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Ethical hacking is term that describes a range of activites undertaken to evaluate the security of an information system by attempting to gain surreptitious access to that system using the same techniques and resources that a criminal hacker might employ.

Can you hack my spouse’s Gmail account?

Yes, we probably can, but we won’t. Why? Because that would be a crime, and we are not criminals. Ethical hacking differs from criminal hacking in two respects:

Ethical HackingCriminal Hacking
Role The ethical hacker acts in support of the information security efforts of the target system. The criminal hacker acts to circumvent or subvert the information security efforts of the target system.
Beneficiary The beneficiaries of an ethical hack are first, the client, and second, the community, who can develop more effective security systems from lessons learned. The beneficiaries of a criminal hack are first, the financial gain and perhaps fame of the hacker, and all else is second.
Motivation Although an ethical hacker is paid a fee for services rendered, the financial reward is seldom the ethical hacker’s primary motivation. In general they’re motivated by the challenge and a desire to discover new vulnerabilities and exploits that can be fixed to the benefit of everyone. A criminal hacker is almost always financially motivated. In other words, their hope is that the target system will contain data of value which can be resold or used to generate revenue (for example, personal identification data, credit card and bank details, source code, trade secrets or other valuable data)
Intention The ethical hacker intends to test the security of a system. When a vulnerability is discovered an ethical hacker will notify the client and await further instructions before attempting to exploit that vulnerability or putting the client’s system at greater risk.A criminal hacker has no regard for the impact that their activities might have on the target system. Their intention is to gain unauthorized access by any means possible – even if their actions could cause system failure or data destruction.
Authority An ethical hacker gains authorized access to a target system. The owner or their authorized representative will give the ethical hacker permission to conduct a penetration test. Strict guidelines (rules of engagement) are usually stipulated so that the target system and its data is never damaged or placed at risk of compromise. A criminal hacker gains unauthorized access to the target system, and in so doing are engaged in criminal activity. They are not confined or limited by the wishes of the target system’s owners and have no regard for the financial and other losses that the target client may suffer.
Assignment His or her assignment is to probe a target network in the same manner a criminal hacker would so that any vulnerabilities in the target systems can be addressed. He or she intends to gain unauthorized access to systems and data for any number of malicious, criminal or destructive purposes.
Methodology There is little or no difference in the methodologies, tools and techniques used by ethical hackers and criminal hackers. There would be significant differences in how certain tools were used or how techniques and methodologies were applied – with the ethical hacker constantly aware of the risk that their actions might pose to the target system’s integrity or availability, and a criminal hacker constantly aware of the risk of their actions being exposed and their access terminated before they’ve completed their mission.
Secrecy An ethical hacker will sign a non-disclosure agreement which prohibits him or her from disclosing any information related to client, the target system, the assignment or the outcome. A criminal hacker is not bound by any non-disclosure agreement, and will often publish details of the hack online (including dumping stolen data in the public domain).
The owner of the target system or network has What makes ethical hacking legal is not that legal techniques and tactics are employed. An ethical hacker will attack the target information system with the same toolset a criminal would. It is legal because it has been authorized. Ethical hacking is only done at the request of the owner of the information system in question (or by an authorized representative of the owner) and it is conducted in terms of a contractual agreement that sets out the scope, boundaries, limitations and other specifics of the assignment. The other difference between ethical and criminal hacking relates to the hacker’s intentions. In the case of ethical hacking, the objective is to improve security by identifying vulnerabilities and exploiting the systems susceptability to specific attack vectors. An ethical hacker will take extraordinary precautions to ensure that any system breaches do not leave the target system vulnerable to attack by criminal hackers, that confidential data is protected from accidental or unauthorized disclosure, and that the hacking assignment is undertaken with the minimal disruption or damage to the target infrastructure as possible.

tracing people

Tracing people generally involves establishing the current, verified whereabouts, place of residence and/or employment of persons. We specialize in finding people who are missing, running away or hiding (whether from the law or from creditor) and others that do not wish to be found.

  • Missing Persons
  • Runaways
  • Debtors
  • Defaulters
  • Absconders
  • Bilkers
  • Witnesses
  • Wanted Persons
  • Persons of Interest
  • Fugitives
  • Heirs
  • Successors
  • Beneficiaries
  • Childhood Friends
  • Old Flames
  • Adoptive Parents
  • Biological Parents
  • Siblings

Tracing people, whether they’re missing, hiding or their location is simply not known, is what gets Intertel’s tracers out of bed in the morning, and finding missing people – especially kids – is what keeps us going for days at a time

Jessica Lambert, Tracing Agent, Intertel Durban

About our tracing capability

How we handle tracing

Intertel specializes in locating elusive individuals. We’re proud of the fact that we’re often able to trace people that other investigation companies and tracing agents have failed to locate. We’re not saying that we’re necessarily better at tracing that anyone else – we believe that it is our unique approach to tracing that is what sets us apart. Most tracers operate on a ‘no-success, no-charge’ basis. We don’t. In fact we find the idea of ‘no-trace, no-charge’ to be inherently unfair and certainly not in the best interests of anyone who really needs a person traced.

You see, when taking on a case where an unsuccessful outcome means no pay at all, the natural thing to do is as little as possible. The first objective of a tracer in such a situation will be to determine as quickly as possible (and with the minimum expense) whether or not the case is solvable. and as cheaply as possible. we can devote more people, resources and effort to each trace, and that we can afford to go the distance when tracing people who do not wish to be found. Central to this is that we don’t operate on a ‘no-success, no-charge’ basis. We may accept a contingency-based fee structure where appropriate (this is where a successful outcome would mean a larger fee than normal, while an unsuccessful outcome would result in a reduced fee. The degree to which the unsuccessful fee is reduced is proportional to the increase of a successful trace fee). but we do take a different approach to tracing than is the norm, and that approach allows us to invest more time, money, human and other resources in each trace – thereby increasing our success rate well beyond a regular tracing agency.

Tracing agencies generally charge a modest fee per successful trace and operate on a no-trace, no-charge basis.   They are incentivized to cherry pick the easy cases, and to invest as little time and energy as possible into each matter so as to keep running costs at the bare minimum.   We are not a tracing agency and that is not how we do business.

We approach every matter with the intention of solving it, and since every case is unique, we cannot offer a one-size-fits-all price for tracing.  Each matter is assessed and a budget is agreed upon before we begin.

You will be billed in a transparent manner and our fee will be a fair reflection of our cost in terms of money, time, energy, resources and expertise. In other words, our profit will be earned.

What we need from you

Before we begin a tracing assignment, we need to make certain that the person we intend to locate is the same person that you are looking for, and not someone else by the same name or general description.   We therefore require a sufficient amount of personal information about the person being sought to make a positive identification.  Although we’ve worked with less and been successful, we cannot guarantee success unless we’re provided with at least one of the options below.

The person’s correct South African Identity Number
South African Passport Number
Foreign Passport Number, Country of Issue and Full Names
Full Names and Date of Birth
Full Names, Partial Date of Birth and Approximate Age
Full Names, Approximate Age and Last Known Address or Telephone Number
Surname, Initials and Date of Birth Xicons_miniature_SVG
Surname, Initials and Partial Date of Birth and Approximate Age Xicons_miniature_SVG
Surname, Approximate Age and Last Known Address or Telephone Number Xicons_miniature_SVG
Surname and Partial Names Only
Name and Maiden Name Only
Surname and Initials Only
Only a Last Known Address
Only a Last Known Telephone Number
Anything less than above

Choosing a trace priority

We receive a large number of tracing requests each week, and in order to prioritize our tracing workload and meet our commitments to each client, you will be asked to select an appropriate priority level for the trace request you submit.  With an increase in priority there is a obvious increase in price.  This is to ensure that only truly urgent matters are ever placed before other matters.

Below is an explanation of our priority levels, how they are attended to in relation to one another and what the average completion time frames of each are:



Price: R250
Completion: 2-4 Weeks

These tracing assignments are dealt with on a first-come-first-served basis and Routine traces will be completed or closed in the same order in which they were received unless they’re put on hold.



Price: R500
Completion: 1-2 Weeks

Priority traces are attended to before any Routine trace — however — a Priority trace will only be attended to once the previously received Priority trace has been completed, closed or put on hold.



Price: R750 – R1500
Completion: 1-5 Days

Urgent traces are attended to before any Priority trace — but — Urgent traces will only be attended to once the previously received Urgent trace has been completed, closed or put on hold.



Price: R2500 Retainer
Completion: ASAP

Emergency traces will put all other work on hold. Every person, resource and capability at our disposal will be made available to assist in the tracing assignment.

Where can we trace people?

We have successfully traced people in 81 countries, on all continents except Antarctica. That said, the ground-work in most of those international traces was undertaken on our behalf by local tracers. Because we’d be relying on 3rd party tracers, subject to availability, we can’t guarantee that we will always be able to trace people in these countries. You’re obviously welcome to enquire if you have need of an international trace, and we’ll make contact with our associates in that country to confirm pricing and completion timeframe.    In some parts of the world we simply cannot operate. For various reasons, including political instability, regional conflict or a simply a lack of reliable local resources and contacts, we do not accept tracing assignments in countries not highlighted below.

tracing reach

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