Dear aspiring hackers:
I write this open letter to all of you to help explain what is acceptable use of Null Byte. Just like any organization, we must have an acceptable use policy here at Null Byte.
Null Byte is designed and run to train hackers of the "white hack" variety. As you know, hacking is a legitimate profession for testing the security profile of networks and systems, often referred to as penetration testing. In addition, as I have cited throughout this site, hackers are being employed increasingly by national governments around the world for cyber war and cyber espionage purposes. These are also legal and legitimate uses of hacking.
The techniques employed by "black hat" and "white hack" hackers are often the same and so someone might be confused that we are training black hat hackers here to commit crimes. That is NOT true. We are here to train security professionals for testing their systems and prospective professional hackers in cyber war and cyber espionage. We do not condone the use of these techniques for illegal purposes.
The law in the U.S. is clear (www.wonderhowto.com is based in the U.S.). Teaching hacking techniques is protected as "Free Speech" as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution (First Amendment). Like all free speech rights, there are limitations to free speech. The classic example is falsely screaming "Fire!" in a crowded theater that would elicit a rampage or inciting riot. These are NOT protected free speech guaranteed by our first amendment.
Likewise, training hackers to commit crimes or conduct terrorist acts would not be protected free speech. I know this sounds like a fine line and it is. The law in this regard is focused upon "intent". If we knowingly are training people to commit crimes or acts of terrorism, we (any of us) could be prosecuted for a "aiding and abetting" the criminal activity.
We do NOT condone the use of these techniques and tools for the commission of crimes or acts of terrorism. As such, I will delete any submissions that I find that cross that line. Null Byte is a wonderful, dynamic and friendly environment to learn hacking and information security and if we want to keep it alive and well, we must not allow it to be used for illegal purposes. That would be the death knell of our beloved Null Byte.