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IBM sued over hacked e-mail server

A Washington-based law firm has sued IBM (opens in new tab), claiming that the company is responsible for a hacker attack in 2005 on its email systems.

Butera & Andrews claims (opens in new tab) that an unknown IBM employee attempted to attack its email server in November of last year, shortly after the law firm discovered that its systems had been taken over by a hacker.

The company claims that security investigators have traced the source of the attack to a computer within IBM's Cornwallis Road facility in Durham, North Carolina.

Incredibly, the lawsuit alleges that more than 42,000 attempts were made by IBM-controlled machines to attack Butera & Andrews servers over the year.

In its lawsuit, Butera & Andrews (opens in new tab)has asked the court to force Big Blue to disclose information related to the attacks, and to award it damages, including the $61,000 it spent investigating the matter.

Big Blue, meanwhile, has requested the case be dismissed and claims that there are no facts to justify the supposition that its systems were attacked by an IBM employee, rather than a hacker.

Although its difficult to say without looking at the evidence directly, I wonder if the law firm's IT experts have considered the possibility the originating IP address may have been spoofed (opens in new tab)?...