What are the notions of ethical hacking in Islam? Are they allowed?
It is quite evident that Islam has a great influence on ones privacy and encourages to respect it.
O you who have believed, avoid much [negative] assumption. Indeed, some assumption is sin. And do not spy or backbite each other. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his brother when dead? You would detest it. And fear Allah ; indeed, Allah is Accepting of repentance and Merciful.
Also it is a sin to intrude and spy without their knowledge.
So is it really permissible if ethical hacking is done for good intentions (as it is suggested from its name)? Or does the user need to know that he is being 'under a test' etc? If so, what are the things we need to be careful of to be on the safe side?
Please note that ethical hacking does not always include compromising a users privacy. Some argue that it is also related to "Social engineering" which includes "tricking" the user under deliberate means maybe for testing security patterns or whatsoever. (I don't know if I'm being overly imaginative here, lol).
Recently, facebook is offering bounty for finding security vulnerabilities and this may require people to use methods of ethical hacking to find exploits and such exploits, I believe, has a huge potential of having other users private data to be exposed. Can we participate in such things or should we give utmost importance to the privacy of the users?
Also, I am quite aware that it is halaal if a company employs this method to find its own flaws (aka Penetration testing etc)