Obama administration officials and members of the American Bar Association are taking a harder look at potential legal changes that would make it possible for a company that falls victim to a cyberattack to respond with hacking of its own. While currently illegal, so-called "hacking back" would allow firms to employ limited cyberattacks to uncover the source of attacks against them and retrieve lost data. Critics worry that giving the private sector that kind of power could lead to Wild West-style vigilantism and the risk of collateral damage on innocent third parties.

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