The exposure of thecyberwars.com user database not only exposed the Evans / thecyberwars.com connection, it suggested that Evans may be involved in posting to finance forums with the intention of countering negative posts and attempting to manipulate LIGATT stock (LGTT.pk) prices. While Evans' efforts appear to have met with little success, the CEO of a company posting on the financial forum of his own company without disclosing his identity violates SEC Rule 10b-5.
Looking at the list of usernames and e-mail addresses exposed, along with the same relatively unique usernames on the Yahoo Finance Forums, paints an ugly picture of LIGATT involvement in attempting to manipulate investor opinion. We say "relatively unique" because at the time of this article, most usernames only appear to exist as commenters on thecyberwars.com and the LIGATT section of finance forums. It is difficult to see that as anything other than deliberate manipulation of public opinion regarding LIGATT's stock.
There are no Google hits or obvious matches on the Yahoo finance forums for the first set of users leaked from the thecyberwars.com database. While these could be legitimate users, that all the posts from these users are unanimously pro-LIGATT makes it more likely that they are Evans' sock-puppet accounts.
INSERT INTO `wp_users` VALUES (9, '2u4uallan', '[redacted]', '2u4uallan', 'email@example.com', '', '2010-07-02 15:54:35', '', 0, '2u4uallan');
INSERT INTO `wp_users` VALUES (4, 'Commenter', '[redacted]', 'commenter', 'firstname.lastname@example.org', '', '2010-06-30 20:41:19', '', 0, 'Commenter');
INSERT INTO `wp_users` VALUES (7, 'vlna', '[redacted]', 'vlna', 'email@example.com', '', '2010-07-01 08:42:56', '', 0, 'vlna');
INSERT INTO `wp_users` VALUES (12, 'Xander Crews', '[redacted]', 'xander-crews', 'firstname.lastname@example.org', '', '2010-07-12 14:05:25', 'SXbzVCilj7Hi2p9QHRxy', 0, 'Xander Crews');
INSERT INTO `wp_users` VALUES (14, 'Johnny S.', '[redacted]', 'johnny-s', 'email@example.com', '', '2010-07-12 15:04:33', '', 0, 'Johnny S.');
"2u4uallan" offers hearsay calling it "proof" and is clearly a loyal supporter of the web site, favoring Evans' side. "Johnny S." offers subdued commentary and continued support, favoring Evans. "Xander Crews" thinks that the courts should handle this, just as Evans does after filing a lawsuit against forum bashers. Ironic, as it is legal to post negative opinions on a company in which you have no financial investment, but it is illegal for the CEO to post under false identities.
Looking past the dedicated sock-puppet commenters on thecyberwars.com, four of the "users" have branched out and found a place on the Yahoo Finance message boards. Not surprisingly, each and every one is pro-LIGATT and attempts to offer subdued level-headed perspective on the LIGATT controversy. Most of the time, at least. The odds of four people:
..is more than suspect.
Freddy Roberts is a male from Utah and member of Yahoo since 06/21/2010. He is a contributor to the LIGATT finance forum and member of thecyberwars.com site. Beyond that, there isn't any evidence he is a real person. His information from thecyberwars.com site below shows a yahoo.com e-mail address that doesn't seem to be used anywhere else.
INSERT INTO `wp_users` VALUES (11, 'Frost Robert', '[redacted]', 'frost-robert', 'firstname.lastname@example.org', '', '2010-07-07 17:17:34', '08YoAN8EjZYYiOScz8Cf', 0, 'Frost Robert');
If you look at all of Roberts' posts, you quickly see he is pro-LIGATT. Eight posts on 07/12/2010, and none since joining over two weeks earlier. An example of his post:
"Most of these negative comments seem to attack the CEO's background. I gotta say I don't really care what kind of background he has or what he did before -- I only care about Ligatt as a company, not Evans as a person or anything like that.
If they're suing people, so much the better. Then maybe we can get a good small company to fight the Norton bloc and offer better products."
Terry Cooper is a 20 year old male from South Carolina, and member of Yahoo since 06/21/2010. Like Freddy, he only seems to exist on the Yahoo LIGATT finance forum and thecyberwars.com site. Googling for his e-mail address doesn't find any other presence.
INSERT INTO `wp_users` VALUES (8, 'Tcooper', '[redacted]', 'tcooper', 'email@example.com', '', '2010-07-02 15:17:18', '', 0, 'Tcooper');
Terry has seven posts on 07/14/2010, just over two weeks after signing up for his Yahoo account. Crying out "We need facts! Talk is cheap!" is certainly ironic, given the likelihood this was posted by Evans. An example post:
"Impressive BIO to me! He's done far more than others in the cyber-security industry have! All respect is given to Mr. Evans."
Joshua Daniels is a 24 year old male from San Francisco, California, and member of Yahoo since 06/21/2010. Like Freddy and Terry, he too only appears to exist on Yahoo LIGATT finance forums and thecyberwars.com site. He apparently has not made any impact on this world worth noting by search engines.
INSERT INTO `wp_users` VALUES (13, 'Johnny', '[redacted]', 'johnny', 'firstname.lastname@example.org', '', '2010-07-12 15:01:15', '', 0, 'Johnny');
Joshua Daniels has eleven posts: four on 06/30/2010 and seven on 07/14/2010. Along with his brethren, he too apparently is a big fan of LIGATT and only has positive things to say about Evans. An example post:
"I came to this board interested in this company and trying to see what they were all about. Ligatt looked like a well-oiled machine from the look of their website and the products they mentioned sounded interesting. What peaked my interest most was the LocatePC application, since I am a man who has had a laptop dear to me stolen in the past. So, I check the message boards on yahoo. Why not?
Lo and behold, I find nothing but endless waves of vitriolic spam by the same two or three people for many pages on end. There's little real information in their poorly-written posts: just the same People Magazine stuff over and over again. Notice they say NOTHING about Ligatt products or services. They just attack their CEO as a person - I don't much care about the guy's past, what can he do for ME?
I'm not sure why Ligatt Security has been chosen as the target for a handful of bored spammers. It only makes it harder to find actual information about Ligatt's legal hacker services.
All I know is that their website and products look pretty good and I would like to have more information other than a few angry people clogging the boards up."
Joshua Pitman is a male from Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Yahoo member since 06/29/2010. As with the previous "people", this Joshua doesn't seem to have found his way into search engines in any capacity to suggest he is anything more than the product of Evans' imagination.
INSERT INTO `wp_users` VALUES (15, 'Starwind', '[redacted]', 'starwind', 'email@example.com', '', '2010-07-12 15:28:46', '', 0, 'Starwind');
This Joshua has ten posts: two on 07/07/2010 and eight on 07/12/2010. Not surprisingly, he too is a supporter of Evans and LIGATT, and encourages people to look past Evans' felony past. An example post:
Who cares if he's a felon? Just shows before he knew what he was doing with hacking, amirite?
Sentiment : Strong Buy
Note that he is offering his sentiment, suggesting a "strong buy" for LIGATT stock. If this is Evans or a LIGATT employee as the evidence suggests, this is a clear attempt at manipulating investors and potential investors into buying the stock without disclosing his identity.
Unlike his friends, Joshua has ventured outside the comfort of thecyberwars.com and Yahoo Finance, posting a comment on "crabbyolbastard's" blog. The same "crabbyolbastard" named in a lawsuit by Evans for "stock manipulation". The levels of irony grow steadily. The comment posted to the blog:
firstname.lastname@example.org 22.214.171.124 2010/06/30 at 8:59pm
Interesting saga here. But has anyone here tried their products I looked at their website and I must admit, I was interested in the prank call one and the PC locater for laptops. The author claims Ligatt's products are "snake oil" but he says nothing about the actual products. Do they work?
Note the IP address, 126.96.36.199, from the same ISP Evans uses as discussed in the Evans "Death Threat" article. Talk of this same IP related to Evans comments can be found on other blogs as well. The confirmed tie to Evans comes in the form of two e-mails sent from LIGATT employees (Highsmith and Coker) to Steve Regan of The Tech Herald. The headers show both mails originating from 188.8.131.52, a LIGATT server.
Blake Cummings is a 25 year old male from Baltimore, Maryland, and Yahoo member since 06/28/2010. The fifth in this band of mid-twenties brothers, Blake comments on both thecyberwars.com and the Yahoo finance forums, but only in relation to the LIGATT stock. A reader points out that "B8755" is likely the same person (one difference: Age 51) and has branched out to comment on LIGATT's YouTube videos as well. As you can guess, all positive reviews.
INSERT INTO `wp_users` VALUES (16, 'blake7855', '[redacted]', 'blake7855', 'email@example.com', '', '2010-07-12 20:22:43', '', 0, 'blake7855');
Blake has fourteen posts: one on 06/30/2010 and thirteen on 07/14/2010. Wanting to fit in with the rest, Blake too likes Evans and LIGATT and is quite vocal about it. An example post:
As a regular, satisfied customer of LIGATT Security, I've happened to find that every software application I've looked into purchasing has distinct directions to using the specific product, as well as some that come along with a short video clip of explaining the application more in debt (i.e. the Spoofem application) leaving me very cognizant of what I'm about to spend my money on. I feel extremely confident in the products of this company, and am almost certain my machine isn't vulnerable to an attack. I am very pleased and will continue to invest in the products of LIGATT Security due to their effective marketing!
Not to be outdone in the "irony" category, Blake responds to someone challenging that he is a paid poster for Evans saying "Hey go for it! Notify the FBI!". This post was made a day before we learn that the FBI is investigating Evans. Good advice Gregory.
All of the evidence above is basically a smoking gun and we believe it is being held by Evans. Given his shady past and continued lies, we have no reason to suspect this evidence is anything other than it appears: Evans attempting to manipulate public perception and shareholders in an attempt to increase LIGATT stock price.