Feeds

Reformed UK fraud law to tackle phishing attacks

10 years for phishermen

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The essential guide to IT transformation

The UK government is reforming fraud laws to create an offence covering the perpetrators of phishing attacks. The provision is among a raft of measures designed to clarify existing laws within the new Fraud Bill, which was introduced in the House of Lords on Wednesday.

A new offence of fraud, designed to strengthen the existing law and ease the prosecution process, is the main feature of the bill. The offence can be committed in one of three ways: false representation (as seen in phishing attacks); abuse of position (e.g. a person lifting money from the account of an elderly person under their care) and failing to disclose information (e.g. a lawyer who schemes to keep information from his client so he can make money on the side).

Judges will be able to impose sentences of up to 10 years for any of these three offences. This means fraudsters who pose as financial institutions in the commission of phishing attacks, a form of false representation, could become the subject of extradition proceedings.

The Bill will also introduce the new offences for obtaining services dishonestly (a crime that covers making fraudulent credit card transactions on the net, for example) and of participating in fraudulent business. It will also become an offence to possess, manufacture or supply equipment, such as a computer programme that can generate genuine credit card numbers, which facilitates fraud.

The Bill is designed to clarify the current law. Home Office Minister Fiona MacTaggart said: "The introduction of a general fraud offence will improve the criminal law in a number of respects. It will simplify the law, making it clearer to juries and the general public as well as making the prosecution process more effective by providing a clear definition of fraud. Our aim is to encompass all forms of fraudulent conduct, with a law that is flexible enough to deal with developing technology, allowing us to bring more offenders to justice." ®

Related stories

UK ID scheme rides again, as biggest ID fraud of them all
Brits fall prey to phishing
Credit card firms push cybersecurity
UK card fraud hits £505m

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Germany 'accidentally' snooped on John Kerry and Hillary Clinton
Dragnet surveillance picks up EVERYTHING, USA, m'kay?
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
Who needs hackers? 'Password1' opens a third of all biz doors
GPU-powered pen test yields more bad news about defences and passwords
Think crypto hides you from spooks on Facebook? THINK AGAIN
Traffic fingerprints reveal all, say boffins
Rupert Murdoch says Google is worse than the NSA
Mr Burns vs. The Chocolate Factory, round three!
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.