back to article 'Hacked by China? Hack them back!' rages US Congress report

A report laid before the US Congress yesterday encouraged lawmakers to allow American companies responding to Chinese miscreants pilfering their data to hack those companies back to save their info. The US-China Economic and Security Review Commission was established by Congress "to report on the national security implications …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Those mugged on US streets should track down the muggers and steal something of equal value from them.

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Slippery slope

      Those bombed by USAF should... oops, no, forget that.

  2. Blank-Reg

    "The report additionally alleged that the People's Republic discriminates against foreign investors, and has "abusive legal or administrative processes" that particularly favour "indigenous companies over US firms" while "refusing to protect the intellectual property of US companies from piracy and counterfeiting". It encouraged Congress to have a nosey into whether such practices chime with the nation's World Trade Organisation commitments."

    Perhaps veering towards hyperbole a little, but this smacks of rank hypocrisy!

    They don't like it up 'em!

    1. ratfox

      Pot, kettle, black

      It's would be funny if it wasn't so important.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So it's only wrong when they're on the pointy end. Holy shit, that's entitled.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Oh, this can get quite funny indeed. Imagine I'm a non-Chinese foreign power, let's say Russia or something in the Axes of Evil. Or were they buried? Oh no, it was axis, sorry - can't keep up. Er, where was I?

      Ah, yes. Imagine I'm a foreign power and it's late Friday and I'm bored so I want to have some fun. All I need to do is either use some Chinese proxies or even spoof Chinese IP addresses if I don't need the return traffic for, for instance a DDoS and zap enough for that retaliation to flood out from the US. I could be creative and dig up some IP addresses of Chinese government sites to use, just to add to the fun. Once I've triggered retaliation I can sit back with some popcorn and watch the show until it's locally beer o'clock.

      There is a reason retaliation is ALWAYS a bad idea - it's easy to be goaded into harming innocents.

      Ah, sorry. Now I remember. That's apparently never a problem as long as you call that "collateral damage", my bad. Carry on then.

  4. alain williams Silver badge

    Money would be better spent ...

    securing your systems in the first place; a good half of the budget should go to training staff in good security practices.

  5. Eddy Ito

    WTF, they are recommending that US companies break US law? I'd never thought I'd live to see the day when Congress would advocate anarchy. As much as I like the idea of Kant's idealized anarchy of law and freedom without force I've never seen it last much beyond the first encounter with a narcissistic zealot who then uses force to "restore order".

    1. sisk

      I'd never thought I'd live to see the day when Congress would advocate anarchy

      Well it's not as if they've advocated rule of law for the past several decades.

    2. CanadianMacFan

      Of course they aren't recommending that US companies break the law. They are suggesting that the law be changed so that when a US corporation is hacked then it can legally go off and hack the first international company that it wants to without due process of the law and no consequences to itself if it's wrong.

  6. Notas Badoff



    1. an armed ship that is privately owned and manned, commissioned by a government to fight or harass enemy ships.

    Often used when the 'state' was otherwise incapable of responding to a situation. Unfortunately that state would often also then be incapable of dealing with privateers when they went "off message".

    "Danish? We thought you were one'a them Swiss ships! All your flags look alike to us. Ah, who cares, hand over your goods or we'll put more holes in your bilges!"

    (note: read "IP addresses" for 'flags' above. They all look alike to some...)

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Privateer

      Is Sid Meier available to do a modern version? I was awesome in the Age of Sail version of Pirates!

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Privateer

      issue Letters of Marque and Reprisal me hertys

    3. InfiniteApathy

      Re: Privateer

      God damn them all!

      I was told we'd cruise the seas for American gold

      We'd fire no guns-shed no tears

      Now I'm a broken man on a Halifax pier

      The last of Barrett's Privateers.

  7. Captain Scarlet
    Paris Hilton

    What if they hide their hack against another company?

    Are they still allowed to hack said company?

  8. NozeDive

    The cyber cyber will cyber the cyber cyber cyber cyber cyber cyber until cyber cyber is cyber.

    Furthermore, cyber cyber cyber cyber cyber.

    Cyber cyber cyber cyber cyber cyber cyber.

    1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      Cyber cyber cyber cyber cyber

      Cyber cyber cyber cyber cyber cyber cyber cyber cyber cyber?

      Cyber cyber cyber cyber cyber cyber cyber cyber cyber cyber!

      or - chicken?

      1. Mark 85

        Re: Cyber cyber cyber cyber cyber

        I was thinking badger...

        1. Captain DaFt

          Re: Cyber cyber cyber cyber cyber

          Spam, Spam spam, baked beans and spam?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Cyber cyber cyber cyber cyber

        So which came first, the hack or the hack? And why did the hack cross the cyber?

  9. Brock Knudsen

    What an epic pass of the buck. Chinese State-sponsored hackers break into Private US companies, The Government advocates allowing Private companies to "deal with it their own way...?"

    This says to me:

    1) The US knows it can't stand up to China politically, economically and soon militarily.

    2) The US cyber-program is so infantile in its development that it might as well not exist as far as defending US company assets.

    3) Instead of worrying about a relatively small bunch of violent madmen in the desert, maybe we need to be worrying more about China (and by more I mean A LOT MORE).

  10. CanadianMacFan

    Don't trust the politicians

    I wonder if it's going to be so broadly worded that a lawyer will be able to argue a company had to hack a competitor and search through all of their computers looking for data taken from the company web server.

  11. John Crisp

    Here we go round..

    the mulberry bush....

  12. This post has been deleted by its author

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It would appear that the US politicians are at last admitting the the government are absolutely useless at computer security in all departments.

    1. hplasm


      It would appear that the US politicians are at last admitting the the government are absolutely useless at computer security in all departments.

  14. Mark 85

    My apologies and hopefullly all other Americans will join me.. offering our sincere apologies for these ignorant twits. What an embarrassment... They make Trump and Hillary look good.

  15. alain williams Silver badge

    So does that mean that ...

    if a USA company is cracked by the NSA that they will legally be able to try to crack the NSA ?

    1. Captain DaFt

      Re: So does that mean that ...

      "f a USA company is cracked by the NSA that they will legally be able to try to crack the NSA ?"

      No no no, only them furrin' types, with their weird ways and encryption*.

      Not decent, American types who are only trying to save our way of life by completely demolishing it!

      *Can't understand a word they say, so they obviously must be speaking encrypted American, the sly bastards!

  16. Anonymous Coward

    That last paragraph?


    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: That Priceless Last Paragraph .... of Quite Titanic Proportions

      "Step into our Alien8TED Worlds", said the Virtual Provider Spider to the Master Spy Fly

      There is, is there not, a monumentally catastrophic arrogance which corrupts completely the warped minds of Man and earthed beings with their own self-destructive and offensive and defensive thinking that they be in any particular and peculiarly effective way in cyber command and creative control of computers and communications and computers communicating?

      Do they not realise they are mere mortal tools for AI with ITs Cyber Derivative Spaces of Future Times for Present Clones with Past Histories ....... Old Tales for Ancient Memories?

      1. jinx3y

        Re: That Priceless Last Paragraph .... of Quite Titanic Proportions

        Ow...brain hurt...

        1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

          Re: Re: That Priceless Last Paragraph .... of Quite Titanic Proportions.

          And a Leading Question of AI and Y'All Too

          Ow...brain hurt... ...... jinx3y

          That is such as may be, jinx3y, but is it also an incorrigible truth spoken clearly enough to be not completely misunderstood and misunderestimated by powers that be and wannabes, and therefore in their realised worlds a Novel Power for Creative Command and Cyber Control in Command and Control of IT Futures and Derivative Virtual Energy Supplies ....... Heavenly Intellectual Property ProVision ‽ .

          And are y'all more content to ignore the question and pretend there is no such problem to engage with, and in so not doing, be totally at ITs mercy.

          Remember ..... Who Dares Wins, and don't forget its Big IT Brother MMORPG Clone ...... Who Dares Win Wins.

          And there y'all were, most probably definitely not thinking, and thinking Special Force Sources were both AWOL and MIA in Current CHAOS** Theatres of Operation, Madness and Mayhem and Conflict.

          CHAOS** ..... Clouds Hosting Advanced Operating Systems

  17. Norm DePlume

    Kids in a playground

    "He hit me first."

    "No, he hit me."

    Still, I'm sure the diplomats will appreciate sorting it out when the proverbial hits the fan and some large corp is caught hacking something sensitive in China.

  18. W. Anderson

    implausible ideas from stupid legislators

    While many of the details of the "counter cyber attacks" report are unknown it appears non-sensical on it's face.

    First, the US government has stated quite clearly that many of the cyber attacks against American companies and other organizations "appear" to come from entities in China that "supposedly" have connections to Chinese government, so running off to attack Chinese government seems pre-mature without some concrete proof in an International Court of Law - not unlike Iraq invasion.

    Secondly, the Edward Snowden US government documents revelations indicate that NSA and CIA planted spying and obstruction software in Cisco, Juniper and other Networking and Computing gear shipped to China and other foreign countries, so this "holier than Thou" attitude from US congress persons is stupid, most especially since they prevented the Chinese firm Huawei from doing any business with US government or government contractors, purely on "supposition" - and without any evidence what-so-ever that Huawei may have too cozy a relation with Chinese government.

    Coincidently the UK, Australian, several European Union and other countries' governments are confident enough in Huawei business operational integrity to purchase hundreds of millions of Dollar/Euro of equipment over past 2 - 3 years.

    The US and/or any national government has the ability to accuse and attack any other country at will, and even without empirical proof of that country's wrong doing against USA – again, perfect example - Iraq, but American law makers need to exercise substantially more intelligence and reason before going all stupid once again.

  19. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    With pretty printed paper you can sell and buy anything anywhere going nowhere on roads to Hell :-)

    What defence is there against the release of the secret of western imperial success/fancy fiat currency fantasy plays? How does one attack a greater base intelligence source force?

  20. W. Anderson

    unsettling precedent

    The bluster by those in US Congress that the NSA and US (tech) companies must retaliate against Chinese hackers is just that, since it is almost a given that such action will/is taking place.

    The danger becomes US attacks against Chinese "companies" (as stated in article) without exemplary proof that the "deserved" targets are Chinese companies and/or Central government, since a serious and damaging international Cyber War is sure to erupt.

    It is unlikely that much of the International world, including US close friend nations and Democracies will agree with any such retaliation without been shown this "unquestioned proof", particularly since the US NSA has (and still is?) engaged in Cyber intrusions on most other nations, even in circumstances that are universally felt could have been for Industrial espionage only.

    The US government - politicians - needs to be acutely aware of the diseased wasp that comes back to bite USA in the ass.

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