Close your eyes for a moment and whisper the term “hack back.” Doesn’t it conjure up familiar rough-hewn heroes played by the likes of Charles Bronson and Kris Kristofferson who roamed the silver screen with some regularity in the 1970s, tracking down bad guys and meting out justice when authorities either could not or fell short? Or possibly, the Die Hard series’s John McClane, played with roguish bravado by Bruce Willis, who takes matters into his own hands when terrorists takeover the Nakatomi Tower during a company Christmas Party (Hit me up on social media to debate whether Die Hard is actually a Christmas movie).
But in reality (and ideally), hacking back is likely something much more mundane and less violent than the vigilante justice of roving Bronson-esque gangs – we’re talking people in business casual attire tracing threats and tracking hackers through corporate systems at banks, healthcare organizations and other private enterprises to assist the government – but just as impactful and effective to stopping miscreants in their tracks. And, some contend, it’s fraught with as many challenges as benefits.
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