Changes to the Computer Misuse Act, designed to ensure hackers receive greater penalties, have come into force in England and Wales.

The amendments, which were previously included in the Police and Justice Act 2006, see the maximum penalty for unauthorised access to a computer raised to two years in prison and also make the distribution of hacking tools and launching of denial of service (DoS) attacks illegal offences, with a maximum of ten years in prison if convicted.

However, according to Charlotte Walker-Osborn, partner at law firm Eversheds, the new legislation may not have much impact on preventing cybercrime.

Walker-Obsourne told vnunet.com: "It's all very well increasing prison time but the prisons are full and people don't [serve] much time. The law takes a while to catch up and the practice of it is key. It is not going to put strong offenders off."

See also:
UK looks to get tough on cybercrime