The UK government said it wants to hand out life sentences to anyone found guilty of a cyberattack that has a catastrophic effect.

Any hackers that manage to carry out "cyberattacks which result in loss of life, serious illness or injury or serious damage to national security, or a significant risk thereof" would face the full life sentence, according to the serious crime bill.

"As well as targeting cyberterrorists, the new offense in the proposed update to the Computer Misuse Act 1990 would also hand harsher sentences to those hackers carrying out industrial espionage, believed to be a growing menace affecting UK business," said the Guardian.

The law would have a maximum sentence of 14 years for attacks that create "a significant risk of severe economic or environmental damage or social disruption". Currently, the section of the CMA covering such an offence carries a 10-year sentence, said the Guardian.

Simon Placks, head of cybercrime investigations at consultancy EY, said in the Guardian report: "Any move towards tougher sentencing for cybercriminals is a move in the right direction, and will be welcomed by businesses."