• Miss S

Introduction to Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is the practice of protecting ourselves and our digital information from theft, hardware from damage and servers from misuse. There are various kinds of attack methods; some using software and some utilising inter-personal (or digital) communications.


Those that commence these attacks are called hackers, and there are two types of hacker: ethical and unethical.


Ethical and Unethical Hacking

An unethical hacker is someone that hacks with bad intentions. This could be for a number of reasons including: to gain people’s personal information, for financial gain, to obtain or break a persons password or encryption key or to promote a cause.


Ethical hackers are individuals who hack with the permission of an individual or organisation. This could be a penetration tester: someone who tests the security of a network to assess where the holes in the individual or organisation’s security are, with the intention of repairing them.


The Computer Misuse Act, 1990

We, as individuals, are protected from hacking by the Computer Misuse Act [1] which is a law that outlines three offences:

  1. Unauthorised Access to Computer Material

  2. Unauthorised access with intent to commit or facilitate commission of further offences

  3. Unauthorised acts with intent to impair, or with recklessness as to impairing, operation of computer, etc.

Unauthorised Access to Computer Materials

This means that it is against the legislation to access the materials stored on a computer without their permission. This includes flies, passwords, images, webcam footage or microphone audio.


Unauthorised access with the intent to commit or facilitate commission of further offences

This means that it is against the legislation to access a computer without permission and with the goal of committing another crime. This could be stealing money or information.


Unauthorised access with the intent to impair, or with recklessness as to impairing, operation of computer etc.

This means that it is against the legislation to access a computer with the goal of breaking that computer, manipulating its operating software or programs, or with installing software on it to harm other computers.



Sources:

[1] UK Public General Acts (1990) The Computer Misuse Act. Available at: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1990/18/contents (Accessed: 01-04-2021)



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