back to article Programmer charged with stealing Wall Street-ware

A former Goldman Sachs software designer has been arrested and charged with stealing proprietary software used for the firm's high-speed trading platform. Sergey Aleynikov, a naturalized US citizen who emigrated from Russia, was arrested on Friday night as he arrived at Newark Liberty International Airport and charged with …


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  1. Inachu
    Thumb Down


    Many times aprogrammers also reuse their code as they travel company to company.

    But the guilt lies with the transfer of data to Germany.

    What is so special that he must save data in Germany?

    Not trust worthy/

  2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    Hey, we have this bubble money lying around, you want some?

    "The programmer, who earned $400,000 per year."


    Either the dollar has really fallen or that's one programmer whose has got the sun shining out of his nether regions. Well, until recently that is.

  3. gollux


    Let the contamination spread. It did so well for the US economy, may everyone else enjoy the fruits of pretend investments in a bubble world. Why should we be the only ones to suffer?

  4. Anonymous Coward


    "The programmer, who earned $400,000 per year..."

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    a title is required

    Has some simularities with the movie 'the process'. Regarding secret formulas that make lots of money that is. Very clever movie.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Wall Street Genius

    All those guys made that kind of stupid money (or used to). When the traders and their bosses are making 7, 8, or even 9 figure incomes, 400K seems like minimum wage to them.

    But they deserve that kind of income because they are so brilliant and because they have contributed so much to the current success of the economy.

    Some of those wall street tech guys are brilliant, but most are just average and think they are brilliant because they make so much money.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If it's just mathematic formulas

    they can't be secret so the guy is innocent. Oh, those Americans! They strongly believe basic science and business methods should be protected by IP mechanisms.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    Serves him right!

    Your contract almost always states something like, "You write stuff for us, it's ours forever. So don't even think about it! OK?"

    If he had been the business for more that 12 months, he knew this and he knew what he was doing.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    @AC 03:35 - Theft is theft

    It doesn't matter whether they are "mathematic formulas" or not. You're confusing patents with intellectual property. The point is, the employer paid him (and other guys) a very good wage to develop this stuff, which means the employer owns it.

    You might think Goldman Sachs are evil, but that's not the point either. Imagine if you were in the same team as him and you found out he was taking your work to another firm, so they can compete against you.

    Sticking it to the man doesn't seem quite so clever now does it?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Wall Street Genius

    From your comments I infer you're not part of that happy band. Guess it goes from brilliant to average to - well, not you apparently. Was the grenade icon for the Reg Reader "I'm better than he is, honest" sour grapes you're sucking?

  11. Doc Spock

    Let Me Get This Right...

    So the programmer only "intended to access only open source code"? i.e. code that would be freely available from servers unrelated to Goldman Sachs. So he went down the "industriual espionage" route why?

    Sorry bud, but I don't buy it. You were sounded out by another company who were going to pay you more on the understanding that you brought some "experience" with you to the new job.

  12. Dr Patrick J R Harkin
    IT Angle

    So, where's the IT angle?

    "The programmer, who earned $400,000 per year," Oh wait, I see now...

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Automated trading

    The entire friggin' economy is based on the trades done by companies like GS. Why, therefore, are such things allowed to be run by computer?

    Am I the only one that thinks the whole system is insane?

  14. Anonymous Coward

    RE: Automated trading

    AC wrote: "Am I the only one that thinks the whole system is insane?"

    No. It is insane.

    Quite clearly insane from start to finish. Things need to change. We live in a world with limited resources but our main business model is predicated on an ever increasing pile of wealth for us to share around.

    Now obviously there isn't an endless supply of loot and when enough people realise then we get a crash... and afterwards we just pick up the straws we were clutching before and continue to flog the same dead horse. The ability to ignore the obvious is so rare that guys who can do it get paid 6 figure sums just for getting out of bed in the morning.

  15. John Parker

    "The Process" movie...?

    @ Anonymous Coward Posted Monday 6th July 2009 23:06 GMT:

    I've checked IMDB for all movies made with the title "The Process", and none match the description of a movie about a secret formula...?

  16. Paul Johnston

    Reaches for Erlang book!

    Nice article here!

    Seems he was offered 3 times the wages to move

  17. RichardB


    I wonder whether the company he worked for gained from his previous code base...?

  18. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Re: Automated trading

    " The entire friggin' economy is based on the trades done by companies like GS. Why, therefore, are such things allowed to be run by computer?

    Am I the only one that thinks the whole system is insane?" ... By Anonymous Coward Posted Tuesday 7th July 2009 08:55 GMT

    Because, AC, companies like Gold Man Sacks and Goldman Sachs falsely thought that they could control computers ..... but they don't and can't.*

    And no, you are not alone in your sane thinking, for at least twice as many as you are thinking the same and probably a great deal more too.

    And that now raises the intriguing question .......Who or What is in Control with ITs Powers over You and Them and the entire friggin' economy based on trades?

    * Those who can and do are therefore probably Highly Prized to be Obscenely Well Rewarded Future Board Room material should they be of such a Flexibly Accomodating Mind, for it is an Enigmatic Conundrum whenever you can so easily choose to Crash a System or Mend/MindBend it with IT.

  19. mike2R

    Reminds me of a Dilbert cartoon..

    (which I can't find online) From memory:

    The PHB tells Alice to "lock these proprietary documents in the safe" since it would be "dangerous if our competitors got hold of them".

    Alice's response is "for them or for us".

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "I wonder whether the company he worked for gained from his previous code base...?"

    Dunno, but it makes no real difference. He's still (allegedly) done A Bad Thing.

    Having said that, I have sometimes wanted to leak all our source code to a competitor. Not for financial gain, but just so they can share some of the pain.

    [Note to internet Big Brother thing - please don't trace my ID and get me fired, that was a joke]

  21. Count Ludwig

    @amanfromMars 1

    This is the second post I've read from "amanfromMars 1". Either it's not amanfromMars or he's changed his medication. Would the real AMFM please stand up?

  22. Anonymous Coward


    should of transmitted the data via ping packets to his server :)

    it was only 38megs of data not exactly large amounts needed.

    could of even stripped the code down for what he needed

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    The assistant US attorney has apparently told the court “The bank has raised the possibility that there is a danger that somebody who knew how to use this program could use it to manipulate markets in unfair ways.”

    If that's true then why are we supposed to trust Glodman Sachs with it?

  24. Anonymous Coward

    Open Source

    What license was this "Open Source" code..

    Did they follow the license and advertise the original developers?

  25. Richard 102


    "The programmer, who earned $400,000 per year"

    Sounds about right for an efficiency apartment in New York.

    Actually, I've known several programmers who've earned that. They didn't get it, but they certainly did enough to earn it.


    Someone Would Probably Invite GS Men To A Desert...

    ...for a circumstantial talk. Tough guys talk easy lying on locally wet sand, and oh, the sweetness of the night air (-:

    I only say - suppose this supposition. 400 grands for being a programmer - I'd kick any ass off the department if the ass signs such a bill. Why trouble a poor Jewish Russian who made himself (and his employees) believe that they can extract urgent information not from the money, but from the very fact of its flow to and fro the highly VIPped accounts of their most respective clients, both private and corporate/incorporated? Sure you don't need to be a fortune teller to tell where it ends... my MagIQ friends. And the Russian - I'd let him go further, from Germany to Switzerland, whether he really did steal the booming program or just leave the door of GS IT dept open.

    Deletionists will join the travel (-:

  27. Nanki Poo

    @Count Ludwig (amanfrommars1)

    Actually I found after reading three or four of his posts he became almost lucid.

    However, in this case it may be able to cross species... yes, I'm looking at you 3BEPOTEKCT, there's a bit creeping in... ;0

    Quick, close the schools, the destruction of reality itself! Won't somebody thi.i.i.n...k...of...........................


  28. WhatWasThat?

    Prosecution over matter of transport

    This guy was sending the code outside the company... overseas... over the Internet. All well and good, I suppose, if he did it properly:

    1. Establish SSL link with server of choice, preferably through TOR, Anonymizer, et. al.

    2. Cut-and-Paste text from coding window to browser window.

    3. Send in suitable, bite size chunks.

    And he sent it to Germany? Is this because he used RapidShare?

    Of course, this probably wouldn't have been an issue if he did a simple scan from his camera phone into 3+Megapixel images, MMS/emailed to his home account, and OCR'ed them at his leisure.

    That is assuming, of course, that GS IT prohibited simple USB keys, after all.

    Black Helicopters

    Caritas In Veritate

    "By the way, talk about LHC and stuff like that - will any hole there appear just enough big to verschlingen some Swiss international gold depots? Aren't the Spaghetti Divini' banking trees keep more stable being Roman-rooted? Heavy concurrence became very intensified suddenly, looks like. I'm worrying for the continental Europe a bit, ya know, fella..." - @404 Found September 12th 2008 at 4:06 PM, the word "crisis" is not mentioned for a general purpose.

    "Species" (I'm looking at your post, Nanky Poo ;)) + "Spaghetti Divini" ... In this light, Dyene Brown appears to be the best PR agent of NWO (-;

    For the Veritative Dessert comes the , 4irw4y 07 January 2009 at 19:07, I'd only ask an Intelligent Being, if Mr. Cheney lost the train or the train lost Mr. Cheney?

    Things are starting to hot up/get really interesting.

    ЗЫ: "ben-xvi" in the address string of the Vatican site - is it a model of a new charity car?


  30. Stuart Smith 1
    Paris Hilton


    Sure everyone has "reused" code from previous projects etc...

    But.... You don't steal a City 'black box' end of story. Considering what else it could be used for I wouldnt be suprised if he gets a lengthy sentence, especially given the current financial situation.

    Paris - because even she knows not to do that

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