European politicians have agreed on tougher penalties for a variety of cybercrimes.
Minimum prison sentences for some law infringements were included in a draft directive adopted by the European Parliament.
People found guilty of running a botnet of hijacked home computers are to serve at least three years behind bars, according to the directive, which also aims to improve co-operation between member states.
Cecilia Malmstrom, European Commissioner for Home Affairs, said: "The perpetrators of increasingly sophisticated attacks and the producers of related and malicious software can now be prosecuted, and will face heavier criminal sanctions."
The directive is in addition to European rules which have been in place for eight years, but introduces new offences that cover use of a botnet, use of tools that make cybercrimes possible and theft of confidential details.
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