Microsoft employee steals proprietary information


Many New Jersey employers may have had to deal with angry employees. Whether they are upset about a performance review or a bad experience dealing with a customer, most of these employees take the situation in stride but others sometimes express their anger and frustration in more malicious ways.

An example of the latter involves a recent story about a former Microsoft employee. The man in question currently lives in Russia and works for another employer, but in the summer of 2012, was employed as a senior architect with Microsoft when he broke into the company's Washington campus. There, he stole proprietary information -- trade secrets involving pre-release Windows 8 software updates. He also had access to software that can assist hackers in manipulating the code.

But the man didn't use the information for his own benefit. Instead, he gave it to a notorious blogger from France who posted screenshots of the data on the Internet. Microsoft became aware of the data breach after searching the blogger's email account and finding an email from the Microsoft employee.

The employee confessed to leaking the confidential information to the blogger. He claims that he did it because he received a less than favorable performance review. He is now facing charges.

Companies naturally want to protect their information because once it is leaked to competitors, the result can be lost revenues. Stealing proprietary information is not a minor crime. Those accused of stealing sensitive data can face serious charges, including imprisonment and hefty fines. Taking proper legal action in a case of stolen proprietary information can help set a precedent for a more secure future for one's business.

Source: Intellectual Property Brief, " Former Microsoft Employee Steals Trade Secrets," Brianna Ford, March 22, 2014