Programmer accused of stealing Goldman Sachs source code

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Programmer accused of stealing Goldman Sachs source code

Missing code hidden on German server?

A Russian programmer has been arrested on charges that he illegally copied proprietary source code from his employers.

Sergey Aleynikov, a former computer programmer for Goldman Sachs, is accused of stealing the company’s computer trading software shortly before leaving the company for a job with a rival firm.

The code was described in the affidavit as: “A computer platform that allows the Financial Institution to engage in sophisticated, high-speed, and high-volume trades on various stock and commodities markets.

“Among other things, the Platform is capable of quickly obtaining and processing information regarding rapid developments in these markets ... The Financial Institution believes that certain features of the Platform, such as the speed and efficiency by which it obtains and processes market data, give the Financial Institution a competitive advantage among other firms that also engage in high-volume automated trading.”

Aleynikov is accused of uploading the 32MB of code to a remote server in Germany.

He has reportedly claimed that the upload was a mistake and that he thought they were open source files.

Aleynikov was caught because of the IT security procedures followed by his employers.

While he made every effort to cover his tracks by deleting records of the upload he was not aware that his employer ran a secret backup program that recorded every action of its employees.

These kinds of software backups are becoming increasingly common among companies, particularly those in high value areas like the financial industry.

With the majority of data theft carried out from within companies rather than by outside hackers companies are focusing less on building impenetrable firewalls and more on monitoring data flows.

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