Hacking, within the constraints of the law, is the illegal modification of software, hardware, and computer programs for the purpose of committing a crime. Because hacking can occur in various ways, there are a variety of hacking laws in place both at the Federal and State levels. However, the basis for almost all hacking laws in the United States is derived from the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, which was implemented in the 1984.
In broad terms, this legislation made it illegal to use computers and computer systems for the purpose of accessing information by bypassing imposed security measures. Throughout time, the Act has been amended several times in order to include other types of computer hacking. Other hacking laws covered by the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act include computer fraud, trafficking computer passwords, and extortion with the use of computer systems.