Ethical Hacking

Hacktivism

Usually hactivists who have been caught were charged with unauthorised access to a computer system.

Online Civil Disobedience

While some courts such as those in Germany would treat online civil disobedience including DDoS attacks as within freedom of expression, others such as those in Australia treat such attacks as akin to cyber-terrorism.

Penetration/Intrusion Testing & Security Activism

The major source of legal liability in this area is based around criminal unauthorized access. In the case of penetration testing contracts, there will usually be a certain scope that would delineate what kind of actions would be considered authorized. Security activism, on the other hand, is mostly based on civil suits between the affected party and the security activists.

Counter-attack

This area of ethical hacking has a high risk of investigations and charges, but is largely subject to discretion.