Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

News & Analysis as of

What is a Federal Computer Crime? It depends where you are

When an employee has access to data for work, but the employee uses it for non-work purposes, is that a federal crime under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) (18 U.S.C. § 1030)? The answer depends on where you are....more

Feds continue to prosecute hackers

Sergey Vovnenko, a Ukrainian hacker, was charged in New Jersey federal court this week for wire fraud conspiracy, unauthorized computer access and aggravated identity theft for allegedly hacking into networks of financial...more

Think Before You Tack CFAA Claims on to Your Trade Secret Misappropriation Case

Before you include a Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”) claim in a trade secret case, consider carefully: was the data acquired through “unauthorized access” or was it just misused by the defendants? If it was properly...more

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Trade Secret Disputes and Employment Risks

In today’s post, we have answered some of the most frequent and significant questions that we are asked about trade secret disputes and employment risks. 1. Could you provide a brief snapshot of current trends in...more

An Employee Stole Your Trade Secrets but You Cannot Prove It. Now What?

Consider the following, relatively uncommon scenario: an employee stole your trade secrets and went to work for a competitor. You know the employee did it, you just cannot prove it. Even with the best forensic analysis it is...more

California Federal Courts Reiterate: Unless Computer Hacked, Computer Fraud and Abuse Act Permits Misuse Of Electronic Information

In United States v. Nosal, 676 F.3d 854 (9th Cir. 2012) (en banc), the court held that the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1030, prohibits unlawful access to a computer but not unauthorized use of computerized...more

A Preview of the CFAA Arguments in United States v. Nosal, Part II: Could “Phishing” be a Factor?

Oral arguments for the next round in United States v. Nosal have been set for October 20, 2015 at the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco. So we figured it may be a good time to review both sides’ arguments related to the...more

How To Make Computer Fraud Claims Stick

Employers need clear policies in order to use a federal criminal law as a civil remedy against workers. The recent decision in Allied Portables v. Youmans from the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida...more

Angie’s List Accuses Amazon of Home Improvement Hijinks

Even freed from bricks and mortar, online retailers and service providers are realizing that market share is not infinite. A complaint recently filed by Angie’s List Inc. against Amazon Local LLC for its newly launched online...more

10 Tips for Minimizing Company Liability for Terminating Employees who Steal Trade Secrets

When your company uncovers evidence that an employee misappropriated trade secrets it must act swiftly. The company may want to fire the employee to protect itself from the potentially devastating consequences. But how can...more

DOJ Deputy Assistant AG Delivers Testimony at Senate Subcommittee Hearing Regarding Cyber Crime

On July 8, the DOJ’s Deputy Assistant AG, David Bitkower, delivered his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism’s hearing entitled, “Cyber Crime: Modernizing Our Legal Framework for the...more

FTC, Florida AG File Action to Stop Alleged Telemarketing Debt Relief Scam Targeting Seniors

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Florida Attorney General (AG) have jointly filed a complaint in a Florida federal court against several companies and their individual owners alleging that the defendants engaged in...more

The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and the “Cannibal Cop”: Awaiting the Second Circuit’s Decision

The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act began as a federal criminal statute, but it has turned into an oft-used weapon in civil litigation. See U.S.C. § 1030, et seq. (CFAA). Now, criminal and civil litigants await the Second...more

The Cards Hack the Astros – So What Law Applies? [audio]

In a developing story, The New York Times is reporting that the FBI is investigating the St. Louis Cardinals for hacking into the Houston Astros’ computer networks to steal the Astros’ internal baseball operation intelligence...more

CFAA and SCA Do Not Prohibit Creation Of A Fake Facebook Page

The defendants in a case pending in Chicago federal court were accused of contravening Facebook’s terms of use by accessing its computers in order to create a phony page and then using it to ridicule someone. In Bittman v....more

Strategies For Businesses Protecting Electronic Data Within California

Part One: The Computer Fraud And Abuse Act (18 U.S.C. § 1030 Et Seq.) - Data security is top-of-mind in today's corporate world. According to The Ponemon Institute's 2015 Cost of Data Breach Study, the average total...more

Strategies For Businesses Protecting Electronic Data Within California

Businesses in California have a number of tools with which to fight off unauthorized intrusions into their electronic data whether perpetrated by employees, former employees, disreputable competitors or random hackers....more

Sony Pictures’ hacked emails reveal privileged communications

The 2014 Sony hack is again in the news, this time highlighting the threat that data breaches pose to the attorney-client privilege. On April 16, 2015, WikiLeaks announced that it had posted and indexed hacked Sony emails....more

Estate Planning for Your Digital Assets

If you use a computer, you likely have digital assets that should be addressed as part of your estate planning. Access to digital assets is governed by an evolving and complicated technical and legal framework, including...more

New Tools for Companies Against Cybercrime

Obama administration proposal would reduce legal ambiguities and allow civil RICO claims. On January 2015, the Obama administration announced a series of proposals to strength­en the country’s response to...more

Lenovo’s Unsecure Adware On Consumer PCs Prompts Class Action Lawsuits

Security experts recently discovered that about 50 different consumer PC models sold by Lenovo since September 2014 were shipped with adware known as Superfish Visual Discovery that could be exploited by hackers to spoof...more

Nosal Returns to the Ninth Circuit Posing the Question: Is a Password a Sufficient “Technological Access Barrier” Under the CFAA?

Observers following the legal issues surrounding the prosecution of David Nosal will be watching closely in 2015 as the former Korn Ferry executive returns to the Ninth Circuit to appeal his 2013 conviction on three counts of...more

Cybersecurity Litigation Monthly Newsletter

As we described in July and September, P.F. Chang’s was hit with three putative class actions following its announcement of a point-of-sale data breach. On August 29, P.F. Chang’s moved for dismissal of the first two cases,...more

How Website Operators Use CFAA To Combat Data-Scraping

“Web scraping” or “Web harvesting” — the practice of extracting large amounts of data from publicly available websites using automated “bots” or “spiders” — accounted for 18 percent of site visitors and 23 percent of all...more

Socially Aware - Volume 5, Issue 5 - August 2014

In This Issue: - Data for the Taking: Using the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act to Combat Web Scraping - Google Glass Into Europe: A Small Step or a Giant Leap? - Drugs and the Internet: FDA Distributes New...more

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