Feeds

Ex-Goldman Sachs coder cuffed on fresh 'source theft' charges

Programmer cleared of wrongdoing faces new charges

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

A Goldman Sachs programmer cleared six months ago of stealing the source code to the bank’s high-frequency trading system has been re-arrested and charged.

The Manhattan district attorney has now accused Sergey Aleynikov, 42, of unlawfully using secret scientific material and unlawfully duplicating computer-related material.

In February Aleynikov overturned a conviction on federal charges that claimed he stole trade secrets from his employer, mega-bank Goldman Sachs. During the appeal hearing, his lawyer Kevin Marino argued Aleynikov had been incorrectly charged under the Economic Espionage Act (EEA).

The appeals court ruled in Aleynikov's favour, finding that taking source code is not a crime under federal law, which instead makes it illegal to steal trade secrets, and that the code didn’t qualify as stolen goods under another federal law.

Aleynikov, a naturalized US citizen from Russia, worked for Goldman Sachs between 2007 and 2009, and built software that takes advantage of small arbitrage opportunities in stock prices by placing millions of trades in a matter of seconds.

Aleynikov was recruited by trading firm Teza Technologies to develop similar high-frequency trading software and he gave notice to Goldman Sachs in April 2009.

The NY state complaint alleges Aleynikov transferred “hundreds of thousands of lines of source code for Goldman Sachs’ high-frequency trading system to a foreign server; that code included trading algorithms used to determine the value of stock options".

In the original case, brought by the US government in 2009, Aleynikov said he thought he was only taking open-source code, and hadn’t realised any proprietary code was included. That defence was rejected by the trial judge and Aleynikov was sentenced in December 2010 to eight years in prison, with three under supervised release and a $12,500 fine.

Commenting on the latest charges, DA Cyrus Vance said on Thursday: “This code is so highly confidential that it is known in the industry as the firm’s ‘secret sauce'… employees who exploit their access to sensitive information should expect to face criminal prosecution in New York State in appropriate cases." ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
UK smart meters arrive in 2020. Hackers have ALREADY found a flaw
Energy summit bods warned of free energy bonanza
DRUPAL-OPCALYPSE! Devs say best assume your CMS is owned
SQLi hole was hit hard, fast, and before most admins knew it needed patching
Knock Knock tool makes a joke of Mac AV
Yes, we know Macs 'don't get viruses', but when they do this code'll spot 'em
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
Mozilla releases geolocating WiFi sniffer for Android
As if the civilians who never change access point passwords will ever opt out of this one
Why weasel words might not work for Whisper
CEO suspends editor but privacy questions remain
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.