From underground hacking to ethical hacking

Donna Peacock

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

47 Downloads (Pure)


This Thesis explores the nature and practice of ‘Ethical Hacking’. Ethical Hackers are individuals who use hacking skills, knowledge and techniques within legitimate authorised practice; they are employed to Hack. A Critical Realist methodological approach is employed in order to gain a qualitative understanding of a real phenomenon through a range of key informants who provide personal narratives within semi-structured interviews, commenting upon their own realities, and their perceptions of the field in which they work. A Bounded Rational Model of decision making reveals that decisions relating to involvement in criminality and individual Hacking events are made through a process of reasoning, of approximating the net gains and losses of a particular course of action, and that these decisions are ‘bounded’ by social norms, ethical approaches and the personal motivations and social circumstances within which the decisions and behaviour are framed.
Original languageEnglish
  • Rowe, Michael, Supervisor
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 1 Sep 2013
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'From underground hacking to ethical hacking'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this