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Hackers are often portrayed in a caricatured manner, surrounded by snacks and carbonated drinks, navigating the obscure depths of cyberspace . This representation, though entertaining, captures only a fraction of the real complexity of the hacking world. Beyond stereotypes, the field of hacking encompasses a diversity of actors and practices, among which ethical hackers stand out. In this article, we will explore the crucial role of ethical hackers in maintaining computer security and protecting sensitive data.

The Expansion of Cybercrime

Cyberspace is now accessible to a wide audience, especially with the advent of artificial intelligence. This increased accessibility, combined with the prospect of substantial financial gains, has led to a proliferation of cybercriminals. Ransomware attacks, in particular, have increased alarmingly, with a recent report indicating a 112% rise compared to the previous year. In France, the financial cost of cybercrime now exceeds 100 billion euros annually, with projections of alarming growth according to the latest projections from Statista’s Technology Market Insights.

This rapid expansion of cybercrime poses major challenges in delineating the boundary between legality and criminality. The results of the 2024 Barometer of the Club of Security and Digital Information Experts reveal that about one in two French companies was the victim of a cyberattack the previous year, with significant consequences. Faced with this growing threat, the use of ethical hackers becomes indispensable. Ethical hackers are called  “White-hat hackers”, they are distinguished by their commitment to using their computer security skills for beneficial purposes. Their work primarily involves identifying security vulnerabilities in computer systems, anticipating potential attacks, and strengthening the protection of sensitive data. Unlike malicious hackers, “white-hat hackers” operate according to a set of rigorous standards and practices. They typically obtain prior authorization from targeted companies, avoid causing actual damage to systems, and ensure the confidentiality of their security testing findings. In summary, their work aims to secure digital infrastructures and safeguard data against cyberattacks, thus contributing to enhancing cybersecurity in an increasingly complex and vulnerable environment.

In the recent case involving the LockBit group and the data leak at Simone-Veil Cannes Hospital, ethical hackers played a crucial role in exposing the incident. This disclosure was made possible through the intervention of an ethical hacker named Clément Domingo, also known by the pseudonym “Mr SaxX”, who regularly raises awareness about online threats. Domingo was instrumental in tracking down the cybercriminal group LockBit, despite previous international operations that disrupted their activities. This intervention underscores the growing importance of ethical hackers in identifying and neutralizing cyberthreats

The fight against cybercrime and the promotion of responsible technology use require a holistic approach. Awareness, education, and community engagement are essential for strengthening cybersecurity and protecting sensitive data. 

 

Sources: 

What is Ethical Hacking? | IBM. (n.d.). https://www.ibm.com/topics/ethical-hacking

Poitevin, V. (2024, January 22). Statistiques cyberattaques 2023 : les Chiffres-Clés à retenir. Stormshield. https://www.stormshield.com/fr/actus/cybersecurite-chiffres-cles-statistiques-

2023/

LockBit renaît de ses cendres” : après des mois d’absence, le retour du géant du cybercrime en France (radiofrance.fr)

https://fr.statista.com/infographie/31783/cout-annuel-cybercriminalite-cyberattaques-enfrance/

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