Accused Leaker Agrees to Name Names | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker

A superfan accused of hacking Kelsea Ballerini and leaking her unreleased music has reached an agreement with the star’s lawyers not to share her songs with anyone else — and to name any people he’s already sent them to.

Just a week after Ballerini sued Bo Ewing over accusations that he illegally accessed her unfinished album and shared it with members of a fan club, attorneys for both sides said Wednesday (April 24) that they have agreed on a preliminary injunction against Ewing that will remain in place as the case plays out.

Under the terms of the injunction to which his lawyers agreed, Ewing is not only banned from disseminating any of Ballerini’s materials, he’s required to divulge who he has already shared them with and how he came into possession of her music.

“Defendant shall, within thirty days of entry of this order, provide plaintiffs with the names and contact information for all people to whom defendant disseminated the recordings,” the agreement reads. “Defendant shall use his best efforts to disclose to Plaintiffs from whom and by what means he obtained the recordings.”

The agreement avoids a court battle over such an injunction, which Ballerini’s attorneys were asking a federal judge to impose regardless of Ewing’s cooperation. In doing so, they warned that the hack had caused “immediate and ongoing harm” that would get far worse if Ewing was allowed to widely release the allegedly leaked songs online.

“The most critical time for an album’s success is its initial release date,” Ballerini’s attorneys wrote in a motion demanding such an injunction. “Hacks like this substantially diminish both performers’ and labels’ ability to realize the full benefits of the release because the work is already available for download, for free, at the time of the official release.”

Ballerini sued last week, claiming that Ewing — allegedly a former fan who had become disillusioned with the star — had gained illegal “back-door access” to a device holding recordings of 12 songs still in production. Her lawyers say he then shared them with members of an online fan club.

“Because the recordings are not the completed master, the songs are not final and are subject to revision,” her lawyers wrote. “Ms. Ballerini and her team are the only people who can say when the recordings are complete. Defendant’s actions have stripped plaintiffs of that right and caused the distribution of unfinished work that may not yet be up to plaintiffs’ high professional standards.”

Almost immediately, the federal judge overseeing the case issued a so-called temporary restraining order — an emergency order that banned Ewing from sharing any of Ballerini’s materials. That order set the stage for a longer-term preliminary injunction, which both sides were set to debate at a hearing on Thursday (April 25).

Instead, Ewing’s attorneys struck Wednesday’s deal accepting such an injunction. Judge Waverly D. Crenshaw Jr. signed off on the agreement on Thursday. Neither side’s lawyers immediately returned requests for comment.


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