The rationale for hiring criminal hackers is based on the thinking that "It takes a thief to catch a thief." But some in the security community, including some hackers at the Black Hat conference in Las Vegas this week, say that it is no longer necessary.
It's not as if the debate is even close to being over. There are numerous cases of criminal hackers turning from the dark side to help the "good guys."
Among the most famous is Kevin Mitnick, who was arrested in 1995 and, starting in 1999, served five years in prison for hacking crimes including breaking into the FBI phone system while the agency was chasing him.