Was a Russian Spy working at Microsoft?

Mike Halsey MVP
Jul 14, 2010
Updated • Aug 2, 2010

Following the recent US / Russia spy drama, however Microsoft have now claimed that a 12th spy was working for them.  In an interview with Newsweek, they said that Alexey Karetnikov had worked for the company as a software tester for nine-months.  Russia's foreign ministry declined to comment.

Ten members of the spy ring were found guilty last week in New York and deported.  They had admitted carrying coded messages and communicating with Russian officials.

So what would this mean for Microsoft?  Probably nothing to be honest as the Redmond giant will already be battling with corporate intrigue and a Russian spy wouldn't have been able to get any information out of the company that would have been of use to the Russian government.

This is despite the fact that the alleged spy would have had access to Windows and Office source code and, hypothetically, access to information on how to use back doors with these products to infiltrate US Government computers running Microsoft's products.

In reality however the continued reluctance of Microsoft to even hand over sensitive Bitlocker data to their own government highlights just how secret this all is, so a software tester would be unlikely to have ever been able to get their hands on anything juicy.

Still, a spy story is a spy story and this one rumbles on.  Perhaps the 13th spy was working for Apple and was secretly the man who left the iPhone 4 prototype in a bar... who knows.


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  1. jasray said on July 14, 2010 at 10:12 pm


    Microsoft has openly shared all of its source code with Russia for over five years.

  2. Jojo said on July 14, 2010 at 9:45 pm

    From what I have read in the past, corporate spying is MUCH larger than government spying! Also much easier to get useful info.

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