Multiven, a provider of network maintenance, recently furthered its rivalry with Cisco (News - Alert), accusing the company of launching cyberattacks against Multiven's servers. The company filed an official complaint against Cisco with the U.S. Department of Justice and the Swiss Cybercrime Coordination Unit.
Specifically, Multiven claims that at least four times between December 2009 and January 2010, Cisco used automated cyber scraping software to steal "thousands of proprietary and copywrited data files" from mysolvr.com, Multiven's knowledge base. Furthermore, Multiven claims that these attacks consisted of 53,000 server requests, degrading its quality of service.
"Based on the fact that the source IP addresses of these systematic and premeditated theft of Multiven’s intellectual property…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," said Peter Alfred-Adekeye, CEO of Multiven, in a statement.
He went on to add that Multiven will not seek civil redress from Cisco if the company issues a public apology immediately with assurance that none of the stolen data has been used and has now all been deleted.
Cisco has outright denied this claim, calling it "yet another false accusation from Multiven."
The legal history between the two companies goes back all the way to 2008, when Multiven first filed an antitrust suit in California against Cisco, alleging that the company had been forcing customers to buy the Cisco SMARTnet maintenance service if they wanted to receive software updates. Cisco denied the allegations and the two companies settled the suit in July 2010.
Multiven again filed an antitrust complaint against Cisco in February 2012 with the Swiss Competition Commission, again claiming that Cisco ties updates to SMARTnet. This suit also claimed that Cisco engages in illegal exclusionary acts such as coercing its reseller partners to refuse to deal with Multiven.
Multiven competes directly with Cisco's SMARTnet, offering similar, but independent, maintenance service. The company offers alternative pricing schemes in order to compete with Cisco's service, such as pay-as-you-go maintenance.
Edited by Rachel Ramsey