Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Attacks/Breaches

Former Goldman Programmer Faces New Charges

Sergey Aleynikov charged with stealing highly confidential software that powers high-frequency trading systems.

A Russian-born computer programmer who formerly worked for Goldman Sachs has rejected a plea deal that would have spared him jail time for allegedly stealing top-secret, high-frequency trading software from the investment firm.

Sergey Aleynikov, 42, was indicted Thursday in New York State criminal court on felony charges of accessing and duplicating "highly confidential" source code from Goldman Sachs, according to the office of Manhattan district attorney Cyrus Vance.

"The code is so highly confidential that it is known in the industry as the firm's 'secret sauce,'" said Vance, in a statement. "Employees who exploit their access to sensitive information should expect to face criminal prosecution in New York State in appropriate cases."

[ A Muslim hacktivist group is targeting U.S. banks. Read more at Muslim Hacktivists Take Credit For U.S. Bank Attack. ]

Aleynikov was previously convicted in federal court on similar charges, but his conviction was overturned by the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals after he had served a year in jail. Aleynikov's attorney said he plans to seek dismissal of the state charges, which he contends put his client in double jeopardy.

"The precise factual circumstances that underlie these charges have already been fully adjudicated," attorney Kevin Marino told the court, according to Reuters. "There's nothing remotely lawful or constitutional about what's going on … he left Russia for freedom and the American way, and he got Franz Kafka and Goldman Sachs."

Aleynikov holds dual U.S.-Russian citizenship. The programmer joined Goldman Sachs in May 2007 and was paid an annual salary of $400,000, according to records. Formally, he's been charged by Vance's office with one count of unlawful use of secret scientific material, and one count of duplication of computer-related material.

"His job responsibilities included developing and maintaining computer programs used to operate the bank's high-frequency trading systems, which allowed Goldman Sachs traders to make a large volume of trades in securities, commodities, and options," said Vance's office. "Goldman Sachs' programmers created its high-frequency trading system to maintain a competitive advantage."

Aleynikov was first apprehended on the federal charges in 2009, after Goldman Sachs noticed large amounts of data being uploaded from its servers via HTTPS transfers. The uploads, 32 MB in total, were ultimately traced to Aleynikov's workstation, federal authorities charged.

Aleynikov faces up to four years in prison if he is convicted on the state charges.

New York State senior investigative counsel Joanne Y. Li is prosecuting the case under the supervision of assistant district attorney David Szuchman, chief of the Cybercrime and Identity Theft Bureau. Supervising rackets Investigator Robert Muldoon, senior rackets investigator Jason Malone, senior cybercrime analyst Jeremy Apple, and cybercrime analyst Bret Rubin also assisted in the investigation, according to Vance's office.

Web-facing databases have a huge target on their backs. The easy way to secure these databases would be to take them off the Web, but a system that does not serve a business function is worthless to the company. Security pros must figure out ways to secure databases with limited resources while keeping business systems operational. In the Strategies For Protecting Web-Facing Databases report, we recommend several cost-efficient methods. (Free registration required.)

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
PJS880
50%
50%
PJS880,
User Rank: Ninja
10/3/2012 | 8:14:58 PM
re: Former Goldman Programmer Faces New Charges
That is all good and great but what about the double jeopardy factor? Are they the same charges that he was already cleared of or are they completely separate incidents. IT looks like Aleynikov feels that he will get off scott free, or he would have taken the year in prison as compare dot the 4 he could face if convicted. I wonder what Vance meant when he stated Gǣ"Employees who exploit their access to sensitive information should expect to face criminal prosecution in New York State in appropriate cases.", What are appropriate cases?

Paul Sprague
InformationWeek Contributor
Why Cyber-Risk Is a C-Suite Issue
Marc Wilczek, Digital Strategist & CIO Advisor,  11/12/2019
Unreasonable Security Best Practices vs. Good Risk Management
Jack Freund, Director, Risk Science at RiskLens,  11/13/2019
6 Small-Business Password Managers
Curtis Franklin Jr., Senior Editor at Dark Reading,  11/8/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: This comment is waiting for review by our moderators.
Current Issue
Navigating the Deluge of Security Data
In this Tech Digest, Dark Reading shares the experiences of some top security practitioners as they navigate volumes of security data. We examine some examples of how enterprises can cull this data to find the clues they need.
Flash Poll
Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
Frustrated with recurring intrusions and breaches, cybersecurity professionals are questioning some of the industrys conventional wisdom. Heres a look at what theyre thinking about.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-11931
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-14
A stack-based buffer overflow could be triggered in WhatsApp by sending a specially crafted MP4 file to a WhatsApp user. The issue was present in parsing the elementary stream metadata of an MP4 file and could result in a DoS or RCE. This affects Android versions prior to 2.19.274, iOS versions prio...
CVE-2019-18980
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-14
On Signify Philips Taolight Smart Wi-Fi Wiz Connected LED Bulb 9290022656 devices, an unprotected API lets remote users control the bulb's operation. Anyone can turn the bulb on or off, or change its color or brightness remotely. There is no authentication or encryption to use the control API. The o...
CVE-2019-17391
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-14
An issue was discovered in the Espressif ESP32 mask ROM code 2016-06-08 0 through 2. Lack of anti-glitch mitigations in the first stage bootloader of the ESP32 chip allows an attacker (with physical access to the device) to read the contents of read-protected eFuses, such as flash encryption and sec...
CVE-2019-18651
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-14
A cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerability in 3xLogic Infinias Access Control through 6.6.9586.0 allows remote attackers to execute malicious and unauthorized actions (e.g., delete application users) by sending a crafted HTML document to a user that the website trusts. The user needs to have ...
CVE-2019-18978
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-14
An issue was discovered in the rack-cors (aka Rack CORS Middleware) gem before 1.0.4 for Ruby. It allows ../ directory traversal to access private resources because resource matching does not ensure that pathnames are in a canonical format.