Why and When White Hat Hackers turn Evils and the constant checks in Cybersecurity
In most cases, cybersecurity can be achieved through ethical hacking, which is a well-established practice for identifying flaws and providing guidance on vulnerabilities. However, as with most blockchain-related issues, the issue becomes murky. Those considered “ethical hackers” in crypto rely on some dubious tactics to stay ahead of the attackers. Deep security inspection, as well as the most recent offensive security techniques, such as advanced penetration testing (or pen-testing), are examples of how to detect critical vulnerabilities before they are exploited. Pen-testing on everything from web applications, mobile applications, and APIs to wallets and layer 1 blockchains is required to emulate the most recent actions and methods used by threat actors.
A “penetration test” is performed on a decentralized application, network, or system that makes use of blockchain technology. The goal is to detect and alert security flaws before a malicious user can. Penetration testing is used to find and fix code vulnerabilities by intentionally exploiting the target’s weaknesses while adopting the mindset of a potential adversary. To beat them, you must sometimes think like a criminal. This raises concerns that even “ethical hackers” can gain access to and exploit a system. This appears to have happened in the past. White-hat hackers must penetrate a system while avoiding the temptations of deadly sins.
The most serious sin, PRIDE, can turn any hacker into a target. If an ethical hacker believes their abilities are superior to everything else, including the law, the ethical hacker may become a target for other hackers, or worse. A penetration tester should never attempt to break a system without proper authorization from the company or the person in charge. This is considered illegal behavior. And, for the justice system, no amount of past good deeds can compensate for the consequences of crossing the line. The ethical hacker maintains a balance of internal and external motivations. On one shoulder, there is the specter of reward and fame, and on the other, there is the act of sharing knowledge to ensure societal security (or at least that of the company for which they work).
When this balance is tipped in favor of personal fame or monetary gain over knowledge sharing and security, the hacker sins GRE. To avoid this, they never use a virtual private network (VPN) to mask the internet protocol (IP) address from which their tests are performed. They always leave traces for outside observers to easily identify an attack vector. Obfuscation of knowledge will quickly lead to exclusion from ethical hacker communities – those who grow through shared knowledge. Great hackers are driven to want more, to know more, to learn more, and to break more. Setting limits is essential to avoid falling into the sin of GLUTTONY.
An ethical hacker must ensure that the scope of the penetration test is refined, limiting what can be done and how far one can go in attempting to break the system. Of course, hacking knowledge should never be used to gain unauthorized access to sensitive information, also known as the temptation of LUST. As tempting as it may be to sneak a peek or venture where no one has gone before, an ethical hacker must set limits. This includes never sharing internal documentation or non-public knowledge with anyone, even trusted colleagues. To be an ethical hacker, you must constantly learn new things, so laziness is one of the worst sins imaginable. Technology advances at breakneck speed. An ethical hacker believes that there is always more to learn. During a penetration test, they must ensure that all procedures are followed, that they follow the book, and that they never perform experiments on the same machines or systems used in live production or daily tasks, as this can expose the tester’s equipment to malicious code.
This can mean the difference between “life and death,” because a genuine attacker may gain access to the client before the failure is detected. ENVY, on the other hand, must be avoided at all costs. Using sensitive information discovered during a penetration test for personal gain is not only forbidden but also illegal. Meanwhile, failing to recognize a teammate’s expertise must be avoided. Teamwork and an understanding of strengths and areas for improvement are required for comprehensive, high-quality testing. Not every penetration test is successful; perhaps no error is discovered or is discovered too late. The ethical hacker will never, ever go down the path of ANGER. Losing control can lead to even more dangerous mistakes, such as failing to respond to an incident in time, compounding damage as a result of that incident, or failing to learn from the event.