Application security

D.C. lobbying firm claims IBM hacked its server

A federal judge is weighing the merits of a lawsuit filed by a Washington D.C. law and lobbying firm that claims IBM and an unidentified employee tried to hack into its email server.

The firm, Butera & Andrews, claims in a court filing that last November it "became aware of facts which suggested that the email server through which the firm operated had been compromised by unauthorized parties," news outlet reported on its website.

Investigators hired by the firm determined there were more than 42,000 attempts to hijack the firm's email server, all traceable to an IP address at IBM's Durham, N.C., location.

In a telephone interview today with SC Magazine, firm partner James Butera said IBM has admitted they owned and controlled the computer that was used in "unauthorized attempts at access."

He declined to further comment, only to say that IBM has filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit and that the firm responded by applying for "expedited discovery." A federal judge now is mulling over the case.

IBM representatives could not be reached for comment today.

Mary Ellen Powers, managing partner of Jones Day's Washington D.C. law firm could not be reached for comment. According to, Powers field a dismissal motion on behalf of IBM.

Powers told the news website, "The case never should have been brought in the first place. IBM had nothing to do with the plaintiff or its email servers, and it has no idea who was trying to hack into its system."

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