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Trustworthy Computing At Microsoft?

Alta Vista had to be just a little upset with Microsoft when it was recently reported that an employee at the world's biggest software maker had allegedly hacked the search-engine company two years ago.

Laurent Chavet, 29, was arrested by FBI agents recently in Redmond, Wash. According to reports, a warrant issued in San Francisco under the U.S. Attorney's Office claims that Chavet hacked into Alta Vista's computer system to obtain software blueprints and source code, causing damage to the systems in the process.

Microsoft officials confirmed Chavet is an employee but declined to comment further on the case. In addition, court documents showed that Chavet is a former Alta Vista employee, having worked at the search-engine company from 1999 to 2002. The U.S. Attorney's office claims that Chavet began breaking into Alta Vista's systems after he left the company.

Amazingly, according to some news reports, Chavet had been working on Microsoft's MSN Search development effort. Chavet--who was released on a $10,000 bond--faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The repercussions could be even more severe for Microsoft, however, if Chavet illegally used Alta Vista source code to develop MSN Search.

Whatever the case, it certainly isn't trustworthy computing.

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