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Congress considers letting US companies hack Chinese attackers

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Your parents probably told you that revenge solves nothing, but the US might be willing to make an exception to that rule when it comes to hacks. A Congressional commission's report suggests that the government should consider letting companies hack the Chinese hackers that break into their systems. Theoretically, firms could erase or recover any stolen data from the original hack. The study also suggests creating a court that would hear evidence from cyberattack victims and determine whether or not the US should launch counter-hacks on their behalf.

Whether or not Congress actually goes ahead with these ideas isn't certain, and there are cases to be made on both sides. The threat of a countering hack might deter intruders that are used to getting away scot-free, and it would help the US learn more about the culprits. However, this wouldn't exactly reduce political tensions -- especially not in light of the recent US-China digital peace treaty. Besides representing an about-face on the US' attitude toward retaliatory hacks, it might spur Chinese hackers to intensify their campaigns and disable anything that could be used to get data back. If the US likes the ideas in the report, it'll have to make sure that it's not creating more problems than it's solving.

[Image credit: Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images]

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