Tuesday, November 08, 2005

UK DoS attacks are legal

In a landmark ruling, a British teenager has been cleared of launching a denial-of-service (DoS) attack against his former employer, in a ruling that delivers another blow to the Computer Misuse Act (CMA).

Sitting at Wimbledon Magistrates Court, District Judge Kenneth Grant ruled that the youth, who can't be named for legal reasons, had not broken the CMA, under which he was charged. He was accused of sending five million emails to his ex-employer, causing the firm's email server to crash.

The CMA, which was introduced in 1990, explicitly outlaws the 'unauthorised access' and 'unauthorised modification' of computer material. Section 3, under which he was charged, concerns unauthorised data modification and tampering with systems. The defence counsel argued that sending a flood of unsolicited emails would not cause unauthorised access or modification, as the email server was set up for the purpose of receiving emails.

Judge Grant told the court that "the computer world has considerably changed since the 1990 Act", and that there was little legal precedent to refer back to. He then ruled that DoS attacks were not illegal under the CMA.

CATEGORIES: 1legal, 1dos, 1ddos, 1law, 1ruling,1legal
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