On July 18th 2008, my website came under attack from a now known source, which I believe, based on information received, the attacker is CLOSELY CONNECTED to Mr. Stephen Jemal of SSJ Development. Lets recap.
I posted a story about Mr. Jemal being sued for an alleged non-payment of a loan connected to his real estate projects in our area. I later posted a story about a DoS Attack on GerritsenBeach.net after it was contained, informing everyone of the resulting down time. I reported the incident to Verizon, the attacking IP’s owner.
Later that night after the attack, I received a letter via email from Stephen Jemal’s attorneys, demanding that I take down my post, citing defamation. Here is that demand letter.
I believe that the demand letter makes completely ridiculous and unreasonable demands of me and the website, including:
- Removing the entire publication about Mr. Jemal
- Removing any reference of the publication from Google, all other search engines, and other blogs (like I run Google and control their root user name and passwords!),
- Publish a retraction / clarification approved by Mr. Jemal and distribute that throughout the internet,
- signing a non-disparagementâ€ agreement, and oh yeah
- Sign an immediate settlement of TWENTY THOUSAND DOLLARS for legal fees, and additional consideration to induce Mr. Jemal not to file a lawsuit.
Whew! Mr. Jemals representation conveyed that the article painted him badly. (This Article)
Here is the problem with all of this: What statement did I make that was false? What statement did I make that was defamatory? Oh, that’s right NOTHING. Needless to say, that demand was flatly rejected.
This is where things take a very interesting turn.
After posting about the DoS attack, I received multiple emails from ####@SSJDevelopment.com stating that he knows that someone VERY CLOSELY connected to Mr. Jemal, used a bash script that he had taught this person.
Upon reviewing the website logs, the script described was indeed the script used to attack this website. Based on the connection between the two pieces of information, I have reason to believe the author of the email.
Mr. Jemals attorneys have since told me that the attack on the site was the work of a renegade employee who acted without knowledge or authorization of Mr. Jemal. They also told me that Mr. Jemal fired this employee.
While I am not in total agreement with this statement (the offensive IP originated from the Jersey Shore where the alleged offender claims to live, not in Brooklyn where this renegade employee worked), I accepted their statement. I was also accused of using this information in an attempt to extort a settlement, which I was not doing at all I was simply adding information to the negotiations, attempting to give all a fuller view of the circumstances surrounding the blog entry, and released the information with no thought to how it would painted or inferred.
Stay Tuned! We remain on Red Alert (but will take off the annoying red color)and anticipate negotiations ending shortly.