A Superior Court judge in Georgia has further sanctioned LIGATT Security and its majority owner Gregory Evans for what amounted to frivolous subpoenas and other illegitimate legal actions.
LIGATT Security had suffered an embarrassing hack in January that resulted in the public release of as many as 80,000 company emails and internal communications.
The breach event and details revealed in the leaked communiques was covered by several bloggers and online organizations including LIGATTLeaks and Attrition.org.
Evans sued in Georgia Superior Court seeking damages from 25 "John Doe" defendants (Amended: According to an attorney in this case, Mr. F. Beau Howard, Attrition.org and LIGATTLeaks were not involved this lawsuit, but were targeted in another suit filed by Evans in U.S. District Court against eight other "John Does". Thank you for the clarification Mr. Howard!).
Evans and LIGATT Security have now been ordered by the court to pay fines and legal fees to multiple defendants in the case.
The Final Order and Judgment issued in the case, similar to others handed down by the court, states:
The Court finds that Plaintiffs filed this case as a pretext for a discovery fishing expedition, which Plaintiffs conducted through the illegal means described in the Court’s prior Order Awarding Fees.
The Court bases this finding on the reasons stated on the record during the March 28, 2011 hearing (as reflected in the transcript thereof), and on (a) the testimony of Plaintiff Evans respecting his intentions for filing this case; (b) the fact that Plaintiffs never filed a written response to any motion filed by Defendants; (c) the fact that, after multiple hearings, Plaintiffs finally stated in open court that they did not oppose the relief requested in the Motion to Dismiss; and (d) the fact that, after the Court entered its Order Awarding Fees, which quashed Plaintiffs’ illegal subpoenas, Plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed this case to pursue litigation in other courts.
Based on the foregoing, the Court finds that, by improper conduct including, without limitation, the issuance of illegal subpoenas, Plaintiffs unnecessarily expanded this proceeding, which was itself initiated and conducted without substantial justification, for the purposes of harassment, and as part of an illegal discovery fishing expedition.
For the reasons stated in the Order Awarding Fees and further pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 9-15-14(b), Defendant Morris is entitled to an award of reasonable and necessary attorneys’ fees and expenses incurred in preparing and pursuing both his Motion to Dismiss and Motion to Quash.
Security industry pundits have been highly critical of both LIGATT and Gregory Evans, the self-proclaimed "world's greatest hacker", who has been the subject of well documented allegations of plagiarism and questionable business practices.
"Greg Evans has hopefully finally learned that the use of the courts system as a means to silence his critics is a costly one... to himself," defendant Scot Terban told Infosec Island.
"Frankly, if Mr. Evans wants to be considered a credible source of information or technical security, he needs to actually work at getting certifications and accrue respect through solid work within the community. Until he does this, he will always have critics that will call him a charlatan," Terban said.
*Editors Note: Scot Terban had blogged under the name as "Crabby Ol' Bastard", and is not associated with LIGATTLeaks.