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Laws pertaining to creation of malicious software?

  1. Jul 16, 2014 #1
    What does the law say about writing malicious programs? What if I write one and distribute it but I never actually run it myself? What are the repercussions for writing a script that retrieves all the passwords from users on a message board (not this one), provided that I'm not taking any personal info such as credit card numbers, and provided that the terms and conditions of the message board don't explicitly state that I cannot do so?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 16, 2014 #2

    Drakkith

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    I'm pretty sure it's illegal.
     
  4. Jul 16, 2014 #3
  5. Jul 16, 2014 #4

    AlephZero

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    The law can get as creative as it needs to be. IIRC, some prosecutions in the UK before the Computer Misuse Act of 1990 were for the offense of stealing the electricity used by the machine running the malware.

    (And in the UK, "stealing electricity" is a separate legal offense from "theft" in general, since historically theft only covered stealing physical objects....)
     
  6. Jul 16, 2014 #5

    dlgoff

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    Wow. My current UPS load is showing 66 Watts. My "on-peak" electrical rate is 10.81¢ per kWh. So I'd be stealing a max of $0.17 per day.

    Note to self: No malicious code creation. At least during "on-peak" times. :biggrin:
     
  7. Jul 17, 2014 #6

    AlephZero

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    Yeah, but if you send out a million spam emails and include the recipients' power usage while reading them, that goes up to 66 MW :biggrin:
     
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