Grand theft corporate

Janet Babin Mar 23, 2007

MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: It sounds like corporate theft on a grand scale. Oracle is suing German company SAP. It alleges the company hacked into its computers and stole all kinds of proprietary information. Marketplace’s Janet Babin has more from the Innovations Desk at North Carolina Public Radio.


JANET BABIN: Oracle and SAP make software that runs the nervous system of a company — things like payroll or accounting systems. The two companies are industry leaders. They’ve been locked in a dogfight over acquiring customers for several years.

Oracle alleges in its lawsuit that SAP used customer passwords to access proprietary information from a tech-support website for customers only. Larry Dignan with ZDNet.com says it appears that Oracle has the goods on SAP:

LARRY DIGNAN: They have IP address, they’ve traced everything back. . . . They were pretty detailed about what they had.

According to the complaint, Oracle saw one of its customers go from about 20 downloads from the tech-support site each month, to 1,800 items per day for four days straight. SAP says it can’t comment because it’s still reviewing the lawsuit.

I’m Janet Babin for Marketplace.

We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.