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Hacking can constitute a criminal offence in Switzerland. Pursuant to Article 143bis of the Swiss Criminal Code (SCC), any person obtaining unauthorized access by means of data transmission equipment to a data processing system that has been specially secured to pre-vent such access is liable on complaint to a custodial sentence not exceeding three years or to a monetary penalty. If the hacker, for his own or for another’s unlawful gain, obtains spe-cially secured data which is not intended for him, he is liable, according to Article 143 SCC, to a custodial sentence not exceeding five years or to a monetary penalty (see also below sec-tion 5.2).

In its decisions 6B_615/2014 and 6B_456/2007, the Swiss Federal Supreme Court held that unauthorized access to another person’s password-protected e-mail account falls under the scope of the “hacking offence” ( Article 143bis SCC). In 2016, several hackers and persons threatening to hack IT systems of banks, universities and private corporations were identi-fied and arrested in Switzerland or abroad with the help of mutual legal assistance from for-eign authorities.

Provided By:
Roland Mathys, Schellenberg Wittmer and Clara-Ann Gordon, Niederer Kraft Frey