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US To Increase Prison Terms For Convicted Hackers

After the recent LulzSec hacking spree in which both US senate and CIA website were compromised, the US government is considering new laws that would increase the punishment for convicted hackers.

Congress is expected to pass stronger cyber security measures at the request of the White House, which seems to think that harsher punishments will act as a deterrent against hackers targeting government systems. President Obama is insisting that Congress double the maximum sentence from the current 10 years to 20 years for compromising national security, India Times (opens in new tab) reports.

There has been a new focus on hacking after successful attacks on multinational groups including Sony, Citigroup and the IMF, with most of the focus centering on LulzSec, which has quickly risen in notoriety.

According to James Lewis, an analyst at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, hackers committed a serious blunder by hacking FBI and CIA sites. "That bumps it up immediately," said Lewis, explaining that law enforcement authorities will now see tackling LulzSec as a much higher position. "That could make it a grudge match," he added.

But experts have pointed out that the real key to deterrent isn't harsher laws but the effective prosecution of hackers, which could eliminate the feeling of anonymity that many hackers feel.