Can I go to jail for paying someone to hack?

Yes, you can go to jail for paying someone to hack, unless your hacking is a legal form of hacking. For example, Twitter offers bug bounties to people that find viruses or malware on their servers and systems, and can legally pay someone to hack. When a citizen pays another citizen to hack a private citizen, this is a series of criminal offenses. In addition to violating privacy laws, the accused will be charged with crimes connected to the hacking act itself.

It also depends on the country where the hacking takes place. In some countries, like Canada, asking someone to commit a crime carries the same penalties as the commission of the crime itself. In a nutshell, yes, you can go to jail for paying someone to hack if the hacking offense is a crime, which in some cases it is not.

It Is Illegal To Ask Someone to Commit a Crime

The act of asking someone to commit a crime, like the crime of hacking, is illegal. The precise charge would be specific to the jurisdiction, however, in many jurisdictions in North America, this charge looks like a conspiracy to commit charge or a counsel to commit charge or indictment. In many cases, the charge of hacking or cybercrime is going to be a federal offense or indictable offense. In most jurisdictions, the sentencing guidelines are the same for the person that asks someone to commit the crime, as they would be for the person that commits the crime. If you are wondering what your rights would be here, read this article.

In the United States, the laws you want to concern yourself with here are the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), the Stored Communications Act (SCA), the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), and the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA). It is important to note that these are all federal laws that clearly stipulate what crimes are considered hacking crimes, and what the penalties are. This means that for those committing the crime of hacking, the penalties are going to be federal penalties, and federal time in federal facilities. Federal penalties for hacking in most jurisdictions typically look like a five year sentencing penalty to start, with most penalties being five to 10 years or more, on the charge of hacking alone.

The most common hacking crimes under this act include damaging or deleting data that belongs to someone else, sending spam that is harmful or malicious, using someone else’s computer passwords without consent, purchasing passwords for malicious intent, obtaining information from a device or network without consent of the device owner. When information is obtained illegally in order to defraud an individual or obtain a value from them that the accused normally would not have, this is also a crime.

Crimes of hacking also often lead to other crimes, in addition to the counsel to commit charges that would result. If you obtain private information about a private citizen for example, and use that information to harm or hurt them or a family member, you have counsel to commit charges, hacking charges, privacy violations, and may also have an issue with aggravated criminal harassment or other such offenses. Hacking is not an isolated crime and typically has other issues connected to the crime when it is not ethical hacking. Asking someone to do this for you, or doing it for someone that has asked you, is likely going to cause a lot of legal problems for you or the individual accused and all parties involved.

Legal Kinds of Hacking

Still, at the end of the day, there is some use for hacking and even a necessity. Today’s ethical hackers catch criminal hackers. There are many kinds of ethical hackers in the world today, making an excellent living by helping to keep the world a little safer from malicious privacy intrusions that are federal crimes. Websites Twitter and Facebook offer bug bounties for people that are able to locate vulnerabilities in their systems.

Penetration testing is another form of ethical hacking where devices and networks are assessed for their risk of penetration risk by outside forces and/or devices. Ethical hackers know how to hack and need to so that they can know how and where the nefarious hackers are functioning.

Learn More About Legal Hacking

It is a criminal offense to ask anyone to infiltrate a network, password, or device without the owner’s consent. If you are interested in technology however, and want to know how that works, start a career or passion in ethical hacking. If you suspect that you’ve been hacked, report it to the authorities as soon as you can. These crimes will leave digital trails for cyber forensics experts that will secure the problem for you quickly.

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