What Does it Mean to “Hack” a Computer?
“Hacking a computer” is the equivalent to breaking into a house. Computers store our most valuable financial and personal information, and it is a crime to break into a computer to access data.
Hacking (also known as “cracking”) means stealing information from a computer you do not own for financial gain, to steal a person’s identity, or to hurt another person by falsifying records. For example, students may try to change their grades, and people have been known to try to dissolve their mortgages.
A misdemeanor crime of this nature might be breaking into someone else’s computer to learn something damaging about them. Felony crimes include posting or sending pornographic photos of someone, selling illegally obtained passwords or identifying information, or stealing financial records.
Penalties for Computer Hacking
Penalties for misdemeanor computer hacking could include 30 days in jail and a fine of up to $5,000. However, being charged with a felony is more likely, meaning your fine could be up to $100,000 and a prison term of up to 10 years, in addition to the potential of civil lawsuits.