By Iddi Yire, GNA
Accra, Sept 14, GNA - Young Ghanaian information technology security experts have been enlightened on the use of ethical hacking for national development at a week-long workshop in Accra.
An ethical hacker, also referred to as a white hat hacker, is an information security expert, who systematically attempts to penetrate a computer system, network, application or other computing resource on behalf of its owners -- and with their permission - to find security vulnerabilities that a malicious hacker could potentially exploit.
The purpose of ethical hacking is to evaluate the security of and identify vulnerabilities in systems, networks or system infrastructure.
It includes finding and attempting to exploit any vulnerabilities to determine whether unauthorized access or other malicious activities are possible.
The workshop was organised by the Africa open data and Internet Research Foundation, in partnership with the International Aid Transparency Institution and the United Nations Development Programme.
The ethical hackers were put into teams, and were judged based on originality, innovation, and how user-friendly their output was.
The second round saw them pitch themselves against each-other to compete for the number one spot.
It was climaxed with “hackaton” where the young white hackers competed in building applications that used open data available on government’s open data portal, for various sectors.
Mr Eric Akumiah, the Director E-Transform, Ministry of Communication, said the motive of the event was to bring together a collection of skilled hackers to build applications, using open data that would be useful to the public.
“The hackatons are usually competitive in the sense that we want people to think outside the box which makes them more innovative”, he said.
Speaking on the “Quality and Adequacy of Open Data in the country”, Mr Akumiah said there was open data available at the national portal, which the Ministry of Communication was trying to improve under a World Bank e-transform initiative.
He said the initiative was going to improve open data under four components, thus, to make sure the portal had been upgraded to a world class portal so that every agency could put data there for public use, and to have an open data policy to dictate how people collect data and make it open.