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Former Microsoft employee arrested for leaking Windows trade secrets to blogger

Ex-employee was driven by spite from a poor performance review.

Microsoft Outlook 2013 RT

A former senior Microsoft systems architect — who once bragged about breaking into the Redmond campus to steal code from a server — has been arrested by US authorities for theft of trade secrets.

According to reports Russian national Alex Kibkalo, who also worked for Microsoft in Russia and Lebanon, has been charged with leaking portions of Windows 7, 8, RT and the source code of Microsoft’s Activation Server Software Development Kit to an unnamed French technology blogger. The Windows 8 leaks began the summer of 2012, according to investigators.

Kibkalo worked for Microsoft for seven years in a variety of roles. Court documents note that Kibkalo received “a poor performance review,” before he parted ways with Microsoft.

A report from the Seattle PI says that the blogger initially cautioned Kibkalo against engaging in such brazen leaks.

“I would leak enterprise today probably,” Kibkalo said in August, according to court documents cited by the PI . “Hmm,” the blogger replied. “Are you sure you want to do that? Lol.”

Such a leak, the blogger said, would be “pretty illegal” which allegedly got the response of “I know :)” from the blogger.

Microsoft’s investigators traced Kibkalo to the French blogger by way of the blogger’s Hotmail account.

The blogger was not named in court documents. Though it’s not conclusively proven, “Winunleaked.info” formerly known under the name “Winunleaked.tk”, which was one of hte first blogs to leak conclusive details including screenshots of Windows 8, dissapeared from the web earlier this year. Many online forum members have speculated that the proprietor of the site was facing legal pressure from Microsoft.

The case is now before a US Federal Court in Seattle.

Source: ReutersSeattle PI

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