Computer Crime Research Center


US man pleads guilty to selling Microsoft

Date: August 31, 2005
Source: Computer Crime Research Center
By: compiled by CCRC

A Meriden man has pleaded guilty in federal court to charges related to the theft of the source code to Microsoft's Windows software.

William Genovese Junior is known on the Internet as "illwill." He pleaded guilty in New York City today to an indictment charging him with unlawful sale and attempted sale of the source code for Windows Two-Thousand and Windows N-T Four-Point-Oh.

Prosecutors say the software was obtained previously by other people and unlawfully distributed over the Internet.

The indictment against the 28-year-old Genovese was filed in February of last year. It alleges that he posted a message on his Web site offering the source code for sale, on the same day Microsoft learned significant portions of the code were stolen.

Access to a software program's source code can allow someone to replicate the program. Industry experts expressed concern that hackers reviewing the Microsoft software code could discover new ways to attack computers running some versions of Windows.

Genovese faces up to ten years in prison and a $250,000 fine when he is sentenced in the fall.

There was no published telephone listing for Genovese in Meriden, Connecticut. and prosecutors did not return a call seeking information about his attorney.

Microsoft has previously shared parts of its source code with some companies, US agencies, foreign governments and universities under restrictions that prohibit them from making it publicly available.

A Microsoft spokesman said in February that the company was confident the Windows blueprints were not stolen from its own computer network.

Microsoft did not immediately return a message on Monday seeking comment.

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