4 cybercrimes that can lead to federal charges
In an increasingly interconnected world, it has changed the dynamics of what crime looks like.
Engaging in certain cyber activities can lead to federal charges, resulting in legal repercussions that can alter one’s life forever.
1. Unauthorized access to computer systems
Gaining unauthorized access to computer systems, commonly known as hacking, is a serious offense that can lead to federal charges. This includes breaking into private networks, stealing sensitive information or disrupting the normal functioning of computer systems. Federal law prohibits such activities under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.
2. Identity theft and fraud
Committing identity theft or engaging in fraudulent activities online can quickly escalate to federal charges. This involves using someone else’s personal information, such as Social Security numbers or credit card details, for illicit purposes. The federal government takes a strong stance against these crimes.
3. Distribution of malicious software
The distribution of malicious software, commonly referred to as malware, is another cybercrime that can attract federal attention. Creating, distributing or using malware with the intent to compromise computer systems or steal information is a federal offense. Those caught engaging in such activities may face charges related to the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.
4. Online child exploitation
Engaging in any form of online child exploitation, including the production, distribution or possession of child pornography, is a grave offense that can lead to federal charges. The Protect Act and other federal laws are in place to combat such activities, and individuals involved may face significant penalties, including lengthy prison sentences. In 2022, the Department of Homeland Security played a role in 2,147 convictions for child exploitation.
Engaging in certain cybercrimes can have severe consequences, potentially leading to federal charges with substantial penalties. When faced with these types of charges, developing a solid defense is important.