Post-hack, companies fire back with their own attacks

According to a new report, some companies that have fallen victim to hacking attacks have gone as far as hiring security firms to hack back.

U.S. companies are being targeted by hackers at an alarming rate. And according to a new report, they're tired of doing nothing in retaliation.

Reuters is reporting today, citing sources, that some companies that have fallen victim to hacks are starting to target those that have initiated the battle. The hacked companies, Reuters' sources say, have done everything from slowing hackers down to hiring contractors to hack the attacker's own systems.

Over the last few years, companies and government organizations have become a hot target for hackers. From Sony to defense contractors, hackers have found a multitude of targets they can take advantage of to either embarrass them or steal sensitive information.

Rodney Joffe, Neustar senior technologist and White House cybersecurity adviser, told Reuters in an interview that 162 of the 168 companies he analyzed in a grouping of the top U.S. firms by revenue had at some point been targeted, and lost data to, hackers.

Attacking hackers isn't necessarily the most advisable course. By doing so, companies run the risk of having their efforts brought to light, and those that make the decision could face legal reprisal. Still, some might view it as one of the best ways to send a message back to hackers that they're willing to fight it out.

According to Reuters, conventional wisdom now discourages targeting hackers with attacks, since it won't deliver any positive outcome. Instead, Reuters sources say that security experts are recommending deep analysis of the attack to find out where it came from, what was taken, and what motives might have been behind it.