'Hack back' bill picks up new cosponsors

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

Rep. Tom GravesJohn (Tom) Thomas GravesHouse passes border deal, setting up Trump to declare emergency Lawmakers introduce bill to fund government, prevent shutdown The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the American Academy of HIV Medicine - Next 24 hours critical for stalled funding talks 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 CarterFor George and Barbara Bush, White House staff became family Congress must protect eye care patients from frightful prescriptions Trump signs bills banning drug pricing 'gag clauses' MORE (R-Ga.), Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), Trey GowdyHarold (Trey) Watson GowdyThe family secret Bruce Ohr told Rod Rosenstein about Russia case Trey Gowdy joins Fox News as a contributor Congress must take the next steps on federal criminal justice reforms MORE (R-S.C.), Walter JonesWalter Beaman JonesHouse pays tribute to Walter Jones GOP leader presses Trump to agree to border deal House passes resolution honoring Walter Jones 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.