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CS 0478 Topic 1.

What is Ethics?
Ethics is a set of moral principles that govern the behavior of a group or individual. Therefore, computer ethics is set of moral
principles that regulate the use of computers.
Some common issues of computer ethics include
• Intellectual property rights (such as copyrighted electronic content)
• Privacy concerns,
• How computers affect society.
For example, while it is easy to duplicate copyrighted electronic (or digital) content, computer ethics would suggest that it is wrong to do
so without the author's approval. And while it may be possible to access someone's personal information on a computer system,
computer ethics would advise that such an action is unethical.
Ethical behavior is not necessarily related to the law.
• For example, just because something is not against the law doesn't mean it is okay to do it.

Philosophers today usually divide ethical theories into three general subject areas:
• Met ethics:-
• Met ethics investigates where our ethical principles come from, and what they mean. Are they merely social
• Normative ethics:-
• Normative ethics takes on a more practical task, which is to arrive at moral standards that regulate right and wrong
• Applied ethics:-
• Finally, applied ethics involves examining specific controversial issues, such as abortion, infanticide, animal rights,
environmental concerns, etc.
(you do not have to memorise this…this is just for information)

Computer Ethics and Society:-

There are a number of laws enacted to protect society from illegal behavior unfortunately, computer systems also raise ethical issues and
yet they are not all part of the law. For example,
“Imagine a company that has employed a number of workers for years on their assembly line. Then a new computerised robot system becomes available
that will do the work of half of them. The new system will work 24 hours a day, without a break, without sick leave, absences or overtime. From a
business point of view it makes sense to install the new system. But ethically the company also has an obligation to the displaced workers. Of course,
there are employment laws to protect worker rights, but some companies may choose to go beyond those from an ethical point of view.”
Other ethical issues include:-
• Computing and privacy:- “who keeps what, when, for how long ?”
• Responsibility of computer professionals “being honourable engineers.”
• Computing and disability “need to include as many people as possible.”
• Computing and political freedom “ethics can raise some very tough questions”

Computer ethics is concerned with the procedures, values and practices that govern the process of consuming computing technology and
its respective disciplines without harming or violating the moral values and beliefs of any personal, organization or entity.

“Computer ethics can be understood as that branch of applied ethics which studies and analyzes social and ethical impact of
information technology.”

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The Ten Commandments of Computer Ethics:-

The Ten Commandments of Computer Ethics were created in 1992 by the Computer Ethics Institute. The commandments were
introduced in the paper "In Pursuit of a 'Ten Commandments' for Computer Ethics" by Ramon C. Barquin as a means to create "a set of
standards to guide and instruct people in the ethical use of computers.“ They follow Internet Advisory Board's memo on ethics from
1987. The Ten Commandments of Computer Ethics copies the archaic style of the Ten Commandments from the King James Bible.
(You do not have to memorise this…this is just for information)

The Ten Commandments:-

1. Thou shalt not use a computer to harm other people.
2. Thou shalt not interfere with other people's computer work.
3. Thou shalt not snoop around in other people's computer files.
4. Thou shalt not use a computer to steal.
5. Thou shalt not use a computer to bear false witness.
6. Thou shalt not copy or use proprietary software for which you have not paid (without permission).
7. Thou shalt not use other people's computer resources without authorization or proper compensation.
8. Thou shalt not appropriate other people's intellectual output.
9. Thou shalt think about the social consequences of the program you are writing or the system you are designing.
10. Thou shalt always use a computer in ways that ensure consideration and respect for your fellow humans.

Computer Ethics in an Engineering Perspective:-

Professional organisations such as the IEEE and the ACM recognise that engineers have an obligation to act in an ethical manner when
designing or developing computer systems. They have put together a set of 8 principles as a guide:-
Software engineers shall act consistently with the public interest.
Software engineers shall act in a manner that is in the best interests of their client and employer, consistent with the public
Software engineers shall ensure that their products and related modifications meet the highest professional standards possible.
Software engineers shall maintain integrity and independence in their professional judgment.
Software engineering managers and leaders shall subscribe to and promote an ethical approach to the management of software
development and maintenance.
Software engineers shall advance the integrity and reputation of the profession consistent with the public interest.
Software engineers shall be fair to and supportive of their colleagues.
Software engineers shall participate in lifelong learning regarding the practice of their profession and shall promote an ethical
approach to the practice of the profession.
Software Copyrights:-
Software copyright is used by proprietary software companies to prevent the unauthorized copying of their software. Free and open
source licenses also rely on copyright law to enforce their terms.
Copyright VS Copyleft:-
Copyleft is a form of licensing and can be used to maintain copyright conditions for works such as computer software, documents, and
art. In general, copyright law is used by an author to prohibit others from reproducing, adapting, or distributing copies of the author’s
work. In contrast, under copyleft, an author may give every person who receives a copy of a work permission to reproduce, adapt or
distribute it and require that any resulting copies or adaptations are also bound by the same licensing agreement. Copyleft licenses (for
software) require that information necessary for reproducing and modifying the work must be made available to recipients of the
executable. The source code files will usually contain a copy of the license terms and acknowledge the author(s).
Plagiarism is passing off somebody else's work as your own. If someone is caught plagiarising, they automatically fail the course. Authors
don't mind being quoted, as long as their name is mentioned whenever they are quoted. The author should also be included in the
bibliography. Whenever you use words straight from a text, you should put quotation marks around them, and give a reference to show
where the text came from. If you don't include references for original text, you'll be guilty of plagiarism.

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Copyright Plagiarism
One who violets copyright breaks laws that protect the right of One who plagiarizes breaks a moral code by claiming credit for
the creator of an original work. the work of someone else.

Violation of copyright law may results in fines, imprisonment or Plagiarism may result in academic dismissal or loss of job.
Freeware, Shareware and Free Software (Open Source):-

Open Source Software (Advantages):-

Cheaper than commercially According to studies, open source software collectively help business owners save around $60
marketed products. billion a year. This might seem unbelievable at first, but it’s not really surprising since these
programs are developed to be accessible to anyone (especially those who can’t afford to buy
commercial products).
Created by skillful and Large and well-established software companies have the financial capability to hire the best talent
talented people in the business to create their products. Because of this, many people opt to buy computer
programs from these firms because they think they’ll get great value for their money by doing so.
Highly reliable There are two main reasons why open source software are reliable. First of all, they’re developed
chiefly by skillful and talented experts who do their best to create high-quality programs. Second,
they’re worked on by tens or hundreds of people, which means there are numerous eyes that can
monitor for the presence of bugs and many pairs of hands that can fix these defects within the
shortest amount of time.
Help you become more Since you’re not tied to a proprietary product, you don’t need to abide by a specific design that
flexible. might require you to upgrade your software and even hardware often. Rather, you can mix and
match your software and create a unique setup that best suits your needs
Open Source Software (Disadvantages):-
Vulnerable to malicious Many people have access to the source code of open source software, but not all of them have
users. good intentions. While a lot of people utilize their access to spot defects and make
improvements to the program, others use this privilege to exploit the product’s vulnerabilities
and create bugs that can infect hardware, steal identities or just annoy other users.
Might not be as user-friendly This is not true for all open source software since many of them (such as LibreOffice, Mozilla
as commercial versions. Firefox and the Android operating system) are incredibly easy to use. However, there are several
programs which are created mainly to cater to the developer’s wishes and bring his ideas to life.
As a result, not much attention is given to the software’s user interface, making it difficult to use
especially for those who aren’t really tech-savvy.
Don’t come with extensive Those who favor commercially produced programs say that these software gives them peace of
support. mind. After all, since they know exactly who designed, created and distributed the product, they
have a clear idea of who they can hold liable if the program doesn’t function properly or causes
damage to their hardware. This isn’t exactly the case for open source software. Since it’s
developed by numerous people, users exactly don’t have a specific person or company they can
point a finger to.

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• We Will be discussing:-
• Hacking
• Cracking The following diagrams are
• Viruses
organised in this way
• Phishing
• Pharming
• Wardriving
• Spyware


Types of Hackers:-
White Hat Hackers Grey Hat Hackers Black Hat Hackers
People who Specialise hacking to Exploit the systems security to gain People who break into networks and
check the system faults. the attention of the owners. harm to the network and property.
They are the good guys. Also known
as ethical hackers.

Hacking Vs Cracking:-
Note the difference between CRACKING and HACKING. Hacking is breaking into a computer system to steal personal data without
the owner’s consent or knowledge (e.g. to steal a password file). Cracking is where someone edits a program source code (i.e. looks for a
‘back door’ in the software so that the code can be exploited or changed for a specific purpose). This is usually done for a malicious
purpose (e.g. legitimate software could be altered by a cracker to perform a different task e.g. send a user to a specific website).
Essentially, hacking isn’t necessarily harmful whilst cracking is ALWAYS totally illegal and is potentially very damaging.

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• A computer virus is a program that attaches itself to an application or "host file" and then spreads by making copies of it. Some
type of human action (e.g. opening an attachment) is always required for a virus to take effect. Once a virus gets onto your
computer it might modify, delete, or steal your files, make your system crash, or take over your machine.
• A computer worm is like a virus, but it infects other computers all by itself, without human action and without a host file. It
usually infects other computers by sending emails to all the names in your email address book.
• A Trojan horse is a program that tricks you into running it by appearing useful or harmless. However, once it is run, it damages
your computer, usually by providing "back door" access to the computer. This allows hackers to control or use your computer,
destroy or steal files, install viruses or spyware, or run arbitrary programs.
• A root kit is a program that allows an intruder to gain access to your system without your knowledge by hiding what it is doing
on the system. The intruder can then install difficult-to-detect back doors into your system to seize control.

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Best Practices:-

 Only perform file transfers from trusted sources:

This reduces your risk of downloading files infected with malware and introduces accountability, so that you have a better
chance of getting a response if you do have a problem.

 Scan all files that you receive through file transfer:

It is a good idea to scan the files that you receive from P2P networks with your anti-virus software to detect malware. This may
slow down the transfer, but it will help keep your computer safe.

 Check a corporate wireless network's security level before connecting:

Many corporate networks allow users to connect their wireless devices to the network. However, not all of these networks are
secured. In fact, it is quite easy for a user to connect his/her wireless device to a corporate network without getting permission
first. When this happens, the user may intentionally or unintentionally transfer viruses onto the company network, putting
everybody on the network at risk. You should make sure your corporate network is secure before connecting your own device. If
users can connect to your company’s network without getting permission or a password, it’s probably not a good idea to
connect to that network at all.
 Make sure the public network you connect to is secure:
Many public networks are not secure and do not even require you to identify yourself with a password. Not only do you run the
risk of being infected by malware from other users on such a network, you may unintentionally transmit malware to them as
well. Make sure you only connect to secured networks that ask users for a password.

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