Ethical Hackers and Ethical Hacking

An ethical hacker is a security professional who helps organization to take defensive measures against malicious attacks and usually the process he doing to find those vulnerable point is called Ethical Hacking. Sometimes this is also known as Penetration Testing or Intuition Testing. In this case, the ethical hackers are getting into the minds of computer criminals; think like them to find about innovative ways the hackers may use to get into the systems. Then organizations can take required actions to avoid those vulnerabilities.

It has identified that the almost all computer systems have vulnerabilities that can be exploited by a hacker to come to do damages. This can be due to an unpatched application, a misconfigured router or a rough network device and it will be not able to detect unless penetrate the networks and assess the security posture for vulnerabilities and exposures regular basis. As the hacking is a felony in most of the countries, ethical hackers should only operate having required permission and knowledge of the organization that they are trying to defend. In some cases, to check the effectiveness of their security teams, an organization will not inform their teams of the ethical hacker’s activities. This situation is referred to as operating in a double blind environment.

To perform productive penetration testing, the ethical hackers who are going to conduct the testing must have to have variety of in-depth computer skills. They should know how to look for the weaknesses and vulnerabilities in target systems and need to have the knowledge of the tools a malicious hackers use on system hacking.… Read the rest

Social Engineering Attacks

The rise of 21st century marked the transition phase of the most global businesses towards a paperless office environment, where the focus shifted the manual to the computerized form of work culture. But at the same time, change brought a number of threats and menace in terms of one of the biggest issues of the current businesses, the social engineering used among the hackers for cracking techniques that rely more on human weaknesses rather than technology itself. The aim or motive of such attacks was getting access to passwords or other relevant information by tricking people for carrying out illegal or criminal activities. FBI and other security experts hold a firm view that majority of threats originate from the internal working environment or employees who have been granted additional privileges or authorities to company’s information. People who have an urge for power and control over other individuals exhibit the social engineering skills. Computer hacking is the modern form of social engineering and the most hi tech of all. The fundamental problem with online social networking services especially is that there are no criteria or authentication for evidence or proof of an individuals identity, which keeps at stake both our privacy and information.

Social engineering attacks are driven by financial needs where hackers try to obtain confidential information about the users to access accounts. Social engineering is the root cause to ideas behind phishing and pretexting where hackers gain confidence of people who are careless or blindly trust others helping them to take undue advantage.… Read the rest

Industrial Espionage

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) defines industrial espionage as “an individual or private business entity sponsorship or coordination of intelligence activity conducted for the purpose of enhancing their advantage in the marketplace.” While this definition may imply Industrial Espionage to be more or less the same as business or competitive intelligence, but there is an essential difference between the two – while business intelligence is generally under private sponsorship using an “open” methodology, espionage may be either government or privately sponsored and clandestine.

Industrial Espionage is the process of collecting information and data for the purpose of generating revenue. Generating revenue is very important aspect for these people. They are not thrill seeker, if the compensation does not justify the reward they will not bother attempting to collect the required information. Individuals who commit Industrial Espionage are not looking for information for information sake, but for information that will produce a big payday when acquired by a second party or when the information is viewed by unauthorized personnel the value of the information is no longer valuable. Money and power are motivators and the stakes in today’s billion dollar business environment the rewards far exceeds risks.

In the highly competitive and globalized business environment, proprietary intellectual property and economic information is considered the most valuable commodity by all nations, particularly the advanced ones. Businesses and/or governments involve in espionage activities for the purpose of unlawfully or clandestinely obtaining sensitive financial, trade or economic policy information, proprietary/sensitive economic information; or critical technologies including but not limited to data, plans, tools, mechanisms, compounds, designs, formulae, processes, procedures, programs, codes or commercial strategies, whether tangible or intangible, for competitive business advantage.… Read the rest

Ethics in Financial Reporting

Integrity is of utmost importance for a successful career in business and finance in the long run. Some believe that the world of finance lacks ethical considerations. Whereas the truth is that such issues are prevalent in all areas of business.

The business environment in much of the world is reeling from the revelation of several financial scandals in the past few years. The optimism of the turn of the century has been replaced by scepticism and distrust. It will be discussed as to how we landed ourselves in this situation, what is being done to correct it, and what the future holds for us. Though Enron has been used as the poster-child for this purpose, breakdowns in accounting and corporate governance in Enron as well as in other companies will be discussed.

Some companies that have encountered financial reporting problems will be discussed along with the role of auditors (including Andersen’s role in Enron), the regulatory environment, some of the causes of the problems, and the current and possible future outcomes.

Ethics and Accounting

Ethics (maintaining fair and true statements) is a key part of financial reporting. For shareholders to trust a company with money, they must feel confident in the company’s financial reporting. Financial reporting presents all data relating to the entity’s current, historical and projected health meaning investors and shareholders rely upon the financial data available for making informed and educated decisions. To help entities comply with business regulations and maintain financial reporting, shareholders can trust the existing organizations designed to monitor different aspects of the accounting world.… Read the rest

Case Study: The Collapse of Lehman Brothers

Lehman Brothers Inc operated at a wholesale level, dealing with governments, companies and other financial institutions. Its core business included buying and selling shares and fixed income assets, trading and research, investment banking, investment management and private equity.

In September 2008, Lehman Brothers filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company became insolvent with finances totalling $639 billion in assets and debt worth $619 billion; it became the largest bankruptcy in history. The company employed 25,000 employees worldwide including 5,000 and was the fourth largest US financial bank at the time of the bankruptcy. It also became the biggest victim of the subprime mortgage disaster that had put the global financial sector into meltdown.

History

In 1844 23 year old Henry Lehman the son of a cattle merchant immigrated to the United States from Rimpar, Bavaria. He set up home in Montgomery, Alabama where he opened a dry-goods shop. In 1847, following the arrival of his brother Emanuel Lehman, the firm became “H. Lehman and Bro.” With the arrival of their youngest brother, Mayer Lehman, in 1850, the firm changed its name again and “Lehman Brothers” was founded.

The brothers expanded their dry goods store into a cotton business after noticing the potential the highly valued cotton had, even accepting cotton as a payment for products within their shop. Cotton trading became a key part of their business and they eventually relocated to New York, there Lehman became a member of the Coffee Exchange and then on to the New York Stock Exchange in 1887.… Read the rest

Case Study on Business Ethics: Al Dunlap at Sunbeam

Early Days of Sunbeam

Sunbeam was formed in 1897 as the Chicago Flexible Shaft Company. The company originally manufactured and sold agricultural tools. By 1910 the company introduced the iron as its first electrical home appliance. Later other appliances such as mixers, toasters and coffeemakers were introduced. Sunbeam came to be known as a recognized designer, manufacturer and marketer of innovative consumer products aimed at improving lifestyle. In 1946, the company changed its name to Sunbeam Corporation. In 1960, Sunbeam acquired Oster which allowed Sunbeam to expand into other home products such as hair dryers and health and beauty appliances. The company later added electric blankets, mattresses, humidifiers, vaporizers and thermostats, among other innovations. Sunbeam soon became the leading manufacturer of electric appliances. The company survived the 1980’s as the US economy suffered, and many companies underwent acquisitions, restructuring, and closings. In 1981, Allegheny International acquired Sunbeam, and the company retained its name. In this acquisition, John Zink, manufacturer of air pollution-control devices and Hanson scale, manufacturer of bathroom scales, were added to the business. Unfortunately the undertow of the economy consumed the company as well, and Allegheny was forced into bankruptcy in 1988.

In 1990, Michael Price, manager of Mutual Shares, corporate turnaround executive Paul Kazarian, and hedge fund manager Michael Steinhardt purchased the bankrupt Sunbeam. Under their leadership, Sunbeam went public as Sunbeam-Oster in 1992. Despite these obstacles, the board at Sunbeam felt that a profitable future was ahead, and they just had to search for someone to lead them in the right direction.… Read the rest