Ethical or Unethical, Hacking or Cracking – That all depends upon the respective license of softwares.
If the software is open-source, and someone made modifications to it, we may call it as ‘hacking’.
If the software is closed source aka proprietary, then modifying or reverse engineering that software can be referred to as ‘cracking’.
In short, it all depends upon the licenses of the software programs.
If the license permits something, it’s ethical. If the license does not permit something, it’s unethical to act otherwise.
Pentesting is of the same principle too. Pentesters have some form of ‘right’ to act on something ‘unethical’ that may ‘ethical’ just for them only. If others which don’t have rights granted as ‘pentesters’ did the same ‘unethical’ thing, it’ll remain as ‘unethical’ only.
It’s all about access rights.
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