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Goldman Sachs Code Theft Not Quite So Cut and Dried

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 3 years ago | from the those-who-have-the-gold-make-the-rules dept.

The Courts 306

The New York Times has some interesting details that are surfacing about the recent charges brought against Sergey Aleynikov, the programmer who allegedly stole code from Goldman Sachs on his way out the door to another job. "This spring, Mr. Aleynikov quit Goldman to join Teza Technologies, a new trading firm, tripling his salary to about $1.2 million, according to the complaint. He left Goldman on June 5. In the days before he left, he transferred code to a server in Germany that offers free data hosting. [...] After his arrest, Mr. Aleynikov was taken for interrogation to F.B.I. offices in Manhattan. Mr. Aleynikov waived his rights against self-incrimination, and agreed to allow agents to search his house. He said that he had inadvertently downloaded a portion of Goldman's proprietary code while trying to take files of open source software — programs that are not proprietary and can be used freely by anyone. He said he had not used the Goldman code at his new job or distributed it to anyone else, and the criminal complaint offers no evidence that he has."

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but first post is! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29178357)

lick my asshole clean, you homos!

open source... Likely defence (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Cowar (1608865) | more than 3 years ago | (#29178425)

Here's the thing, Open source or not, taking it directly from his employer was a bad idea. If you modify a piece of software for in house use and don't distribute it outside, you don't have to distribute the source. If he wanted open source software, i know of a few places where he might find copies. (no links because you should know about google and source forge by now). So, if the source code HAD to have been taken from GS's servers, then it probably had proprietary in house changes which may not be re-licensed under the gpl (the gpl is a distribution license and kicks into effect as soon as GS starts distributing). That might still be theft of in house IP, which is bad.

Anywho, in summary, weak sauce excuses are weak sauce.

Re:open source... Likely defence (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 3 years ago | (#29178517)

Or maybe he'd prefer to grab shit off the gigabit network and upload immediately, instead of having to downloading it off the clogged, public tubes first.

Re:open source... Likely defence (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Cowar (1608865) | more than 3 years ago | (#29178639)

So what you're saying is that he was in the right because he was impatient?

Re:open source... Likely defence (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 3 years ago | (#29178739)

I'm saying that I sure as fuck would have done the same if:

I had shit on my pc/network at work
I needed to upload it
It was shit that wasn't FROM my work

He's claiming he did the above, and accidentally grabbed some shit from his work in addition to the open source stuff.

I could make the same mistake (then again, I'm not a retard).

Re:open source... Likely defence (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 3 years ago | (#29178771)

Oh - and just to be clear, I don't believe him for one second.

That fucker lies faster than a dog trots.

Re:open source... Likely defence (-1, Troll)

pete6677 (681676) | more than 3 years ago | (#29179077)

People from his part of the world aren't exactly known for their honesty and ethics.

Re:open source... Likely defence (1)

Anonymous Cowar (1608865) | more than 3 years ago | (#29178809)

So you're saying that because you would have done the same, he was in the right?

As a professional in the digital forensics field, my professional opinion is that taking stuff and uploading it to a server without a 100% provably complete receipt of the files is the quickest way to lose a lawsuit. Lawyer A says that you uploaded 100 files and can prove that you accessed 1000 files when you were uploading the 100. Unless you can prove that you did absolutely nothing (very very hard to prove), you're pretty much boned. If you had a thumb drive in the system, or the burning software was also accessed on that day, you can come up with 99 reasons why you are innocent, but all it takes is the lawyer to come up with a point you can't disprove and you're boned.

I am not a lawyer, but I have worked very closely with them in the past.

Re:open source... Likely defence (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 3 years ago | (#29178867)

Uh, no.
I'm saying it's plausible.

Never did I say it was right or wrong.

Re:open source... Likely defence (1)

Anonymous Cowar (1608865) | more than 3 years ago | (#29178909)

so you're just reiterating this snippet from my post waaaay up there?

Anywho, in summary, weak sauce excuses are weak sauce.

Re:open source... Likely defence (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 3 years ago | (#29179023)

No, because I provided a valid reason why it's plausible.

Re:open source... Likely defence (1)

Anonymous Cowar (1608865) | more than 3 years ago | (#29179227)

I really really really, for your sake, hope that you don't find yourself on the wrong end of a data theft suit arising from separation from an employer. You'd get 2, maybe 3 hearings if you didn't settle prior to court.

Re:open source... Likely defence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29178837)

Sounds like you don't work for a large organization like GS. And if you do, judging from your tone, it sounds like you haven't been working there very long.

I've seen people get fired for less due to "policies". Any experienced user, let alone developer, should know to tread lightly on company territory. 1.2 million in salary might have come with some "prerequisites."

Re:open source... Likely defence (5, Interesting)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 3 years ago | (#29178955)

fail. if it's sitting on the companys computers and you've been working on it in company time, they own it. i can't fathom a reason he would copy personal projects onto company hardware if it wasn't to work on it.

this is something that scares me a bit about the work i do. i've had employers get really pissed off at me leaving before, my greatest fear is that one day they might pursue me in this kind of manner out of spite. a perfect example was one of my early gigs - a fully automated laboratory system that ran linux. i developed it, supported it 24/7 and saved the company a fortune. in 3 years they never gave me a single pay rise. so i was forced to leave to better my financial situation, and my god my last 2 weeks consisted of snide remarks and petty shots at my work. I handled it by just going about my work as normal and tieing up as many loose ends as possible, not taking the bait at their attempts at rattling me. once my notice was up i offered them a very fair rate if they ever wanted me back as a contractor to fix things or do new developements, and it was turned down without even a moments consideration.

the fearful part comes from how much work i took home with me, a really committed employee who enjoys his work will tend to wrap his life around his work. at that time it would have been hard to separate personal life from work. i don't think anyone should be penalised for that.

Re:open source... Likely defence (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29179151)

"if you work on it using company resources, between the hours of 9am and 5pm, the company owns it" is a standard part of employment contracts, it is NOT law. I have requested that it be removed from all employment contracts I have signed, and it was either removed or a separate document was written specifying amended terms. (in most cases the term was simply omitted, in another it was re-written to include the additional condition that they only own it if they told me to do it, which I thought was a nice touch, as the original wording had them owning any code I did at home in my spare time, too, while the new wording allowed me to work on personal projects during lunch)

If a lot of companies are in the habit of raping you, it doesn't make it "law", and there's usually something you can do about the rape part, too.

Re:open source... Likely defence (5, Interesting)

hoggoth (414195) | more than 3 years ago | (#29178983)

I used to work at Lehman Brothers years ago. I was developing new trading software. Once a buddy brought me a PC game. He put a CD in a drive, copied the files to his PC and burned it to a new blank CD.

The network admins got an alert from the CD burning and within 15 minutes security was making sure nobody entered or left the section we were in. We both almost got fired from the shit-storm that followed. They didn't overreact one bit. We were wrong. We were being paid good money to know better than to copy our personal files on the same network as proprietary company software. It was a good thing they reacted so quickly so we could hand them both CDs to prove we hadn't been stealing the company's proprietary competitive advantage to sell it to a competitor. That kind of inter-company espionage goes on ALL THE TIME.

Re:open source... Likely defence (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29179099)

Too bad they didn't alert anyone when they threw all that money into subprime junk.

Re:open source... Likely defence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29179089)

Something very similar to me happened at my last job. I had been working on some open source projects at work(I had approval to spend time on them and commit changes upstream) and when I quit I just tarred up my eclipse workspace and put it on a pen drive. There had been some incomplete changes on some of these projects and I wanted to finish them up. When I got home I had realized that there was still a none open source project in my workspace when I tarred it. I promptly deleted it as I did not care about the proprietary code at all. Basically, I can very easily believe how this could happen and don't think they should make a big deal out of it if it didn't get redistributed.

Re:open source... Likely defence (4, Insightful)

digitalunity (19107) | more than 3 years ago | (#29178853)

What he did was wrong, but not for the reasons you think.

Superfast trading puts all other traders at a disadvantage and essentially lets day traders manipulate the market. The SEC doesn't see fit to step in and stop the madness. They're a leech on the market and the frequency and volume of their trades hampers the ability for real investors(meaning people) to determine the volatility and legitimate trade volume of a stock.

Some day the SEC will pull their head out of their ass and put a mandatory ownership period on all stock purchases of 48 hours or something. Addicted day traders might stop gambling away their retirement and it might put an end to these fast traders.

Re:open source... Likely defence (2, Insightful)

Dr Damage I (692789) | more than 3 years ago | (#29178893)

In order to prove that theft has taken place, it is necessary to prove that the accused intended to steal. Or to put it another way: actus non facit reum nisi mens sit rea, which means that "the act does not make a person guilty unless the mind be also guilty" [wikipedia.org] . Thus, if indeed, taking the proprietary code was inadvertent, he is not guilty of theft.

Re:open source... Likely defence (3, Insightful)

Tanktalus (794810) | more than 3 years ago | (#29178969)

a) tell the jury that

b) how often does "but I didn't mean to steal it!" work in real-world (as opposed to academic or TV) court?

Re:open source... Likely defence (1)

digitalunity (19107) | more than 3 years ago | (#29179061)

Dr. Damage, intent is not a requirement of all crimes. Repeat that 3 times.

Tanktalus, actually when it comes to computers I can see that being a legitimate defense depending on the circumstances. I once uploaded one customers files to another customers FTP server. That was an egregious mistake that was quickly rectified. If one of my customers had gotten the police involved and claimed it was theft, it would have been very easy to explain how simple it can be to transfer a whole folder of documents without paying attention inadvertently.

I gather though that a jury wouldn't find the same true if the circumstances were me claiming I "accidentally" shared my 15,000 song music directory on limewire.

Re:open source... Likely defence (1)

Dr Damage I (692789) | more than 3 years ago | (#29179281)

Dr. Damage, intent is not a requirement of all crimes.

We're talking about theft here, not all crimes

Re:open source... Likely defence (1)

Lord Bitman (95493) | more than 3 years ago | (#29179169)

Wow! A real life time-traveler! Well, allow me to be the first to welcome you to 2008. You may find it strange, here- a lot has changed since 1806!

Re:open source... Likely defence (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29179021)

I work for a linux vendor that does business in the finance industry, and you would be amazed at how many patches for software come through these firms. Of course it never appears that way, because the code is copyright Goldman or Morgan or whatever, and it can't be licensed under the GPL without jumping through a million hoops. The Lawyers don't get it, so people in the field wind up sending the patches out email and stuff. Technically any of these people could get picked up the same way.

That's not to say that he is innocent. As TFA states there is a large "firewall" between proprietary code and OSS code, and it is highly unlikely that he accidentally copied over core market trading code with some random OSS project. And I dispise his use of OSS as a scapegoat, because of all the resulting FUD.

Sounds familiar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29178445)

"a server in Germany that offers free data hosting"?

They'll use rapidshare for anything these days!

Mountain or molehill? (4, Insightful)

davidwr (791652) | more than 3 years ago | (#29178455)

Criminally negligent carelessness or a clever disguise for future criminal intent? Short of reading his mind, we may never know.

Re:Mountain or molehill? (2, Interesting)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 3 years ago | (#29178709)

I vote for "clever disguise", but only because "stupid disguise" was not given as an option.

Why would a developer who's apparently worth US$ 400,000.- copy open source sourcecode from his employer's code repository whilst he could have just as easily copied the exact same code from the actual origin? Can anybody tell me a good reason why his claimed actions are in any way preferable to the obvious way of obtaining the source code?

Re:Mountain or molehill? (1)

RichardJenkins (1362463) | more than 3 years ago | (#29178919)

Laziness + Arrogance could lead someone to do that. Consider this train of thought:

"I've got lots of open source software here I'm going to want to use this evening. It's going to be a minor inconvenience Googling for it and downloading it all. I know, I'm smart enough to easily and immediately pick out the open source from proprietary code, archive, compress and upload it to a remote server for instant access this evening"

Of course, if the truth was anything other than "I want to keep a copy of valuable code to prove I'm worth $1.2M" I'll eat my hat.

Re:Mountain or molehill? (1)

Obfuscant (592200) | more than 3 years ago | (#29179197)

Consider this train of thought: "I've got lots of open source software here I'm going to want to use this evening. It's going to be a minor inconvenience Googling for it and downloading it all.

How about this one: "I've got this older version of open source software on my system at work that I prefer because the newer versions have been crippled by imagined intellectual property issues and I can't get the older version off the net anymore."

Don't scoff. I ran across exactly this issue last week. A great open source program is now distributed with a very limited set of basis data, in a new format, compared to the previous version. If I want to work with data for New Zealand, for example, I need version 2.2.

Or consider this: if I use my current employer's fat pipe to download stuff from the open source repositories, I will still be writing files to their disk and then copying them, thus creating the exact same situation that I am already in.

Weird phrase (4, Insightful)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 3 years ago | (#29178473)

Can you really "waive your rights against self-incrimination"? Like, now that he's waived his rights, he's required to incriminate himself?

Re:Weird phrase (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29178547)

If I waive my right to a peanut free environment, it doesn't automatically mean I'm eating peanuts at my desk. I can still eat a mars bar instead of a snickers if I choose. It does mean that I can no longer be certain my desk is peanut free, though.

Similarly, if you waive your right against self-incrimination, it doesn't mean you have to incriminate yourself. It just means that you can't call shenanigans when you do.

Re:Weird phrase (5, Informative)

Trepidity (597) | more than 3 years ago | (#29178583)

Yeah, phrased weirdly, but I assume it means something like, "he incriminated himself even after being advised of his Miranda right to remain silent". It might mean something stronger, though, like police actively asked him if he was waiving his right not to incriminate himself, and he confirmed that he was--- police sometimes do this so that the recorded interview is absolutely clear that the suspect knew what his rights are and was consciously waiving them, rather than speaking accidentally or because he was tricked into incriminating himself.

Re:Weird phrase (2, Interesting)

Zombywuf (1064778) | more than 3 years ago | (#29178815)

Or sometimes will be outside and ask to use your toilet. Let em in and bingo, rights waived.

Re:Weird phrase (2, Funny)

BigHungryJoe (737554) | more than 3 years ago | (#29178951)

Wow, that's a good piece of info. You know of a case where the police did that?

Never let the cops use your toilet.

Re:Weird phrase (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29179125)

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&client=opera&rls=en&hs=N62&q=waive+the+right+to+self-incrimination&aq=f&oq=&aqi=

"Yeah, phrased weirdly"

Nope, it's an extremely common phrase in criminal law.

Don't mistake your ignorance for weird phrasing, because even if it weren't extremely common, it's also very easily understood and not weird in any way at all.

Are you sure you read english?

Re:Weird phrase (2, Interesting)

nine-times (778537) | more than 3 years ago | (#29178637)

Well it's a bit weird in the wording, but it makes sense. The "right against self-incrimination" is spelled out in the 5th amendment, which includes the text, "nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself". This is the part that makes it so police have to tell you that you have the right to remain silent. You can, however, waive that right and talk to the police anyhow, thereby "waiving your right against self-incrimination."

Re:Weird phrase (3, Insightful)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 3 years ago | (#29178667)

Can you really "waive your rights against self-incrimination"?

Yes.

Like, now that he's waived his rights, he's required to incriminate himself?

No, it means that once he made the waiver, the statements he made to law enforcement can be used against him in a court of law and he cannot assert his Constitutional right against self-incrimination to have those statements excluded from evidence at trial (or, at least, provided that evidence shows that he did in fact waive those rights, an attempt to do so would fail.)

Yes and no (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 3 years ago | (#29178747)

Yes, you can waive your rights, no you aren't now required to. What it means is that you have said "I understand that what I say and what evidence I reveal can be used against me, and I'm ok with that." You would do this, presumably, because you are innocent and believe that the evidence thus won't be used against you because it won't implicate you.

More or less, waiving your rights is a formality that the police often go through, especially when related to searches, to make sure you can't change your mind later and trip them up. They get a signed statement that says that they can go ahead and search your house, ask you questions without a lawyer present and so on. If you then go in court and say "But I didn't agree to that!" They can say "Yes he did," and produce the document.

So while you have the right to not incriminate yourself, you also are free to ignore that right and to incriminate yourself. You can waive the right. Where something like that wouldn't be the case is with privileged communication. If you tell your lawyer something, they can't decide to waive privilege and disclose it because they feel like it. You can, they can't.

Holy JESUS (5, Insightful)

BitterAndDrunk (799378) | more than 3 years ago | (#29178475)

$1.2m a year to PROGRAM??

I'm in the wrong industry vertical.

Re:Holy JESUS (4, Funny)

camperdave (969942) | more than 3 years ago | (#29178537)

Maybe you're just at the wrong horizontal.

Re:Holy JESUS (5, Insightful)

wandazulu (265281) | more than 3 years ago | (#29178883)

It's not worth it. It's just not worth it. I have never been more miserable than when working in such an establishment. I never, ever, ever thought I could get used to being called an a-hole to my face for, well, anything...that's just how you referred to. And while the executive offices were likely very nice, I sat in a cube with ripped fabric, working under a flickering florescent light.

In addition to what others have said, insanely long hours, unbelievable pressure (I was told that if I didn't have something working in production by Sunday night that I should just assume I'm fired), I can say that in 1996 I took 3 days off: New Years, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. I worked every other day.

Not worth it. Absolutely not.

Re:Holy JESUS (0)

tgatliff (311583) | more than 3 years ago | (#29179109)

You dont get paid $1.2 million and sit under a flickering florescent light...

Either way.... This type of programming will eventually be labelled for what it is... High tech defrauding investors. Goldman (and others) do not make money on HFT because they are smart. They do it because of locating their server farms in the NYSE building and front running all equities. We live in a very corrupt time, and I for one Hope that someone has the "audacity" (From Obama's book) to do something about it soon before these fraudsters take out the global economy and drive up back into the middle ages..

   

Re:Holy JESUS (2, Insightful)

Lord Bitman (95493) | more than 3 years ago | (#29179225)

In exchange for no days off for one year of my life, I could be paid more money than my current prospects have me making (gross) for the next 40 years?

I'll call it worth it. Where do I sign?

Re:Holy JESUS (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 3 years ago | (#29179081)

Nah. His universe hat the wrong time topology. Too much fresh fruit!
*ahhh* *jumps aside*
Did someone say pineapple?

Re:Holy JESUS (5, Insightful)

cptdondo (59460) | more than 3 years ago | (#29178577)

Well, you earn it. My sister used to work on wall st; got all sorts of perks. Catered dinners and a chauffeur home when she worked late, that sort of thing. Thing is, the late nights, killer pressure, and absurdly long weeks were the norm. Me, I make probably a tenth of what she did, but I show up at 7:30 and leave at 4, and sleep at night. I have time for my kids and family. I've never worked on a weekend on this job. So yup, you can make $millions; you can also lose your soul.

Re:Holy JESUS (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29178699)

Your sister earned it, believe me. All those nights on her back, the long, languidly sloppy blow jobs. And the anal, for goodness sakes, don't forget about the anal.

Re:Holy JESUS (2, Funny)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 3 years ago | (#29178767)

I confirm.
This girl was DEFINITELY in the right horizontal!
(And a pretty good vertical too)

Re:Holy JESUS (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29178829)

Bullshit, your sister earned in 3 years what you do in a lifetime. 3 years aint that long.

Re:Holy JESUS (2, Insightful)

mypalmike (454265) | more than 3 years ago | (#29178839)

Lots of programmers work those kinds of insane hours without the $1.2 million salary. Indeed, the average game programmer does it for around $80K.

Re:Holy JESUS (1)

Delwin (599872) | more than 3 years ago | (#29178905)

The average game programmer does that for around $60K. You only make 80K as a game programmer if you're a Senior (thus no longer average) or you live in an amazingly expensive area (San Francisco).

Re:Holy JESUS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29179013)

The average kid programmer that has no life and plays the corporate drone you mean. Older, more experienced and skilled people tell the boss to fuck off when things are unreasonable, assuming the boss thinks they can get away with this shit, which invariably they know they can't.

Re:Holy JESUS (4, Interesting)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 3 years ago | (#29178631)

For GS, he was making approx 400k. That's not outlandish for the kind of optimized programming on optimized hardware required for automatic trade execution, which is highly time-sensitive.

But it's not just the programming skills that demand that much pay. There's lots of specialized knowledge, and some ability that likely you or I are not capable of[1].

1.2 MM for a different company? Likely the extra $800k was for the inside knowledge of what GS was doing.

[1] I don't know what your abilities are. But given my own geek-normal tendencies to overestimate my own abilities, I think it's quite possible that others do the same :)

Re:Holy JESUS (1)

BitterAndDrunk (799378) | more than 3 years ago | (#29178737)

Mmmmm I think I could pick up what they need. I don't have it NOW and certainly aren't in the market for 14 hr days.

But it does make me look at a lot of the development positions in the trading industry in a little bit of a different light.

The Quants are desperate for good coders (2, Interesting)

MichaelCrawford (610140) | more than 3 years ago | (#29179107)

I guess that million-dollar salary is evidence of their desperation.

At least every day for the past three or four years I've gotten inquiries from recruiters for Solomon-Page and Bloomberg, and occasionally other New York City investment firms. They specifically want C++ coders, which is what I'm best at.

If I respond at all, it's to say that I don't want to live in new york city.

However, the last time any of them named a specific salary potential was back in 2002 or so. I guess the pay scale has increased since then.

My theory is that they're hoping that some manner of Software Magic is going to fix all their fux0r3d mortgage-backed securities lossage. If one could really do that with quantitative investment software, then one would earn such a collosal salary, but I would hate to have to live with all the pressure they would be putting on me.

sounds fishy (4, Insightful)

shadowofwind (1209890) | more than 3 years ago | (#29178477)

He said that he had inadvertently downloaded a portion of Goldman's proprietary code while trying to take files of open source software

Why try to take open source software instead of downloading it when you need it?

 

He said he had not used the Goldman code at his new job or distributed it to anyone else.

It sounds like maybe he wanted to keep it around for possible later reference. Not uncommon, but not innocent either.

Re:sounds fishy (1)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | more than 3 years ago | (#29178823)

Why try to take open source software instead of downloading it when you need it?

It might not be publically available ; if GS based any of their internal code on GPL code that would qualify as "Open Source", distribution of the software would require distribution of the source. As a programmer he may well have had the software distributed to him, so taking a copy of the source could be legal (strictly speaking, GS should offer it to recipients of the software), and GS wouldn't be able to restrict what he did with it.

It sounds like maybe he wanted to keep it around for possible later reference. Not uncommon, but not innocent either.

We've probably all done it ; I've certainly written some bits of code that I could rewrite from scratch if I had to but don't want to. Unless it included patented algorithms (which isn't possible in my legal jurisdiction), this is just a labour saving device - the hard work is already done, it just saves some time retyping the code from memory. It would be difficult to prove. It's even harder to stop someone doing it. Whether you think it's innocent or not... well, that depends on where you draw the line between code-in-my-head and code-on-my-drive.

Re:sounds fishy (1)

shadowofwind (1209890) | more than 3 years ago | (#29179173)

In the past I haven't drawn the line exactly where you have, but I agree its a somewhat arbitrary judgment call.

The irony of course is that Goldman Sachs execs don't want him stealing 'their' code, but they have no qualms about essentially stealing gazillions of dollars from everyone else as long as their lobbyists have the legal formalities taken care of.

Print sceen (4, Informative)

parallel_prankster (1455313) | more than 3 years ago | (#29178499)

To steal code, you print screen and save it as an image file :)

Re:Print sceen (4, Funny)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 3 years ago | (#29178541)

My print screen button gives me a paper printout.
As soon as I rip off the perforated guide hole strips, I'll yell at you to get off my lawn.

Re:Print sceen (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#29179105)

Depending on the program and how many lines you can fit on your screen at once, you're looking at over 1000 image files. And even thats being on the smaller side of programs

Public Defender (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29178521)

$400k/year then $1.2mm and you use a public defender. Seems like someone is taking advantage of the system.

Re:Public Defender (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29179035)

And a million dollar house...

Why is this man using a Public Defender?

A likely excuse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29178527)

Yo, yo honah, check this shit out, yo.

Open Source, yo, it wants to be free, yo honah. So I took the code-izzle and put it on rapidshare, far out, yo honah.

And that is de end of the story, yo honah. I pleads da fif.

Separation (4, Insightful)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 3 years ago | (#29178543)

Keep your personal business and your company's business separate. For instance, I have a separate banking account whose sole purpose is to hold expense reimbursements until I pay the ccard. Why? Because it's just too damned easy to screw up and cause yourself trouble all out of proportion to the original mistake.

I don't buy it. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29178553)

He is a developer so by definition he is computer literate; you don't "accidentally" copy the wrong files (especially since they have BASH LOGS of what he did). However, even if what he says is true WHY IN THE NAME OF FUCK would you copy Open Source Software from your development machine instead of directly from the source? The potential for the appearance of impropriety is bad enough. On top of that, according to the original Slashdot article a while back he also encrypted the files. WHY IN THE NAME OF FUCK would you bother to encrypt Open Source Software files? While everything he said is technically plausible, it just comes off as fraudulent in the same manner as Hans Reiser's defense; i.e. "I'm so smart and I have an answer for everything". I suspect the next thing we hear about this story will involve a plea deal.

Re:I don't buy it. (0)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#29178717)

He is a developer so by definition he is computer literate; you don't "accidentally" copy the wrong files

      So you have a driver's license, therefore you will never ever make a mistake and have a collision...

Re:I don't buy it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29178773)

I don't buy it either. Why bother with the code from your dev machine, when you can just download the most recent source from the project repository later? Developers don't make "mistakes" like this.

Re:I don't buy it. (2, Interesting)

avandesande (143899) | more than 3 years ago | (#29178879)

So what? Regardless of what his intentions were if he didn't sell or give away the code to anyone he didn't commit a crime.

Dumb people write code every day (2, Insightful)

RingDev (879105) | more than 3 years ago | (#29178939)

I have proof!

Exception handling used for process control.
Functions with 27 exit points.
GUI threads running I/O.
Databases with tens of thousands of tables with no referential integrity.

Odds are this guy is a 110'er. "Smart" enough to copy his code. Dumb enough to do it over the network.

-Rick

Re:I don't buy it. (3, Insightful)

owlstead (636356) | more than 3 years ago | (#29178941)

I don't know, if I copy my "c:\java" folder at work I end up with literally gigabytes of open source libs, API's etc. all neatly arranged. It would take quite some time to get them back. Some sources are even hard to trace, I've got a open source Java version of the linux/GNU "file" command somewhere, taken from a media server or such. Can't find it anymore. If I would copy that folder I would have some general purpose libs that I compiled myself as well. Yes, I could just take the directory tree and be done with it, but why not copy the folder minus the company libs? And after that a mistake is easy to make.

Not that I would do such a thing, (besides being unable to move this much info from my system anyway), but I could imagine that it is likely that people do such things. Hey, maybe he was even developing the O/S software. Encryption? I am so used to encrypting *any* application that I am sending out of the door that I would probably do it automatically. If only to confuse the company virus scanner.

Re:I don't buy it. (2, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | more than 3 years ago | (#29178991)

He is a developer so by definition he is computer literate; you don't "accidentally" copy the wrong files (especially since they have BASH LOGS of what he did).

Complex source tree. Closed source gets muddled up with open source somehow. He forgets to exclude certain files. Easy to do.

However, even if what he says is true WHY IN THE NAME OF FUCK would you copy Open Source Software from your development machine instead of directly from the source? You have 30 different applications each doing a little job. You can either copy them all into a tarball, or hunt them down individually on the internet.

On top of that, according to the original Slashdot article a while back he also encrypted the files. WHY IN THE NAME OF FUCK would you bother to encrypt Open Source Software files?

This one comes down to "why not?". Maybe he put them into a zip and always adds a password. maybe he just copied them to an encrypted drive. I'm not sure about this one myself. I'd like some more information about how the files were encrypted.

Remember that form you signed... (1)

cosm (1072588) | more than 3 years ago | (#29178567)

...on the first day? The one that says something like "All code I write for the company and all derivative works are property of the company..." Looks like they were serious. Even though he may have been accessing freely available open-source files, if that code was on company servers, you can be damn sure they are going to scrutinize the heck out of him regardless of intent.

Why not just go home and get it off the internet? Why even risk it when you know how touchy companies can be about IP?

Gov't Sachs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29178575)

For once, I am hoping for the Russian dude to prevail.

the Goldman Sachs Code is illegal front running (0, Offtopic)

Dan667 (564390) | more than 3 years ago | (#29178617)

I am a bit shocked that there have been no arrests at Goldman Sachs for market manipulation and illegal front running.

Re:the Goldman Sachs Code is illegal front running (5, Insightful)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 3 years ago | (#29178763)

Why would you be shocked?

I mean, I not a conspiracy theorist by any means, but have you looked at how many ex-Goldman Sachs employees are employed in the highest levels of the US and several state governments?

And I'm not just talking about Treasury Department appointments... also in the SEC, in elected office, etc. There's a joke I've heard that the SEC doesn't sneeze if they haven't asked GS for permission first.

At any rate, the funniest thing I've heard about the whole deal is that GS told the authorities that with this software, the guy who stole it could manipulate markets and gain an unfair advantage in trade, and disrupt global markets. And yet somehow those potentials are not possible with GS being the only part holding the software?

Re:the Goldman Sachs Code is illegal front running (4, Informative)

Fnkmaster (89084) | more than 3 years ago | (#29179001)

It is illegal front running IF it looks at their brokerage business order flow and trades ahead of that. Do you have evidence that they are doing that? If so, you should be talking to the SEC, not posting on Slashdot.

Lots of firms implement high frequency trading strategies based on statistical probabilities of short term market movements, and order book depth analysis. These strategies are usually capital constrained, and a lot of work to implement and maintain, but can be levered up and earn a relative huge return on a modest amount of capital utilized, when implemented properly.

Of course, they can also fail to get timely execution of orders if there are 5 people going after the same trades, in which case 4 of you are likely to lose your arses. Unlike other areas, high frequency strategies are often (though not always) a winner-takes-all world where your network latency and code execution speed are measured in microseconds, not seconds, or even milliseconds.

The Moral Here? (1)

Afforess (1310263) | more than 3 years ago | (#29178621)

I guess the moral here is pretty much summed up by Napoleon Bonaparte.
"Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity."

Re:The Moral Here? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29178797)

If I had to pick the most likely explanation, this is it. I'm probably one of the few folks here that knew/know Serge. I think this was probably a stupid mistake. He very well may have taken prop code that he wrote, with the intention of more reference than anything else. He knew he was doing something fishy, though, seeing how he encrypted the data and tried to cover his tracks (and was thwarted by PowerBroker).

Ultra-fast trading (1)

conureman (748753) | more than 3 years ago | (#29178649)

I'd like to see that shit scrutinised and publicised. Seems a tad shady, like most of the rest of that Wall Street business.

$1.2 million? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29178663)

Holy shit. Who the hell makes that type of money? I have a PhD from a top-school, and I make 5 digits.

Re:$1.2 million? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29178957)

I guess there isn't strong demand for top makers.

In all seriousness, however, how many years of your life did you sacrifice for your degree? I didn't even finish high school and I earn six digits. I don't know what else to say... maybe thanks for making me feel even better about my decision to find my own path.

Good luck.

Wow - this seems assinine (2, Interesting)

netruner (588721) | more than 3 years ago | (#29178769)

No evidence of wrongdoing has really been presented. The article (I did RTFA) seemed to say that because some files went out, the company immediately began legal proceedings without even knowing what they were. It seems like PHBs are declaring what the "valuable" files are. I'm also shocked the way the FBI has handled this - there has to be more than we're seeing.

Having said all of that - it does look like (at least the article makes it look this way) the established firms are manipulating the legal system to prevent new competitors from getting on their feet. Slap suits used to be civil only - I would think that attempting criminal slap suits would have some legal consequences for the one filing the false (or should have known they were false) charges.

Re:Wow - this seems assinine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29178973)

No evidence of criminal activity? proprietary code that puts Goldman at the top of an industry that is worth unbelievable amounts of cash was removed from Goldman by an employee who is going to a competitor, for 3 times his already gigantic salary. That employee tried to cover his tracks.

no criminal activity? seriously? This is essentially corporate espionage. Whether he is guilty or not will be decided in court, but there is PLENTY to go on for the FBI to proceed, and this is DEFINITELY not a slap suit. This has the potential to materially impact GS in a BIG BIG way.

not that GS is a shining knight, but I don't think that anyone should sensibly be questioning whether or not GS and the FBI are out trying to stamp out competition.

He's an idiot (5, Insightful)

krou (1027572) | more than 3 years ago | (#29178857)

Mr. Aleynikov waived his rights against self-incrimination, and agreed to allow agents to search his house.

He's a f*cking idiot, and probably watched too much CSI and other cop shows where they always show people talking without their lawyer. Don't talk to the police [youtube.com] , or the FBI, or any authority without your lawyer. Doesn't matter if you are innocent, doesn't matter if you have an explanation, an alibi, whatever. Just don't do it, because you can and will say something that can be used against you in a court of law.

What open source? (1)

bastafidli (820263) | more than 3 years ago | (#29178881)

What I want to know is, what open source code was worth such risk of being accused of inappropriate behavior.

"unfairly manipulate" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29178925)

quote from referenced NYT:

At a bail hearing three days later, a federal prosecutor asked that Mr. Aleynikov be held without bond because the code could be used to "unfairly manipulate" stock prices.

So let me get this straight. GS has code to unfairly manipulate stock prices? Mr. Aleynikov is getting prosecuted because he liberated code which is being used for unfair HFT? I suppose stealing from the mafia is a crime, too.

I understand the IP issues involved. He should do time for stealing. But, it's ok for GS to be able unfairly manipulate stock prices? Apparently, we trust a for-profit investment bank a heck of a lot more then we trust Mr. Aleynikov.

GS would never unfairly manipulate the markets. http://www.zerohedge.com/article/goldmans-42-100mm-trading-days-q2-absolute-unprecedented-record-just-two-days-trading-losses [zerohedge.com]

Interesting... (4, Insightful)

frank_adrian314159 (469671) | more than 3 years ago | (#29178929)

The interesting part of the article is actually in paragraph 3 (i.e., before anything the submitter thought was important):

At a bail hearing three days later, a federal prosecutor asked that Mr. Aleynikov be held without bond because the code could be used to "unfairly manipulate" stock prices.

Of course, it's perfectly fine that Goldman-Sachs management and traders have code that could be used to "unfairly manipulate" stock prices. But when a private citizen gets their hands on something like that, look out! God knows we wouldn't want the hoi-polloi to have the same chance to "unfairly manipulate" stock prices that the big boys have.

You fool! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29179147)

The "hoi" in "hoi polloi" means "the." So when you said "the hoi-polloi," you not only put an incorrect hyphen in the phrase, but you also prepended an extra article.

If you want to appear smart and use fancy Greek phrases, get them right, or you just make yourself look stupid and pretentious and lose all credibility for your post.

(I am aware that my post has zero value, and that I am making myself look like someone who can't contribute anything more meaningful to a conversation than some nit-pick about some obscure linguistic structure about which nobody cares. But I am bored. And you are an easy target. Sue me. And while you are at it, sue me for putting an entire paragraph inside a parenthetical phrase, beginning sentences with "and" and "but," and having every fault for which I am criticizing you).

Re:Interesting... (3, Informative)

bitrex (859228) | more than 3 years ago | (#29179249)

You might be interested in the following article detailing some of Goldman's creative business practices: http://market-ticker.denninger.net/archives/1364-America-Is-Running-Out-Of-Rope.html [denninger.net]

No effort is spared in government to protect the dishonest business practices of these sheisters, and no effort is spared in the media to disguise it as the parent companies of the major media outlets benefit greatly from keeping the public in the dark.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. research analyst Marc Irizarry's published rating on mutual-fund manager Janus Capital Group Inc. was a lackluster "neutral" in early April 2008. But at an internal meeting that month, the analyst told dozens of Goldman's traders the stock was likely to head higher, company documents show.

Nothing like selling bonds out the front door and shorting them on your prop desk, right? Oh wait, Goldman did that too!

Securities laws require firms like Goldman to engage in "fair dealing with customers," and prohibit analysts from issuing opinions that are at odds with their true beliefs about a stock. Steven Strongin, Goldman's stock research chief, says no one gains an unfair advantage from its trading huddles, and that the short-term-trading ideas are not contrary to the longer-term stock forecasts in its written research.

Riiiight. And I'm the Easter Bunny.

Rendition of ... Will Continue Under Obama (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29179033)

Rendition of Terror Suspects Will Continue Under Obama [nytimes.com]

WASHINGTON â" The Obama administration will continue the Bush administrationâ(TM)s practice of sending terror suspects to third countries for detention and interrogation, but will monitor their treatment to ensure they are not tortured, administration officials said on Monday.

Right. Obama says he'll make sure they're "not tortured".

Just like he'll balance the budget, and give 95% of us a tax cut.

Riiight.

Obama's doing in Afghanistan what Bush did in Iraq. Obama still hasn't pulled US troops out of Iraq. Obama still hasn't closed Guantanamo.

And if Bush spent like a drunken sailor, Obama's spending like an entire drunken navy.

I guess that's CHANGE for you.

Proprietary code, Snow Crash. (1)

soulfight (834809) | more than 3 years ago | (#29179113)

I think I remember a part of a Sci-Fi book in Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson relating to protecting the intellectual property of code in a programmers head. It went along the lines of wiping his brain or something like that. What will stop a person from recreating the code from his head? Would be the same thing as copying proprietary code.
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