineers (IEEE) collectively have advised eight rules [15] which the engineers have to abide by in order to make the analysis, standards, design, development, tests and maintenance of software a beneficial and respected vocation. The technicians should adhere to these principles to maintain the health, safety and welfare of the general public. Hence it becomes the moral duty associated with an engineer to protect the society against hacking which exploits the welfare of the society.

6. 1 Conclusion:

Computer hacking and the consequences of hacking on the population is studied in detail regarding three ethical theories in this coursework. Then your role of engineer with regard to hacking and its results on the society is discussed at length. From the above dialogue we can summary by concluding engineering and welfare of modern culture goes together. Hence the engineer has the prime responsibility in keeping the welfare of the culture.

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