CHARLESTON - The West Virginia Medical Institute has filed a lawsuit claiming its system was hacked into.

The suit, filed Oct. 19, names three John Does and three Jane Does as defendants because the identity of the alleged hackers is unknown. Filing the lawsuit will give the institute subpoena power to track down the identity of the accused.

The West Virginia Medical Institute is a nonprofit organization that provides to improve health care quality at various hospitals.

Institute attorney David Barnette of Jackson Kelly wrote in the complaint that at 5:15 p.m. on Sept. 28, the hackers used a fictitious hotmail.com e-mail address to access the institute's computer system.

Having gained access, the hackers, according to the complaint, transmitted to seven employees "an anonymous, harassing, threatening, abusive and obscene communication containing defamatory information."

The complaint adds that the message was intended to disrupt the operations of the institute and requests compensatory and punitive damages, as well as an injunction to stop the alleged hackers.

Judge Irene Berger has been assigned the case.

In April, Dr. Jane Maloof alleged a similar problem where hackers created a fake myspace.com profile page. Barnette is her attorney, too, and is also representing We Save Inc. over its alleged problem with hackers.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 06-C-2197

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