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Friday, January 27, 2006

U.K. bill would increase penalties for cybercriminals

The British government has proposed sharply increasing penalties for computer crimes, which are taking a financial toll on U.K. businesses.  The Police and Justice Bill would amend the Computer Misuse Act of 1990, a Home Office spokeswoman said Friday. It would increase the maximum penalty for unauthorized modification of a computer from five years to 10 years, a provision that would cover all forms of DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) attacks, she said.

If the bill is passed into law, those convicted of unauthorized access to a computer could face up to a two-year prison sentence, up from six months.

“Over the last 18 months there have been a lot of high-profile DoS attacks which have in turn been accompanied by extortion requests against U.K. online bookmakers,” the spokeswoman said.  Of 200 companies that participated in the survey, 90%reported they had experienced unauthorized access to their networks, while 89 percent had been victims of data theft.,10801,108133,00.html

Posted on 01/27