Law may be updated to cover DoS attacks

Thursday, 12 December 2002, 11:42 AM EST

The government is considering amending the Computer Misuse Act (CMA), amid concern within the Internet industry that denial of service (DoS) attacks may not be covered by the law.

The Home Office, in consultation with groups such as the police and industry representatives, is currently examining ways of updating the CMA, according to a Home Office spokeswoman.

The CMA, which was passed in 1990, makes it a criminal offence to access a computing system unless authorised, to access a computer system without authorisation with the intention of committing a further offence, and to modify computer material without authorisation.

Some experts believe that the CMA does not make it illegal to conduct a denial of service attack, under which a hacker attempts to bring down a Web site by bombarding a server with data traffic, overwhelming it so it cannot carry out its normal functions.

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