Campbell said he became suspicious when Douglas Carson, the attorney representing Fort Smith and its Police Department, sent him the computer hard drive in June 2014 by Federal Express. Normally, Campbell said, the defendants had provided him with requested documents via email, the U.S. Postal Service or through a cloud-based Internet storage service.
Campbell said he sent the hard drive to his information technology expert, Geoff Mueller of Austin, Texas, who is manager of information security at the Lower Colorado River Authority.
“Something didn’t add up in the way they approached it, so I sent it to my software guy first,” Campbell said. “I thought ‘I’m not plugging that into my computer,’ so I sent it to him to inspect.”
Mueller told Campbell the hard drive contained four “Trojans,” one of which was a duplicate.
Trojans are programs that appear legitimate but perform some illicit activity when run, according to PC Magazine.
“One would have kept my Internet active even if I tried to turn it off, one would have stolen any passwords that I entered in, and the other would have allowed the installation of other malicious software,” Campbell said. “It’s not like these are my only clients, either. I’ve got all my client files in my computer. I don’t know what they were looking for, but just the fact that they would do it is pretty scary.”