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My client website has been hacked. Can I be hold responsible legally?

     
3:04 am on Aug 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Hi everyone.

I made a website with a CMS during my previous employment. Last year actually.
It was recently got hacked.

I was wondering if anyone here know that I could be held responsible, be sued or jailed for being the developer.
Thanks.
5:58 am on Aug 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Administrator phranque is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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welcome to WebmasterWorld, NineAllexis!

before everyone reminds you that you should be consulting an attorney for legal advice, you can't even begin to discuss this without knowing:
- the jurisdiction in which the suit would be filed.
- the status of your relationship - "client" implies you are a consultant or independent contractor while "employment" implies a lack of autonomy in your actions and decisions.
- the contractual obligations you might have.

in any case they would typically have to prove some type of damages due to your negligence or malpractice, for example.

and "jail" usually involves a criminal offense...

all that being said, IANAL!
7:37 am on Aug 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member beedeedubbleu is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

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IANAL.

In my terms and conditions I have a disclaimer about hacking. I tell people of the dangers and explain that while itis very unlikely it is a possibility and that we cannot be held responsible for the criminal actions of others.

I think it is extremely doubtful that you can get in trouble for this. That would be a bit like a lockmaker getting charged when someone picks a lock that he had sold.

.
8:33 am on Aug 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

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@phranque: Thanks =D
the jurisdiction in which the suit would be filed

i don't quite understand law terms...

the status of your relationship

i worked for the company and made that website for their customer...
so what should I call the customer? my company's customer?

the contractual obligations you might have.

we have terms & conditions, but doesn't state anything about hacking

oh... and what's IANAL?

@BeeDeeDubbleU: my friend actually took a analogy of stolen cars and carmakers! glad to hear that. thank you.
9:14 am on Aug 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

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IANAL = I Am Not A Lawyer.

It's a common disclaimer used in forum threads like this.

:)
10:23 am on Aug 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Ahhh i see =)
10:45 am on Aug 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

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the jurisdiction in which the suit would be filed


i don't quite understand law terms...

in which court would the lawsuit be filed?
it typically depends on the locations of the parties involved and is usually specified in contracts.

have you been threatened with any legal action?
12:16 pm on Aug 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

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- the jurisdiction in which the suit would be filed.

This is an international forum. We don't know if you are in Mexico or Russia. If you are in the USA then laws may differ from state to state.
1:32 pm on Aug 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

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i worked for the company and made that website for their customer...
so what should I call the customer? my company's customer?


I don't think you have anything to worry about. You don't even work there any more. This is someone else's problem.
3:31 pm on Aug 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

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The company hired you, the company proposed the contract, the company laid out directives for the project (i.e., "Wordpress based site," for example) the company accepted the fees . . . **if** anyone is liable it would be - you got it, the company. :-)

Second don't be so sure it's the programming itself. It's most often a malware that piggy-backs a normal FTP connection, which has nothing to do with the CMS. Until that is determined, there's really nowhere to point the finger.