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Cyberattacks Trigger Talk of 'hacking Back'


hacking, illustrative photo

Credit: Security Affairs

The continuing cyberattacks on U.S. corporate networks is spurring talk among some executives and government officials of going on the offensive, or "hacking back," against those that try to infiltrate their systems. The measures under discussion usually are limited to efforts to track and or destroy stolen data. One idea involves tagging sensitive data with a beacon so it could be tracked if stolen and potentially located and deleted before it is misused. However, the major problem is that any such efforts would be, by their nature, illegal.

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation has reported a tacit acknowledgement that some companies or their network administrators occasionally engage in illegal "hack back" activities that investigators choose to ignore. More than one in three security professionals polled at the Black Hat USA conference in 2012 said they had engaged in retaliatory hacking on at least one occasion. However, the potential liabilities involved in such activities are considerable, and it is unlikely major companies would ever openly adopt them as part of their security policies for that reason, according to Greg Garcia, the executive director of the Financial Services Sector Coordinating Council.

From The Washington Post
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