Cybersecurity firm accused of hacking potential clients, extorting them to buy its services
There have been numerous instances in the past where anti-virus companies have been accused -- and in many cases caught -- of creating malware their products combat. We’re learning of yet another similar case. A former employee of cybersecurity firm Tiversa is accusing the company of fraud.
Richard Wallace, one of the former investigators at the firm has testified against the firm in a Washington DC courtroom. Wallace says that Tiversa employees would hack their potential clients to force them to buy services from the firm.
That’s not all. Wallace says that Bob Boback, the CEO at Tiversa would ask the employees to look for IP addresses of known identity thieves tapping company ties to law enforcement agencies. The firm would then present these addresses to its potential clients to scare them. "Hire us or face the music", Wallace noted.
"So, to boil this down, you would make the data breach appear to be much worse than it actually had been"? FTC Administrative Judge Michael Chappell asked. "That's correct", Wallace responded.
Wallace notes a particular case wherein he himself broke into the computers at LabMD, a cancer testing center in Atlanta to steal medical records. As part of the tactic, the company notified LabMD, but when it refused to hire Tiversa and use its services, it threatened it to bring this to the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC dragged LabMD to court and the case is still in progress.
This is the same cybersecurity firm that has been previously accused of running scams to fool customers. Back in the day, Triversa made it to national news for planting a fake story wherein it said that Iran stole the blueprints of President’s helicopter.