Back in April of this year, we learned about Alex Kibkalo, the former Microsoft employee who supplied Windows 8 builds to a French leaker. He had been arrested for stealing Windows-related trade secrets and pleaded guilty in a court of law. Now, Kibkalo has been sentenced to three months in prison and is being sent back to Russia upon completion of his sentence.
Kibkalo, who was arrested March 19th, was formally sentenced June 10th to a three month prison sentence, according to court documents. No restitution was specified in the final judgment, even though Kibkalo had agreed to repay Microsoft $22,500 in monetary damages.
The court document (which I saw via The Register) revealed that Kibkalo did not have the means to repay Microsoft. “The defendant is financially unable and is unlikely to become able to pay a fine and, accordingly, the imposition of a fine is waived,” the document mentions.
Kibkalo was charged with 1832(a)(2) of the US Code (Theft of Trade Secrets). “Whoever, with intent to convert a trade secret, that is related to a product or service used in or intended for use in interstate or foreign commerce, to the economic benefit of anyone other than the owner thereof, and intending or knowing that the offense will, injure any owner of that trade secret, knowingly – without authorization copies, duplicates, sketches, draws, photographs, downloads, uploads, alters, destroys, photocopies, replicates, transmits, delivers, sends, mails, communicates, or conveys such information.”
Kibkalo has already served most of his time incarcerated, having been arrested on March 19th. Kibkalo is expected to be deported to Russia once his sentence is completed, which should take place in one week.
For those who were unaware of his story, Kibkalo had worked for Microsoft for seven years in Russia and Lebanon. Windows 8 was known as the first operating system in which had a very strict NDA during it’s development phase. Not only did Kibkalo leak Windows 8 information, but also supplied the Microsoft Activation Server Software Development Kit, which can be used to reverse engineer and crack the Activation process within Windows.
Kibkalo gave a French leaker access to virtual machines with pre-release builds of Windows 8 on them, as well as supplying download links to Windows 8 RT software. Kibkalo was reportedly disgruntled and leaked the pre-release Windows 8 software after receiving a poor performance report.
Was this justice served or do you feel Kibkalo should have received a more serious punishement? Sound off in the comments below.Further reading: Microsoft, Security, Windows 8