Denial of services attacks are carried out quite often against businesses as well as person-to-person and according to computer crime laws. Such attacks are a serious infringement on one’s right to use a computer. Although a distributed denial of service attack isn't uncommon, it is a Federal offense and can be punishable by law and considered to be a violation against one of many very serious computer crime laws. The National Information Infrastructure Protection Act of 1996 claims that a distributed denial of service attack is a Federal crime which carries with it penalties of fines and possible jail sentence time.
If you are the victim of a distributed denial of service attack while on Internet relay chat (IRC), it is recommended that you do not create hostility by fighting back. The reason for this is because a distributed denial of service attack is not in any way associated with IRC servers and because of this, computer crime laws show that the offenders and perpetrators of a distributed denial of service attack cannot be punished. The best thing to do would be to ignore them and to take steps to try to prevent yourself from having another distributed denial of attack committed against you.
If one uses malware to cause a computer system to slow down, this is also considered to be a Federal offense, and therefore, might give you, the victim, some grounds to pursue prosecution under computer crime laws. However, according to computer crime laws, it is not illegal in the United States to possess malware.
In order to prevent having one of many computer crime laws violated against you, it is important to install anti-virus software (this will help prevent malware from infecting your computer, which is another form of a distributed denial of service attack that will slow down or cause serious harm to your computer), refrain from giving out your e-mail information too often (as spam mail can often be contaminated), or install a firewall to prevent unknown or harmful viruses from entering your computer.