Markit CEO sues unknown hackers over 'campaign of extortion'

Markit CEO sues unknown hackers over 'campaign of extortion'

By Nate Raymond

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Markit Ltd's chief executive filed a lawsuit on Tuesday, accusing unknown individuals of hacking into his computers, phone & emails to try to intimidate him & extort money.

In the lawsuit filed in federal court in Manhattan, Lance Uggla, the CEO & founder of the financial information service provider, said hackers had been engaging in an "anonymous campaign of extortion."

Uggla said unknown individuals had claimed to be tracking his email; have said they have "unprecedented access" to his phone; & have threatened cyber attacks on the email addresses of New York-based employees of his company.

London-based Markit, in a statement, called the case "a personal, private matter". A lawyer for Uggla had no immediate comment.

The lawsuit could provide Uggla's lawyers the ability to use subpoenas to seek out the identities of the hackers.

The lawsuit came amid a rash of hacking attacks on companies in the last two years, including Home Depot Inc , Target Corp & JPMorgan Chase & Co .

According to the lawsuit, on Nov. 17, an anonymous Twitter account was used to contact Uggla & intimidate him & his company through public tweets.

Eight days later, Uggla received an anonymous email seeking a ransom to stop a hacking campaign that involved the disclosure of private information approximately the executive, his family, & his financial interests, the lawsuit said.

In the email, the anonymous individuals, named as unknown "Doe" defendants in the complaint, said they had hacked his computer, server, & email for over three months & were tracking his email.

The defendants after informed Uggla they had hacked his phone, & in subsequent emails said they were tracking his movements & threatened cyber attacks on employee email addresses.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages & an injunction blocking the defendants from further violating the Electronic Communications Privacy Act.

The case is Uggla v. Does 1-10, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 15-09567.

(Reporting by Nate Raymond in New York; Editing by Frances Kerry & Ken Wills)

Source: “Reuters”