3:39pm PT by Eriq Gardner
'Wolf of Wall Street' Backer Reports Ongoing Cyberstalking
On Thursday, attorneys for Red Granite Pictures told a judge of ongoing harassment upon the company, including hacking attempts and a malware attack. The financier of The Wolf of Wall Street, Dumb and Dumber To and upcoming Will Ferrell-Mark Wahlberg comedy Daddy's Home now says it has obtained an IP address possibly belonging to the perpetrator and is seeking to subpoena Time Warner Cable for identification records.
Red Granite is a company co-founded by Riza Aziz, stepson of Malaysian prime minister Najib Abdul Razak. Since coming onto the entertainment scene at the Cannes Film Festival in 2011, the film financier has been haunted by accusations that some of its money traces to embezzled public funds. The company denies this, and nothing has ever been proven, but in July, employees began receiving mass emails consisting of blog postings and other reports of improper activity.
That month, Red Granite sued anonymous individuals, alerting a court to a "cat-and-mouse game" with someone or some people stalking employees and outside advisors. One such advisor, allegedly being surveilled, got menacing late-night phone calls.
Also according to the complaint, "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."
Red Granite has hired information-security consultants and was successful in getting a court to authorize discovery on Yahoo and Verizon, which led them to an IP address that the film financier believes is being used by their adversary. The IP address is part of a block of addresses assigned to the Los Angeles area.
In calling for expedited discovery, Red Granite cites the risk that IP address information is not preserved indefinitely and the ongoing nature of the harassment.
"Since the filing of this action, the Doe Defendants have continued to target Plaintiff’s employees with hacking attempts and malware, using new pseudonymous email accounts," states a motion. "Plaintiff’s efforts to block these attacks have proven unsuccessful."
In a declaration to support the motion, an attorney working with Red Granite also reports that the defendants have also used the services of Malaysia Telekom.