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Cybersecurity firm Tiversa accused of blackmailing potential clients

Updated: 6/3/2015 9:53 AM: Robert Boback, CEO of Tiversa, has emailed us in response. He says the statements from Richard Wallace are “wildly inaccurate,” and states that his company “works hard to protect our clients from the risks of cyber breaches.” Boback discredits Wallace’s testimony, citing recent arrests as proof of his unreliability. 

Meanwhile, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is investigating the claims made by LabMD and Richard Wallace. The Committee has issued a report that makes a long list of accusations against Tiversa: providing false information to the United States government, fabricating a story about an Iranian IP address obtaining blue prints for Marine One, and possession of classified government documents. 

A verdict has not been reached in the FTC case against LabMD. The judge denied a motion to dismiss the case filed by LabMD on May 26th, and an evidentiary hearing will resume on June 15th.

Accusations have been made against cybersecurity firm Tiversa, as CNN Money reports. The claims suggest the company extorted business prospects into cooperation, and are based primarily on the testimony of Richard Wallace, a former employee of Tiversa, in an FTC case.

The case involves a small cancer testing company in Atlanta, called LabMD, where after being solicited by Tiversa for cybersecurity protection, LabMD declined to use the protection service. Shortly after, LabMD suffered a data breach which caused the loss of thousands of medical records — after which Tiversa continued to pester them to sign up.

Related: Premera Blue Cross is the latest health insurer to fall victim to a cyberattack

After continued refusal, Tiversa allegedly blew the whistle to the FTC, telling the agency to go after LabMD for putting its clients at risk. The subsequent series of lawsuits put LabMD completely out of business, and it was forced to lay off its entire staff of 40 employees last year.

In the end it won’t be hard to find out if Tiversa is at fault or not. If enough evidence is found of companies denying the service and then suffering an attack shortly after, it’s only a matter of time before the trail of breadcrumbs leads back to the guilty party.