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
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
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.