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Microsoft employee steals Xbox gift cards worth US$10 million, buys a lakefront property and Tesla with them

US$10 million in Xbox gift cards should surely suffice to purchase a few blockbuster games (Image: Lutsenko_Oleksandr)
US$10 million in Xbox gift cards should surely suffice to purchase a few blockbuster games (Image: Lutsenko_Oleksandr)
Apparently, it's not just the announcement of Windows 11 that has been keeping Microsoft on its toes lately. According to reports, an employee of Microsoft's Xbox division managed to exploit a security flaw which allowed him to steal Xbox gift cards worth an absurd amount of money.

It probably isn't unheard of that employees occasionally borrow one or two items from their offices and take them home for private use. But an employee managing to steal goods worth millions of US dollars, that is something you don't hear every day. According to a Bloomberg report, this is exactly what happened at Microsoft's Xbox division.

The aforementioned case took place in 2017, but it is just now garnering public attention. Four years ago, newly recruited junior software engineer Volodymyr Kvashuk was tasked with reviewing Microsoft's e-commerce infrastructure, particularly its payment processing. This is when Kvashuk stumbled upon a pretty blatant security flaw: Every time he simulated a purchase of an Xbox gift card for testing purposes, Microsoft's internal system would provide a valid, usable gift code. Instead of reporting the glitch, the Ukraine-born developer decided to use the exploit to his advantage.

Until his apprehension two years later, Kvashuk generated a total of 152,000 Xbox gift codes, worth a total of more than US$10 million. He reportedly used the sales proceeds of the gift codes to live a rather lavish life with the purchase of a new Tesla and a waterfront property on Lake Washington. Last November, he was sentenced to nine years in prison, and once he becomes free he will face deportation from the United States. It was a short, but joyful ride for the culprit in likely one of the most notable heists in Microsoft's history.

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Enrico Frahn
Editor of the original article: Enrico Frahn - Tech Writer - 943 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2021
My fascination for technology goes back a long way to the Pentium II era. Modding, overclocking and treasuring computer hardware has since become an integral part of my life. As a student, I further developed a keen interest in mobile technologies that can make the stressful college life so much easier. After I fell in love with the creation of digital content while working in a marketing position, I now scour the web to bring you the most exciting topics in the world of tech. Outside the office, I’m particularly passionate about motorsports and mountain biking.
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2021 07 > Microsoft employee steals Xbox gift cards worth US$10 million, buys a lakefront property and Tesla with them
Enrico Frahn, 2021-07- 2 (Update: 2021-07- 2)