Hacking into a computer system is a serious crime. It’s one of the most common kinds of computer crimes and happens almost on a daily basis. People who are involved in hacking can affect anything from the way a retail business runs to making political statements or taking over websites. 

Hacking itself isn’t always a crime. It depends on how hacking is used. Ethical hacking is one example of legal hacking in which a person is legally permitted to hack into a security network for the purpose of discovering weak points in the system. When a hacker does not have permission or the authority to hack into a system, however, that is where the line is crossed and a crime occurs. Unlawfully accessing or breaking into a computer system can result in criminal charges.

Did you know that the government has several hacking laws? These include:

  • The Defend Trade Secrets Act
  • The Electronic Communications Privacy Act
  • The Stored Communications Act
  • The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

Each of these has its own restrictions and legal implications. One of the first things your attorney will talk to you about is the laws that have been broken and how they could impact your case. You’ll want to build a defense that specifically addresses the issues the prosecution brings up, which is why you’ll want to work with someone who has an idea of the way that your actions broke the law and how to mitigate the damage that could be done to your reputation. Computer crimes can happen accidentally, or they could be intentional. Regardless of your intent, it’s smart to defend yourself if you’re accused of a federal crime.