Police offer reminder that hacking is illegal

The Metropolitan Police has “reminded” people that taking part in online attacks is in fact illegal.

The police issued the statement only via Twitter – often used by hacking groups Anonymous and LulzSec to publicise attacks.

“The investigation into the criminal activity of so-called ‘hacktivist’ groups Anonymous and LulzSec continues,” the statement said.

We want to remind people of the law in this area

“We want to remind people of the law in this area… Anyone considering accessing a computer without authority should understand that such acts are unlawful and can carry a term of imprisonment,” the statement added, noting that denial-of-service attacks were also illegal.

The message noted that it doesn’t matter if hackers attack targets outside of the UK. “Under UK legislation, it is an offence if a person acts from within the UK upon a computer anywhere else in the world,” the police said. “It is also an offence if someone anywhere else in the world to criminally affect a computer within the UK.”

Depending on the charges, hackers risk potential jail sentences of up to ten years.

The “reminder” follows the arrest of 18-year-old Jake Davis, accused of being LulzSec spokesman Topiary, as well as two other teenagers in recent weeks.

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