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Hacking of Smart Phones

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The concept of security has evolved to include areas that were previously not considered to be in need of security measures. There are increasing numbers of people who own smart cell-phones. The smart cell- phones are used for a myriad of functions, which include storage of sensitive information thereby giving hackers reasons to hack into these phones. A journalist published an article of how hackers have threatened the security of smart phones powered by operating systems such as Android. The article pointed to increasing number of attacks on smart phones that are being executed using rogue applications available in the android market.


Hacking is an ethical problem.  Hackers use their knowledge to make applications for the purpose of stealing user information from phones. This problem is of ethical concern since hackers who may have networking knowledge intend to harm users of smart phones. Hacking has been problem of concern regarding how technologists use their skills.          Much as hacking is an ethical problem, it is a complicated situation since ownership to information and software that is used for hacking in most cases cannot be established (Palmer, 2001). In some cases, the hackers have not been found and hence no legal could possibly be taken against anyone. Hacking is an intrusion to individual privacy. One or more journalists at the British newspaper ‘The News of the World’ were reported of carrying out old fashioned hack on celebrity information. They used the old phreaking methods of intrusion on voicemail systems that were uses by celebrities and politicians (Palmer, 2001). Since then, many public figure have fallen victim to hacking of phone calls, voicemail messages and computer information some of which have been done by unknown people.

Stakeholders and Ethical Hackers

In this situation, there are a number of stakeholders involved in this case, (including) manufacturers of well known anti-virus protection software (Norton, MaAfee, AVG, and Kaspersky). With the situation involving hacking of mobile phones, users of mobile phones and smart phone manufacturers are stakeholders in this issue (Palmer, 2001). In addition, network professionals who design smart phone applications are among the stakeholders involved in this case. Security of users’ data and impact of identity thefts necessitate that government agencies be part of the stakeholders. To protect organization and government computer systems, ethical hackers have been employed. These are defined as computer network experts who attack the security system of phones and computers on behalf of the owners with an aim of seeking vulnerabilities that malicious hackers could explore to expose information that is otherwise considered confidential. The ethical hackers, just like the unprofessional hackers, use the same principles to test the security systems of a Smartphone and/or computers (Sarno, 2010).

Ethical hackers should consider ethical theories and principles that make their work respectable and trustworthy for the companies and organizations that employ them. The principle of autonomy in ethical theory demands that people should have control over their lives because they are the only ones who fully understand their chosen ways of life. This theory puts the interests of the smart phone owners and users over those of the hackers whether ethical or scrupulous hackers. In addition, the constitution provides the right to provide privacy to the users of these technologies (Levy, 2010). The smart phone users should hence not be at the mercy of the hackers. However, it is hard for the government through the constitution to fully protect technology users because sometimes the hackers cannot be established. The principle of confidentiality is one that has been hard to observe owing to the right of ownership of software in the phones and computers. Much as an individual purchaser of a smart phone or computer may lay claim on the hardware, he/she cannot lay claim on the ownership of the software which continues to be the property of the manufacturers. Given that the manufacturers have the access codes and technological know how on the use of those software and will hence continue to access those software’s information with or without the consent of the user (Levy, 2010). In addition, vulnerabilities exist in networks which track phones by mirroring connect calls through security weakness in the smart phones that are used. These security loopholes in smart phones give the hackers a chance to run the software of the said phones. The major smart phone makers have also created online markets where phone users can download thousands of apps; Google Android has the Android Market, iPhone have the App Store, and Black Berry has the App World (Palmer, 2001).

Criteria for Solving the Case

To solve this case, the interest of users as well as that of manufacturers must be considered. Most important, the interest of users must be assured to protect them against losses. The tragedy however is that from a practical point of view, the security problem will remain for as long as manufacturers commit themselves to the current architecture of systems which they produce without a firm requirement for security (Levy, 2010). As long as the manufacturers support ad hoc security packages for the inadequate designs that they make; and penetration terms give illusory results as a license for demonstration f computer and smart phone system security, the reality of proper system security and the assurance thereof will not be attained. 

Sarno (2010) argues that hacking is seen as a marketing strategy to convince the users of existing security solutions in the IT industry. Hackers convince the users of the software they have which can promote security in smart phone systems which sometimes is not true. White hat hackers are professionals who have applied ethical practices to ensure the security of phones are attained by installing hacking alerts and tracking devices on the uncouth hackers. 

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