HONGKONG (SCMP) - Companies under investigation could be forced to disclose encryption keys for their computer systems, according to recommendations by a Security Bureau working group.
The group, established in March in light of the rising trend of computer crimes, seeks to strengthen measures to prevent such crimes and help evidence gathering, investigations and prosecution. The report was sent to legislators on Thursday.
Increases in penalties and improved co-operation between law-enforcement agencies and system providers were urged.
Hacking would be brought in line with other deception offences, increasing the present maximum penalty of five years' jail and a maximum fine of HK$20,000 to 14 years.
The group recommended compulsory disclosure of decryption tools or decrypted text of encoded computer records from companies involved in serious offences.
Schoolboy hacker Choi Kong-lam, 19, crashed computer networks at Cable & Wireless HKT for more than an hour early this year, a court heard on Thursday. The actions of Choi cost the company HK$344,500 between January 17 and April 8 when he repeatedly tried to hack into i-phone, a computer-to-computer phone service, Eastern Court heard.
Choi pleaded guilty to eight counts of criminal damage, which involved misusing computer users' accounts, after police arrested him at his home in Hing Tin House, Lam Tin. Sentencing was adjourned.