A former Cisco engineer was arrested for allegedly hacking into the company's network 18 months after he waged a civil lawsuit accusing Cisco of monopolizing the business of servicing and maintaining its networking gear, according to a report citing a Canadian arrest warrant issue in the case.
According to IDG News, Peter Alfred-Adekeye was arrested in May 2010 while giving a deposition in Vancouver in the civil antitrust case he brought against Cisco. The detention stemmed from a criminal case brought by US prosecutors charging him with 97 counts of intentionally accessing a protected computer system without authorization. If convicted, he faces a maximum of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.
IDG reports that Alfred-Adekeye stands accused of using a Cisco employee's user ID and password to download software and to access Cisco's restricted website. The case was filed under seal and only came to light when Canadian news outlets reported an extradition hearing involving the Nigerian citizen. According to The Vancouver Sun, Alfred-Adekeye's attorney argued in the proceeding that the arrest was “part of an 'aggressive' litigation strategy by Cisco in defending itself against Alfred-Adekeye's antitrust lawsuit.
Alfred-Adekeye filed the civil action in December 2008.
The attorney, Marilyn Standford, went on to say the incident was a “'planned and deliberate' act by Cisco with the collusion of the US government,” the Canadian paper said.
A Cisco spokeswoman told IDG News: "We strongly disagree with the majority of the content in [The Vancouver Sun] article. ®