Monday, 15 February 2010

Russian programmer indicted over software theft

Sergei Aleynikov, an ex-programmer in Goldman Sachs was indicted today for theft and faces up to 25 years in jail.
Sergei Aleynikov, 40, has allegedly stolen trading software code from Goldman Sachs, where he worked for two years until June 2009 on a $400,000 a year salary. Aleynikov was arrested in July and released on $750,000 bail. He could face up to 25 years of imprisonment for charges on theft of trade secrets, transportation of stolen property and unauthorized computer access.
Aleynikov, who holds dual U.S. and Russian citizenship and who has lived in America for the last twenty years, is said to have downloaded 32 out of 1,024 megabites of the code for the platform that Goldman Sachs uses for high-frequency trading (a system in which computers generate trades on stock and commodity markets at fractions of a second).
The prosecution claims that he wrote a programme that compressed the files and sent them to a server in Germany, and then Aleynikov removed all the traces of his actions from the company computer. Later he went to meet with his new employers, Teza Technologies LLC in Chicago, where he took the laptop with the stolen files with intention to use the data for building a similar platform for Teza. He was arrested in the airport on his way back from the meeting. Soon after Aleynikov's arrest Teza fired him.
Aleynikov denies the charges and says that he used some data to work from home, but Goldman was aware of it, and he might have downloaded some secret files unintentionally. He claims that he has not shown or sold the files to anyone.

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