The UK government needs to take a tougher stance on Internet crimes by updating the law, imposing stiffer sentences and targeting those behind DoS attacks, a group of MPs has concluded.

The All-Party Parliamentary Internet Group (APIG) have released a report alerting the government to the urgent need for updating IT security legislation to address new threats. It recommended that denial of service (DoS) attacks be made an explicit offense, that the penalty for hacking offenses be increased from six months to two years and that improved information on cybercrime be provided by the use of statistical sampling.

APIG also called on the government to reform current fraud laws as soon as possible. A proposal for those reforms is expected in November. The government welcomed the report and that the Home Office said it would review the Computer Misuse Act (CMA) and bring forward amendments to the law.

MessageLabs also offered support for the recommendations, particularly the call for ISPs to develop best practice procedures for monitoring DoS and hacking attacks. Alan Lawson, analyst at Butler, said that the recommendations represent only a small, though important, step toward improved cybercrime legislation.

Any significant improvements to cybercrime law will come only with the reforms to the Fraud Bill, which is the only bill with the scope for tackling the essential problems of cybercrime, according to Lawson.