The latest and most hideously simplistic wave of cyber crime starts with a phone call to a senior citizen. The unsuspecting victim answers the call and hears this, “Hello, Mr. or Mrs. Smith, this is Zane from the Microsoft security department and your computer has a virus. We need to access your machine.”
The nefarious perpetrator quickly establishes credibility with the phony Microsoft identification and takes the consumer through a series of steps which ultimately results in the download of a trojan horse and the beginning of a complete nightmare.
While not all cyber attacks are so blatantly obvious, there are a few politicians in congress who would like to enhance a citizen’s individual rights and liberties in the digital world and ultimately fight back against the hackers.
US News reports that Republican Tom Graves from Georgia is working to draft a bill that would allow consumers to retaliate against cyber criminals in response to a direct failure of anti-virus software. While language in the proposed legislation does not authorize the development of home-built toxic tapeworms when starting a blow-for-blow hackfest with criminals, the bill does encourage end-users to actively pursue the exact location and identity of a hacker to increase the probability of an arrest and prosecution. Graves and supporters believe that establishing real consequences for criminal actions will decrease the overall frequency of attacks.
Opponents of Grave’s proposal cite the complexities that individual and criminal organizations undertake in masking IP addresses, a reality that would overwhelm the skill set of the average computer operator and could lead to unintentional damage of harmless infrastructure due to friendly fire. While direct retaliation by the enemy is not thoroughly discussed, the Georgia congressmen believes that victims will be thoroughly protected when actively pursuing specific information about the attackers.
The overall tone of the bill has legal roots in the rights and protections of an assault victim on the street to deter any additional harm from an attacker, by identifying the offending individual to law enforcement personal.
Read the full US News article here.