Former Microsoft Employee Arrested for Stealing Trade Secrets; Shared Info with Tech Blogger
March 20, 2014 9:45 AM
comment(s) - last by
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.
, 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.
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3/23/2014 3:44:48 PM
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.)
"The whole principle [of censorship] is wrong. It's like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can't have steak." -- Robert Heinlein
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