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32 votes

Is it legal to crack MD5 hashes?

The German criminal code has the section 202c "Acts preparatory to data espionage and phishing" which makes it illegal to produce (as well as trade, possess, supply, etc.) software intended for ...
Philipp's user avatar
  • 7,372
30 votes
Accepted

Is it legal to hack a hacker back (in the US)?

Generally, no. The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), which is the law that generally forbids breaking into or damaging computer systems, does not have any exceptions for "hacking back." ...
Ryan M's user avatar
  • 10.3k
29 votes

How do laws against computer intrusion handle the modern situation of devices routinely being under the de facto control of non-owners?

You ask: Why, legally, can Microsoft (or any other device manufacturer or application developer) control my computer in excess of what I have authorized... ? It cannot. The Windows licence says: By ...
Jen's user avatar
  • 59.8k
29 votes

What consequences could there be for Robert'); DROP TABLE Students;-- when he grows up?

It depends on the mens rea element of any given statute. If Bobby's home state makes it a crime to purposefully enter harmful data into a computer system, he is unlikely to ever run afoul of that law ...
bdb484's user avatar
  • 60.7k
23 votes
Accepted

Have draft SCOTUS opinions been leaked before?

Politico, who published this most recent leak, also has an article about prior SOCTUS leaks. Most of them were very minor or speculative, along the lines of the following two examples given: In 1972,...
zibadawa timmy's user avatar
22 votes

Is it illegal to download passwords in bulk from the dark web to make a password checking tool to help people?

Most of the question has nothing to do with the law, it's about technical how-to or how-does, which should be asked in Information Security SE. There are two possible legal questions: is it legal to ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 215k
19 votes
Accepted

Is it legal for BMW owners to enable heated car seats without paying the subscription fee?

There are limits to what you are allowed to modify on your car. Federal safety regulations require certain features to be installed by the manufacturer, and to be maintained by the owner in a state ...
Michael Hall's user avatar
  • 4,611
16 votes

What consequences could there be for Robert'); DROP TABLE Students;-- when he grows up?

germany If Bobby was born in Germany, he won't have this problem. German laws requires the parents to select a name appropriate for the gender of the newborn, and DROP TABLES is not a suitable name ...
o.m.'s user avatar
  • 18.3k
14 votes

If I accidentally leaked my school's IP address and someone attempts a DDoS attack on my school am I at fault?

tl;dr- I don't see how you can "leak" a large organization's IP addresses given that they seem to be very public information. However, misusing an organization's network services or/and ...
Nat's user avatar
  • 247
14 votes
Accepted

Can Law Enforcement in the US use evidence acquired through an illegal act by someone else?

Yes: So long as law enforcement did not compel the hackers to hack the data and the data was recovered by Law Enforcement through their investigation of the Hacker's breeching the server's security. ...
hszmv's user avatar
  • 23k
13 votes
Accepted

Is it legal to hijack online scammers accounts?

No, it is not. Just as it is illegal to steal from a thief, it is illegal to hack a hacker. Criminals are often considered a good target for crimes from a practical standpoint, but crimes against ...
HopelessN00b's user avatar
13 votes

Is it legal for BMW owners to enable heated car seats without paying the subscription fee?

One sense in which it might be illegal is, it may be a violation of copyright law by circumventing access-protection measures. You stipulate that this can be done without modifying the software, but ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 215k
13 votes

How do laws against computer intrusion handle the modern situation of devices routinely being under the de facto control of non-owners?

You own the computer but do not own Windows. Microsoft owns Windows and it is not for sale to anybody, so you never purchased it. What you have purchased is a permission to use it (a license) subject ...
Rad80's user avatar
  • 239
11 votes
Accepted

What parts of cracking (tampering with the copyrighted software) are actually illegal?

It is not correct to say that drugs are, for example, broadly illegal in many western countries Some specific drugs, or specific categories of drugs, are illegal in certain circumstances, by ...
David Siegel's user avatar
8 votes
Accepted

Would it be legal to publish a program to factor large semiprime numbers?

Sure But it’s been done. Admittedly, we don’t yet have the computer to run it for numbers bigger than 15 but the algorithm is ready to go.
Dale M's user avatar
  • 213k
7 votes
Accepted

Clean Hands doctrine and Plausible Deniability

Given that both parties have committed criminal offenses (the 'bad actor' is attempting fraud and the 'victim' has committed unauthorized access to a computer system), no court would hear a civil case ...
Dale M's user avatar
  • 213k
7 votes

Can it be illegal to press f12 in a web browser?

The law is really bad at protecting whistleblowers From my understanding of US law, this is not unauthorised access to a computer: the reporter made a legitimate request to a remote computer, that ...
Dale M's user avatar
  • 213k
7 votes

Would it be legal to publish a program to factor large semiprime numbers?

Since you are asking about US law, the matter is very simple. See Bernstein v. US, 176 F.3d 1132. The government defendants appeal the grant of summary judgment to the plaintiff, Professor Daniel J. ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 215k
6 votes

Bypassing website's paywall by modifying HTTP request headers

This is relatively uncharted legal territory, so until multiple cases establish some sort of precedent, we can only guess. I know of no legal requirement that a Browser or User has to submit cookies ...
abelenky's user avatar
  • 3,166
6 votes

Is unintentional one-time bug abuse illegal?

Let’s say I go to a cash machine, ask for £100, and the machine gives me £10,000. I use my banking app and see that £100 left my account, not £10,000. At this point I haven’t done anything illegal. If ...
gnasher729's user avatar
  • 34.3k
6 votes

What consequences could there be for Robert'); DROP TABLE Students;-- when he grows up?

france For someone born in France, no consequences, because it would never happen. The état civil officer registering the name of newborns has the power to veto names that "seem contrary to the ...
AmiralPatate's user avatar
5 votes

Is cracking software with server emulators illegal?

Forget about copyright or EULAs. In the UK this would be illegal under the Computer Misuse Act (1998) and you could be jailed for up to a year - specifically Unauthorised access to computer material. ...
Rory Alsop's user avatar
5 votes
Accepted

Is it illegal to create and sell a exploit of a zero-day vulnerability?

Yes. In the United Kingdom it is illegal under the Computer Misuse Act 1990. In other jurisdictions there may not be a law directly aimed at computer crime but if you sell it knowing that a crime is ...
Topher Brink's user avatar
5 votes
Accepted

Is it illegal to bypass user agreement window?

Your question has two distinct aspects which have to be considered separately: criminal law and civil law. I will give an opinion on both aspects, but first I have to give you a word of warning: This ...
Sefe's user avatar
  • 669
5 votes
Accepted

Can academics break the law with their research?

Eugene Volokh categorizes this as "crime-facilitating speech" in his articles, "The Freedom of Speech and Bad Purposes", and "Crime-Facilitating Speech". He characterizes the situation like this: ...
K-C's user avatar
  • 4,024
5 votes
Accepted

If a hacker is infected as a result of their actions, is the victim liable?

In common law jurisdictions like the United States, this would probably be controlled under normal tort principles, which would mean that the answer turns on the hacking victim's state of mind. If the ...
bdb484's user avatar
  • 60.7k

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