updated 09:26 am EDT, Thu March 20, 2014
Alex Kibkalo accused of stealing, leaking Windows code to unnamed French blogger
A former employee of Microsoft has been arrested for allegedly stealing trade secrets and software relating to Windows. Alex Kibkalo, a Russian national based in Lebanon that formerly worked as a senior architect at the company, stands accused of passing pre-release software and Windows 8 trade secrets to an unnamed French technology blogger.
Kibkalo is said to have leaked Windows 8 code to the blogger in 2012, according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, along with Microsoft's "Activation Server Software Development Kit." Corporate investigators speaking to Kibkalo allege that he admitted to sharing unreleased software, company memos, and documents, with a Microsoft manager advising the FBI that the SDK "could help a hacker trying to reverse engineer the code" to avoid copy protection mechanisms.
When the blogger sent the SDK to Microsoft to confirm it is genuine, investigators were promoted to check the blogger's Hotmail account, which in turn provided logs of instant messages sent between Kibkalo and the unknown individual. The logs seemingly reveal Kibkalo's intentions to leak code, as well as a description of how Kibkalo sneaked into a building on the Redmond campus to acquire more data from a server.
Kibkalo's motivation appears to be revenge-oriented, based on the report. After working at Microsoft for seven years, Kibkalo apparently suffered a poor performance review, and leaked software in retaliation.