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Denial of service attackers face 10 years in jail

Denial of service attackers face 10 years in jail
Denial of service attackers face 10 years in jail,39044215,61966964,00.htm 

By Andy McCue
Special to ZDNet Asia
November 13 2006 

Denial of service attackers in the United Kingdom now face up to 10 
years in jail with updated computer crime laws coming into force this 
week as part of the new Police and Justice Act 2006.

The long-overdue updating of the 1990 Computer Misuse Act also increases 
the sentence for hacking a computer from a maximum of six months to two 
years' imprisonment.

Section three of the 1990 CMA is replaced by section 34 of the Police 
and Justice Act 2006, which now more explicitly covers denial of service 
attacks as "unauthorized acts with intent to impair operation of a 

The act says a person is guilty of an offence if at the time of any 
attack they have the intent to impair the operation of any computer, 
prevent or hinder access to any program or data held on a computer, or 
impair the operation of a program or the reliability of data.

Confusion had arisen over whether denial of service attacks were covered 
in the original CMA in the case of a teenager originally cleared in 2005 
of crashing the email server of his former employer by overwhelming it 
with an 'email bomb' containing millions of messages.

That ruling was later overturned and David Lennon was found guilty 
earlier this year of breaking the CMA, and was sentenced to a two-month 

The new law also makes it an offence to supply or make available any 
software or tools that could be used to commit hacking or denial of 
service attacks, and those found guilty under this section of the act 
face up to two years in jail.

As part of the Police and Justice Act 2006 the police IT organization 
Pito has been abolished and its functions will be taken over by the new 
National Policing Improvement Agency.

New powers under the Act will give police the right to access passenger 
and crew data on any journeys within the United Kingdom or arriving in 
the United Kingdom.

Andy McCue of reported from London.

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