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As a hobby, I find security holes ranging from XSS to SQLi to LFI etc in random websites I find. (I don't exploit them). I've decided to to do a little more; I want to create a volunteer group composed of hackers who will find holes and report them to the website.

I'm finding two "issues":

  • Although I don't exploit the holes, could I get in legal trouble for reporting the hole to the website?
  • Where could I find fellow non-malicious hackers?

The group would be entirely volunteer based and would be completely non-malicious.We would not take on clients or do tests on request. Sites would be entirely random; no specific sites would be targeted and the test would be conducted without the site's consent or knowledge. If a hole is found, the site is notified. If not, we would move on.

Should I be concerned about anything else?

I apologize if this is the wrong site to ask, but I have no idea where to go...

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  • I'm not a lawyer or a professional in the security field, but I imagine that that's a very bad idea. Don't forget that legal problems don't only carry the chance of punishment. Even a lawsuit in which your found non-liable can be expensive. Also, I don't think you could find 'hackers' you trust enough. A single bad act could bring rather bad attention to the entire group.
    – Corbin
    Apr 7, 2012 at 5:05
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    Simple, don't notify them, you could be breaking the law.
    – rook
    Apr 7, 2012 at 7:35
  • Send an email to the webmaster from an anonymous email address, on a computer that you do not generally use. Make sure that the email provider does not log IP addresses
    – alexyorke
    Feb 6, 2013 at 21:16

1 Answer 1

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You could read the latest IT Security's blog post which talks about a similar topic. It's a interesting read and you might find some answers, even if your scenario and the one they are analyzing are a bit different.

The point is, there are many possible consequences to bear in mind when hacking a website that requests to be hacked, if you want to hack a website that doesn't request to be hacked and then notify them, you should probably be even more careful.

Of course, I am no lawyer, so for any more specific questions I suggest you to talk to one.

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    Yeah, I also figured I should talk to a laywer, but I can't afford one... Any free/volunteer lawyers?
    – citruspi
    Apr 7, 2012 at 13:21
  • @MihirSingh a fast Google query return this link, maybe you could find it useful: freeadvice.com Apr 7, 2012 at 16:55
  • submitted a question... thanks. crossing my fingers now :)
    – citruspi
    Apr 7, 2012 at 17:15
  • @MihirSingh you're welcome :) Apr 7, 2012 at 17:16
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    @MihirSingh oh I forgot, accepting means clicking on the checkmark below the arrows on the left of the answer. I'm telling you this because I see that many users miss that. Apr 8, 2012 at 8:39

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