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River City Media Official Statement Regarding False and Defamatory Publications

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  JACKSON, WY - 03/08/2017 (PRESS RELEASE JET)


River City Media, LLC issues this press release to address the numerous false and defamatory statements published by Chris Vickery, Mackeeper.com, Steve Ragan and CXO Media, Inc. (which operates csoonline.com) regarding River City’s business practices, which was based upon information they admittedly obtained through illegal computer hacking in violation of federal and state law.  Contrary to the assertions in the libelous publications, the hackers did not stumble upon River City’s confidential and proprietary information through an unprotected rsync backup.  River City’s backups were not stored on an open web server as falsely reported and, moreover, much of the information that was stolen and then published by the hackers could only be obtained by accessing third party resources with stolen logins and passwords.

Omitted from the defamatory publications is the fact that the parties who hacked into River City’s network engaged in numerous computer crimes, including violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act and the Wire Fraud Act.  The hackers accessed River City’s Paypal account and used funds from that account to purchase goods or services without River City’s permission—i.e. outright theft.  They misappropriated River City’s financial information and databases in violation of the Defend Trade Secrets Act.  And, incredibly, they unlawfully accessed River City’s accounts with third party email service providers for the purpose of sending unsolicited email messages to River City’s databases.

By their own admission, the publishers of the so-called articles never spoke with anyone at River City before they published their hit pieces.  Had they done so, rather than rush to publish, they would have realized that a number of the statements in their articles were false and easily disprovable.  For example, Vickery represented that River City sent a billion emails per day using “illegal hacking techniques,” which he placed in conjunction with a stolen document entitles “Project X1 (IPv4/IPv6).”  However, the document that Vickery posted was submitted by a third party who never worked for or was affiliated with River City; the third party submitted the document in connection with an application to work for River City.  In fact, River City has never used the mailing technique detailed in the “Project X1” document, nor mailed a billion emails in a day.  Vickery also represented that River City used a mailing technique, which he described as “a type of Slowloris attack,” based on a chat log between River City and Sean McKeown.  However, River City has never used the mailing technique described in Vickery’s defamatory publication, nor did it ever use any of the “scripts or techniques” provided by Mr. McKeown.  The technique described in the chat log, and the scripts provided by Mr. McKeown, were never used by River City because (1) they were inconsistent with River City’s emailing practices, and (2) could not even be carried out given the technical limitations on River City’s email delivery platform.  Indeed, River City distributed emails on behalf of well-known and reputable companies, including MetLife, LifeLock, Liberty Mutual, Match.com, DirectTV, and Lyft, to name a few.  Had River City engaged in “unlawful hacking techniques” as claimed in the defamatory publications, it would not have been permitted to transmit commercial email messages on behalf of such well-recognized brands, which it has done for years.  In sum, the direct and implicit representations in the false articles that River City engaged in criminal activity, illegal IP hijacking or unlawful hacking are false.

As for Ragan’s attempt to smear River City by suggesting it did something wrong by obtaining consumer’s email addresses from third parties, he apparently missed the fact that even his employer, csoonline.com, engages in the very same practice.  In his attempt to further tarnish River City, Ragan quoted Mike Anderson of Spamhaus to establish that River City obtained consumer email addresses from partners who “tricked” consumers into giving them their email addresses; the partners would then share that data with River City for delivering email marketing.  Yet, according to csoonline.com’s Privacy Policy, consumers who submit their email addresses to csoonline.com “agree to receive email from outside firms, the Publisher and its sister IDG companies, and the IDG Network.”   Had Ragan focused on the truth, and not simply tarnishing River City, he might have realized that not every email address that is obtained by a web site and then shared with a third party is acquired by “tricking” the consumer, and that data licensing is lawful and a common business practice by website operators…including his own employer.    

River City has operated as an email marketing affiliate since 2003.  It has worked with many upstanding digital marketing agencies, well known-brands, service providers and hosting companies.  And it has always sought to comply with all applicable laws, rules and regulations, including the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003.  However, due to the acts of these hackers, the company has suffered a number of catastrophic and damaging events, which have not only impacted the company, but also its loyal employees and partners.  Accordingly, River City has also been in contact with government officials and authorities to further investigate the unlawful hacking and numerous computer crimes committed by the hackers, and will be pursuing its legal remedies against the hackers who have stolen money and property, destroyed business relationships, and defamed the company.

Any questions related to this press release may be directed to Damian Moos at Kang Spanos & Moos LLP, who may be reached at (949) 501-4864.

Media Contacts:

person_outline  Full Name:Ellie Stevens
phone  Phone Number:9496364735
business_center  Company:River City Media
language  Website:rivercitymediaonline.com
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