A former Microsoft employee “Alex Kibkalo” who was senior architect at Microsoft, has been arrested for allegedly stealing Windows-related trade secrets while working for Microsoft. According to a complaint filed on March 17 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, Kibkalo had passed on trade secrets involving Windows 8 to an unnamed technology blogger in France.
The accused sent the blogger (whom he met on a forum) parts of Windows 8′s code and Microsoft’s Activation Server Software Development Kit. Microsoft’s own investigation found that Kibkalo “uploaded proprietary software including pre-release software updates for WIndows 8 RT and ARM devices, as well as the Microsoft Activation Server Software Development Kit (SDK) to a computer in Redmond, Washington and subsequently to his personal Windows Live SkyDrive account.” Kibkalo is then said to have provided the blogger with links to the file on his account.
Kibkalo had worked for seven years at Microsoft and was apparently angry over a poor performance review. According to charging papers, the blogger posted screenshots of a pre-release version of Windows 8, presumably due to Kibkalo’s leak.
On Sept. 3, 2012, the blogger sent the stolen software development kit code to a Microsoft employee asking that he or she verify it, the FBI agent said in court papers. The worker went to a Microsoft executive instead. The code was later confirmed to be authentic, prompting corporate investigators to dredge the Hotmail account the blogger used to contact the Microsoft worker. A Microsoft team dubbed Trustworthy Computing Investigations attempted to track the blogger down.
While searching the blogger’s account, Microsoft investigators found an email from Kibkalo in which he shared Windows 8 “hot fixes” through an online hosting system, the FBI agent continued. Windows 8 had not been released to the public at the time, and was the subject of much speculation in the industry. Investigators claim to have recovered instant messages Kibkalo exchanged with the blogger showing Kibkalo was sharing trade secrets illegally. The complaint claims that Kibkalo acknowledged leaking “confidential and proprietary Microsoft information, products and product-related information to the blogger.”