The hacker's moral code

Be ethical, transparent and honest


Ethics means moral, good and fair, if you hesitate between two options prefer the one that will be beneficial to society. Be transparent: say what you are going to do and do it.


Don't break the law Follow


the laws that govern you and your activities.


Get permissions


If a friend or a company asks you to test the vulnerabilities of their website, make a written agreement and make it official.


Treat the information you find confidentially


You should not disclose sensitive information without permission from the owner.


Do no harm to anyone


Some tools used by hackers damage the targeted systems, know the tools well before using them and always favor their use in the least aggressive mode possible. If you crash the server of an e.commerce site, imagine the financial consequences for the target as well as for their customers. Since the coronavirus crisis the number of attacks on hospitals with ransom demand has exploded, we cannot tolerate this kind of action.


To summarize


The hacker's ethics, his relationship to work, time or money are based on passion, pleasure, sharing and respect. 





Edward Snowden, the most famous whistleblower in history, spearheaded the discovery of a US government mass surveillance program. He discovers, while he is hired to the CIA for his hacker donations, that the NSA has set up a huge communications surveillance program. The young American warned the whole world against online surveillance programs like PRISM or XKeyscore, the latter created by the NSA itself. This program is then used by the intelligence services of several countries, nicknamed the "Five Eyes", the British, Australian, American, Canadian and New Zealand services.

Since he launched the alert Edward Snowden lives in exile outside the United States, he lives in Russia which granted him political asylum. With Snowden the question arises of the limit of ethical hacking, at first Snowden, however patriotic to the point of voluntarily enlisting in the American army then recruited for his qualities as a computer scientist ends up denouncing the NSA at the cost of an exile who will change his life forever.

So is he a traitor or a hero? Is it a Balck Hat or a White Hat?

Is he a hacker or a cybercriminal?


This example shows the limits of the hacker's "ethics" and shows how important the moral code can be and rather corresponds to a whole philosophy.