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I'm reading about the Computer Abuse Amendments Act of 1994 and I just read: 'it is illegal to create any type of malicious code that might cause damage to a computer system.' Can someone clarify this for me?

  • When they say damage do they mean physical damage like code that destroys the fan so the pc gets cooked?
  • Does that mean penetration tools are technically illegal?
  • If i write code that has the potential to harm a computer and put it on my site for learning purposes but never use it, would that be illegal?

I know I should chat with a lawyer, and I will if I ever find myself in this situation, but i just wanted a quick answer from someone that may have dealt with this in the past, thanks!

  • Can you add the USA tag (technically redundant with the CFAA tag, but still useful for those who don't instantly know which country that is) and also link to the Amendments Act you reference? Also what is the source for your quote? – Paul Johnson Jan 16 at 16:03
  • Where exactly did you see this “code that might cause damage”? As a start I’d read the Wikipedia article carefully. – gnasher729 Jan 16 at 16:07
  • I saw it in the Sybex CISSP study guide, but I could not find it in the CFAA, so I'll close this question as solved. – Jrobm2k9 Jan 16 at 18:11
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    Does this answer your question? Can the Developer of a Program be penalized if it is used illegally? – BlueDogRanch Jan 17 at 17:27

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