European Parliament Proposed Strict Punishment For Hackers

European Parliament Proposed Strict Punishment For Hackers 

Europe countries are now taking cyber crimes more seriously. Recently The Civil Liberties Committee of the European Parliament has backed a draft law which immediately increases punishment for cyber criminals for attacks on IT systems within EU member states to at least two years of prison. Possessing or distributing hacking software and tools would also be regarded as an offense, and companies would be liable for cyber attacks committed for their benefit. If an attacker engaged a Denial of Service attack (DoS) or an attack through botnet, then immediately he will be sent behind bar for at-least five years
The proposal, which would update existing EU legislation on cyber attacks, was approved with by 50 votes in favour, 1 against and 3 abstentions. "We are dealing here with serious criminal attacks, some of which are even conducted by criminal organizations. The financial damage caused for companies, private users and the public side amounts to several billions each year" said rapporteur Monika Hohlmeier (EPP, DE). "No car manufacturer may send a car without a seatbelt into the streets. And if this happens, the company will be held liable for any damage. These rules must also apply in the virtual world" she added. 
  • Other Punishable Offenses :- 
IP spoofing-
Using another person's electronic identity (e.g. by "spoofing" their IP address), to commit an attack, and causing prejudice to the rightful identity owner would also be an aggravating circumstance - for which MEPs say Member States must set a maximum penalty of at least three years. MEPs also propose tougher penalties if the attack is committed by a criminal organisation and/or if it targets critical infrastructure such as the IT systems of power plants or transport networks. However, no criminal sanctions should apply to "minor cases", i.e. when the damage caused by the offence is insignificant.
Cyber-attack tools -
The proposal also targets tools used to commit offences: the production or sale of devices such as computer programs designed for cyber-attacks, or which find a computer password by which an information system can be accessed, would constitute criminal offences. Liability of legal persons Legal persons would be liable for offences committed for their benefit (e.g. a company would be liable for hiring a hacker to get access to a competitor's database), whether deliberately or through a lack of supervision. They would also face penalties such as exclusion for entitlement to public benefits or judicial winding-up. To resist cross-border cyber-attacks, Member States need to ensure that their networks of national contact points are available round the clock, and can respond to urgent requests within a maximum of eight hours, says the text.
Background -
Large-scale cyber-attacks took place in Estonia in 2007 and Lithuania in 2008. In March 2009, public and private sector IT systems in more than 103 countries were attacked using a "zombie" network of compromised, infected computers.
Next steps -
The Rapporteur aims for a political agreement between Parliament and Council on this Directive by the summer.

-Source (European Parliament / News)



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