Illegally accessing a system involves intentionally and fraudulently entering and remaining in an automated data processing or transmission system, for example:
Article 509-1 of the Criminal Code: “Anyone who fraudulently accesses or remains in all or part of an automated data processing or transmission system shall be punished by imprisonment of two months to two years and a fine of 500 to 25,000 euros or one of these two penalties”.
Editing or deleting data when hacking a system is an aggravating factor. The minimum penalties incurred are therefore even more severe. These include for example:
Entering or changing data on a system or changing the way it is processed or transmitted without actually unlawfully accessing the system is also a criminal offence. *Article 509-3 of the Criminal Code:
Interference with the operation of a system is also a criminal offence. These include for example:
Article 509-2 of the Criminal Code: “Anyone who intentionally and in violation of the rights of others interferes with or damages the operation of an automated data processing or transmission system shall be punished by imprisonment of three months to three years and a fine of 1,250 to 12, 500 euros or one of these two penalties”.
A successful attack is not the only condition for criminal penalties. Merely attempting to commit the above offences, even if the attempt is successful, is punishable. Script-kiddies and other novice hackers are therefore liable for the same penalties as professional hackers. Article 509-6 of the Criminal Code: “Attempts to perpetrate the crimes provided for by articles 509-1 to 509-5 are punished by the same penalties as the crimes themselves”.
Joining forces or agreeing to commit any of the above offences is also punishable, regardless of whether an attack ultimately took place or not. This applies, for example, to those who share resources to perpetrate hacks (computers, network access or even software, scripts or information to carry out a hack) and plan concerted attacks on third parties. Article 509-7 of the Criminal Code: “Anyone participating in an association or in an agreement established for the preparation, realised in one or more material acts, of one or more offences provided for in Articles 509-1 to 509-5, shall be punished by the penalties provided for the offence itself or for the most severely punished offence.”