Despite the fact that Microsoft is now in the hardware business, the company still makes the majority of its revenue through software sales and licensing. So, if you are stealing Microsoft’s product keys and start re-selling them, don’t be surprised if Microsoft sends the authorities after you.
That’s what happened in India where Mr. Prabhu was doing exactly that, stealing Microsoft IP. Microsoft found that he was stealing product keys and trying to re-sell them which, as you can imagine, they were not pleased about. So, what did Microsoft do? They contacted the local authority, in this case, the Central Bureau of Investigation and alerted them to this activity.
According to the CBI:
A case has been registered on the allegations that Microsoft Volume License Service Centre (VLSC) agreements in respect of different overseas and Indian customers of the Microsoft were unauthorisedly being accessed (hacked) for the purpose of stealing product keys of different Microsoft products.
It goes without saying that, even though product keys are not physical goods, the software keys are highly valuable and by stealing them, it affects Microsoft’s bottom line. This is not the first time that we have seen Microsoft go after those who are trying to undermine its sale of software with the prosecution of Alex Kibkalo back in March, being one of the latest examples.
Prabhu is currently awaiting trial in India and no word on what his possible sentence may be for the theft of the keys.