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30 January 2006

ye Day of Judgment (30 January 2006) arriveth

The cameras of Agence-Vleeptron Presse
weren't allowed in the Manhattan federal
courtroom when the hacker was sentenced,
but A-VP has visually re-created the scene
for you. This is the view through
A-VP's Convicted Guy Cam.

Top Tech News
Monday 30 January 2006

Microsoft Hacker Jailed
for Two Years

A U.S. judge sentenced a convicted hacker known as "illwill" to two years in prison for selling the software blueprint for Microsoft's closely guarded Windows programs.

William Genovese Jr, 29, pleaded guilty last year to one count of unlawful distribution of trade secrets for putting Microsoft's source code for its Windows 4.0 and Windows 2000 programs on his Web site and selling it.

He received a paltry $40 for selling the code to Microsoft investigators.

"I screwed up," Genovese said in court.

Genovese has 12 prior criminal convictions, including three computer-related crimes and a sexual abuse conviction, a government attorney told the hearing in federal court in Manhattan.

U.S. District Judge William Pauley said Genovese's criminal background was the most disturbing he has encountered during his seven years as a judge.

"Genovese is a predator who has morphed through various phases of criminal activity and in the last few years has descended into the world of the Internet and is well on his way to being a cyber predator," Pauley said.

The Connecticut man also received three years supervised release, with numerous conditions.

Source code is the intellectual property and lifeblood of any software company since it is the basic language used to create software programs.

Microsoft learned on February 12, 2004 that portions of the code were released on the Internet.

That day, Genovese offered the source code for sale on his Web site.

© 2006 AAP Information Services . All rights reserved.
© 2006 Top Tech News. All rights reserved.


30 August 2005

by Dawn Kawamoto
Staff Writer, CNET

A Connecticut man has pleaded guilty in federal court to selling Microsoft source code over the Internet.

William P. Genovese Jr., 28, of Meriden, Conn., entered his plea Monday in a Manhattan federal court to charges that he unlawfully sold and attempted to sell portions of Microsoft's source code for Windows NT 4.0 and Windows 2000, according to a statement by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York.

According to federal prosecutors, Genovese initially found the source code in February last year, after another party misappropriated the code and distributed it over the Internet without Microsoft's authorization. The defendant, who went under the alias of "illwill" and "," then posted the code to his site and offered it for sale.

An investigator for Microsoft and an undercover FBI agent were able to download copies of the stolen source code and send an electronic payment to Genovese between February and July of last year.

Genovese was charged with one count of unlawfully distributing a trade secret. He is expected to be sentenced this fall.

Although the U.S. criminal code allows a maximum sentence of up to 10 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000 for this type of crime, the U.S. Attorney General's office is recommending a sentence of between 10 to 30 months, said Sean Hecker, Genovese's attorney.

Hecker added that it is up to the judge to determine whether he will accept the sentencing guideline the parties worked out under the plea agreement.

"Mr. Genovese was anxious to put this case behind him," Hecker said. "He is working full time at his father's business ... and is eager to be a productive member of society."

Hecker added that Genovese does not know the identity of the party who initially misappropriated Microsoft's source code.

Microsoft is not alone in finding its source code leaked and then offered for sale. Last year, a group calling itself the Source Code Club offered to sell older versions of Enterasys Network's Dragon intrusion-detection system source code for $16,000 and Napster's client and server software code for $10,000. In a later pitch, the SCC offered Cisco Pix 6.3.1 source code for $24,000.


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