You are hereAM Law Daily: Hunton & Williams Linked to Hacked E-Mail Affair

AM Law Daily: Hunton & Williams Linked to Hacked E-Mail Affair

Chamber ConspiracyFebruary 15, 2011- Pro-WikiLeaks hackers have publicly exposed almost 70,000 e-mails from a private data security firm seeking to do business with Bank of America, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and Hunton & Williams, as detailed in recent stories by The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and The New York Times.
Presentations and other memoranda obtained by the so-called hactivist group Anonymous, which broke into the e-mail accounts of executives at cybersecurity services company HBGary Federal, show that Hunton was in contact with HBGary about pitching HBGary's services to such firm clients as BoA and the Chamber of Commerce.

After being approached by Hunton, HBGary and two other "data intelligence companies" crafted a plan to attack WikiLeaks's credibility and undermine the organization's supporters, according to a post on the whistle-blowing Web site last week. WikiLeaks and BoA have been at loggerheads since Novembe,r when WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange told Forbes, without identifying BoA specifically , that his next big disclosure bomb would involve a major U.S. bank.

Assange had revealed in an interview with Computer World in October 2009 that he possessed five gigabytes of information from an unidentified BoA executive's hard drive. That led BoA to scramble and start purchasing hundreds of abusive domain names to protect itself in the event that internal bank documents and e-mails were made available via WikiLeaks servers. (Charlotte-based BoA, one of the largest banks in the U.S., cut off third-party payments to WikiLeaks in December after the organization's mass release of confidential U.S. diplomatic cables.)

As noted by our sibling publication Corporate Counsel last week, the BoA documents that Assange and WikiLeaks allegedly possess may not be nearly as interesting as previously believed. BoA is a longtime Hunton client. The firm has handled litigation work for the bank, whose former deputy general counsel, Frank Murphy, Jr., works in Hunton's Charlotte office. (BoA recently reshuffled its outside counsel roster, according to U.K. publication Legal Week.)

Contacted about the HBGary and WikiLeaks matter, Hunton spokeswoman Eleanor Kerlow said that the firm currently has no comment on it.



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