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Professional Ethics Perspective

Discuss about the Professional Ethics and Personal Values.

In March 2018, the city of Atlanta had received a major blow from the malicious hackers when the entire city had been hit by a ransomware attack. The malevolent hackers had kept the intricate data on hostage via an IT network contagion. The consequence of this ransomware attack had been such that the entire city is still suffering its repercussions even after several months have passed ("Consequences of ransomware heat up in Atlanta -- GCN", 2018). This created a major problem since the data for hostage needed a huge sum of money to be retrieved. It had been a critical decision for the authorities to pay or not to pay the ransom. This incident will be analyzed for further questionable ethical issues that this ransomware attack had as per the ICT solutions. The analysis would be presented as follows with some major perspectives of applied ethics. This report would consist of the professional ethics perspective, philosophical ethics perspective and the sociological or descriptive ethics perspective management.

Professional ethics is defined by the standards maintained by the corporate behavioral professionals and it is expected that every person working under the corporate radar would follow the same corporate standards throughout the timeline of their service (Riglietti, 2017). Ethically speaking, the professional aspect of a person’s behavior should be just to his or her profession. This means that the professional should execute no such behavior by their actions that would jeopardize their occupation, organization or the people associated with it.

Every professional goes through several trainings before getting into their respective professions. This makes any professional understand the fact that the behavioral performance of an individual should be just and rightful towards his or her profession. He or she should be ready to take any measure that would work as a benefit towards the respective profession. In addition, protecting the individual profession is also an implication of a professional (Goldman, 2018). The attitude that a professional has towards his or her profession should always be positive and any sort of activity that causes harm to the profession, the respective organization or the people associated with it should be barred from according to the perspective of professional ethics.

In this case, where the attackers had intruded into the authorized computers handling the entire activities of the whole city, it breaks all the related ethical implications that Professional Ethics imposes. The transferring of the ransomware is itself is the most important ethical implication which have been otherwise barred from developing for malicious attackers who breach out data without proper authorization (Darwall, 2018). Every personal and intricate data should have the sole ownership of the authorized user and by the professional ethics; no one else should be able to access them. In this way, a proper balance is maintained between a user and all the substrates that the data has been working for. Nevertheless, all the professional codes of ethics are being defied in this case where a ransomware attack is victimizing the people associated with the profession. A hacker is first and foremost, a developer (Zimba & Mulenga, 2018). Any developer should have an approach of creating software that would work for the benefit to his or profession or the organization associated with it. The ransomware developers create the software only to harm others and extort financial ransom in exchange of the data under hostage. This defies the laws of professional ethics.

Philosophical Ethics Perspective

On the other hand, any organization or an authority, handling an enormous amount of data should be careful enough to protect the intricate and confidential data it holds. The failure of applying proper measures to protect the data from being hacked is another implication that disregards the professional ethics

Philosophical Ethics is such a delicate perspective of human conduct that makes the professionals question their activities for being justified or unjust according to the human morals. Being morally correct is absolutely essential when it comes to a professional conduct. Every individual is expected to be true to their moral laws while performing their respective tasks (Upadhyaya & Jain, 2016). However, a philosophical ethics perspective is not limited to a professional and their profession. This entails the idea that any proffesional should be morally true when it comes to their profession as well their life. If a profession of a person bars him or her to be morally justified towards the rest of his or her life, then this implication is also not justified according to the philosophical ethics (Shinde et al., 2016). However, this does not justify the fact that if a person cannot justify the morality towards his or her professional life or personal life, he or she can defy the philosophical ethics towards any one of them.

Now speaking of the philosophical ethics perspective of the incident that had occurred in the city of Atlanta regarding the ransomware attacks, there are two perspectives to this case (Basu, 2017). One is the perspective of the malevolent attackers who caused the ruckus and another is the perspective of the authorized personnel who were in charge of safeguarding the off the record data of the city along with the connecting devices, which are responsible to control the entire system. Both these perspectives would be evaluated by the philosophical ethics.

Ethical choices are regarded to be one of the toughest choices that a person makes in his or her professional life cycle. The experiences that a person goes through in their everyday life makes them decide between moral rights and wrongs (Turban et al., 2017). However, the conscience of right or wrong depends upon the perspective of an individual; it may vary from one person to another. Causing harm, on the other hand can never be considered as justified from any point of view. Therefore, the ransomware attacks that the malicious developers have brought about in the city of Atlanta, barging into the whole network system of the city is philosophically unwarranted. The attackers have also demanded that only by paying a ransom of 6,800 USD per computer or a total sum of 51,000 USD in bitcoins every computer in the city would be unlocked ("Consequences of ransomware heat up in Atlanta -- GCN", 2018). This is totally unwarranted as per the philosophical implications as this would not only harm the city of Atlanta out of their own private data, but also cause a huge economic blow towards Atlantic City.

Sociological Ethics Perspective

The ethical perspective of a professional phenomenon can be described with four aspects of sociological perspective, namely, normative ethics, meta-ethics, applied ethics and descriptive ethics. The ethical ways which any professional maintains an ethical balance is called normative approach; on the other hand, meta-ethics describes the actual ethical theories related to the ethical implications behind a actions and behavior of an individual (Crane & Matten, 2016). The gap between these two cumulative aspects of the ethical behavior of an individual towards a professional is bridged by the Sociological perspective of ethical laws. This is to be noted that the descriptive ethics perspective is first and foremost an empirical research on the attitudes of different people or different groups, investigating the ethical implications of them towards their professions.

In this case, the malicious developer had decided to develop such malevolent software that would have the ability to barge into any unauthorized computer and take the data hostage. The developer targeted the city of Atlanta and the major computers and devices that took control of the confidential data for the entire city. It was also the decision of this group to develop and transfer the deviant variant of the software SamSam attacking over the vulnerable networks first ("Consequences of ransomware heat up in Atlanta -- GCN", 2018). They have also considered the implications it would bring to the network users of the city and the important works that may be hampered due to this, but they still continued with their malicious works. This clearly showcased the fact that the hackers lacked in morals and knowing the fact that they are defying the ethical laws, carried on with asking for ransom from the authorities.

On the other hand, the Atlanta city authorities had agreed to pay the ransom, but besides that, also asked the municipal authorities to shut their system off and the residential systems had been suspended. This was only to ensure that the virus attacks do not harm the city systems any more. Knowing the fact that this would create inconvenience in the propagation of the works related to the city for an uncertain amount of time, this was only a measure to keep off the attacks from hacking any data left in the computers (Baer & Nagy, 2017). For the sake of the country’s confidential data, this collateral damage was justified to acknowledge. Although, the authorities paid the amount of money to the hackers and are still recovering from the effects of the attacks, the city infrastructure was in a complete shutdown for six long weeks and still some of the areas are completely devastated or running offline (Brady, 2017). From the perspective of descriptive ethics, the decisions made by the Atlanta city authorities have been justified as morally correct for handling out a lot of ransom to save the confidential data of the city from being misused.

References

Baer, R., & Nagy, L. M. (2017). Professional Ethics and Personal Values in Mindfulness-Based Programs: A Secular Psychological Perspective. In Practitioner's Guide to Ethics and Mindfulness-Based Interventions (pp. 87-111). Springer, Cham.

Basu, S. (2017). The fight within encryption. Cyber Security: A Peer-Reviewed Journal, 1(1), 44-47.

Brady, D. (2017). Aspects of professional ethics in the real world. Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, 15(4), 362-365.

Consequences of ransomware heat up in Atlanta -- GCN. (2018). Retrieved from https://gcn.com/articles/2018/07/03/continuous-data-protection.aspx

Crane, A., & Matten, D. (2016). Business ethics: Managing corporate citizenship and sustainability in the age of globalization. Oxford University Press.

Darwall, S. (2018). Philosophical Ethics: An Historical and Contemporary Introduction. Routledge.

Goldman, J. (2018). The Ethics of Research in Intelligence Studies: Scholarship in an Emerging Discipline. International Journal of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence, 31(2), 342-356.

Riglietti, G. (2017). Cyber security talks: A content analysis of online discussions on ransomware. Cyber Security: A Peer-Reviewed Journal, 1(2), 156-164.

Shinde, R., Van der Veeken, P., Van Schooten, S., & van den Berg, J. (2016, December). Ransomware: Studying transfer and mitigation. In Computing, Analytics and Security Trends (CAST), International Conference on (pp. 90-95). IEEE.

Turban, E., Outland, J., King, D., Lee, J. K., Liang, T. P., & Turban, D. C. (2017). Electronic commerce 2018: a managerial and social networks perspective. Springer.

Upadhyaya, R., & Jain, A. (2016, April). Cyber ethics and cyber crime: A deep dwelved study into legality, ransomware, underground web and bitcoin wallet. In Computing, Communication and Automation (ICCCA), 2016 International Conference on (pp. 143-148). IEEE.

Zimba, A., & Mulenga, M. (2018). A DIVE INTO THE DEEP: DEMYSTIFYING WANNACRY CRYPTO RANSOMWARE NETWORK ATTACKS VIA DIGITAL FORENSICS. International Journal on Information Technologies & Security, 4(2).

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