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illwill sells Microsoft source code

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Microsoft

A Connecticut man known on the Internet as "illwill" pleaded guilty in Manhattan federal court on Monday to charges relating to the theft of the source code to Microsoft Corp.'s Windows operating software, considered among the company's crown jewels.

William Genovese Jr., 28, of Meriden, Conn., pleaded guilty charges related to the unlawful sale and attempted sale of the source code for Microsoft's Windows 2000 and Windows NT 4.0. The code had previously been obtained by other people and unlawfully distributed over the Internet, prosecutors said.

The source code is the blueprint in which software developers write computer programs. Access to a software program's source code can allow someone to replicate the program, and industry experts expressed concern that hackers reviewing the Microsoft software code could discover new ways to attack computers running some versions of Windows.

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