A former Microsoft employee has been arrested for allegedly stealing and leaking Microsoft trade secrets relating to Windows software.
Alex Kibkalo was arrested on Wednesday after being accused of stealing trade secrets in 2012 while he worked as a software architect at the company, said the FBI charging sheet.
It said he leaked Windows 8 program files that had at the time not been released, as well as Windows 7 program files, to a blogger based in France, who subsequently posted screenshots of the files online.
The FBI also included transcripts of chats between Kibkalo and the blogger to prove that he intended to leak more information in the future.
“I would leak enterprise today probably,” Kibkalo told the blogger during one exchange, according to charging papers.
“Hmm,” the blogger replied, saying that such a move would be illegal. “Are you sure you want to do that? Lol.”
Kibkalo allegedly replied: “I know :)”
Microsoft used its Trustworthy Computing division to track down the leak by searching through the contents of the blogger's email accounts. The FBI said Kibkalo admitted to leaking the information when confronted.
In a statement Microsoft said it would always take the necessary action to protect its property.
“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.”
The incident underlines the threats faced by businesses from insiders leaking confidential information. The issue of data leaks from insiders hit the headlines in big way in 2013 when former CIA contractor Edward Snowden stole files relating to the NSA and other government agencies' spying campaigns.
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