Leaked photos and prototypes aren’t uncommon in the tech world, but one ex-Microsoft employee may have taken it too far. Alex Kibkalo, a former software architect for the company, was arrested on Wednesday and faces federal charges of stealing trade secrets.
Kibkalo allegedly leaked code for both Windows 8 and a proprietary piece of piracy-combating software to a French technology blogger in 2012, according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Microsoft officials have said that the leaks may have been Kibkalo’s reaction to a poor performance review from the company.
Company investigators reportedly recovered a chat exchange between Kibkalo and the unnamed blogger. When told by the blogger that the leaks would be “pretty illegal,” Kibkalo is said to have replied “I know :),” according to the Post-Intelligencer.
After receiving the code, the blogger forwarded it to a Microsoft employee to verify if it was real or not, investigators said. From there, it was passed on to a Microsoft executive and prompted them to look into the matter.
A spokesperson for Microsoft told ABC News today, “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.”
Kibkalo appeared in U.S. District Court in Seattle on Wednesday for an initial hearing. No bail was set and the government moved to detain him. A preliminary trial hearing was set for April 2.