'Hack back' bill picks up new cosponsors

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

Rep. Tom GravesJohn (Tom) Thomas GravesHouse committee approves spending bill that would boost IRS funding House panel advances financial services spending bill Georgia governor vetoes controversial hacking legislation 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 Health Care — Sponsored by PCMA — DOJ move against ObamaCare sets off frenzy Lawmakers have sights on middlemen blamed for rising drug costs Tax reform has provided a ripe opportunity for American workers MORE (R-Ga.), Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), Trey GowdyHarold (Trey) Watson GowdyTop House Dem claims Judiciary chairman's DOJ, FBI subpoena is invalid The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by PhRMA — GOP lawmakers race to find an immigration fix Republicans tear into IG finding on Clinton probe MORE (R-S.C.), Walter JonesWalter Beaman JonesGOP rep refutes Trump's account of Sanford attacks: 'People were disgusted' Trump claims Sanford remarks booed by lawmakers were well-received Trump vows to stand with House GOP '1,000 percent' on immigration 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.