Former Microsoft employee arrested for stealing and leaking trade secrets to blog

Former Microsoft employee arrested for stealing and leaking trade secrets to blog
It is easy to take for granted leaks of information about upcoming products, especially in the tech world, and particularly in the consumer mobile space. Such decisions made by people need to take reality into account, however, and that reality is that companies would prefer that such confidential information remain confidential.

Of course, a lot of companies undoubtedly leverage such resources to pique interest in upcoming products. There is a line between leaking information and outright stealing it though.

A former systems architect with Microsoft, Alex Kibkalo, is charged with breaking into Microsoft’s Redmond campus, stealing code from a server, and leaking that information.  Alex used to work for Microsoft in Russia and Lebanon. Among the information he allegedly stole included information related Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows RT as well as the source code for Microsoft’s Activation Server Software Development Kit. He passed this information to a French technology blogger.

The blogger apparently cautioned Kibkalo against leaking too much information, after he sent the SDK to the blogger with the prospect of allowing people to reverse engineer the code. Kibkalo also sent pre-release data about the Windows operating system to the blogger.

In late 2012, the blogger sent the SDK to a Microsoft employee to confirm if it was authentic. The employee sent it to a Microsoft executive instead. From there, Microsoft was able to find an email linked to Kibkalo. He was arrested on Wednesday in Seattle. The blogger was not named in court documents, but he was traced to Kibkalo through the blogger’s Hotmail account. The case is being held before US Federal Court in Seattle.

Alex Kibkalo worked for Microsoft for seven years and left the company after apparently receiving a poor performance review.

sources: Reuters and Seattle PI via VR-Zone



1. akki20892

Posts: 3902; Member since: Feb 04, 2013

2. sprockkets

Posts: 1612; Member since: Jan 16, 2012

Actual photo of person being arrested in his blue jeans btw...

3. chebner

Posts: 249; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

Damn! I thought it was an alternate cover for the Boss' Born in the USA album.

4. mr.techdude

Posts: 571; Member since: Nov 19, 2012

Damn I thought it was going to be another whistleblower for example how Microsoft uses it's os to spy on our privacies, DAMN

6. Napalm_3nema

Posts: 2236; Member since: Jun 14, 2013

Maxwell misses that point completely. Yes, a former employee was caught leaking Windows 8, but how was he caught, and why is it important? The answer is that Microsoft found it by scanning the blogger's Microsoft accounts until they found a link to the former employee. This isn't isolated, either, since Microsoft has a dedicated team that does this 24/7. So, instead of the algorithm scanning your accounts to target you with ads, a la the "Scroogled" ad campaign, Microsoft actually has the "Gmail Man" they accuse Google of employing, and he is actively rifling through your stuff.

7. Henrik

Posts: 141; Member since: Feb 18, 2012

Stop trying to make this into something it's not, and as if it was some Microsoft-only type of thing. It's not. Here's a former all-access engineer over at Google that you probably didn't want to have a thing for your girlfriend, since he and his colleagues can check yours and her stuff any time they feel like it, no court orders needed. Gmail, Google Drive, Google+, YouTube, whatever other Google service you're using. Sounds good? Or maybe you still think Microsoft are the only ones that have employees with access to these kind of things?

9. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

Well, GOOGLE is a part of the notorious

5. AfterShock

Posts: 4147; Member since: Nov 02, 2012

Throw the book at him! What a maroon, I look forward to his sentencing.

8. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

They should jail the entire company for its part with the NSA spying on Americans gig....

10. 1ceTr0n

Posts: 549; Member since: May 20, 2012

He was trying to warn us about this shaitstorm that Windows 8 was going to be. I applaud him.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.