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Effects of Punishment for Cyber-Attacks

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According to US Secret Service Deputy Agent Pablo Martinez, complex and sophisticated electronic crimes are rarely perpetrated by a lone individual, (Srivastava, 2011). A new proposed law would double current prison times up to 20 years and increases fines of such crimes.

QUESTION:

Will hardening the punishment for cyber-attacks, have any effect on the attacks?

Please include references in the response.

Srivastava, K (2011), "Obama Says Hacks Are Organized Crime, Wants Stiffer Penalties", Available from: http://www.mobiledia.com/news/107373.html, (Accessed on 20 Sep 2011).

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Solution Preview

Cyber-attacks must be dealt with very seriously because it causes a lot of damage to businesses and the actual punishment should depend on the type of fraud used. Currently the penalty for illegally accessing a computer system ranges from 6 months to 5 years, unofficial modification on a computer ranges from 5 to 10 years and an individual who hacks the computer or computer devices will get an imprisonment up to 3 years or trying to gain access to a system which is a protected system by the government, will result in imprisonment for 10 years and a heavy fine. Clearly these are already deterrent penalties and fines.

So what happens if we harden the punishments? Think about the laws covering cyber-attacks in other countries. Some of them don't even have definite cyber laws to protect online users. Even if there are laws with increasing cyber-crimes they are either outdated or does not cover all types of crimes. If you increase the punishments in the U.S., maybe hackers will try attacking from these countries since the internet is global. However we can broaden international law enforcement coordination, specifically via the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime. Another approach is to prohibit the development of cyber weapons via international treaty, such as that negotiated for chemical weapons. Articles to such a treaty might ban supply chain attacks and the disruption of non-combatant networks, as well as increase ...

Solution Summary

The effects of punishments for cyber-attacks are examined.

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