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Microsoft Trade Secrets Leak
According to federal court filings in Seattle, Alex Kibkalo, a Russian national, was arrested and ordered held without bail. The former Microsoft Corp. employee was accused of stealing Microsoft trade secrets and leaking Windows 8 code to a French technology blogger.
Alex Kibkalo spent seven years working for Microsoft, and according to Bloomberg News, he admitted to Microsoft’s investigators that he provided the confidential information to the French blogger. It has been reported that Kibkalo is alleged to have leaked the Windows 8 code to the French technology blogger in mid-2012, prior to the software’s release. According to Seattlepi.com, Alex Kibkalo is alleged to have claimed to have previously leaked large portions of Windows 7 prior to its release as well.
It has been reported that Alex Kibkalo received a bad performance review in 2012 and threatened to resign if the company refused to amend the document. The head of information risk at Iron Mountain, Christian Toon, a company that has been investigating how people take revenge against employers, said: “This particular incident is a classic example of an employee taking confidential information in revenge for feeling wronged by the company they work for.”
Investigators say that they have recovered instant messages that Alex Kibkalo exchanged with the blogger showing that Kibkalo was sharing trade secrets illegally. The blogger was not identified.
Microsoft’s investigation revealed that according to Reuters, Alex Kibkalo uploaded software, including pre-release software updates of Windows 8 RT and ARM devices, as well as the Microsoft Activation Server Software Development Kit (SDK) to a computer in Washington and subsequently to his personal Windows Live SkyDrive account.
A Washington-based advocacy organization headed by former Microsoft Deputy General Counsel Pamela Passman, The Center for Responsible Enterprise & Trade, released a study on the economic effects of trade-secret theft identifying “malicious insiders” as one of five categories of potential misappropriates of trade secrets.
In an emailed statement to Reuters, a Microsoft spokesman said that, “We take protection of our intellectual property very seriously, including cooperating with law-enforcement agencies who are investigating potential criminal actions by our employees or others.” A federal public defender representing Alex Kibkalo, Russell Leonard, did not immediately respond to a phone message seeking comment on the case.
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Image credit: www.scmp.comMicrosoft Trade Secrets Leak by Jaan