Never exceed the limits of your authorizationEvery assignment will have rules of engagement. These not only include what you are authorized to target, but also the extent to which you are authorized to control such a system.
Written approval is the most critical step of the testing process.
Ethical hackers perform penetration tests. They perform the same activities a hacker would but without malicious intent.
Insider attack This ethical hack simulates the types of attacks and activities that could be carried out by an authorized individual with a legitimate connection to the organization's network.
Outsider attack This ethical hack seeks to simulate the types of attacks that could be launched across the Internet. It could target HTTP, SMTP, SQL, or any other available service.
Stolen equipment attack This simulation is closely related to a physical attack, as it targets the organizations equipment. It could seek to target the CEO laptop or the organization's backup tapes. No matter what the target, the goal is the sameextract critical information, usernames, and passwords.
Physical entry This simulation seeks to test the organization's physical controls. Systems such as doors, gates, locks, guards, CCTV, and alarms are tested to see if they can be bypassed.
Bypassed authentication attack This simulation is tasked with looking for wireless access points and modems. The goal is to see if these systems are secure and offer sufficient authentication controls. If the controls can be bypassed, the ethical hacker may probe to see what level of system control can be obtained.
Social engineering attack This simulation does not target technical systems or physical access. Social engineering attacks target the organization's employees and seek to manipulate them to gain privileged information. Proper controls, policies, and procedures can go a long way in defeating this form of attack.
Whitehat hackers These individuals perform ethical hacking to help secure companies and organizations. Their belief is that you must examine your network in the same manner as a criminal hacker to better understand its vulnerabilities.
Reformed Blackhat hackers These individuals often claim to have changed their ways and that they can bring special insight into the ethical hacking methodology.
Grayhat hackers These individuals typically follow the law but sometimes venture over to the darker side of black hat hacking. It would be unethical to employ these individuals to perform security duties for your organization as you are never quite clear where they stand.
Section 1029 Fraud and related activity with access devices. This law gives the U.S. federal government the power to prosecute hackers who knowingly and with intent to defraud produce, use, or traffic in one or more counterfeit access devices. Access devices can be an application or hardware that is created specifically to generate any type of access credentials, including passwords, credit card numbers, long distance telephone service access codes, PINs, and so on for the purpose of unauthorized access.
Section 1030 Fraud and related activity in connection with computers. The law covers just about any computer or device connected to a network or Internet. It mandates penalties for anyone who accesses a computer in an unauthorized manner or exceeds one's access rights. This makes this a powerful law because companies can use it to prosecute employees when they carry out fraudulent activities by using the rights the companies have given to them.