Computer Misuse Act 1990 (CMA)


Don’t get involved in cybercrime


The NCA and Police take cybercrime very seriously. We work with national and international partners to investigate cyber criminals. If you get involved you could face the following consequences:

– A Visit and warning from Police or NCA Officers

– Being arrested

– Having your computer seized and internet access restricted

– Pay a penalty or fine

– A significant prison sentence

A permanent criminal record could affect education and future career prospects, as well as overseas travel.Cybercrime is not a victimless crime, imagine how you would feel if someone illegally accessed your private and personal information, could control your computer, or stop you using the internet.

Section 1 - Unauthorised access to computer material (2 Years Prison Sentence)

Without them knowing, you watched your friend put their password into their phone. You then used it to gain access to their phone and download their photos

Section 2 - Unauthorised access with intent to commit or facilitate commission of further offences (5 Years Prison Sentence)

Without their permission, you accessed your friend’s smartphone, obtaining their bank details, so you could transfer money from their account

Section 3 - Unauthorised acts with intent to impair, or with recklessness as to impairing, operation of computer (10 Years Prison Sentence)

You used a booter tool to knock a friend offline from an online game

Section 3ZA - Unauthorised acts causing, or creating risk of, serious damage (Life in Prison Sentence)

You hacked into the computer system of a Government Agency and were reckless as to the consequences. National security was undermined

Section 3A - Making, supplying or obtaining articles for use in another CMA offence (2 Years Prison Sentence)

You downloaded a product to deploy malware to a friend’s computer, so you could control it. You didn’t even get the chance to use it