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Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986

See CFA.


(Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986) Signed into law in 1986, the CFA was a significant step forward in criminalizing unauthorized access to computer systems and networks. The Act applies to "federal interest computers" that include any system used by the U.S. government as well as most financial institutions. It says that unauthorized penetration or other damage to such systems is a felony, as is trafficking in password or other access codes.

Violators are subject to fines of up to USD $250,000 per incident and up to 10 years in prison. Updates to the CFA passed in 1994 extended coverage to dissemination of viruses and worms. For more information, visit, and look up "Title 18, 1030." See also CompactFlash Association.

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