Companies Trick Hackers With Fake Data It's one of a number of new 'active defense' strategies against espionage By Kevin Spak, Newser Staff Posted Jan 3, 2013 3:20 PM CST 3 comments Comments Some firms are protecting their data by making it less reliable for hackers. (Shutterstock) (Newser) – With corporate espionage on the rise, a number of companies are taking a somewhat unconventional approach to cybersecurity. Instead of focusing on guarding their valuable data, they're mixing it with a whole bunch of fake data, hoping to trick hackers into elaborate wild goose chases, the Washington Post reports. "We're taking the hackers' strengths and we're making it their weaknesses," says an IT officer at one company using the technique. "They get caught up in this cycle of fake information." It's one of a number of inventive techniques companies are taking that they refer to as "active defense." At their most aggressive, these maneuvers can be fairly controversial, like knocking offending servers offline, which officials say may be illegal. "Companies are tired of playing defense," says one cybersecurity professional. "They want to feel like they actually can fight back."