Question: What is cybercrime and its punishment? And what is the penalty for scamming and domain theft in the UAE?

Answer: For the purposes of relevance, Cyber Crime Law no 5 of 2015 does not define what constitutes cybercrime. Since the electronic world keeps changing and offenders find new ways to breach regulations, laws and privacy, it is left to the interpretation of the judges to decide when a cybercrime is committed.

Article 2 of the above law ascertains that any act committed by a person whereby they enter an information system or a website illegally is a crime and punishable by imprisonment of not less than 6 months or a fine not less than Dh100,000. The crime becomes aggravated if the previous act leads to the damage, disclosure or deletion of any information or data.

The punishment for the crime in article 2 in the event that the person is employed by the company they hack is imprisonment of not less than one year and a fine of not less than Dh250,000 and not exceeding Dh1 million.

According to article 11 of the cybercrime law, which categories the illegal transfer of money or securities, fraudulent impersonation or illegal sign in as part of cybercrime and punishable by imprisonment and fines from Dh200,000 to Dh1m.

Article 12 includes all acts that illegally access any database or information system to access bank accounts, payments credit and other electronic cards as cybercrimes punishable by six months in prison and a fine, not less than Dh1,000. If the same crime results in accessing or gaining someone else’s money the jail term shall increase to one year and a fine of Dh2,000 and not exceeding Dh1m.