ransomware

Ransomware is a computer virus that locks up victims’ computers

 

 

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CNET Editor

Michelle Starr is the tiger force at the core of all things. She also writes about cool stuff and apps as CNET Australia’s Crave editor. But mostly the tiger force thing.

The Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property has submitted a report to the US Congress proposing anti-piracy measures and is considering the government-sanctioned use of ransomware.

(Pirate flag image by Oren neu dag, CC BY-SA 3.0)

According to studios and publishers, piracy constitutes a massive threat to both jobs and economies. yet, there is no good way to combat the practice — at least, not within the current scope of US law.

The use of malware is therefore what the commission, a committee formed to investigate, document and come up with ideas for fighting piracy, is considering, as spotted by Lauren Weinstein. In an 89-page report submitted to US Congress, it has detailed how “IP theft” worth “hundreds of billions of dollars per year” hurts the US economy, and proposed measures for fighting it — including the covert installation of spyware:

While not currently permitted under US law, there are increasing calls for creating a more permissive environment for active network defence that allows companies not only to stabilise a situation, but to take further steps, including actively retrieving stolen information, altering it within the intruder’s networks or even destroying the information within an unauthorised network. Additional measures go further, including photographing the hacker using his own system’s camera, implanting malware in the hacker’s network, or even physically disabling or destroying the hacker’s own computer or network.

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Hack the hacker: US Congress urged to legalize cyber-attacks to fight cybercrimes

Published time: May 27, 2013 23:07

Reuters / Kacper Pempel

Reuters / Kacper Pempel

Tags

Crime, Internet, Law, USA

US Congress should legalize attacking hacker’s computers with malware, physically destroy networks and take photos of data thieves and copyright violators with their own cameras in order to punish IP thieves, the IP Commission recommends.

The commissioners – former US government officials and military men – say that the “scale of international theft of American intellectual property (IP) is unprecedented”. However, the US government response has been “utterly inadequate to deal with the problem.”

Almost all the advantages are on the side of the hacker; the current situation is not sustainable,the commissions’s report says.

“New options need to be considered,” the authors call, then adding that current laws are limited and “have not kept pace with the technology of hacking.”

Thus, the commission suggests allowing active network retrieving stolen information, “altering it within the intruder’s networks, or even destroying the information within an unauthorized network.”

For example, locking down the computer of unauthorized users and forcing them to come out to police could be one of the options.

The file could be rendered inaccessible and the unauthorized user’s computer could be locked down, with instructions on how to contact law enforcement to get the password needed to unlock the account,” the commission recommended.

 

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