Sydney Tools sues competitor Total Tools for alleged email hacking

Sydney Tools has confirmed that it is suing its competitor Total Tools for alleged email piracy.

According to Sydney Tools, Total Tools hacked its messaging system last year to give them a glimpse of its competitors’ plans before they were announced to the market.

Sydney Tools claims that several senior executives and Total Tools employees took part in the hacking scheme, including CEO Paul Dumbrell, Chairman Warren Jones, franchisee Anthony Soccio and others.

According to Sydney Tools, Soccio secretly accessed Sydney Tools internal emails using a password he obtained from a former Sydney Tools employee. Sydney Tools alleges that these emails were distributed to others within Total Tools “so that the emails could be read, analyzed and used to inform Total Tools head office business decisions.”

Sydney Tools also alleges that “Total Tools head office conducted the program without the knowledge or consent of Sydney Tools and deliberately kept the Sydney Tools program a secret.”

Other allegations included “contacting a number of suppliers of Sydney Tools products that were identifiable from the emails, and implementing advertisements, product campaigns and other initiatives to compete with promotions and initiatives. planned from Sydney Tools that were revealed in the emails ”.

However, Total Tools CEO Paul Dumbrell denies the allegations.

“No messaging system has been hacked. Sydney Tools failed to close or shut down the email of a staff member who had left the company, so there was no hack as alleged, ”Dumbrell told Inside Retail.

“The emails in question were large mailings to a staff member in stores and were not commercially sensitive. Obviously, we will vigorously defend the case as it progresses.

Last year, Sydney Tools announced plans to add 40 stores in each state over the next five years, focusing on both the capital and regional locations.

“We have a huge ‘track’ in front of us. Australia, like the United States, has a large “traditional” market, so we are confident in our expansion plan, ”said Jason Bey, director of Sydney Tools at the time.

“We have just completed the implementation of a range of new software systems that fit into our program. “

In June of this year, Metcash acquired Total Tools for $ 57 million.

As part of the plan, Metcash will provide Total Tools with a $ 35 million credit facility to support its growth plans and the potential future acquisition of interests in a number of stores.

The case will return to court on November 5, 2020.

This article was first published by Inside retail.

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June J. Lopez

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