The usage and numbers of computers are increasing daily. Along with the evolution of computers, more and more risks have become a byproduct. In the cyber world, hacking is the crime of breaking into another’s computer system or network. The term hacking implies any intended access to different systems or networks belonging to another party without authorization. Most of the time, the hacking attempt has a sole purpose to achieve. However, it is considered a crime solely for crossing the authorization barrier.
The person or the entity working behind the hack attack is termed as a hacker. There are different laws against hacking and the punishment for it includes fines and years in prison. The punishment depends on the level of attack or amount of loss the hacker causes. Previously, under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of the United States, a cyber assault had to cause loss exceeding $5,000 to the victim’s system to be considered as a hack attack. This created a loophole against convicting hackers, but now, under the Patriot Act, any damage to the system is counted as hacking.
Usually a hacker breaks into a system or application to perform some illegal action, like data corruption, stealing sensitive information, password trafficking, or physical damage to the running system. In several cases, little harm is done to the victim’s machine physically, but accessing unauthorized information is the major focus of considering it as a crime. If you make unauthorized entry into any government or public computer, and defraud stored information like financial data, national security information, department and agency information, etc., your crime will be classified as a third degree hacking attempt.
According to the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, you can be charged a fine of up to $5,000 and receive up to 5 years imprisonment. A second degree charge results when severe damage and mass information has been defrauded of the victim by the hacker. Up to 15 years imprisonment and up to a fine of $15,000 will be the penalty for the hacker in a second degree case.
According to the amendment to the Cyber Security Enhancement Act, life sentences are also allowable for some types of hacking actions.
Law enforcement agencies, like the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the U.S. Secret Service, and the Internet Crime Complaint Center are given full authority to investigate and penalize malicious hack attacks such as password trafficking, internet fraud, or sensitive data exploitation. You should always avoid illegal access and hacking attempts if you do not want to end up in jail.
Most hackers penetrate the security means of an application in the target machine. In order to ensure application safety and stability in the cyber world, different terminologies are used. The valuable data or information in your system is the asset and any attack through the vulnerable points of the application can make the whole system collapse and reveal unintended information to the hacker. During every step of the software development life cycle, any possible threat in the operational segment is identified and probable countermeasure steps are prepared to repel any assault. For hacking any application, numerous types of threats are constructed by the hacker. These threats include buffer overflow, documentation theft, brute force assault, information disclosure, unauthorized access and administration, service denial, etc.
Depending on the target system environment and vulnerability presence, the hacker poses different threats. You have to consider every single threat and develop necessary countermeasures to secure your application and system. White hat hackers, or ethical hackers, are an important shield against cyber crime. Ethical hackers perform various out of the shelf hack attempts and intrusions to detect any threats early on.
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