Dec 232009
 December 23, 2009  Posted by  Breaches, Court, Featured News, Online

Wendy Davis reports:

Condé Nast has filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against unknown users who allegedly hacked into the company’s computer system, downloaded unpublished photos and articles, and then published them online.

In papers filed in federal district court in New York, Condé Nast alleges that a host of material — including a big chunk of GQ‘s December issue — surfaced last month on the blog FashionZag. The lawsuit alleges that the material appeared on FashionZag around two months after an unknown user obtained access to Condé Nast’s computer system and copied more than 1,100 files.

Initially, FashionZag posted five alternate covers of the December GQ, according to the lawsuit. Condé Nast says it successfully sent a takedown notice to, which hosted the photos, but that FashionZag then uploaded material to — an image hosting site created by the founders of The Pirate Bay.

By Nov. 14, FashionZag allegedly posted almost all editorial content and photos from the December issue.


On Monday, U.S. District Court Judge John G. Koeltl allowed Condé Nast to immediately subpoena Google and AT&T to discover the identities of the bloggers and alleged hackers. Google hosts the FashionZag blog, and the IP address of the alleged hacker resolves to AT&T, according to the legal papers.

Read more on MediaPost.

A copy of the lawsuit can be found on scribd.

Reading the lawsuit is a bit of an eye-opener. It claims that the IP associated with the unauthorized access is, which does appear to be an AT&T IP. But what’s somewhat mindboggling is that the lawsuit alleges that the intruder obtained the login details from a third party and downloaded 1100 files from the company in September, and — as of the date the lawsuit was filed in December — the company hasn’t stopped the leak!? The lawsuit alleges:

Upon information and belief, Defendants continue to obtain unauthorized access to Condé Nast’s computers and to reproduce, distribute, and display the Condé Nast Content to this day. (emphasis added by Dissent)

Huh? They haven’t figured out how to stop the unauthorized access after all these months? While it appears that they have a legitimate and strong case in terms of unmasking those behind FashionZag, I cannot help but wonder what is up with their security.

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