The hacking process consists of the following five steps:

  • Footprinting.
  • Scanning and vulnerability assessment.
  • Enumeration.
  • Exploitation (the actual attacks).
  • Post-attack activities (including covering tracks and planting backdoors).

Black-hat hackers operate covertly, but ethical hackers (white-hat hackers) add an additional step at the beginning; they obtain written authorization from the target, their client, to perform the scanning and vulnerability assessment on a live production network. The differences between the ethical hacker and an attacker are written permission, complete transparency, and professional accountability.

  • Discuss what factors go into deciding while hiring a black-hat hacker vs. a white-hat hacker?
  • Explain why organizations will hire a convicted hacker (black-hat). Include in the discussion how you would prioritize your justifications. Provide support for your position.

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