Lesson 6 – Computer Misuse Act

Learning Objectives

  • Understand why the Computer Misuse Act was written
  • Describe the four main offences and punishments in order of severity
  • To describe what practical measures individuals and companies can take to reduce the risk of being a victim of computer misuse

Learning Outcomes

All must (with help) create a presentation explaining what hacking is, the four offences and punishments and a brief description of at least two hacking techniques.  The presentation will have all the information but may need some improving to bring it up to a professional standard. (Level 4)

Most should create a presentation explaining what hacking is, the four offences and punishments, at least one example of hacking and a description of at least three hacking techniques.  The presentation will have all the information and be of a near professional standard. (Level 5)

Some could create a presentation explaining what hacking is, the four offences and punishments, at least two examples of hacking and a description of all of the hacking techniques listed.  The presentation will have all the information and be of a professional standard. (Level 6)

Keywords

Words to learn: misuse, hacking, offence, spyware, key logging

Starter

In 1985 a hacker called Robert Schifreen and his friend Stephen Gold hacked into the email account of Prince Phillip which was hosted by BT on their Prestel service.  At the time no laws existed to specifically ban hacking, so they were charged for forgery (since they had pretended to be someone else to access the account).  They were found guilty but successfully appealed.  The appeal judge found them not guilty as the law for forgery was not appropriate.

Because of this the Computer Misuse Act was passed into law in 1990.  This made the following a criminal offence:

  • Unauthorised access to files and data (max 12 months in jail and/or an unlimited fine)
  • Unauthorised access to files and data with the intention to commit further crimes (max 5 years in jail and/or an unlimited fine)
  • Unauthorised modification of files and data (max 5 years in jail and/or an unlimited fine)
  • Making, supplying or obtaining anything that can be used to assist in hacking a computer system (max 10 years in jail and/or an unlimited fine)

So that is the law, but what is a hacker and why do hackers do what they do?  Discuss it as a class.

Main

Your task is to create a presentation (using Google Slides) that will tell people about computer crime.  It must include the following information:

  • What hacking is
  • What the four offences and punishments are under the Computer Misuse Act
  • Some examples of where hackers have accessed systems they should not have accessed (use Google to search)
  • Some of the techniques hackers use including:
    • keyloggers
    • viruses
    • phishing
    • distributed denial of service attacks (DDOS)
    • shoulder surfing
    • social engineering
  • How people can protect themselves against each type of hacking technique

Your presentation should look professional – this means not cramming too much onto one slide, careful choice of colours, good font selection and an appropriate selection of images – not too many and not pixellated.

Before the end of the lesson, you need to share your file with your teacher.  You can do this by pressing the blue “Share” button at the top right hand side of the screen, entering your teacher’s name and pressing Done.  This will then allow your teacher to see the file.

Plenary

Have a go at the following keyword games to remind yourself about the Computer Misuse Act (click here)