Finding out more and more about cyber security started to make me curious, what are the laws and penalties regarding hackers? After doing a little research I found that the penalties for hacking depend on what the hacker intentions were. If they are caught trying to cause harm, to steal money or identities, or to simply test their skills, one can expect different penalties for each of these, jail time is certainly a possibility in some of these cases. In the case that a hacker is sent to prison their sentences can range from one to ten years.
Federal rules now mandate that a person who uses computers to cause death or bodily harm can get the maximum sentence. Said to be aimed primarily at cyber-terrorists, and not at “teen hackers”, the harsh sentences are reserved for those who bring down power grids or airport control centers.
Under the new guidelines hackers will face a 25 percent increase in their sentences if they steal personal information, and a 50 percent increase if they share the stolen information. If the information is posted on the Internet, their sentences can double.
Those who write and distribute viruses and worms will face a 50 percent increase in their sentence. A double penalty will also apply to those who break into government, military, or computers tied into the power or telecommunications grids.
Breaking into a bank account will provide a penalty based upon the amount of money in the account. If the hacker actually takes the money, the judges can tack on a 50 percent increase.
info obtained from: http://www.esecurityguy.com/hacker_laws