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Computer Misuse Act
What it covers - 3 offences?

1. Unauthorised access
Unauthorized Access is an act of illegally gaining access into any computer, network etc., or promoting such activity.

2. Unauthorised access with intent to commit another crime
Unauthorized Access is an act of illegally gaining access into any computer, network etc., or promoting such activity. With the intent to commit another crime.

3. Unauthorised modification of data
Unauthorised modification of the contents of a computer, impairing the operation of any program or reliability of data. Penalty is an unlimited fine and a maximum five year prison sentence.


1. Viruses
A computer virus is a malware program that, when executed, replicates by inserting copies of itself (possibly modified) into other computer programs, data files, or the boot sector of the hard drive; when this replication succeeds, the affected areas are then said to be "infected".

2. Malware

a. Adware
Adware, or advertising-supported software, is any software package that automatically renders advertisements in order to generate revenue for its author. The advertisements may be in the user interface of the software or on a screen presented to the user during the installation process.

b. Spyware
Software that enables a user to obtain covert information about another's computer activities by transmitting data covertly from their hard drive.

3. Spam
When not referring to the tasty potted meat product, spam is unsolicited junk email sent indiscriminately in bulk, often for commercial purposes. Much of it is sent by botnets, networks of virus-infected computers, complicating the process of tracking down the spammers.

4. Hacking
A hacker can "hack" his or her way through the security levels of a computer system or network. This can be as simple as figuring out somebody else's password or as complex as writing a custom program to break another computer's security software. Hackers are the reason software manufacturers release periodic "security updates" to their programs.

5. Botnets
A network of private computers infected with malicious software and controlled as a group without the owners' knowledge, e.g. to send spam.

Examples of Hacking

1. Wargames – 1981/83
The film follows David Lightman (Broderick), a young hacker who unwittingly accesses WOPR (War Operation Plan Response), a United States military supercomputer programmed to predict possible outcomes of nuclear war. Lightman gets WOPR to run a nuclear war simulation, originally believing it to be a computer game. The simulation causes a national nuclear missile scare and nearly starts World War III. This is based on a real event, in the real event Lightman was intentionally trying to hack to get to a nuclear bomb, not accidental.

2. Gary McKinnon
Gary McKinnon (born 10 February 1966) is a Scottish systems administrator and hacker who was accused in 2002 of perpetrating the "biggest military computer hack of all time," although McKinnon himself states that he was merely looking for evidence of free energy suppression and a cover-up of UFO activity and other technologies potentially useful to the public. On 16 October 2012, after a series of legal proceedings in Britain, Home Secretary Theresa May withdrew her extradition order to the United States.

3. Lauri Love
Lauri Love, 30, from Stradishall in Suffolk, has been charged with hacking into various agencies, including the US army, Nasa, the Federal Reserve and the Environmental Protection Agency

Downloads - worksheets
1. Worms, Trojans, Hoaxes
2. Protecting Your Computer
3. Hacking & Cracking