Feeds

Govt report card logs UK hacking conviction success rate

56% - Could do better

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Sixty-one of the 108 people prosecuted under UK hacking laws between 2003 and 2007 were convicted.

The number of successful prosecutions under the Computer Misuse Act came in a written parliamentary answer by Claire Ward, junior minister at the Ministry of Justice, in response to a question from Cardiff Lib Dem MP Jennifer Willott. The answer - published in Hansard here - gives a break-down by year and seriousness of offence.

Section One, the least serious category, includes simple unauthorised access to a computer while Section three offences cover the creation of computer viruses and (more recently) the instigation of denial of service attacks that impair the operation of computers. Section Two offences cover unauthorised modification (computer hacking) as a part of some other crime.

With such a small sample it is perhaps a bit rash to look for trends. However the less cautious might note that the rate of successful prosecutions was roughly consistent between 2004 and 2007, after starting with a lowly one-in-four hit rate back in 2003. Delving deeper into risky waters it might also be noted that success rates for Section Three prosecutions are higher than those for Section Two cases, as least between 2004 and 2007. Stats for 2008 will only become available later this year.

The figures only cover prosecutions where computer hacking offences were the principal offence under consideration by the courts (ie. the one likely or actually leading to the toughest punishment on conviction). Figures from both magistrate and crown court prosecutions are included in the figures.

The written answer on CMA prosecutions was published as part of Hansard's record for parliamentary proceedings for 16 September but only made available online on Tuesday (22 September). ®

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

More from The Register

next story
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
Early result from Scots indyref vote? NAW, Jimmy - it's a SCAM
Anyone claiming to know before tomorrow is telling porkies
TOR users become FBI's No.1 hacking target after legal power grab
Be afeared, me hearties, these scoundrels be spying our signals
Jihadi terrorists DIDN'T encrypt their comms 'cos of Snowden leaks
Intel bods' analysis concludes 'no significant change' after whistle was blown
Home Depot: 56 million bank cards pwned by malware in our tills
That's about 50 per cent bigger than the Target tills mega-hack
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
China hacked US Army transport orgs TWENTY TIMES in ONE YEAR
FBI et al knew of nine hacks - but didn't tell TRANSCOM
Microsoft to patch ASP.NET mess even if you don't
We know what's good for you, because we made the mess says Redmond
NORKS ban Wi-Fi and satellite internet at embassies
Crackdown on tardy diplomatic sysadmins providing accidental unfiltered internet access
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.