The Active Cyber Defense Bill is Back on the Table
On Thursday US Congressman Tom Graves, R-Ga. reintroduced the Active Cyber Defense Bill, which was first drafted in 2017 and has since then become known as the ‘hacking back’ bill as it would allow US cybersecurity officials to engage in certain types of offensive operations against threat actors.
Experts are warning that the legislation is likely to result in the escalation of active defense operations to the point that they become full-blown retaliatory cyberattacks on known threat actors, which can be highly problematic for various reasons, including the fact that attribution of cyberattacks in incredibly difficult. Consequently, there is a significant risk that “hacking back” operations would regularly target innocent organizations and individuals.
However, Graves believes that the risks of the bill are limited because ‘most defenders would likely use active-defense techniques to perform “deep reconnaissance” of the hackers who originated the attack’ in order to ‘attempt to attribute the source, “naming and shaming” the attacker, turn over relevant information to law enforcement, or simply learn the “vector” that the attacker took to execute the original malicious attack and avoid it.’