By James Savage
19th February 2007
Disabling websites through programming computers to automatically click
on the same page thousands of times so-called denial of service attacks
will be made a criminal offence in Sweden from 1st June.
There is currently no specific law banning the attacks, and other
legislation is deemed insufficient to ensure convictions in many cases.
According to a draft amendment to existing hacking laws published by the
government on Monday, perpetrators of denial of service attacks will
face maximum sentences of two years' imprisonment.
The Swedish national police website crashed in the summer after an
attack, which was believed to have come in reaction to raids on
file-sharing site The Pirate Bay. The incident is currently being
treated by police as unlawful dispossession, but nobody has so far faced
The Swedish government's website also crashed after a presumed attack
following the raid on The Pirate Bay, but there was too little evidence
to pin the blame on any individuals.
The new law will make it illegal to carry out a denial of service
attack, regardless of whether it is done automatically or manually.
Prosecutors will need to show that the attack was intended to disable
the victim's system. Conspiracy to carry out an attack will also be made
a criminal offence.
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