Sen. Kirk targets overseas hackers - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Sen. Kirk targets overseas hackers

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WSIL -- 40 million Americans had their personal information hacked in 2014 alone, according to U.S. Senator Mark Kirk's office. Now he wants to take on those hackers outside our country by amending the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act.

SIU law professor Cindy Buys says it aims to make other countries work with the U.S. to punish hackers.

"He's proposing that the state department would try to negotiate those extradition treaties so that we have better access to persons who are responsible for the cybersecurity attacks," said Buys.

It's something local experts say is needed if our country has any hope of stopping foreign hackers, because right now cybersecurity attack investigations can only go so far.

"Usually, they trace the digital trails back to them and they get as far as they can and they [can]. Without cooperation from those countries, without law enforcement in those countries, there's not a lot more they can do," said Tom Imboden professor of Information Sciences and Technology at SIU.

This leaves those responsible free to do it again, but will the extradition process appeal to many countries

"I think it's a great idea if we could have more extradition treaties with countries like Russia and China. I'm just not sure it's workable as the bill is currently proposed, unless there is some kind of incentive built it," Buys added.

"We'd have to have something they want, whether that's foreign aid, whether that's cooperation in some other area of law. It could be in respect to trade, it could be in respect to criminal, and perhaps they want us to extradite criminals back to Russia or back to China. That kind of thing," added Buys.

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