Ubiquiti Sues Brian Krebs Over His Stories Of Their Data Leak

This to me is the perfect example of the Striesand Effect in action. Last year, Ubiquiti Networks had a data leak. And a whistleblower accused the company of massively downplaying it. This story was covered by journalist Brian Krebs who is known for covering computer security from a variety of angles. Ubiquiti came out the next day and really crashed and burned when it came to the response to this story. But it doesn’t end there. The whistleblower was busted for extortion a few months later in relation to this story. And now the latest twist in this story is that Brian Krebs is now being sued for “alleging that he falsely accused the company of ‘covering up’ a cyberattack”:

In its complaint, Ubiquiti said contrary to what Krebs had reported, the company had promptly notified its clients about the attack and instructed them to take additional security precautions to protect their information.

“Ubiquiti then notified the public in the next filing it made with the SEC. But Krebs intentionally disregarded these facts to target Ubiquiti and increase ad revenue by driving traffic to his website, www.KrebsOnSecurity.com,” the complaint alleged.

This hasn’t gone over well with some people. For example, there’s this Twitter thread that I found:

I would recommend clicking on “read the full conversation on Twitter” as this is a very interesting read. But others on Twitter joined in on being critical of Ubiquiti:

Here’s the bottom line. Ubiquiti may be suing Krebs for compensatory damages of more than $75,000 US, punitive damages of $350,000 US, and all expenses and costs including lawyers’ fees and any further relief deemed appropriate by the court. But this may very well be an unforced error at the end of the day because the bad PR that this lawsuit is generating along with the fact that it resurfaces the story about the data breach from last year that most people have forgotten about that doesn’t make the company look good. And companies have to generate some sort of goodwill to make sales. I think it might be time for Ubiquiti to rethink this as it’s clear to me that the Striesand Effect is in full effect.

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