The European Union has approved a minimum two year prison sentence for cybercriminals who illegally access information systems.
Under new regulations voted into law by the European Parliament, cyber-criminals along with any companies employing hackers will receive a minimum term of two years in jail if found guilty of attempting to illegally access information systems.
The new rules will not come into effect for another two years to allow member states time to translate the decision into national law.
Many cyber-criminals control large networks of infected computers called "botnets" which send spam emails containing malicious links and attachments, and by infecting legitimate websites with computer viruses.
Under the new EU rules, companies that benefit from botnets or hire hackers to steal information will be liable for any offences committed on their behalf.
For further information please visit the International Business Times website.
Please note that Action Fraud is not responsible for the content of external websites.
To report a fraud and receive a police crime reference number, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use our online fraud reporting tool.