This article appeared first in the August 2012 issue of the Fresno County Bar Association Bar Bulletin.
I recently received a call from a client, after a former programmer shut down her company’s website. The hack was intentional, arising from a contract dispute, and the programmer planned to hold the website captive until they resolved a payment issue.
The matter was particularly urgent because my client had planned to debut an online service that same day. The longer the website was down, the more revenue and third-party support they would lose. Fortunately, within an hour later the site was back up, and while it took another week to finalize a settlement, in that single, reckless move, the programmer (who used an old password to access my client’s site) lost any real leverage he may have had in the original dispute.