WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The US House Foreign Relations Committee is looking into legislation that could help American companies retaliate against malicious cyber activity, US Congressman Mike McCaul said on Tuesday.
"Right now, one of the laws on the books is it is illegal to hack back… so we are looking at possibly bringing in some legislation that deals with this," McCaul said of measures being considered by the Foreign Relations Committee.
Current policy prohibits US companies from "hacking back," or otherwise retaliating to cyberattacks, cyber theft and other malicious actions against them.
However, McCaul explained that he sees "a growing movement in the private sector for us to legislate in this area."
Despite hack-backs being illegal, many US companies do it anyway, "because the rest of the world does it, except for us," McCaul said.
According to a report by the McAfee security company, cybercrime cumulatively cost The United States, China, Germany and Japan $200 billion in 2014.
The United States has increasingly been the target of cyberattacks in recent years, with large financial institutions topping the list as preferred targets.