Sunday, January 10, 2016

Business Espionage: Employee's Steal Bends Steel Company With Her Bare Hands

Australia - On the day long-serving BlueScope software development manager Chinnari Sridevi "Sri" Somanchi was to be made redundant in June 2015, she was suddenly busy on the phone.

For the next two hours her redundancy meeting was delayed while Ms Somanchi was locked on the lengthy call, as her manager circled her desk trying to get her attention.

What the company did not know at the time, and now alleges, was Ms Somanchi was spending those precious hours downloading a cache of company secrets so financially important to BlueScope it has launched emergency legal action in the Federal Court of Australia and Singapore, where she is now based, to stop the information falling into the hands of its competitors.

The case of alleged international espionage has left the company reeling.

Ms Somanchi has been accused this week of downloading a trove of company documents – about 40 gigabytes – over a four-year period, including the codes she allegedly downloaded just before her redundancy meeting.

BlueScope is now trying desperately to retrieve "highly sensitive and commercially valuable" information allegedly stolen by Ms Somanchi, who it describes as a disgruntled former employee...

The case of alleged international espionage has left the company reeling and urgently seeking a judge's help to find and destroy trade secrets before they fall into the hands of competitors.

Losing its customized software to a rival firm would so badly damage BlueScope that it was not seeking penalties because "it is difficult to see how damages could adequately compensate BlueScope for the loss",
a senior manager's affidavit said. The business unit at risk generates $US45 million in turnover each year. more