How is Ethical Hacking (Certified Ethical Hackers) defined by U.S. law?

Is there any law which protects an Ethical Hacker for helping to find out bugs and security loopholes in online/digital services being used by a corporation/government agency?

What is the stand of other countries on this matter?

  • 3
    I have always wondered about this too..
    – Luca Steeb
    Jun 1, 2015 at 11:48
  • Try to limit the scope to the United States. So I'd remove the line "What is the stand of other countries on this matter?". Jun 1, 2015 at 12:40
  • I live in India, and major software corporations are from US, so I'd like to know whatever I could about these two countries for sure. Info about other countries would be welcome as well Jun 1, 2015 at 12:42

1 Answer 1


In regards to U.S. Law to be employed by the government. You would need to be certified to DoDD8570 specs. Here is a baseline to understand what certifications are required depending on the role you are looking to be gainfully employed. These mostly require being GIAC certified among some of the other certifications.

In regards to becoming a "Certified Ethical Hacker", you would need to pass the CEH test by the ECCouncil.

As for laws protecting "Ethical Hackers", there really isn't any. The law which applies is mostly for prosecuting criminal acts. Not really for the protection of the security consultant. This law is called Computer Fraud and Abuse Act in the U.S. and in the U.K. the Computer Misuse Act 1990.

  • Please also state in what conditions would "Certified Ethical Hacker" be revoked?
    – Pacerier
    Jun 2, 2015 at 10:15
  • During the mandatory class for CEH they cover how to protect yourself when engaging in offensive security. The training advised to have a carefully worded waiver signed by the client before any action is taken.
    – Colyn1337
    Aug 26, 2015 at 20:02
  • CEH is not the only cert, and it is a rather terrible one at that. There are better examples.
    – forest
    Mar 22, 2022 at 23:11

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