Rival Used Phony Emails to Snoop, Firm Says

DALLAS (CN) – Affiliated Computer Services, an information technology firm, claims a competitor set up bogus email addresses in the names of dozens of ACS employees to divert mail and accounts to its rival’s computers. It claims Duncan Solutions’ “unauthorized diversion of ACS’ email not only interferes with the operation of ACS’ computer network, but it also gives Duncan access to ACS’ confidential and proprietary information and trade secrets.”

Duncan competes against ACS’ transportation business. According to its Web site, Duncan focuses on parking and enforcement management. Duncan’s clients include the Milwaukee, Las Vegas, and the Pittsburgh Parking Authority.
ACS claims that Duncan injected unauthorized email accounts into email threads between ACS and Duncan. This resulted in messages sent to ACS employees being forwarded to a Duncan email address in that employee’s name before being sent back to the employee’s ACS email address. ACS claims Duncan set up the phony email accounts “in the name of at least twenty-five of ACS’s current employees.”
“Duncan has gained a wholly improper competitive advantage by having the opportunity to review ACS’ internal emails. The stolen emails reveal not only information about specific prospective and existing clients, but also confidential and proprietary information regarding ACS’ general business strategies and plans,” ACS says in its federal complaint.
“Connecting this stream of communication to a specific lost business opportunity will be virtually impossible. Duncan’s actions also interfere with ACS’ operation of its daily business, because ACS is an information technology company that depends heavily on the ability to communicate sensitive information via internal email.”
ACS seeks damages under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Wiretap Act, Stored Communication Act and Texas Harmful Access By Computer Act. It is represented by John Cox with Lynn Tillotson.

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