Disgruntled employees that try to knowingly and intentionally permanently delete corporate computer files are committing a federal crime.
Illegally deleting files falls under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, otherwise known as the hacking law.
If a person accesses a computer without authorization or oversteps the authorization they do have to access confidential files, such as financial records, government documents, and protected information — it falls under this law. If that person causes transmission of files they do not have authorized access to, try to change the records in any way, or delete them, it falls under this act.
Here are some examples of people who have been charged under this Act:
IT administrator Michael Thomas deletes files before leaving his job.
NFL Twitter hacker tweets Commissioner’s death.
Journalist accesses content management system and defaces file.