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Is computer intrusion a form of computer fraud?

There are many different forms of computer fraud. One particular type is known as computer intrusion and differs from many other types of fraud schemes. Often, acts of computer intrusion are never even reported to authorities.

Computer intrusion typically involves the theft of consumer information from a computer system. Louisianans may not be aware that computer intrusion, which is also known as hacking, can happen via the actions of either a person considered an insider or an outsider. An insider is a person who works within the company whose system is being accessed and an outsider does not.

A person who commits a computer intrusion, sometimes referred to as a hacker, may acquire identifying information about persons whose information is listed in a computer system, such as names and addresses, as well as credit card numbers. Sometimes, computer intrusion may lead to other alleged white collar crimes, such as identity theft or credit card fraud. Other times, a purported hacker may install a virus on a computer system that can interfere with that system.

Improper access of a computer system may constitute a federal crime with serious potential penalties. A conviction may result in fines, as well as a prison sentence of up to 20 years, depending on the circumstances surrounding the criminal activity, such as whether the offense is a first offense or not.

The FBI investigates alleged computer intrusions through its Cyber Division. They have significant resources at their disposal, and, therefore, a person who has been charged with, or is being investigated for, an alleged cyber crime such as computer intrusion may wish to seek out aggressive legal counsel to protect their rights.

Source: FBI, "Computer Intrusion/Hacking," accessed July 29, 2016

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