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Ex-Microsoft Employee Arrested For Leaking Windows 8 197

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the that'll-show-them dept.
SmartAboutThings (1951032) writes "Alex Kibkalo, a former Microsoft employee has been arrested yesterday for stealing and leaking company secrets. The former software architecture engineer is accused of leaking early Windows 8 builds to a French tech blogger with whom he was communicating inside a forum. The ex-Microsoft employee also stands accused of leaking some Windows 7 program files and also an internal system meant to protect against software piracy. Kibkalo is said to have leaked the Windows 8 code in the middle of 2012 because he was angry over a poor performance review."
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Ex-Microsoft Employee Arrested For Leaking Windows 8

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  • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Thursday March 20, 2014 @08:32AM (#46533269) Homepage Journal

    That makes sense. I mean, if you were driving down the road leaking botulism toxin or liposuction reclamation material, you'd get arrested...

    • by Spense4Hire (3585263) on Thursday March 20, 2014 @08:35AM (#46533309)
      Yeah, bad enough Microsoft has inflicted this on the public; this guy thought it was a good idea to start beating us with it *early*.
    • If you were leaking Botulism Toxin, they'd never know it when you were driving down the road. BT is has an incredibly high potency at almost untraceable levels. Especially in real-time. And it would take some time for your acetylcholine receptors to get blocked. That being said, if I caught you driving down the road dripping liposuction reclamation material, I'd beat you senseless...
      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        If you were leaking Botulism Toxin, they'd never know it when you were driving down the road. [...] That being said, if I caught you driving down the road dripping liposuction reclamation material, I'd beat you senseless...

        Hyperbole: Now packaged in small, bite-sized pieces, for those who have trouble chewing.

    • by geeper (883542)

      or liposuction reclamation material

      Mmmm...it's lunchtime - can I get some fries with that?

  • Which is it? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Dan East (318230) on Thursday March 20, 2014 @08:33AM (#46533291) Homepage Journal

    Summary says he released early builds, then it says he leaked "Windows 8 code". Code and builds aren't the same thing. So which was it?

  • I am not surprised these stories don't show up more often.

    Many prefer to keep these leaks in house, lest current disgruntled employees get the -itis.

    In the form of a question, Alex, "Which former Microsoft employee is not up for a Snowden award?"

    • by ShanghaiBill (739463) on Thursday March 20, 2014 @08:58AM (#46533631)

      Many prefer to keep these leaks in house, lest current disgruntled employees get the -itis.

      Microsoft publicized this to demonstrate to the world that there is someone that actually wanted Windows 8.

    • by Lumpy (12016)

      Most people who leak things are smart enough to keep their mouth shut and NOT tell anyone who they are. This idiot was trying for glory and "street cred".

      If you want to leak something you cover your ass and leak it in a way that is as untraceable as you can get. MSFT employee leaking windows 10.1? you go to a starbucks in a different town that you never visit and upload it to a dead drop. I suggest using a secure CD or thumb drive based OS like linux to do it as well so you can change the mac address e

  • by walterbyrd (182728) on Thursday March 20, 2014 @08:51AM (#46533531)

    Another Microsoft injustice.

    • by bobjr94 (1120555)
      Now, they can't give away full copies of Win 8. The #1 faq on HP support for my bosses new laptop I was working on 2 weeks was, can I downgrade my operating system on my laptop and install my own copy ?
  • by Air-conditioned cowh (552882) on Thursday March 20, 2014 @08:53AM (#46533557)
    They told him he performed like Windows 8?
  • by gestalt_n_pepper (991155) on Thursday March 20, 2014 @09:12AM (#46533793)

    could possibly be as bad as what Microsoft's own management is doing to Microsoft every day.

  • by nbritton (823086) on Thursday March 20, 2014 @09:27AM (#46533965)

    This is ridiculous. He did not deprive the owner of their property, the elements of theft have not been met. This should have been handled as a conversion claim in civil court. What I think is criminal is the corporation using their power to influence the criminal justice system.

    • by u38cg (607297)
      Doesn't say where in the world he was arrested. Legal codes are not all the same, especially European laws based on Roman codes.

      The bigger issue in the story is the suggestion that Microsoft simply opened up his Hotmail account and read his email. That is a much bigger issue, to me.

    • by DrGamez (1134281)

      So your defense is because he didn't steal literally every copy of the code/build ever produced ever, he can get off scot-free?

      Or do you just have a woefully poor understanding of the term "work for hire"?

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      This is ridiculous. He did not deprive the owner of their property

      No, he deprived them of their right to control copying. And that's why he's been charged with violations of 18 USC Â 1832 [netdna-cdn.com], "Theft of trade secrets [cornell.edu]" which basically applies to any unauthorized duplication (or theft) of any proprietary information.

      But don't bother to look up the complaint, and the law, or anything. That would be too much effort.

    • If you want to get technical, in the classic torts, you are correct that this is theft and not conversion. However, he's not being charged in a tort case. He's being charged for a violation of the Economic Espionage Act, and the relevant section is called "theft of trade secrets." (18 USC 1832)

      So, you can either go informal, in which case "theft" is a reasonable, common word for taking someone else's stuff without their permission. Or you can go legalistic, in which case, the charge being applied to him

  • by organgtool (966989) on Thursday March 20, 2014 @09:30AM (#46534019)
    On Slashdot, we often talk about how ridiculous it is that software is covered by copyright AND patents, but no one addresses the fact that source code is also covered under trade secret law. This is a conflict of interest and shows how screwed up our intellectual property system is. The intent of copyright is that you get protection in return for making your works public. But in the case of source code, companies get all of the protections of copyright law on that code without being required to ever actually release the code to the public. That is made evident by this exact case.

    Don't get me wrong - I'm not suggesting that every software development company should be forced to release its code, but I do think they should have to choose between receiving copyright protection by releasing the code or receive no copyright protection and keep the code guarded by trade secret. I can't think of any other industry that gets protection from both copyright and trade secret and I haven't heard anyone suggest why software should be made an exception.
  • Was it the Metro police?
  • H-1B? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by McGruber (1417641) on Thursday March 20, 2014 @10:00AM (#46534353)
    From the article:

    Alex Kibkalo, a former Microsoft employee has been arrested yesterday for stealing and leaking company secrets..... Kibkalo is a Russian national and has worked for Microsoft for seven years; he has joined 5nine Software in August 2013 as Director of Product Management for Security and Management products after quiting his job at Microsoft.

    I wonder how he worked for MS for 7 years as H1-B Visas are supposed to be limited to 6 years. [wikipedia.org]

    • by Gothmolly (148874)

      You must be new to the workplace.

    • by k8to (9046)

      Maybe he worked abroad at some point?

    • Well if you read the article it says: "Kibkalo, a Russian national who worked there and in Lebanon for Microsoft . . ." So he spent some time in Seattle and some time in Lebannon.
    • I wonder how he worked for MS for 7 years as H1-B Visas are supposed to be limited to 6 years. [wikipedia.org]

      Because you don't understand immigration law? He could have a greencard, making him a permanent resident but Russian national, or he could have applied for one, in which case he can continue to extend his visa until a determination is made on his application.

    • by cusco (717999)

      I'm pretty sure it wouldn't have been 7 years continuously, MS policies require breaks in employment at certain intervals for non-blue badges to create discontinuities. They got sued several years ago by multiple-year contractors wanting full FTE benefits, and the Washington state employment commission agreed that the contractors should be treated like full time employees. Now after working x-amount of time contractors are required to take off y-amount of time before starting a new contract.

    • I wonder how he worked for MS for 7 years as H1-B Visas are supposed to be limited to 6 years.

      Nothing in the linked article says that all seven years were in the US. In fact, the second linked article specifically points out that that for some portion of the period he worked from Lebanon.

      Even so, he could be a Microsoft employee for seven years without ever stepping foot in the US - Microsoft is an international company with branches and subsidiaries all over the world.

  • by slapout (93640) on Thursday March 20, 2014 @10:41AM (#46534837)

    Was he trying to warn the world how bad Windows 8 was?

  • by Shadowmist (57488) on Thursday March 20, 2014 @12:02PM (#46535807)
    ... When you get a poor performance review, it doesn't help your case to engage in activity which justifies it.
  • So this guy took copies of classified ( proprietary ) code, then gave it to ( effectively ) the enemy ( the consumer ) and hes going to jail, not being given a Nobel prize?

    How does that work, i thought we now supported this sort of act?

  • ...got a poor performance review.

When I left you, I was but the pupil. Now, I am the master. - Darth Vader

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