Crime

Lexington video game company sues after personal information posted online

A Lexington-based video game company is suing anonymous online users after personal information about one of the company’s employees was leaked online.

Gun Media Holdings, also known as Gun Media, filed a lawsuit in federal court alleging that anonymous people violated the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, which punishes those who commit computer-related crime.

Gun Media owns and operates “Friday the 13: The Game,” based on the “Friday the 13th” film franchise. In the game, one person plays as Jason Voorhees, who tries to kill the other players, who play as camp counselors.

According to the lawsuit, on June 29, Gun media banned “John Doe 1” from the game for violating the game’s code of conduct. The banned user went to 4chan, an online image board where users can post anonymously, and Internet Relay Chat made inflammatory statements against Gun Media and asked for help to “hack” Gun Media and personal employee information.

On July 8, “John Doe 2,” who might be the same person as John Doe 1, made a post on the social media website Reddit revealing personal information of Benjamin T. Strauss, assistant producer and community manager at Gun Media, the lawsuit read. That information included phone numbers, addresses, emails and Social Security numbers of Strauss and his parents. The user also threatened to turn off the utilities at Gun Media or at Strauss’ home, the lawsuit states.

On July 8, John Doe 2 attacked Gun Media and its employees on Twitter under the handle @Lucif3rTheGod, which has since been suspended. Under the Twitter handle, the user posted financial information about Strauss and his family, the lawsuit states.

The next day, July 9, Strauss received five phone calls after midnight, the lawsuit states. During the phone calls, John Doe 2 threatened to cause Gun Media and its employees monetary harm.

The lawsuit alleges that John Doe 1 and 2 violated the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act by impairing the integrity or the availability of data, programs, systems and information, and by causing economic damage to Gun Media, including the cost of responding to the attack.

In a separate court filing, the court granted a motion by Gun Media to subpoena Reddit and Twitter to find the identities of the John Does.

The lawsuit asks for more than $5,000 in economic damages, an injunction on John Doe 1 and 2 to prevent further unlawful conduct, and the return of all data the John Does obtained.

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