The recent controversy over Hack Back, not to be confused with Back-Hack, was largely fueled by proposed but failed legislation in the State of Georgia. The spate of articles and opinion pieces arguing against the emotionally satisfying, but dangerous strategy largely hung their shields on the impossibility of getting \u201cattribution right.\u201dIt\u2019s true that attackers are very good at hiding their tracks and stepping over stones making it near impossible to reach their actual source location. But there are methods and technologies that can help reveal these adversaries more accurately. I\u2019ve personally been involved in determining attribution and holding hackers accountable based on decades of my own research.A ransomware case that went badly for the attackerA large telecom company experienced a ransomware attack that seemingly utilized portions of the NSA leaked malware. There was no guessing that an incident occurred; the attacker demanded a ransom. In this all too familiar ongoing scenario that continues to plague large enterprises, \u00a0incident response teams well understand what\u2019s next: Management must decide whether or not to pay the ransom, but also they must identify the means and method of entry allowing the attackers to execute the ransomware malware to prevent future attacks.The CISO was surely unhappy about how the perpetrator entered the telecom company\u2019s well-defended network. Fortunately, the attack had not targeted business critical data due to its well-managed backup systems. Post-attack forensics determined that the adversary had penetrated the organization through a vulnerable set-top box.Nonetheless, the CISO was not amused by the attempt to hold his company\u2019s data hostage, and those deep emotions convinced him to identify and pursue the perpetrator. In other words, he was pissed.Tor and VPN\u2019s can be piercedIn order to receive the ransom, in bitcoin of course, communication between attacker and target was conducted via the typical Tor chat protocol. The attacker was clearly feeling quite protected and proceeded to conduct his business without fear of being caught.The typical conversation ensued, with the perpetrator demanding his bitcoin and the victim offering to pay. However, while the targeted company claimed that they had paid the bitcoin ransom, in actuality, they didn\u2019t. Instead, the clever CISO used advanced deception technology and composed a bogus bitcoin payment page to provide evidence to the attacker payment had been made. The attacker received the confirmation page over Tor and proceeded to open and review the document on his phone. The phony document, which was embedded with a sensor to convey geofencing and telemetry details upon the opening of the document, quietly signaled and the attacker\u2019s identity was readily revealed by his phone service provider. Bingo. Tor had been pierced. The attacker\u2019s identity had been uncovered.Attribution via geofencing and telemetryIncident response should be a well-planned activity of security staff within modern enterprises. It is hard to know exactly when an incident has occurred and who the perpetrator is, however. Suspicions are aroused by various monitored indicators of network and host activities, but in other cases, such as the real ransomware attack described above, external indicators provide clear-cut evidence that something is amiss. The attacker told the victim.Another example of a threat I personally helped to resolve was a stock tampering case that demonstrated a financial fraud attack. In this scenario, the indicator was sensed from public sources arousing suspicions that lead an institution to investigate whether they had a rogue insider illegally benefiting from inside knowledge of an impending acquisition. It was clear that the insider was leaking and manipulating news about the target company to affect its market valuation. Strategic placement of deceptive documents with sensors, containing information about the target company, was strategically placed in various file shares. The documents were later opened externally at the home of the alleged inside attacker, surfacing his identity and providing proof for law enforcement. The FBI did its duty.Whenever incident response teams need to delve deep into data to identify a perpetrator, often the data at hand isn\u2019t sufficient, only their tools and methods are revealed. A great deal of experience and inference is necessary to accurately resolve the incident, but rarely is attribution solved with evidence. That\u2019s when sensor technology can be a game changer. Strategically placed deceptive documents with embedded sensors that entice an attacker can easily lead to the perpetrator. Better yet, the telemetry provided by the signals can not only resolve \u201cwho done it,\u201d with evidentiary material appropriate for legal consequences, but can isolate the source of the offense, in cases the attacker has left behind malware that grants later access again.Deception used as active defense is a new tool in the cat and mouse game between attacker and defender. Attackers beware. Securing your identity is no longer a guarantee.