Attorneys Author Article on Remedies for Cybercrime Victims

Journal of Internet Law | June.01.2013

White collar and corporate investigations partner Mark Mermelstein, white collar and corporate investigations managing associate Mary Kelly Persyn and general litigation associate Harry Moren authored an article in the Journal of Internet Law entitled “Strategic Remedies for Cybercrime Victims,” which discusses options for cybercrime victims. An excerpt from the article is included below.

An industrial equipment manufacturer calls. Somehow, an intruder has hacked into its Website and used that portal of entry to locate and steal proprietary trade secrets. Now a Chinese competitor is using the stolen information to manufacture and sell counterfeit versions of the client's products over the Internet.

A major Internet Service Provider reaches out to your firm, hoping you can help stem the tide of spam that is drowning its subscribers and threatening its business. Some of the subscribers are themselves falling victim to phishing scams and are being tricked into parting with either money or confidential personal information. The company representative explains that battling spam is very much like trying to exterminate cockroaches. The company can go after individual addresses, but can't figure out how to shut down larger spam-generating operations.

What should an attorney tell these cybercrime victims? The traditional solution for these tort victims is initiating a civil lawsuit against the perpetrator in order to obtain a money judgment, and then turning that money judgment into cash to compensate the victim for its losses. But this approach may not necessarily make sense in the Internet era, which offers a number of challenges for the civil litigant.