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20 February 2007, 13:00

Sweden criminalises DoS attacks

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From 1st June 2007, denial of service (DoS) attacks on websites will be a criminal offence in Sweden, with a maximum penalty of two years in jail. Preparing for an attack will also become a criminal offence. According to press reports, the Swedish government is reacting to inadequacies in current legislation and a number of incidents. Last summer the websites of the Swedish police and the government were disabled by a DoS attack.

A connection with raids carried out at BitTorrent tracker ThePirateBay and the seizure of servers has been suggested. However, the police were unable to establish the origin of the attacks beyond reasonable doubt. Whether the forthcoming legislation will deter attackers from knocking out websites remains to be seen. Prosecutors will need to demonstrate that the aim of an attack was to disable the victim's system.

In Germany, attacks on systems are also to be criminalised as part of a "hacker clause" in cybercrime legislation. In particularly serious cases of computer sabotage, a maximum sentence of up to ten years in prison is [ticker:uk_78448 planned].



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