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Is it Illegal to DDOS Attack a Website?

December 10, 2012
By The Wiseman Law Firm

DDOS refers to a Distributed Denial of Service. In attacking a website using this strategy, a computer user will flood a targeted website with multiple requests for service, overloading the server so that requests or services are slowed or halted and the website and its business becomes inoperable.

Sophisticated users target a site by bombarding it with thousands of “zombie” machines, called botnets, that may be infected with malicious software. Cybercriminals use the attack for extortion and forcing businesses to pay them to stop the attack. Some websites use these tactics to cripple rival sites.

While some observers defend DDOS attacks as a form of mass demonstration against an offending website, it is illegal under the Federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Violators are subject to prison sentences of up to 10 years and a fine of up to $500,000. Conspiracy carries up to 5 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

Should you have any questions on DDOS attacks or defending cyber crime, please contact The Wiseman Law Firm.

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