Ex-Microsoft Employee Charged With Passing Secrets

An ex-employee of Microsoft Corp was accused of leaking the code of Windows 8 to a tech blogger. He is now facing federal criminal charges because he also bragged about breaking into the Redmond-Washington campus of the company. Allegations made against him also include that of stealing trade secrets. Alex Kibkalo is a software architect and was arrested on Wednesday against accusations of stealing trade secrets of the software giant when he was working for the company. According to investigators, he was also caught bragging about leaking the program files of Windows 7 as well as those belonging to an internal system that’s designed to provide protection from software piracy.

Kibkalo was employed by Microsoft for about seven years and allegations stated that in mid-2012, he leaked the code of Windows 8 to a French technology blogger, before the software was actually released in the market. Apparently, this was done in response to a poor performance review that he had been given. According to an FBI special agent based in Seattle, the company brought its concerns to his regarding this matter in July. While writing the court, he mentioned that this was a complete year after Kibkalo had been suspected by corporate investigators of leaking parts of Windows 8.

He reportedly admitted that he met the blogger in an online forum and passed on information to him. The name of the blogger is not mentioned in the charging papers. A Russian National, Kibkalo worked in Lebanon for Microsoft and is also said to be responsible for stealing the company’s Activation Server Software Development Kit. This is a proprietary system that has been designed for the prevention of unauthorized copying of programs and software owned by Microsoft. It is believed by the company that the kit was sent to the French blogger by Kibkalo and he had encouraged the blogger to post it online so others could also compromise the protection in Microsoft’s products.

Kibkalo was confronted by corporate investigators in September 2012 in an interview, where he is alleged to have admitted to his crimes. Allegations state that he admitted the sharing of the company’s documents and memos as well as its unreleased Windows program. It is claimed by the investigators of the company that he had done so in anger at a poor performance review. The charging papers state that screenshots of a pre-release version of Windows 8 were posted by the blogger because of Kibkalo’s leak.

In the court papers, the FBI agent mentioned that the stolen software development kit code had been sent to a Microsoft employee by the blogger on September 3rd 2012 and they had been asked to verify it. Instead of doing so, the worker reported it to a Microsoft executive. Later, the code was confirmed as authentic and this had prompted the corporate investigators to check the blogger’s Hotmail account and even though he tried hiding his identity, they were able to find an email from Kibkalo sharing Windows 8 secrets. Instant messages of the two were also discovered.

Comments are closed.