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Wall Street Journal Quotes Adjunct Professor Harvey Rishikof on Cybertheft

June 03, 2013

Strategies that could protect businesses from computer hackers raise unanswered legal questions, adjunct Professor Harvey Rishikof said in a Wall Street Journal article published on June 3 (subscription required).

Companies seeking to gain the upper hand in the battle against cybertheft are exploring technological tactics like “beaconing,” which entails the insertion of code into a company’s data that – when stolen – can signal back where the information is being stored, the article noted.

Such tactics raise potential legal issues, said Rishikof, who teaches National Security Law and co-chairs the American Bar Association Cybersecurity Legal Task Force.

Noting that existing law features “gray area,” Rishikof said that beyond beaconing, tactics potentially could include putting something on a company’s data that would perform a more aggressive action if the information was taken.

The task force Rishikof is co-chairing is expected to release a report on outstanding legal issues associated with beaconing this summer.