Feeds

Judge rebukes 'World's No. 1 Hacker'

Quashes 'extremely troubling' subpoenas

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

A judge in Georgia has scolded a controversial security figure for improperly subpoenaing Yahoo! and Twitter in an attempt to get user names and passwords belonging to some 25 researchers.

Gregory D. Evans, CEO of Ligatt Security and the self-proclaimed "World's No. 1 Hacker", sought the the highly personal information in a lawsuit he brought last year accusing the researchers of bashing his company's penny stock. Over the past year, shares have fallen from about $2.80 to $0.0004, public information shows. Most of that precipitous drop happened prior to claims that surfaced in June that huge chunks of an e-book purportedly written by Evans were lifted from other hacking manuals without the original authors' permission.

The suit named Chris John Riley, Ben Rothke, and other security professionals who publicly claimed their works were plagiarized. Shortly after it was filed, attorneys for Evans subpoenaed Yahoo! and Twitter for information that included the defendants' usernames, passwords, emails sent and received, and blog postings. Last week, the judge hearing the case squashed the subpoenas and said they violated several provisions of Georgia law.

“The court finds it extremely troubling that plaintiffs issued and served subpoenas to which plaintiffs' counsel had no access for such a long period of time,” Karen E. Beyers, superior court judge for Georgia's Gwinnett County wrote. Under the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, she said, Randolph Morris and the 24 other people named in the suit were entitled to copies.

She also uncovered other legal deficiencies, including their inclusion of the wrong case number and failure to notify plaintiffs that two subpoenas had been filed rather than just one. What's more, Beyers said the subpoenas were “overbroad” because they sought passwords and emails.

“This is exceedingly overbroad, and is also wholly inconsistent with the representations of plaintiffs' counsel regarding the scope of the subpoenas,” she wrote.

Beyers went on to dismiss Morris from the lawsuit because she found the California resident had no ties to Georgia. She scheduled a hearing for March 1 to decide how much Evans should pay in sanctions for the improper subpoenas.

Shortly after filing his lawsuit in July, Evans cast himself as the aggrieved party.

“We are sure that once this total investigation is over we will find that not only were these people bashers, but they were also day traders and market makers,” Evans was quoted in a press release. “We are prepared to go after them due to the fact that they took part in manipulating the stock,” says Evans.

Evans has regularly appeared as a security expert on Fox News, Bloomberg TV, and CNN. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
'Things' on the Internet-of-things have 25 vulnerabilities apiece
Leaking sprinklers, overheated thermostats and picked locks all online
iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple
BLE-ding iPhones, not NFC bonkers, will drive trend - marketeers
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.