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Internet Security Turns the Tables

People have tried to hack their way into the computers of others since the introduction of the internet. But as hacking has grown from a way for geeks to impress each other, to a means for criminals to steal and blackmail, computer security strategies have remained largely the same: Companies and consumers erect the thickest firewalls imaginable around computers so that the bad guys can’t get in.

Luckily, security experts are realizing they’re losing the battle. Their new approach involves a plan to recruit victims and other computer users to help them go on the offensive, finally hunting down the hackers. Symantec is one of several companies trying to turn the tables.

Involving PC users has its risks, however. Hackers who come across novices may infiltrate their computers or steal their identities as punishment. But the idea is something new, a reversal from past efforts geared towards making security scans less intrusive. Symantec and other companies long believed that people didn’t want to be bothered as security software looked for viruses. But now, Symantec is betting on customers not minding being disrupted if they can bag some bad guys along the way. Courtesy of businessweek.com

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