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Cloud Firm Appian Awarded $2B in Trade Secret Cyber-Theft Lawsuit

Cloud competitor found liable for breaking into Appian back-end systems to steal company secrets.

Appian has been awarded $2.3 billion in its lawsuit against cloud computing competitor Pegasystems for the cyber theft of its trade secrets. 

The Fairfax county court found Pegasystems used a variety of means to steal Appian data, including paying a government contractor to provide back-end access to Appian systems, over a period of eight years. A former Pegasystems employee alerted Appian to the insider threat scheme in 2020, Appian CEO Matt Calkins told Virginia Business.

According to the evidence presented at the trial, the government contractor who helped Pegasystems, Youyong Zou, passed trade secret information via video recordings of Appian’s development environments. Appian also said during the trial that Pegasystems employees used false identities to get access to trial versions of Appian’s software.

The court awarded Appian $5,000 in damages against Zou. Pegasystems also has to pay an additional $1 for violating the Virginia Computer Crimes Act.

Pegasystems has said it will appeal the ruling.