The Computer Misuse Act 1990

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  • Created by: skyblue97
  • Created on: 18-04-14 10:51



  • The misuse act is labeled as 'anti-hacking legislation'.
  • It was enacted to respond to the growing threat of hacking to computer systems and data.
  • Hacking was not illegal in the UK before the act was introduced. The act now covers much more.

Levels of Offence

  • Unauthorised Access
  • Unauthorised access with intent to commit another offence
  • Unauthorised modification of data (writing viruses comes under this level)


  • Unauthorised Access (level 1) is called a summary offence and penalties are limited to 6 months imprisonment and/or maximum fine of £5000
  • The other two offences (levels 2 and 3) are more serious and carry jail terms of up to 5 years and unlimited fines.


Unauthorised Access

  • A student accesses a college database to impress his friends.
  • An employee who is about to be made redundant finds the Managing Director's password. He logs on to the computer system using this


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