Oracle Sues SAP for Espionage

Database giant alleges SAP grabbed thousands of documents using IDs of defecting Oracle customers

Oracle filed a lawsuit against rival software maker SAP today, alleging that SAP has downloaded thousands of documents from Oracle's customer service site using borrowed passwords.

The lawsuit, filed in San Francisco district court, accuses SAP's support services subsidiary, SAP TN, of downloading more than 10,000 software and support documents from Oracle's Customer Connection site. During one four-day period, SAP TN downloaded an average of 1,800 items per day, compared to the average customer's 20, the lawsuit says.

Oracle alleges that SAP TN borrowed passwords from Oracle customers who had moved or were planning to move to the SAP service, which services Oracle and J.D. Edwards software. Most of the downloads went not to the customers whose passwords were used, but to an IP address at SAP TN, the lawsuit says.

"This storehouse of stolen Oracle intellectual property enables SAP to offer cut-rate support services to customers who use Oracle software, and to attempt to lure them to SAP's application software platform and away from Oracle's," the lawsuit states.

Oracle is seeking to stop SAP from downloading or using the documents, and to recover damages and attorney's fees.

The downloads, which began in late November of last year, were detected when the database company noticed "unusually heavy download activity" from its Customer Connection servers, Oracle said. While one of the downloads purported to be from Honeywell, some others were achieved using bogus user names or email addresses, the lawsuit says.

As of this posting, SAP has not responded publicly to the allegations.

— Tim Wilson, Site Editor, Dark Reading

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