Earlier this week, a man accused of stealing trade secrets from Microsoft and handing them to a French blogger was sentenced to three months in jail and a $100 fine in the Western District of Washington. Alex Kibkalo worked for Microsoft in the company’s Russia and Lebanon offices. According to an FBI complaint filed earlier this year, Kibkalo leaked pre-release updates for Windows RT and a Microsoft-internal Activation Server SDK to a French blogger in retaliation for a poor performance review. The blogger allegedly asked a third party to verify the stolen SDK, but that third party, who connected with the blogger via Hotmail, alerted Microsoft of the theft instead.
A former Microsoft employee charged in March with leaking Windows updates and software that validates product key codes was sentenced to a three-month prison term on Tuesday. After he serves his sentence, Alex Kibkalo, 34, will be deported to Russia. Kibkalo was arrested March 19 in Bellevue, Wash. for allegedly leaking pre-release software updates for Windows RT, the tablet-specific operating system, to a French blogger in July and August 2012 — months before its release. The FBI, which was brought onto the case after a Microsoft investigation, also said Kibkalo provided the same blogger with the Activation Server SDK (software development kit), internal-only code to create the activation systems which validate product keys, Microsoft’s primary anti-piracy technology. Kibkalo, a Russian national at the time working for Microsoft in its Lebanon office, leaked the software to strike back at his employer after receiving a poor performance evaluation. Kibkalo pleaded guilty to theft of trade secrets on March 31. In return, prosecutors said they would recommend a three-month prison term and order him to pay Microsoft $22,500 in restitution.