Posted Oct 04, 2010 12:50 pm CDT
A Virginia law firm that has sued thousands of people for alleged illegal downloading was evacuated Thursday after receiving an e-mail bomb threat.
Police didn’t identify the law firm, but Leesburg Today says it was Dunlap, Grubb, & Weaver. The Leesburg law firm calls itself the U.S. Copyright Group and sues alleged illegal downloaders for $150,000 if they refuse settlements of up to $2,500, according to previous reports.
No bomb was found.
Dunlap Grubb’s website was attacked last week after a group called Anonymous called for the assault as part of an Operation Payback campaign against dozens of organizations involved in anti-piracy efforts, according to the blog TorrentFreak. Targets fought off attacks on their websites, fielded prank calls and dealt with fake pizza orders, the story says. Given the website attack on Dunlap Grubb, “the sender of the e-mail could conceivably be connected to (or inspired by) Operation Payback,” the blog adds.
TorrentFreak spoke to a member of the group Anonymous that targeted the website of the British law firm ACS:Law, which sues people suspected of illegal file-sharing. As the firm was trying to re-establish its Web presence, its e-mail was exposed, hacked and posted on file-sharing networks. The e-mails reportedly revealed everything from the firm owner’s penchant for high-priced sports cars to personal information of defendants sued by the firm.
TorrentFreak asked the Anonymous member why Dunlap Grubb’s website was targeted. “They’re all anti-piracy lawyers,” the member said. “Think of Dunlap, Grubb & Weaver as of ACS:Law, but in the USA.”