Support Grows to Let Cyber Theft Victims “Hack Back”

As companies weather a spate of high-profile computer attacks, support is growing for an option that for now is probably illegal: fighting back.

The Justice Department has long held that if a company accesses another party’s computer network without permission, for whatever purpose, it is breaking the law. But the idea of allowing the private sector to retaliate against hackers, euphemistically known as “hacking back,” has gained momentum as U.S. companies wake up to the pervasive threat of cyber crime.

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