Ex-Microsoft Employee Arrested for Leaking Windows 8

By: Radu Tyrsina
2 minute read

When we hear word of early builds of a certain software or we see different products getting leaked, we don’t think too much of the source that was at risk. Now we’re realizing that things are pretty serious as a former Microsoft employee has been arrested for leaking Windows 8 builds
windows 8 leaks microsoft employee arrest
Alex Kibkalo, a former Microsoft employee has been arrested yesterday for stealing and leaking company secrets. The former software architecture engineer is accused of leaking early Windows 8 builds to a French tech blogger with whom he was communicating inside a forum. The ex-Microsoft employee also stands accused of leaking some Windows 7 program files and also an internal system meant to protect against software piracy. Kibkalo is said to have leaked the Windows 8 code in the middle of 2012 because he was angry over a poor performance review.

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Windows 8 leaker gets arrested

The accused got caught because the French blogger had contacted Microsoft to verify the Windows 8 code Kibkalo sent. After realizing that they were dealing with an authentic product, Microsoft’s Trustworthy Computing Investigations tried to track him down and then looked through his Hotmail account where they found incriminating emails and chat logs. Here’s how a chat session between Kibkalo and the blogger looks like:

“I would leak enterprise today probably,” Kibkalo told the blogger during an Aug. 2, 2012 exchange, according to charging papers.microsoft employee windows 8 trade secrets

“Hmm,” the blogger replied. “Are you sure you want to do that? Lol.”

Told the leak would be “pretty illegal,” Kibkalo is alleged to have responded “I know :)”

After sending big [arts of Windows 8’s code and Microsoft’s Activation Server Software Development Kit to the blogger, Kibkalo also encouraged him to share the development kit online so that hackers could use it to crack Microsoft’s products. Kibkalo is a Russian national and has worked for Microsoft for seven years;  he has joined 5nine Software in August 2013 as Director of Product Management for Security and Management products after quiting his job at Microsoft.

It will be interesting to see how this case will evolve and since Kibkalo stands accused for theft of “trade secrets”, it could be more serious that we might suppose. Microsoft could use his case to set an example of what its employees should not do, as we all know that their Windows versions always get massively leaked. What’s your take on this?

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