Hackers Break Into Microsoft's Network

Hackers reportedly broke into Microsoft Corp.’s

computer network and may have stolen blueprints to the latest

versions of the company’s Windows and Office software.

Microsoft and the FBI are investigating the break-in, which was discovered Wednesday by the software giant’s security employees, The Wall Street Journal reported on its Web site Friday, citing people familiar with the situation.

Security employees discovered that passwords used to transfer the source code behind Microsoft’s software were being sent from the company’s computer network in Redmond, Wash., to an e-mail account in St. Petersburg, Russia, the Journal reported.

A Microsoft spokesman confirmed that the company’s corporate network had been hacked and said “the integrity of Microsoft source code remains secure,” the newspaper reported.

A person familiar with the break-in told the Journal that it appeared the hackers accessed Microsoft’s system by e-mailing software, called QAZ Trojan, to the company’s network and then opening a so-called back door through the infected computer.

Microsoft was planning to investigate the break-in without help from U.S. authorities, the Journal reported, but the company contacted the FBI on Thursday.

The FBI declined comment when contacted early today by The Associated Press.