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Microsoft code thief pleads guilty
Connecticut man faces 10 years for selling stolen Microsoft Windows source code, according to DOJ.
August 29, 2005: 7:21 PM EDT

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - A Connecticut man pled guilty to selling stolen Microsoft Windows source code and could face up to 10 years in prison, according to the Department of Justice Monday.

William P. Genovese, Jr. allegedly stole the source code, the non-public and proprietary code in which software developers write programs, for Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 and Windows 2000 and unlawfully distributed it over the Internet without the software company's authorization.

Access to a software program's source code can allow someone to replicate the program or find vulnerabilities.

An online security firm hired by Microsoft (Research) downloaded a copy of the stolen source code from Genovese's site, after sending Genovese an electronic payment. An undercover FBI agent also downloaded a copy of the Stolen Source Code from Genovese's site after the investigator made another electronic payment to Genovese, the report said.

Genovese, 28, was charged with one count of unlawfully distributing a trade secret, in violation of the Economic Espionage Act.

He faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 or twice the monetary gain from the offense.

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