Alex Kibkalo. Photo via LinkedIn
Alex Kibkalo. Photo via LinkedIn

Alex Kibkalo, a former Microsoft employee, has been sentenced to three months in prison after pleading guilty to stealing trade secrets from the Redmond-based company. Judge John C. Coughenour from the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington also ordered Kibkalo to pay a $100 fine.

Kibkalo, a Russian national, was working for Microsoft in Lebanon when he sent an anonymous French blogger source code for the version of Windows 8 used by ARM devices, as well as Microsoft’s Activation Server Software Development Kit, which Microsoft uses to ensure that a user isn’t running pirated software. He was arrested in Seattle in March of this year.

The case is notable because it led to a change in Microsoft’s policy for searching through users’ Hotmail emails. Microsoft was able to catch Kibkalo because its internal security department searched through the email of the blogger he was corresponding with, and found the connection between the two people.

That move drew widespread criticism from around the Internet, and Microsoft has since changed its policies so that the company will refer similar cases to law enforcement in the future, rather than going snooping on its own.

The judgment against Kibkalo can be found below.

Comments

  • cfo

    A $100 fine? huh?

    • Impeachobamanow

      Agreed. Deport him and put him on the watch list.

  • DanielMedovich

    hah, if they used own snooping……… uhm why even mention it, or they HAD to mention it due to court requirements ? .. it sounds more than legal to me, people are paranoid because they have to hide things, so ,,,,,,,,,,

  • http://www.Globalcrossroadscapital.com/ SinCityFinancier

    Stupid ass

  • Blah

    This is still world record stupid. Steal source code from Microsoft then compound the stupidity by sending that source code over a Microsoft owned email system.

    • TeaPartyCitizen

      It’s only world record stupid if the punishment is greater than the crime. He’s probably going to a minimum security prison like Martha Stewart did which has yoga classes and tennis courts but he was only sentenced to 3 months. Martha got 5.

      • Delno_Rutherford

        He probably didn’t earn any money from it and had no criminal/malicious motives hence the tiny 3 month sentence and $100 fine, both of which were symbolic. Besides it was an “anonymous french blogger” who would have also been charged.

        It is also likely that the code he sent was a pre-release version, not the final production version in the product.

    • Delno_Rutherford

      The connection was found because the “anonymous blogger” used hotmail, the programmer would have to be an absolute idiot to do this.

      “Microsoft was able to catch Kibkalo because its internal security department searched through the email of the blogger he was corresponding with, and found the connection between the two people.”

  • Daneuric

    I’ve been meaning to close my old paid Hotmail account. This has galvanized me to stop being lazy and shut it down. I can’t believe that they searched through the text of our Hotmail accounts without a warrant from law enforcement. This is chilling.

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