The London Metropolitan Police issued a warning to would-be ‘hacktivists’ via the Met’s Twitter account.
The Met’s Twitter account posted a update warning that "the investigation into the criminal activity of so-called "hacktivist" groups #Anonymous and #LulzSec continues."
The tweet also linked a lengthier statement in which the Met moved to "remind people of the law", in particular the Computer Misuse legislation.
The Met’s choice extracts from the Computer Misuse Act 1990 highlight the penalties of gaining unauthorized access and modifying ‘computer material’ can be up to two years in prison.
The extra went on to describe "impairing the operation of any computer" and "to prevent or hinder access to any program or data held in a computer" as constituting an offence that can result in up to ten years at Her Majesty’s pleasure.
The Met highlighted that Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks are covered by the quoted offenses.
FBI court documents showed that PayPal, having been subject to an DDoS attack egged on by Anonymous and the group’s own ‘Low Orbit Ion Canon’ DDoS tool, provided a list of 1,000 IP addresses of the attacks.
While hard-core hackers are unlikely to be dissuaded by the long arm of the law it does seem likely that like-minded ‘hacktivist’ groupies might think twice about joining in the next voluntary DDoS attack.
Or develop a taste for porridge.