Swiss IT consulting firm Multiven has accused Cisco of stealing private data from its servers.
Multiven has filed complaints against Cisco to the US Department of Justice and the Swiss Cybercrime Co-ordination Unit. In the complaints, the Swiss firm alleges that Cisco stole copyrighted data files from its corporate servers.
The company has yet to issue a formal lawsuit against Cisco on the issue. Instead, Multiven says it will drop charges if Cisco releases a public apology for the wrongdoing. Cisco and Multiven have been locked in a wide scale legal battle for the past three years.
"Per standard operating procedure, we have reported these breaches to law enforcement," said Multiven chief executive Peter Alfred-Adekeye.
"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."
In its statement, Multiven gave Cisco a 29 March deadline for issuing the public apology.
Cisco has denied all allegations. In a statement to V3 Cisco dismissed Multiven's claims outright.
"This is yet another false accusation from Multiven, and we strongly reject this claim. The only access that Cisco has ever had to Multiven content is through its website, which is readily available to the general public."
"Further, it's important to note that Multiven's chief executive officer is currently under federal indictment in the US for behaviour - including stealing Cisco software in violation of the federal Anti-Hacking Statute - similar to their own accusations."
Multiven's chief executive was charged with 97 counts of illegal computer hacking in 2010. Among the charges, Alfred-Adekeye was accused of using employee credential to gain access to Cisco data.
According to an Ars Technica report, the charges were filed during a previous antitrust case involving Cisco and Multiven.
During his disposition in the antitrust case Alfred-Adekeye was arrested in Canada. Alfred-Adekeye, a former Cisco employee, was held in Canada to await extradition to the US where he would have faced charges.
Following a lengthy court ordeal, Alfred-Adekeye was charged with breaking anti-hacking laws. The Cisco antitrust case was settled out of court.
After the settlement was made a Canadian judge ruled that Cisco was complaisant in getting charges filed against the Multiven chief executive.
The judge ruled that Cisco was working to incur the charges in an attempt to derail its antitrust case with Multiven. According to the judge, the real reason behind the case against Alfred-Adekeye was because he "dared to take on a multinational giant."
Cisco has denied the judge's claims. The company has reported that it has stayed out of the hacking case and has let national law enforcement handle the issue.
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