Print 21 comment(s) - last by GatoRat.. on Mar 23 at 3:44 PM

Alex Kibkalo  (Source: GeekWire)
He was arrested in Seattle and charged with theft of trade secrets

Microsoft has seen a lot of employees come and go in recent months, and now it can add an arrest to the list as well.

According to Seattle Pi, ex-Microsoft employee Alex Kibkalo -- a software architect -- was arrested Wednesday after allegedly stealing Microsoft trade secrets and leaking confidential code while working for the company.

Kibkalo was arrested in Seattle and charged with theft of trade secrets. 

Kibkalo had worked for Microsoft for seven years, and in mid-2012, he received a poor performance review, which reportedly led him to start sharing the secret Microsoft info with a French technology blogger.

The name of the tech blogger hasn't been released, but Kibkalo met him or her online in a forum. 

The report said that Kibkalo leaked Windows 8 code to the blogger prior to its release. He also passed along Microsoft’s “Activation Server Software Development Kit," which is used to prevent the piracy of Microsoft programs.

But Kibkalo was busted in September 2012 when the blogger sent a Microsoft employee an email with the leaks, asking for confirmation as to whether they were legitimate or not. The employee notified a Microsoft executive.

Once Microsoft realized the leaks were the real deal, the company's Trustworthy Computing Investigations team searched the Hotmail account which the blogger used to contact the Microsoft employee. The blogger posted screenshots of the leaks online. 

While doing so, they found emails and instant messages between the blogger and Kibkalo regarding the leaks. Kibkalo reportedly shared Windows 8 “hot fixes” through an online hosting system ahead of the operating system's release as well as trade secrets. 

“I would leak enterprise today probably,” Kibkalo told the blogger in a message dated Aug. 2, 2012.  

Kibkalo was confronted in September 2012 by corporate investigators, where he allegedly confessed to leaking private company information.

Kibkalo also reportedly bragged about leaking Windows 7 program files and sneaking into Building 9 on Microsoft’s Redmond, Washington campus to copy a server.

Source: Seattle Pi

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Amazed at people who do this.
By Mitch101 on 3/20/2014 11:57:14 AM , Rating: 3
What possesses someone to do something like this or is it just a complete lack of forward thinking? Or its like my former HOA they got away with it once and think because of that they can continue and never get called out on it with no consequences? Being it took this long he probably got more confident and took bigger risks as he got away with things initially without being stopped right there and then at the first and second offenses. Security probably took time to build a case as well.

He basically ruined his career. Now he gets to go from employable with all sorts of possible benefits to high risk at someones girlfriend in a security facility and he is a pretty boy.

RE: Amazed at people who do this.
By Solandri on 3/20/2014 2:40:45 PM , Rating: 3
It's the same us vs them mentality a lot of people have about corporations in general, where "the people" are the good guys and "corporations" are the bad guys.

There is no us vs them. There is only us. Corporations are just a bunch of people who've decided to work together. A "corporation" is just an imaginary legal entity for liability protection purposes. If you think of a corporation as a "them", a thing, that desensitizes you to the harm you're doing to other people. Like thinking if you line up a bunch of people, it's wrong to shoot at them. But cover them all with one huge sheet of paper and it's ok to shoot at the paper. When you steal from a company you work at, you may as well be mugging your fellow co-workers and your customers.

RE: Amazed at people who do this.
By Mitch101 on 3/20/2014 4:28:17 PM , Rating: 2
I cant get that mentality people have. The company hired him which means they see value in him over whomever else applied but was not selected. That deserves some appreciation. They are entrusting him to be a professional for his expertise. Even if they are abusive just go find another job or there are other ways in a company to deal with this. Especially coming out of Microsoft they tend to get a few gold stars for supposedly knowing more than others because of internal training. Was this guy having delusions of Snowden effect thinking he would take them out? I just cant fathom what makes him think he was going to teach them a lesson?

Im guessing his poor review was justified after this.

RE: Amazed at people who do this.
By eek2121 on 3/21/2014 12:55:05 AM , Rating: 2
I think the issue is that they hammered him with a 'negative' performance review. Reviews should never be negative to begin with. If they employee is causing issues, you should be addressing it long before his review. The review in question should focus on positive reinforcement. In all my years of working, I've only had a negative review from one company, which basically went bankrupt very soon after i left said company. The company focused on negativity to avoid giving 'a raise' instead of anything actual that i did or said (was working 50+ hours a week including weekly stunts from 12am to 3am) as a programmer...they gave me a 25% raise a year after I started and wanted to justify it, so they started slamming me during my reviews for the next 2 years.

My current company has given me a raise of at least 6% year over year due to 'great performance'. Should he have leaked company secrets? no. Should Microsoft have given a negative review? It shouldn't have gotten that far. if he truly was not contributing as a team member, they should have intervened long before that. I'm calling this a failure on Microsoft's part.

Disclaimer, half time programmer, half time IT specialist, full time technology enthusiast. I help 100 employees and hundreds of thousands of customers by making life easier from an IT standpoint.

By inighthawki on 3/21/2014 1:49:42 AM , Rating: 3
Reviews should never be negative to begin with.

BS. The world doesn't cater to peoples' feelings. If you're a sh*tty employee, expect to be treated like a sh*tty one. Why should you employee going into a review and only provide praise for good qualities? People need to be told what they are doing wrong/poorly so they can correct for it. You can't do that without negative feedback/criticism. It sounds like this guy is just a loser who can't do his job.

RE: Amazed at people who do this.
By Piiman on 3/22/2014 12:25:18 PM , Rating: 2
Well didn't MS have some silly policy were a certain % of their workers had to get negative reviews?

RE: Amazed at people who do this.
By Argon18 on 3/20/2014 4:21:22 PM , Rating: 1
No different from Eddie Snowden. Except that Eddie fled the country.

RE: Amazed at people who do this.
By Mitch101 on 3/20/2014 4:29:05 PM , Rating: 2
LOL I just mentioned some sort of Snowden effect in my post.

RE: Amazed at people who do this.
By kleinma on 3/20/2014 4:35:49 PM , Rating: 3
They aren't related in any way at all, besides the fact that both leaked secrets. The motivation of Snowden was him seeing the govt as doing wrong, illegal things. He was acting in his mind as a whistleblower for these wrong doings. This guy on the other hand was just pissed off for getting poor performance reviews, so he decided to try to screw over the company he worked at. I really fail to see how these are similar.

By inighthawki on 3/20/2014 9:17:52 PM , Rating: 2
Are you for real? You really don't see the difference? I would say it's like comparing apples and oranges, but I'm not even sure both scenarios are "fruits" in this example, let alone apples.

Mind. Blown.
By Arkive on 3/20/2014 11:54:24 AM , Rating: 2

How can someone be smart enough to work at MS for 7 years but be dumb enough to leak trade secrets to someone's Hotmail account.

RE: Mind. Blown.
By Ammohunt on 3/20/2014 1:52:11 PM , Rating: 2
Typical Millenial from what i have seen so far.

RE: Mind. Blown.
By futrtrubl on 3/20/2014 4:44:52 PM , Rating: 2
I also hope MS got a court order allowing them to look into that hotmail account.

RE: Mind. Blown.
By kleinma on 3/20/2014 4:54:31 PM , Rating: 2
Even if they did, it likely wasn't necessary. You know the terms of service everyone agrees to but never reads? Once you are using the account to engage in illegal activities, like receiving stolen trade secrets, your protections are gone.

By Arsynic on 3/20/2014 10:05:32 AM , Rating: 2
This would make me happy.

By inighthawki on 3/20/2014 11:14:12 AM , Rating: 2
What is that?

By Arsynic on 3/20/2014 12:34:49 PM , Rating: 2
He's a poster on a certain gaming-related Internet forum that leaks details about MS Xbox division. Seemed to be a disgruntled character since it was always negative leaks/rumors.

By Strunf on 3/21/2014 9:00:19 AM , Rating: 2
So MS got access to the account emails and chat logs? I see a clear violation of the privacy laws there... and they make adds complaining that Google checks your emails.

I don't approve what this guy did but what MS did is even worst, but I'm pretty sure they could actually make a business out of it, there are for sure many companies ready to pay for having access to the personal mails of their employees.

RE: hmm
By GatoRat on 3/23/2014 3:44:48 PM , Rating: 2
Microsoft owns the service which runs the email account in question and he clearly violated the terms of service. Are you suggesting Microsoft obtain a court order to search themselves? A lawyer doing that would be proverbially laughed out of court.

Had this been a Google account, Microsoft would have gotten a court order and Google would have complied in very short order. Point being that this wasn't a fishing expedition--they had a paper trail.

Also note that when you sign an employment agreement, you give your company the right to monitor your company email account and probably any account you use in lieu of a business account while doing company business (though most lawyers would still get a court order based on that before searching accounts said company doesn't own already.)

By drevas2528 on 3/21/2014 10:11:21 AM , Rating: 2
What jumped out about this story to me was that this Guy was being held without Bail. That's what you do with Murder Suspects, Rapists, Terrorists, but someone who leaked details about Software?

It's absurd, and a little scary.

RE: Overkill?
By GatoRat on 3/23/2014 3:36:20 PM , Rating: 2
Where does it say he's being held without bail?

Moreover, bail isn't about risk to society if the person is allowed to roam free, but the possibility of flight risk.

"Death Is Very Likely The Single Best Invention Of Life" -- Steve Jobs
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