On Friday, the Gioconda Law Group PLLC, a New York-based brand protection and anti-counterfeiting law firm filed a suit in federal court at Manhattan accusing Arthur Wesley Kenzie, a self-proclaimed Canadian cyber sleuth. Gioconda accused Kenzey of cybersquatting, trademark infringement and unlawful interception of a law firm’s private electronic communications in violation of federal laws. The lawsuit seeks a permanent injunction and over $1 million in damages.
Arthur Wesley Kenzey professes to be a member of Cyber Warfare and Russian Cybercrime Hacking and Information Warfare groups. However, the Gioconda Law Group alleged that according to recent discoveries, it had found that Kenzie had registered an internet domain name GiocondoLaw.com as a misspelling of GiacondaLaw.com. Then Kenzie had proceeded to create fake e-mail accounts to intentionally intercept private e-mails addressed to the firm’s lawyers and staff.
Giaconda said, “We discovered the cybersquatting and sent several test e-mail messages …to see if they were delivered to the misspelled e-mail addresses, and indeed, they were received by active mailboxes.” Kenzie had initially tried to conceal his identity, but complaints to the Internet Registrar exposed him. According to the lawsuit, Kenzie is similarly harvesting misspelled e-mails intended for many major corporations without their knowledge or permission including MasterCard, McDonald’s, NewsCorp and McAfee.
Kenzie was also previously found guilty of cybersquatting when he purchased confusingly similar domain names in another case. In that case, which was to fish information about Lockheed Martin, Kenzie had claimed that he was performing “research” about Lockheed’s email vulnerabilities without its permission. However, in May, the panel that handles domain name disputes found that Kenzie’s attempts were motivated by bad faith to extort money and not done in good faith. In the Lockheed case, the panel found that Kenzie himself had created the vulnerabilities that he was researching and that “his purpose was to offer services to the Complainant, looking for a financial gain.”
The case is Gioconda Law Group PLLC v. Arthur Wesley Kenzie, No. 12-CV-4919-JPO, in the United States District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan Division).