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'Hack back' bill picks up new cosponsors

'Hack back' bill picks up new cosponsors
© Greg Nash

Rep. Tom GravesJohn (Tom) Thomas GravesSEC paperless mandate a bad deal for rural, elderly investors Lobbying World House retirement sets off scramble for coveted chairmanship MORE (R-Ga.) announced a host of new, bipartisan co-sponsors to his Active Cyber Defense Certainty Act on Friday afternoon. 

The bill would allow victims of hackers to hack back their assailants under a limited set of circumstances, in order to identify the attacker or retrieve or delete stolen data. 

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Graves has said this legislation will increase the ability of victims to properly attribute damage to hackers and prevent stolen documents from falling into the wrong hands. 

The idea of hacking back is controversial within the cybersecurity community, with many worrying the bill might cause more harm than good. Hackers frequently route their attacks through the computers of other victims, creating a risk of collateral damage. 

The bill requires anyone taking advantage of its provisions to first notify the FBI of their intent. 

The original bill was released in mid-October and was co-sponsored by Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.). 

New sponsors come from both sides of the aisle: Reps. Buddy CarterEarl (Buddy) Leroy CarterOvernight Cybersecurity: Manafort, Gates to remain under house arrest | Mueller said to be closing in on Flynn | 'Hack back' bill gains steam | Election security gets attention from DHS 'Hack back' bill picks up new cosponsors CBS series 'Madam Secretary' exploring 'fake news' plot MORE (R-Ga.), Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), Trey GowdyHarold (Trey) Watson GowdyContractor awarded 6 million to provide 30 million meals to Puerto Rico only delivered 50,000: report The Memo: Trump doubles down amid some GOP doubts Lawmakers dispute ‘vindication’ for Trump in Intel memo MORE (R-S.C.), Walter JonesWalter Beaman JonesOvernight Defense: Latest on spending fight - House passes stopgap with defense money while Senate nears two-year budget deal | Pentagon planning military parade for Trump | Afghan war will cost B in 2018 US expands air campaign to northern Afghanistan GOP rep on Afghanistan: 'Why are we still shedding our soldiers' blood for pedophiles?' MORE (R-N.C), Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.), Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.) and Austin Scott (R-Ga.).

Graves held private hearings on hacking back and released discussion drafts of the bill dating back to early 2016.  

"Active defense" traditionally refers not to hacking back but to actions that slow hackers, including moving files during an attack to avoid the intruder or setting up fake documents to slow the progress to the real ones.