12:19pm PT by Eriq Gardner
Red Granite Backs Off Hacking Lawsuit
Red Granite Pictures, the financier of such films as The Wolf of Wall Street, Dumb and Dumber To and Daddy's Home, has withdrawn a lawsuit against several anonymous individuals who were accused of a malicious hack.
The legal action was filed last July by the company co-owned by Riza Aziz, the stepson of Malaysian prime minister Najib Abdul Razak. According to the complaint, employees at the film company "were targeted by daily harassing emails," including ones consisting of blog postings and other reports of improper activity. (Red Granite has faced accusations that some of its money traces to embezzled public funds.)
In its suit, the film company said it was playing a "cat-and-mouse game" with someone who was surveilling one of its advisors, and that the defendants "unlawfully and without permission obtained access to [Red Granite's] computer systems, and used that unauthorized access to, among other things, collect nonpublic information on Plaintiff's business operations, employee lists and internal communications."
In December, Red Granite demanded records from Yahoo and Verizon to find out the culprit of ongoing cyberstalking.
The lawsuit is now suddenly over.
After a judge ordered Red Granite to show cause why the lawsuit shouldn't be dismissed, the plaintiff decided to voluntarily drop the action.
Red Granite told the judge in a letter on Sunday that it had been able to identify the "whereabouts of these harassers, although not yet their precise identities, as they used (among other techniques) cloned modems that were subsequently disconnected from the internet service provider's network."
The film company also is walking back their allegation of illicit hacking.
"Upon further investigation, Red Granite Pictures has determined that its systems were never compromised by these harassers (or by anyone else), and that no data of any kind was taken from Red Granite."