US plans tough measures to take on hackers

After a seemingly endless barrage of cyberattacks, debate is heating up on hitting back at hackers where it hurts.
Amid calls for ways to punish and deter hackers without sparking a so-called "cyber war," a panel of experts assembled by the George Washington University Center for Cyber and Homeland Security said in a report Monday that US policies should be eased to allow "active defense" measures by both the government and private sector.
However, it stopped short of endorsing the idea of "hacking back" to disable systems used by attackers.
The panel envisioned measures such as taking down "botnets" that disrupt cyberspace, freeing data from "ransomware" hackers and "rescue missions" to recover stolen data.
The report follows a wave of high-profile attacks against US companies and government databases, and after Washington accused Russia of using cyberattacks to attempt to disrupt next week's presidential election.
It comes after President Barack Obama called for a "proportional" response to Russia, while leaving unanswered whether this would mean a cyberattack or measures such as diplomatic or economic sanctions.

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