Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Operational Security

1/4/2018
05:45 PM
Curtis Franklin
Curtis Franklin
Curt Franklin
50%
50%

Cybersecurity on the Attack: Security Now Poll Results

The readers of Security Now have weighed in on the idea of cybersecurity teams going on the offense against hackers. Hackers might want to start worrying.

IT security tends to be all about defense: We leave the offensive tactics to the criminals. But according to the results of the latest Security Now poll, it might be time to rethink that strategy.

According to the 160 members of the community who responded to the flash poll, taking the battle to the hackers is something for IT security professionals to consider, even if they're only taking the step in conjunction with the efforts of law enforcement. No matter how it's done, though, it would be a major policy change for most organizations.

Roughly two thirds of those responding felt that "fighting fire with fire" in some way is justified, with almost twice as many favoring a blanket "fight-back" stance than those who prefer the idea of working with law enforcement.

In comments to the poll, community member (and Security Now blogger) Joe Stanganelli pointed out that there could be legal consequences to taking hacker-like steps without the explicit sanction of law enforcement. His cautionary note was echoed by community member Michelle, who brought up the ominous threat of unintended consequences if organizations suddenly felt free to hack back against criminals and criminal organizations.

Of course, taking the battle to the hackers can take many forms. Security Now community member mhhfive pointed out that he favors bug bounty and similar programs over more aggressive hack-back tactics for cybersecurity organizations. He also brought up the possibility of "doxxing" -- publicly giving out identifying information of hackers and hacking organizations so that the community at large can be aware of who the criminals are and take appropriate social action. Stanganelli once again weighed in with a voice of caution, citing costs to both society and innocent individuals from doxxing gone wrong.

There's no doubt that frustration is mounting regarding the asymmetrical nature of the current cybersecurity environment; hacking is a low-risk activity for which the payoff can be huge. As with so many other frustrating law-enforcement situations, though, it's worth thinking about the total cost to organizations and society of any remedy we decide to sanction. We could just fine that the cure, while emotionally satisfying in the short run, carries costs that we struggle to pay in the long run.

What do you think? Is it time to hack back? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to look for the next Security Now flash poll.

Related posts:

— Curtis Franklin is the editor of SecurityNow.com. Follow him on Twitter @kg4gwa.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 8/10/2020
Researcher Finds New Office Macro Attacks for MacOS
Curtis Franklin Jr., Senior Editor at Dark Reading,  8/7/2020
Digital Clones Could Cause Problems for Identity Systems
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  8/8/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
Special Report: Computing's New Normal, a Dark Reading Perspective
This special report examines how IT security organizations have adapted to the "new normal" of computing and what the long-term effects will be. Read it and get a unique set of perspectives on issues ranging from new threats & vulnerabilities as a result of remote working to how enterprise security strategy will be affected long term.
Flash Poll
The Changing Face of Threat Intelligence
The Changing Face of Threat Intelligence
This special report takes a look at how enterprises are using threat intelligence, as well as emerging best practices for integrating threat intel into security operations and incident response. Download it today!
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-8913
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-12
A local, arbitrary code execution vulnerability exists in the SplitCompat.install endpoint in Android's Play Core Library versions prior to 1.7.2. A malicious attacker could create an apk which targets a specific application, and if a victim were to install this apk, the attacker could perform a dir...
CVE-2020-7029
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-11
A Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF) vulnerability was discovered in the System Management Interface Web component of Avaya Aura Communication Manager and Avaya Aura Messaging. This vulnerability could allow an unauthenticated remote attacker to perform Web administration actions with the privileged ...
CVE-2020-17489
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-11
An issue was discovered in certain configurations of GNOME gnome-shell through 3.36.4. When logging out of an account, the password box from the login dialog reappears with the password still visible. If the user had decided to have the password shown in cleartext at login time, it is then visible f...
CVE-2020-17495
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-11
django-celery-results through 1.2.1 stores task results in the database. Among the data it stores are the variables passed into the tasks. The variables may contain sensitive cleartext information that does not belong unencrypted in the database.
CVE-2020-0260
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-11
There is a possible out of bounds read due to an incorrect bounds check.Product: AndroidVersions: Android SoCAndroid ID: A-152225183