Cloud networking management provider Multiven has accused Cisco of stealing thousands of proprietary files in complaints filed with the US Department of Justice and the Swiss cybercrime coordination unit on Wednesday.
Multiven claims that between December 2009 and January 2010, Cisco used automated cyber-scraping software to steal copyrighted files from mysolvr.com on at least four separate occasions. Multiven said that the high-volume of requests also caused its services to degrade.
According to an investigation by Multiven, the alleged theft involved more than 53,000 requests that originated from three IP addresses assigned to Cisco.
Multiven said it has found no evidence that customer or use passwords were included in the data allegedly taken by Cisco.
“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,” Multiven CEO Peter Alfred-Adekeye said in a statement. “Per standard operating procedure, we have reported these breaches to law enforcement but we will refrain from seeking a civil redress if Cisco issues a public apology immediately and the assurance that none of the stolen data has been used for its advantage and it has now all been deleted. Start-ups and young enterprises are key to turning around the current global economic downturn. However, for them to succeed, the law must protect their intellectual property from monopolistic organizations that abuse their dominant positions to stifle competition, innovation and consumer choice for their selfish gain.”
Multiven is requesting a public apology from Cisco on or before March 29, 2013, confirmation in writing that Cisco will not use any of the stolen data for its products or services, and that Cisco permanently deleted all online and offline copies of the data in its possession.
Cisco has denied the claims, and said the only access that Cisco has ever had to Multiven content is via its website, which is publicly available.
“Further, it’s important to note that Multiven’s CEO is currently under federal indictment in the U.S. for behavior – including stealing Cisco software in violation of the federal Anti-Hacking Statute – similar to its own accusations,” Cisco said in a statement.
If Cisco doesn’t comply, Multiven will follow with a civil suit. If it escalates, it won’t be the first legal battle between Cisco and Multiven. In 2010, the companies settled a 2008 lawsuit where Multiven charged that Cisco forced customers to buy its SMARTnet service plan in order to get bug fixes and software updates.
Talk back: What do you think of Multiven’s claims against Cisco? Do you think the issue will escalate to court? Let us know in a comment.