Ex-Cisco employee up for hacking charges

An ex Cisco engineer who previously sued the company has landed himself in court.

Peter Alfred-Adekeye sued his previous employer claiming that it had a monopoly over the industry of servicing and maintaining Cisco products.

He left the company in 2005 to set up two networking companies. His first, Multiven, sued Cisco in December 2008, claiming that it forced owners of products such as routers, switches and firewalls to buy its SMARTnet service contracts in order to get regular software updates and bug fixes.

Mr Alfred-Adekeye claimed that as Cisco only gave updates and bug fixes to SMARTnet customers and not to third parties, the company blocked the way for independent companies from servicing its equipment.

However, he’s now the one in the dock after being charged by the US Department of Justice.

He has been slapped with a huge 97 claims, accusing him of hacking into Cisco computers and using the information for financial and commercial gain. They claim he did this by using a Cisco employee’s user ID and password to download software and access Cisco’s restricted website.

Ironically Mr Alfred-Adekeye was arrested while giving evidence about Cisco.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Vancouver swooped in and banged on the cuffs on May 20, 2010 after the U.S. Department of Justice tipped off Canadian authorities, telling them to look for the Nigerian resident at the hotel he was staying at.

The case has remained top secret until now as US lawmakers have been trying to extradite Alfred-Adekeye.

If he’s found guilty he’ll be thrown into the clink for 10 years as well as being ordered to pay a hefty fine of $250,000.