High-Tech Hack Attack Case Tests The Strength Of Legal Ethics

from the breaking-into-computers-to-discredit-witnesses dept

Here’s an interesting legal case that could have far-reaching results. It seems that a little while ago, some lawyers attempted to discredit an expert witness with files taken from his website. The problem is that his website was password protected so that only his clients and students could have access. The lawyers simply guessed the password and found a “trap” that he sent with a fake headline saying that the lawyers had bought the judge. The lawyers promptly took the headline to the judge who threw out the testimony – despite the witness’ claim that this proved they had illegally hacked into his site. Now, he’s suing the lawyers for hacking. Amusingly, he’s also suing the chemical company that got billed for the hacking, despite having nothing to do with the original case. The laywers said they billed the chemical company because “we have to bill somebody” – suggesting that these lawyers may randomly bill their clients for their own illegal activities. The lawyers, themselves, claim this wasn’t “hacking” because they “guessed” the password. Since plenty of hacking involves “guessing” the password, this seems like a pretty weak argument. However, since it’s coming from lawyers in suits instead of teenagers in t-shirts, I wonder if it will sound more convincing to the judge.

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