A start-up Internet security company that is marketing a secure electronic transaction product has filed suit against Visa International over a smear campaign that it says scared away potential customers.

While big organizations like Visa are frequently the targets of lawsuits, what makes this one noteworthy is Visa's acknowledgement in November that one of its employees, vice president of technology, research, and development Paul Guthrie, was responsible for the attack on the company, ZixIt Corp. Mr. Guthrie was not available to comment for this story.

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