'Hack back' bill picks up new cosponsors

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

Rep. Tom GravesJohn (Tom) Thomas GravesThe stakes are sky-high for the pro-life cause in the upcoming midterms Dem senator: Congress should consider allowing companies to 'hack back' after cyberattacks House completes first half of 2019 spending bills 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: Opioids package nears finish line | Measure to help drug companies draws ire | Maryland ObamaCare rates to drop Overnight Health Care: HHS diverts funds to pay for detaining migrant children | Health officials defend transfers | Lawmakers consider easing drug company costs in opioids deal Overnight Health Care: Obama calls 'Medicare for all' a 'good' idea | Study finds modest ObamaCare premiums hikes for next year | Trump officials consider South Carolina plan to defund Planned Parenthood MORE (R-Ga.), Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), Trey GowdyHarold (Trey) Watson GowdyGowdy requests FEMA administrator’s travel records amid allegations Nunes: Russia probe documents should be released before election Gowdy: House Intel panel should release all transcripts from Russia probe MORE (R-S.C.), Walter JonesWalter Beaman JonesTrump approves North Carolina disaster declaration for Florence GOP says House votes will take place despite Hurricane Florence S.C. governor orders evacuation along state coastline 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.