Ethics of Hacking Back: Six arguments from armed conflict to zombies

Patrick Lin

    Research output: Book/ReportOther report


    It is widely believed that a cyberattack victim should not “hack back” against attackers. Among the chief worries are that hacking back is (probably) illegal and immoral; and if it targets foreign networks, then it may spark a cyberwar between states. However, these worries are largely taken for granted: they are asserted without much argument, without considering the possibility that hacking back could ever be justified. This policy paper offers both the case for and against hacking back—examining six core arguments—to more carefully consider the practice.
    Original languageEnglish
    Commissioning bodyU.S. National Science Foundation
    Number of pages34
    Publication statusPublished - 26 Sep 2016


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