Hackers for Hire
Some security experts suggest the trend toward using hackers to test the security of computer systems is changing. Thomas Patterson, the former regional partner for Deloitte & Touche Security Services Group, likened the practice of hiring ex-hackers to placing a fox in a henhouse. FFor years there existed a fuzzy distinction between good and bad computer hackers. Black Hat hackers were known to crack into computer systems for the challenge and the bragging rights. These miscreants took great pleasure from wreaking havoc once they gained entry. White Hat hackers, on the other side of the ethical line, broke into systems to alert company officials to their ineffective security measures. As concerns about network security grew, computer security companies sprung up and often recruited their experts from the ranks of the White Hatters.
Law enforcement and government agencies in the recent past also relied on programmers turned reformed criminals to test for security leaks and help plug holes to keep out other intruders. IT managers sometimes had to choose between the threat of Black Hat hackers breaking into the system and White Hat hackers compromising the system for future personal gain. Full Story