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Our criminal law solicitors have a combined experience of over 150 years so we know that people do things that are completely out of character and that people are accused of offences that they have not done...

Computer Hacking Solicitors

A computer hacking offence occurs when an individual or group successfully, attempt or plan to gain access (conspiracy) or modify data on a computer when not authorised to do so.

Charged With Making, Supplying or Obtaining Tools?

Click on 'Read More' to read about charges under Section 42 of the Serious Crime Act 2015 - Making, Supplying or Obtaining Articles.

Hacking Offences

Hacking charges fall under the Computer Misuse Act 1990 which was introduced following pressure from large corporations. The act introduces the following offences: -

  • Section 1 of the Computer Misuse Act 1990


    Unauthorised access to computer material (that is, a program or data).
    An example of an offence under Section 1 (unauthorised access) could be the unauthorised use of another person's login ID and password to gain access to a program or data (such as sensitive e-mails).

    For the offence to occur under Section 1 the access to the computer material has to be unauthorised and the individual gaining access has to be aware that his access is unauthorised.

  • Section 2 of the Computer Misuse Act 1990


    Unauthorised access with intent to commit or facilitate commission of further offences.
    An example of an offence under Section 2 (unauthorised access with intent to commit further offence) could be accessing login records from a database with the intention of using the details to gain access to data at a later time. Further offences can fall under categories such as: -
    • Fraud (Fraud Act)
    • Forgery or counterfeiting (Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981)
    • Theft (Theft Act 1968)

  • Section 3 of the Computer Misuse Act 1990


    Unauthorised acts with intent to impair, or with recklessness as to impairing, operation of computer, etc.
    An example of an offence under Section 3 (unauthorised modification) could accessing data records and deleting them. It could also be the creation of a virus or malware program or distrubuting one across a network. A DDoS attack is also an offence under this section. To be found guilty under this section the individual must have done one of the following: -
    • Caused an unauthorised modification of the contents of the computer
    • Has the intention to make such a modification
    • Has the knowledge that what he intends to do is unauthorised
    A modification is a change which impairs the operation of a computer or prevents or hinders access to a program or data or the operation of the program or data or affects its reliability.

  • Section 3ZA of the Computer Misuse Act 1990


    Unauthorised acts causing, or creating risk of, serious damage
    Under this section if the alleged offence has resulted in serious damage to national security or human welfare the maximum sentence is life imprisonment. If the offence has resulted in damage to the economy or enironment the maximum sentence is 14 years imprisonment
    • make, adapt, supply or offer to supply any article intending it to be used or assist an offence under section 1 or 3
    • supply or offer to supply any article believing that it is likely to be used to commit or assist an offence under section 1 or 3
    • obtain any article with a view to its being for use to commit or assist an offence under section 1 or 3
    * An article is any program or date held in electronic form.

  • Section 3A of the Computer Misuse Act 1990


    Making, supplying or obtaining articles for use in offence under section 1 or 3
    An example of an offence under Section 3A is purchasing software that is able to perform DDoS attacks. To be found guilty under this section the individual must have done one of the following: -
    • make, adapt, supply or offer to supply any article intending it to be used or assist an offence under section 1 or 3
    • supply or offer to supply any article believing that it is likely to be used to commit or assist an offence under section 1 or 3
    • obtain any article with a view to its being for use to commit or assist an offence under section 1 or 3
    * An article is any program or date held in electronic form.

Being found guilty of a hacking offence can carry a sentence of imprisonment and if the offence was hacking in to overseas networks, an extradition warrant can be issued. Perhaps the most talked about example of this happening is Gary McKinnon who was facing a 70 year prison sentence but fought, successfully, extradition to the US for 10 years. It is therefore exremely important that you make contact with an experienced solicitors firm as early as possible. Even if you have not yet been charged, for example you may be on police bail or due for an interview under caution, with a hacking offence a defence solicitor will able to offer advice on how to move forward and provide representation if required.

If you are under investigation, due to be interviewed, on bail, have been summonsed or are due it court then call MJP solicitors today to speak to one of our experienced solicitors. Call 0333 011 0515 now, our lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Alternatively you can use our enquiry form to send a message which we can respond to.


DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) Offence

An offence can occur when the act of impairing the operation of a computer such as hindering access to a computer, for example a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack takes place. When a DDOS attack is aimed at a specific website then the individual or party may be charged under Section 3 of the Computer Misuse Act 1990. Malware and Trojans that infect computers can be used in DDoS attacks without the user's knowledge and therefore the prosecution must show intent to carry on the attack.

The distribution or making of a program that allows DDoS attacks is also be an offence under Section 3A - Making, supplying or obtaining articles for use in offence under section 1 or 3.

Being found guilty of a hacking offence can carry severe penalties, including imprisonment, so is therefore important you receive advice and representation from a knowledgeable criminal defence firm such as MJP solicitors.

Legal Advice and Representation

If you are being investigated, interviewed under caution or charged with an offence under the computer misuse act then you should call 0333 011 0515 immediately so that our solicitors can advise you on what you should do next.

Initial advice is always free and we are available 24 hours, 7 days a week to provide representation and specialist advice throughout England and Wales including Liverpool, Wirral, London and throughout North West.

Free Advice Available

If you have been arrested, interviewed or are due in court then speak to a solicitor today for free advice on 0333 011 0515.

Contact to us today - justice@mjpsolicitors.co.uk

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