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OUR CASE STUDIES

CASE STUDY 1: eDISCOVERY

eDISCOVERY MISCONDUCT UNCOVERED

(This is a rather long case study but it is well worth reading, especially for an attorney involved in eDiscovery. There were so many nuances to the case that one can easily write a book about it.)

Background: We were retained as eDiscovery consultants, on a David versus Goliath case where the defendant was the Goliath. The case was filed in federal court. We were approached by a small law firm and asked to analyze whether the production tendered by the defendant was complete, accurate, and whether the discovery was undertaken and conducted with professional care and judgment, and more importantly, if there was any evidence of misconduct committed by the defendant during discovery production. Initially, we were asked to perform a cursory review of the opposing counsel’s production, which consisted of over 50,000 pages of paper documents which appeared to be totally scrambled. We initially identified missing attachments and a high number of duplicate emails and documents.

CASE STUDY 2 : THEFT OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

FALSE ALLEGATION OF THEFT OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

Background: A partner at a large law firm that was representing a world-renowned scientist who was accused of stealing intellectual property from his previous employer notified us regarding this sensitive case. The case was filed in federal court and contained several declarations by a forensic expert. Several depositions had already taken place, including the defendant's. During our initial consultation we were informed that it was our client's belief that the plaintiff was simply "abusing the process" to prevent the defendant from taking a position at a competing firm. There were no non-competes in place and he could legally work wherever he wanted. The plaintiff was trying to obtain an injunction alleging theft of intellectual property. We were given a copy of all court papers filed, including deposition transcripts and two expert declarations. As investigators, our approach to case material differs from a legal review. Our review of the material did not reveal any evidence that theft of intellectual property was even suspected before the case was filed alleging such an act.

CASE STUDY 3: MALWARE SWEEP

SPYWARE ON AN IPHONE

Background: Following a social engineering attack on a client of a NYC law firm, we were tasked with examining the client`s iPhone for signs of recent suspicious activities. Our interview of the client revealed strong circumstantial evidence that her iPhone may have been tampered with. She stated that she had been invited to a meeting at a hotel suite where her phone was inadvertently taken by another person, supposedly by accident, while she was out of the room. She said that the circumstances surrounding the meeting and the people who had attended was rather strange. She stated that her phone was returned an hour later. After getting her phone back, she started to suspect that something was done to it. Some of her friends received phone calls from an unknown individual that knew quite a bit about private conversations she had had with her close friends. Furthermore, a few weeks later, the person who had invited her to the meeting accused her of larceny of valuable jewelry. Based on her complaint, our client was arrested by the police.

CASE STUDY 4: CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION

ALLEGED RAPE

Background: An attorney who was representing a local college student who had been accused of rape needed our expertise to prove his client`s innocence. Having served as law enforcement officers, we assess each criminal defense case on its merits and if we feel that the accused may be innocent, we agree to take the case. We were told that the accused met another student at a party and had sex with her after the event in the accuser's car. The accused also stated that they continued to see each other after the alleged rape for several days, attending the same events and exchanging emails and text messages. The accused stated that after he informed the accuser that what had happened a few nights earlier was not the beginning of a relationship but was rather just a one night stand, she did not react well and was extremely angry. A few weeks later she reported to the university police that she was forcibly raped by the accused. He subsequently was arrested and charged with rape.

CASE STUDY 5: EMPLOYEE MISCONDUCT

UNAUTHORIZED EMAIL ACCESS by CIO

Background: We were contacted by the Chief Security Officer of a defense contractor who stated that the Chief Information Officer of the company may be unlawfully accessing and reading both the CEO’s and the COO's emails. He also stated the emails he was allegedly reading were extremely sensitive. Furthermore, this investigation had to be conducted with utmost sensitivity as the CIO was a very valuable member or the organization was also related to the company's founder and the CEO. The tip was received by the CSO from an anonymous informant.

CASE STUDY 6: NETWORK FORENSICS

CONTRACTOR MISCONDUCT

Background: Cyber Diligence investigators faced the challenge of monitoring a governmental agency`s network security against intrusions and internal threats. As part of the engagement, we deployed a "Network Forensics" appliance at the internet gateway, monitoring all internet traffic against security threats and detecting intrusions in a timely fashion. Also deployed was an enterprise-class computer forensic, incident response, and covert monitoring tool on a separate server. Cyber Diligence investigators would log in to our servers every day and analyze the previous 24 hours of captured traffic, looking for anomalies and risky behavior by any one of the employees.

CASE STUDY 7: INSIDER THREAT

INDUSTRIAL ESPIONAGE & LOSS OF TRADE SECRETS

Background: The Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) of a research company was made aware of unusual activity by one of the company’s employees. A researcher was observed running a piece of software which we later determined to be a known hacker tool from his laptop computer. All the employee saw was a black screen with lines of white text scrolling in a rapid fashion. As all the computers used Windows operating systems and were locked down, a black screen with scrolling white text appeared peculiar to the reporter. He decided to report it. The CISO of the corporation contacted us to investigate. Even though this particular company is a Fortune 500 corporation and have their own IT security team, in their words, they said they needed a "swat team” to deal with this situation.

CASE STUDY 8: THEFT OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

FORTUNE 100 COMPANY CLEARED OF WRONGDOING

Background: Late on a Friday night we were contacted by the chief legal counsel of a Fortune 100 Company where a new high-level executive they had recently hired was accused of misappropriating his previous employer's intellectual property. A lawsuit was filed in another state by his previous employer [which happened to be another Fortune 100 company] seeking an injunction on all activities of the firm involving the division where the executive lead. The client stated that court documents were alleging that, before his departure, the executive had copied the plaintiff's trade secrets to an external drive and had emailed close to one hundred critical documents to his personal Yahoo email account. Based upon our previous experience with this client, we knew that they tolerated no such violations as they themselves had been victim of such acts in the past.

CASE STUDY 9: LITIGATION SUPPORT

BANKRUPTCY FRAUD

Background: We were retained by a mid-west bank to examine five computers that belonged to a bankrupt construction company. The bank had made a $35 Million loan to a large construction company that subsequently declared bankruptcy. The bank wanted to try to recover some of its losses. The principals of the company claimed that they were mere employees of the now-bankrupt company. They proved to be uncooperative during the bankruptcy proceedings. Most of the heavy construction equipment, valued at over $30 Million [on which the bank had the first lien], were missing.

CASE STUDY 10: IT SECURITY ASSESSMENT

MEDICAL RECORDS AT RISK

Background: The CEO of the parent corporation of a large pharmaceutical company contacted us with security concerns regarding his company`s IT systems. Our initial meeting was attended by the CEO and COO of the corporation. The parent corporation had two very large divisions that were operating independently. When questioned about their expectations from this engagement, the CEO stated that: having read recent headlines about the now-infamous T.J. Maxx incident, he started to have grave concerns about the security of his company’s IT infrastructure. He simply had doubts about the assurances that were given to him by his CIO, who had stated that they had no security problems and that what happened at T.J. Maxx could not happen at their organization.