TechWeb

New York Anti-Counterfeiting Law Firm Sues Canadian "Cyber Spy"

Jun 22, 2012 (04:06 PM EDT)
URL: http://www.techweb.com/show-press-release/X910417/new-york-anti-counterfeiting-law-firm-sues-canadian-cyber-spy.html

NEW YORK, June 22, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --  Arthur Wesley Kenzie, a self-proclaimed Canadian "cyber security developer" who claims to be a member of Cyber Warfare and Russian Cybercrime Hacking and Information Warfare groups, was sued in federal court in Manhattan today.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120622/NY29422)

Kenzie is accused of cybersquatting, trademark infringement, and unlawful interception of a law firm's private electronic communications, in violation of numerous US federal laws.  The lawsuit seeks over $1M in damages, and a permanent injunction.

The Gioconda Law Group PLLC, a New York-based brand protection and anti-counterfeiting law firm, alleges that it recently discovered that Kenzie had registered the Internet domain name GiocondoLaw.com as a confusing misspelling of GiocondaLaw.com, the firm's domain name and e-mail address.  The complaint alleges that Kenzie then intentionally constructed fake e-mail accounts to intentionally intercept private e-mails addressed to the firm's lawyers and staff.

"We discovered the cybersquatting and sent several test Registered E-mail® messages through RPost® to see if they were delivered to the misspelled e-mail addresses, and indeed, they were received by active mailboxes," said attorney Joseph C. Gioconda.  Gioconda also notes that Kenzie had initially tried to conceal his identity, but complaints to the Internet Registrar forced him to reveal himself.

According to the suit, Kenzie is similarly harvesting misspelled e-mails intended for recipients at many major corporations without their knowledge or permission, including MasterCard, McDonald's, NewsCorp and McAfee, which creates software products to protect computers from viruses and malware.

Kenzie was previously found responsible for cybersquatting when he purchased the confusingly similar domain names LockheedMarton.com and LockheedMartun.com in July 2011 to intercept e-mails intended for the defense contractor.

When Lockheed Martin Corporation filed a formal complaint with the panel that handles domain name disputes, Kenzie claimed that he was merely performing "research" about Lockheed's "email vulnerabilities" without its permission.  But in May, the panel found that Kenzie's attempt to intercept Lockheed's private e-mails without their knowledge was motivated by a bad faith attempt to extort money, and not good faith research into previously existing "e-mail vulnerabilities."

The panel specifically found that it was "obvious" that it was Kenzie himself who had created the alleged e-mail vulnerabilities he was supposedly researching, and that "his purpose was to offer services to the Complainant, looking for a financial gain."  The panel ordered the two domain names transferred to Lockheed Martin.

The pending case is captioned Gioconda Law Group PLLC v. Arthur Wesley Kenzie, No. 12-CV-4919-JPO, in the United States District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan Division).

SOURCE:   The Gioconda Law Group PLLC, One Penn Plaza, 36th Floor, Fashion Avenue and West 34th Street, New York, NY 10119, Tel: (212) 786-7549, Fax: (888) 697-9665, www.GiocondaLaw.com.

SOURCE The Gioconda Law Group PLLC