Cisco accused of data theft


Jim Duffy

Cisco is accused of stealing thousands of proprietary and copyrighted data files from third-party services nemesis Multiven, which filed a complaint against the company with law enforcement authorities in the U.S. and Switzerland.

Multiven, whose CEO Peter Alfred-Adekeye was at the center of a bizarre orchestrated arrest episode involving Cisco, accuses Cisco of unauthorized access by Cisco to Multiven's knowledge base,, using automated cyber-scraping software. Multiven alleges Cisco stole thousands of proprietary and copyrighted data from Multiven's knowledge base on at least four separate occasions between December 2009 and January 2010.

[ THE ACCUSED: Former Cisco engineer indicted on hacking charges ]

The company says the incursions "put undue load on Multiven's server resulting in a degraded service for its legitimate users and customers," and are "clear violations" of the U.S. federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and the Computer Data Access and Fraud Act.

"Multiven's subsequent investigation revealed that the theft involved over 53,000 'requests' that originated from three Internet Protocol ('IP') addresses assigned to Cisco Systems, Inc., headquartered in San Jose, California," the company states in a press release.

Alfred-Adekeye even went so far as to accuse Cisco CEO John Chambers and General Counsel Mark Chandler of orchestrating the infiltration.

"Based on the fact that the source IP addresses of these systematic and premeditated theft of Multiven's intellectual property by Cisco Systems originated from Cisco's headquarters in San Jose, California, it is clear that Cisco CEO John T. Chambers and General Counsel Mark Chandler or people under their control instigated these thefts," Alfred-Adekeye said in the press release.

Cisco says the charges are nonsense.

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