“Hacker-section” Has Come into Force

“Hacker-section”, i.e. §202c StGB, came into force on August 11, 2007. This article will inform you on the new legalities.


The Act to Change Penal Law to fight computer-crimes brings numerous improvements in the area of the computer-sabotage. Above all, the spying-out of non-secured data and hacking even without spying out data is increasingly protected from now on. Computer-sabotage was liable to prosecution only for attacks against enterprises, companies and authorities up to now. Protection is also for private data processing as well as breakdowns through so-called “Denial-of-Service (DOS) attacks". DOS-attacks overpower servers by an unusually high multiplicity of inquiries for data. The capacity of the attacked server is usually not strong enough to handle the multitude of inquiries so that the server crashes. The Bundesverband Informationswirtschaft, Telekommunikation und neue Medien (Federal-Association for Information Commerce, Telecommunication and new Media), BITKOM expressed criticism of the new criminal liability: The legislator’s consideration that the spreading of viruses, espionage software and other malware, to be put under penal prosecution, is admittedly meaningful. However, the chosen legal formulation was too wide since it does not take into account that similar software-tools are also applied for protection purposes.


In the practice, this new regulation can lead to a prohibition of special software that is necessary for the discovery and analysis of security-gaps in IT-systems. A criminalization of system-administrators, IT-security experts, and software dealers is possible. For this reason, concerned companies should give serious thought to the new law in order not to inadvertently break it.

Published on the old CMS: 2007/10/21
Read on the old CMS till November 2008: 163 reads


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