Computer security laws are the guidelines that let the users know how to protect themselves against cybercrimes.
- It also tells them what they can do if they feel their computer is under threat says William D King.
- Computer security laws are the guidelines that let the users know how to protect themselves against cybercrimes. It also tells them what they can do if they feel their computer is under threat. The United States Congress passed a law called Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) in 1986, which was further modified in 1994 and 1996. CFAA is a way of setting up some sort of guidelines for cases where computers and computer networks were used as a tool to commit an offense or pose danger to someone else’s property or well-being.
- The penalties for violating computer security laws depend on the severity of the crime committed. Normally, one has to pay fines and serve prison sentences as per local courts’ discretion.
- Computer security laws are made to protect the interests of both, the public and private individuals. It also ensures the protection of government, financial institutions and other organizations that use computers for their work. Since it is difficult to track things that go on in the virtual world, parliament has passed these laws that define punishments for cybercrimes. Anybody found guilty can be punished with fines or imprisonment depending upon severity of crime committed.
- Some common kinds of computer crimes are unauthorizing access to someone’s system, website, network, etc., cracking passwords illegally, hacking email passwords, publishing obscene material online, stealing classify information from a computer system without permission, etc.
Unauthorized Access –
Penalties vary according to state law but can range from 5 to 20 years in jail plus fines explains William D King.
Unauthorized access to government computers (federal or state) can lead to 10 years imprisonment and $250,000 fine.
Unauthorized access with at least one of these motives –
Commercial Advantage, Private Financial Gain; Sale, transfer, or export outside U.S.; Interfere or disrupt public systems or utilities; Denying access to government computers by overloading them is punishable with up to 10 years in prison and $250,000 fine.
Computer Fraud –
Computer fraud includes any activity that uses a computer system for unauthorized acquisition of items having monetary value from any individual, business or entity. There are several other things include under this law like using automate processes for buying and selling stocks, buying and selling of commodities, etc.
Punishment can range from 5 to 20 years in prison plus fines depending on the severity of the crime. Penalty for unauthorized access or damage to a federal interest computer is 10 years imprisonment and $250,000 fine while penalty for making computer software that damages, destroys or encrypts data in a government system can lead up to 3 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.
Hacking by an activist who is trying to make their political or social opinion known by disrupting the normal course of business is call activism says William D King. The person may publish hacked materials online as proof of his/her actions. This kind of behavior falls under unauthorized access, computer fraud or cyber-vandalism.
Punishment for first time offender is up to 5 years in jail plus fine. Repeat offenders face 10 years imprisonment plus fines if they are guilty again. Stealing classified information from a government system is punishable with 20 years in prison and $250,000 fine while publicizing hacked materials online may lead to 10 years imprisonment and $250,000 fine depending on the severity of crime committed.
Denial of Service Attacks –
Denial of service attacks occur when someone wants to make their political statement. By shutting down a website which might result in loss of money or influence affairs. This can be achieve through Distribute Denial of Service (Dodos) attack where multiple computers at once flood the website or network with too many requests.
Punishment for first time offenders may be up to 10 years imprisonment and $250,000 fine. While repeat offenders face 20 years in prison and $250,000 fine. Publishing anything that is obscene on a government or financial institution’s website. It can lead up to 3 years in prison and $250,000 fine.
The punishment for each crime mention in this article is decide. By the state where the offense takes place explains William D King. The federal government can also suspend or revoke business licenses under certain circumstances.
In a nutshell, hacking someone’s computer system without permission is equivalent to breaking and entering. It will get you jail time if found guilty.
Hacking with an intention of gaining profit, interfering with public utilities, etc. It may lead up to 10 years in prison and a fine depending on severity of wrongdoing committed.