A former Microsoft employee has been arrested in Seattle. The company accused him of leaking Windows 8 to a French tech blogger.Russian national Alex Kibkalo, an ex-Microsoft employee in Lebanon and Russia, is currently facing criminal charges after passing trade secrets to an unnamed blogger.
Alex Kibkalo, once a software architect for Microsoft, leaked parts of Windows 8 code and the kit required to activate the software. The unnamed French blogger then published screenshots of the unreleased OS for everyone to see. The employee admitted to Microsoft security that he provided confidential corporate data to the blogger. Unsurprisingly enough, he was invited to clean out his desk.
The name of the blogger remains unknown, but the court documents read that he or she was well-known for posting screenshots of pre-release version of the OS. The problem is that the blogger hid their identity stating falsely that they were from Quebec. The court papers also say that Microsoft discovered unauthorized transmissions of proprietary and confidential trade secrets to the blogger: its security experts found an email from Kibkalo within the blogger’s Hotmail account.
Despite the fact that the blogger only published screenshots of Windows 8 (though they spread widely online), the employee is also accused of encouraging the blogger to publish the activation kit, a key part of the company’s anti-piracy system.
The blogger posted the leaked details on Twitter and blog and sold Windows Server activation keys on eBay. Microsoft claims that in summer 2012, Alex Kibkalo uploaded proprietary software including pre-release software updates of Windows 8 RT and ARM devices, and the Microsoft Activation Server Software Development Kit to a PC in Washington and subsequently to his own Windows Live Sky Drive account, normally used to customize the product code to ensure proper validation in the product key activation process.
It also became known that Alex Kibkalo, who was employed by Microsoft for 7 years, got a poor performance review in 2012 and threatened to resign if it wasn’t amended. He has since relocated to Russia to work for another US -based tech firm.
Media reports say that Kibkalo was caught after the blogger contacted Microsoft to make sure the leaked Windows 8 code was authentic.