Orange County Business Journal

Hacking Incident Hits Red Digital

Kari Hamanaka Friday, September 23, 2011

A plea agreement reached with a film industry executive in an email hacking case has made waves among camera manufacturers and Hollywood, with a list of victims that appears to include Lake Forest-based Red Digital Cinema Camera Co.

Michael Bravin, former vice president of market development for digital cameras at German film equipment manufacturer Arri Group, struck a plea bargain Thursday. He admitted that he accessed a computer owned by rival camera company Band Pro Film & Digital Inc. in Burbank.

The incident might have left some companies vulnerable.

Red Digital Camera founder Jim Jannard, in a post on the company's user forum, said his email account had recently been hacked.

"We knew something was up when the feds raided Arri and Michael Bravin's home several months ago," Jannard told the Business Journal. "It wasn't until recently that we understood just how extensive the hacking was and what effect it had on the competitive landscape of our business. I'm devastated--Arri was a company that I always looked up to.”

Bravin obtained the user name and password of Band Pro Chief Executive Amnon Band, giving him access to Band’s emails, according to a court document.

Bravin used to work for Band Pro Film & Digital Inc. He left the company in late 2009, and joined Arri Group. He continued to access Band's e-mail account until June 2010, according to a court document.

Bravin left Arri earlier this year and launched his own production consulting business.

He will serve two months in jail and is required to pay at least $5,000 plus legal fees.

Red Digital makes digital cameras that have been used to film movies such as "The Social Network” and “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” along with television shows such as “Pretty Little Liars” and “Southland.”