TIMES.KY

Cayman Islands, Caribbeanand International News
Saturday, May 18, 2024

Former WSJ reporter says law firm used Indian hackers to sabotage his career

Former WSJ reporter says law firm used Indian hackers to sabotage his career

A former Wall Street Journal reporter is accusing a major U.S. law firm of having used mercenary hackers to oust him from his job and ruin his reputation.

In a lawsuit filed late Friday, Jay Solomon, the Journal’s former chief foreign correspondent, said Philadelphia-based Dechert LLP worked with hackers from India to steal emails between him and one of his key sources, Iranian American aviation executive Farhad Azima.

Solomon said the messages, which showed Azima floating the idea of the two of them going into business together, were put into a dossier and circulated in a successful effort to get him fired.

The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Washington, said Dechert “wrongfully disclosed this dossier first to Mr. Solomon’s employer, the Wall Street Journal, at its Washington DC bureau, and then to other media outlets in an attempt to malign and discredit him." It said the campaign “effectively caused Mr. Solomon to be blackballed by the journalistic and publishing community.”

Dechert said in an email that it disputed the claim and would fight it in court. Azima - who filed his own lawsuit against Dechert on Thursday in New York - had no immediate comment.

Solomon’s suit is the latest in a series of legal actions that follows Reuters’ reporting about hired hackers operating out of India. In June, Reuters reported on the activities of several hack-for-hire shops, including Delhi area-companies BellTroX and CyberRoot, that were involved in a decade-long series of espionage campaigns targeting thousands of people, including more than 1,000 lawyers at 108 different law firms.

At the time, Reuters reported that people who had become hacking targets while involved in at least seven different lawsuits had each launched their own inquiries into the cyberespionage campaign.

That number has since grown.

Azima, Solomon’s former source, is among those who have gone to court over the alleged hacking. His lawyers, like Solomon’s, allege that Dechert worked with BellTroX, CyberRoot and a slew of private investigators to steal his emails and publish them to the web.

BellTroX and CyberRoot are not parties to the suit and could not immediately be reached. Executives at both firms have previously denied wrongdoing.

Solomon and Azima allege that Dechert undertook the hack-and-leak operation in the interest of its client, Sheikh Saud bin Saqr al-Qasimi, ruler of the Middle Eastern emirate of Ras Al Khaimah. Reuters has reported that lawyers for Ras Al Khaimah’s investment agency – RAKIA – used the emails to help win a fraud lawsuit filed against Azima in London in 2016.

Azima, who denies RAKIA’s fraud allegations, is trying to have the judgment thrown out.

In addition to being deployed in court, the leaked emails also made their way to The Associated Press, which published two articles about Azima in June of 2017, including one that revealed the airline mogul had offered reporter Solomon a minority stake in a company he was setting up. The Journal fired Solomon shortly before the AP’s story was published, citing ethical violations.

Solomon says he never took Azima up on his proposal or benefited financially from their relationship. In a first-person account of the scandal published in the Columbia Journalism Review in 2018, the ex-journalist said he never pushed back on Azima’s talk of business opportunities because he was trying to humor a man who had been crucial to his reporting on the Middle East. Solomon acknowledged “serious mistakes in managing my source relationship with Azima” including accepting stays on the businessman's yacht. But he said he had been the target of an “incredibly effective” information operation.

The Journal, which is not a party to suit, declined comment. The AP did not immediately return a message.

Solomon said in a statement Saturday that the hack-and-leak he suffered was an example of "a trend that's becoming a great threat to journalism and media, as digital surveillance and hacking technologies become more sophisticated and pervasive. This is a major threat to the freedom of the press."

Newsletter

Related Articles

TIMES.KY
0:00
0:00
Close
Paper straws found to contain long-lasting and potentially toxic chemicals - study
FTX's Bankman-Fried headed for jail after judge revokes bail
Blackrock gets half a trillion dollar deal to rebuild Ukraine
Israel: Unprecedented Civil Disobedience Looms as IDF Reservists Protest Judiciary Reform
America's First New Nuclear Reactor in Nearly Seven Years Begins Operations
Southeast Asia moves closer to economic unity with new regional payments system
Today Hunter Biden’s best friend and business associate, Devon Archer, testified that Joe Biden met in Georgetown with Russian Moscow Mayor's Wife Yelena Baturina who later paid Hunter Biden $3.5 million in so called “consulting fees”
Singapore Carries Out First Execution of a Woman in Two Decades Amid Capital Punishment Debate
Google testing journalism AI. We are doing it already 2 years, and without Google biased propoganda and manipulated censorship
Unlike illegal imigrants coming by boats - US Citizens Will Need Visa To Travel To Europe in 2024
Musk announces Twitter name and logo change to X.com
The politician and the journalist lost control and started fighting on live broadcast.
The future of sports
Unveiling the Black Hole: The Mysterious Fate of EU's Aid to Ukraine
Farewell to a Music Titan: Tony Bennett, Renowned Jazz and Pop Vocalist, Passes Away at 96
Alarming Behavior Among Florida's Sharks Raises Concerns Over Possible Cocaine Exposure
Transgender Exclusion in Miss Italy Stirs Controversy Amidst Changing Global Beauty Pageant Landscape
Joe Biden admitted, in his own words, that he delivered what he promised in exchange for the $10 million bribe he received from the Ukraine Oil Company.
TikTok Takes On Spotify And Apple, Launches Own Music Service
Global Trend: Using Anti-Fake News Laws as Censorship Tools - A Deep Dive into Tunisia's Scenario
Arresting Putin During South African Visit Would Equate to War Declaration, Asserts President Ramaphosa
Hacktivist Collective Anonymous Launches 'Project Disclosure' to Unearth Information on UFOs and ETIs
Typo sends millions of US military emails to Russian ally Mali
Server Arrested For Theft After Refusing To Pay A Table's $100 Restaurant Bill When They Dined & Dashed
The Changing Face of Europe: How Mass Migration is Reshaping the Political Landscape
China Urges EU to Clarify Strategic Partnership Amid Trade Tensions
Europe is boiling: Extreme Weather Conditions Prevail Across the Continent
The Last Pour: Anchor Brewing, America's Pioneer Craft Brewer, Closes After 127 Years
Democracy not: EU's Digital Commissioner Considers Shutting Down Social Media Platforms Amid Social Unrest
Sarah Silverman and Renowned Authors Lodge Copyright Infringement Case Against OpenAI and Meta
Italian Court's Controversial Ruling on Sexual Harassment Ignites Uproar
Why Do Tech Executives Support Kennedy Jr.?
The New York Times Announces Closure of its Sports Section in Favor of The Athletic
BBC Anchor Huw Edwards Hospitalized Amid Child Sex Abuse Allegations, Family Confirms
Florida Attorney General requests Meta CEO's testimony on company's platforms' alleged facilitation of illicit activities
The Distorted Mirror of actual approval ratings: Examining the True Threat to Democracy Beyond the Persona of Putin
40,000 child slaves in Congo are forced to work in cobalt mines so we can drive electric cars.
BBC Personalities Rebuke Accusations Amidst Scandal Involving Teen Exploitation
A Swift Disappointment: Why Is Taylor Swift Bypassing Canada on Her Global Tour?
Historic Moment: Edgars Rinkevics, EU's First Openly Gay Head of State, Takes Office as Latvia's President
Bye bye democracy, human rights, freedom: French Cops Can Now Secretly Activate Phone Cameras, Microphones And GPS To Spy On Citizens
The Poor Man With Money, Mark Zuckerberg, Unveils Twitter Replica with Heavy-Handed Censorship: A New Low in Innovation?
Unilever Plummets in a $2.5 Billion Free Fall, to begin with: A Reckoning for Misuse of Corporate Power Against National Interest
Beyond the Blame Game: The Need for Nuanced Perspectives on America's Complex Reality
Twitter Targets Meta: A Tangle of Trade Secrets and Copycat Culture
The Double-Edged Sword of AI: AI is linked to layoffs in industry that created it
US Sanctions on China's Chip Industry Backfire, Prompting Self-Inflicted Blowback
Meta Copy Twitter with New App, Threads
The New French Revolution
BlackRock Bitcoin ETF Application Refiled, Naming Coinbase as ‘Surveillance-Sharing’ Partner
×