Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Man Charged With Stealing Code From Federal Reserve Bank

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the was-that-wrong? dept.

Crime 199

wiredmikey writes "A Chinese computer programmer was arrested by U.S. authorities in New York on Wednesday, on charges that he stole proprietary source code while working on a project at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The man arrested, Bo Zhang of New York, worked as a contract employee developing a specific portion of the GWA's (Government-Wide Accounting and Reporting Program) source code at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York where the code is maintained. The complaint alleges that in the summer of 2011, Zhang stole the GWA code, something he admitted to in July 2011. Zhang said that he used the GWA Code in connection with a private business he ran training individuals in computer programming."

cancel ×

199 comments

Lesson 1 (4, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38755872)

Don't steal from the government - it hates the competition

Re:Lesson 1 (4, Insightful)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | more than 2 years ago | (#38755904)

Fed is not part of the government. Its a private entity controlled by the members.

Re:Lesson 1 (5, Informative)

redmid17 (1217076) | more than 2 years ago | (#38756038)

The people who run the Fed are largely appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate

Re:Lesson 1 (3, Interesting)

Oxford_Comma_Lover (1679530) | more than 2 years ago | (#38756124)

The Fed is as close to godhood as one gets in public life. You only serve for fourteen years (unlike federal judges), but you also make the money. I suppose the Fed could be abolished, but short of that, you're pretty much set.

Re:Lesson 1 (3, Insightful)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | more than 2 years ago | (#38756830)

The Board of Governors are appointed by the President and their salaries are set by the govt, but the input with which the Fed takes decisions is largely from the member banks. Its one of those strange public-private partnerships, that I would consider mostly private.
 
  And It goes without saying that the board of governors are usually former Wallstreet barons.

Re:Lesson 1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38757442)

Actually, most are economists. The true Wall Street barons would never take the drastic pay cuts to work on the Board of Governors or the FOMC. Those guys are getting paid under 300K a year, which ain't bad but is nothing close to the millions you can rake in on Wall Street.

Re:Lesson 1 (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38756142)

Fed is not part of the government. Its a private entity controlled by the members.

You mean all that paper money I keep in my pillow, mattress and bags in my closet with ' Federal Reserve Bank' are not issued by the actual Department of the Treasure, a cabinet position below the US President, but some private firm?!?

I've been swindled! I'm going to complain about this as soon as I finish throwing away my pillow, mattress and all those heavy bags. >:(

Re:Lesson 1 (5, Informative)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38756668)

The Federal Reserve does not print or issue money. Never have and hopefully never will. Those bills are printed by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and the coinage is minted by the United States Mint.

The Federal Reserve only puts them into circulation when the Board of Governors authorizes it to do so. It is a bit complicated, but the Federal Reserve itself is a private entity that happens to have a board of publicly appointed figures.

they issue electronic money all the time (2)

decora (1710862) | more than 2 years ago | (#38757066)

soooooo yeah.

Mr. Bo Zhang-gles? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38756672)

Did he steal the code and dance out of the place?

Re:Lesson 1 (1)

Lando (9348) | more than 2 years ago | (#38756906)

No, the Fed is an independent organization within the government and it's run like a corporation in many ways, but it is still part of the government and acts as the central bank for the government. The fact is that there is a meme that says it is not a part of the government, but that is false. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_Reserve_System [wikipedia.org]

Re:Lesson 1 (2)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | more than 2 years ago | (#38756994)

From the wiki (the one you linked) : The Federal Reserve System has both private and public components, and was designed to serve the interests of both the general public and private bankers. The result is a structure that is considered unique among central banks. It is also unusual in that an entity outside of the central bank, namely the United States Department of the Treasury, creates the currency used.[12]

Also from the wiki "According to the Board of Governors, the Federal Reserve is independent within government". Just because the board of governors consider themselves to be part of the govt, doesnt mean they are part of the govt. Its like IBM saying it wants to make peoples life better.

Re:Lesson 1 (2)

Lando (9348) | more than 2 years ago | (#38757242)

No they are one of the 9? independent agencies within the government that are directly overseen by congress and not a secretary or member of the executive branch. Wikipedia is a starting point, not an authority on any subject since anyone can go in and change things however they want. I provided the link as a place to get started, not as part of my argument. I barely glanced at the information on the page having researched this a couple of years ago. If nothing else the link to the official government webpage should be there somewhere or the associated pages linked to the article. I don't really have the time to argue the point either way. If you are interested in it, read up on the subject, don't just read to confirm your own viewpoint.

Re:Lesson 1 (2)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | more than 2 years ago | (#38756496)

Don't steal from the government - it hates the competition

I realize that you are joking. But it makes me wonder why so many on /. would consider this "stealing". Especially when the majority will argue the semantics of stealing when it's regarding music or entertainment data. Less than three hours prior to this,the Megaupload story [slashdot.org] has many defending piracy. Granted, the ramifications of people being arrested outside of the US for piracy is scary. But still, what's the difference between the bits that were taken for the banking code and bits taken for entertainment?

Re:Lesson 1 (2)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#38756754)

He had a contract with the organization from whom he copied the code, which (implictly or explicitly) covers that he couldn't do this.

People downloading from Megaupload haven't signed anything agreeing not to copy such files.

Re:Lesson 1 (5, Insightful)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 2 years ago | (#38757006)

In addition to your comment, the source code was never available for sale to any other party. It wasn't "infringement" in that it cost the Fed lost sales, it lost them exclusive access to sensitive data that they only wanted a limited number of people to have access to. The financial loss isn't related to lost sales, but in potential security implications. Apples and Oranges.

In this case, it was more like theft because the Fed lost exclusive use of the software, something that can't be given back once it is in the wild. Piracy is completely different, where 100 copies of a file can cost lost sales of 1 or 2 actual copies, but no loss of use or security is involved, only revenue. With music and movies, you WANT many people to have access to the product, but at a cost. With exclusive software, you want NO ONE to have a copy. Neither is ideal if you own the "property", but they aren't the same.

Re:Lesson 1 (1)

s73v3r (963317) | more than 2 years ago | (#38757214)

No, that's bullshit. That's like saying you're free to kill anyone you like, as you haven't signed anything saying you agree to laws against murder.

NOTE: I am not comparing copyright infringement to murder. I am simply comparing choosing to disobey one set of laws to another.

Re:Lesson 1 (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#38757412)

I was merely explaining the difference between the actions, not claiming one should be free from the legal consequences of such actions.

But defending file sharing doesn't necesseraly mean one defends breaking the law; it may also mean on defends the abolishment of copyright laws, which would make the action legal.

Lesson 2 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38756632)

Don't trust Chinks.

Re:Lesson 1 (1)

SpongeBob Hitler (1848328) | more than 2 years ago | (#38756988)

Don't steal from the government - it hates the competition

Suicide. It's a game your whole family should play.

Citizenship not required? (4, Interesting)

magarity (164372) | more than 2 years ago | (#38755890)

Every government IT job like this I've ever seen has US citizenship required, not even green card required. How did this guy get in?

Re:Citizenship not required? (1)

ewanm89 (1052822) | more than 2 years ago | (#38755918)

Okay, it's not government technically. And why can't he have citizenship?

Re:Citizenship not required? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38756944)

And why can't he have citizenship?

I assume you suspect a racial inference based on the guy's name? Read the article, he's Chinese. As in, from China.

Re:Citizenship not required? (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38755924)

Every government IT job like this I've ever seen has US citizenship required, not even green card required. How did this guy get in?

Perhaps most other COBOL programmers are retired?

Re:Citizenship not required? (2)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#38756678)

He knows COBOL? Pardon him and hire him immediately!

Re:Citizenship not required? (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 2 years ago | (#38756810)

It's pronounced 'retarded'.

Re:Citizenship not required? (1)

pclminion (145572) | more than 2 years ago | (#38756954)

Seriously? I've heard many bad things about COBOL, a lot of it from my own mother who coded in it for many years... But I've never heard a bad word about a COBOL programmer. Can you imagine having to work with that? They're anything but retarded.

Re:Citizenship not required? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38757204)

my Mother? coded COBOL? sheesh now even _I_ feel old

Re:Citizenship not required? (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38757414)

Seriously? I've heard many bad things about COBOL, a lot of it from my own mother who coded in it for many years... But I've never heard a bad word about a COBOL programmer. Can you imagine having to work with that? They're anything but retarded.

Of course I'm joking (mostly, though a lot of COBOL programmers are retired by now) banks were extremely slow to ditch code which was written (largely in COBOL or RPG) in favor of the Flavor-of-the-Month, un-tested, un-vetted server languages of the internet age. When Y2K loomed they brought in legions of old COBOL programmers (many of whom were compensated quite well) to review millions of lines of code and patch where necessary. Likely a lot of that code is still there, interfacing with Federal Reserve System or as part of it. Just because it's old code doesn't make it bad code.

While COBOL isn't my thing, if I were doing purely financial work I might give it another look. Java, Perl, PHP, etc, aren't what I would really trust, even now, for financial transactions which could happen in the millions daily and hit decimal numbers in the hundreds of billions, where every digit integrity is essential. That was something COBOL was good at.

Re:Citizenship not required? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38756006)

Because it is obvious this guy was not a citizen, right..

Read TFA? Yeah, I did, thanks, I really trust some fucktard with an article where "Chinese..." is the beginning of the headline.

Fuck off.

Re:Citizenship not required? (3, Informative)

ToadProphet (1148333) | more than 2 years ago | (#38756056)

The Bloomberg article [bloomberg.com] states that he's a Chinese citizen in the US on a work visa

Re:Citizenship not required? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38756600)

IMO, people that are not U.S. citizens should not be working government jobs or jobs at companies/organizations vital to national security.

Guess somebody slipped up..

Re:Citizenship not required? (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 2 years ago | (#38756932)

Not slipped up. Since 2001, we have allowed Chinese into our vital systems. That is why they quit asking for access to our tech. They are simple stealing it.

Re:Citizenship not required? (1)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 2 years ago | (#38757136)

You can pretty much be assured that his "private business" was actually state business - Chinese state business, to be exact. It's pretty damn well known that any Chinese national you've got on your network is likely to be trying to steal passwords and fish for holes in your network to report back to the homeland government...

Re:Citizenship not required? (5, Funny)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 2 years ago | (#38756168)

Initech has had trouble finding people who can write bank software lately, especially after their building burned down.

Re:Citizenship not required? (1)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 2 years ago | (#38756682)

The story says that he's Chinese, not that he's a Chinese citizen. Usually, the FBI labels Chinese non-US citizens as "Chinese nationals". In this case, since only the "Chinese" label is being used, it probably only means that he's of Chinese born, or of Chinese origin, but nothing else.

Also, since he "stole" the code for his own private training business, I wonder if it's not just the code he authored that he stole. I'm not trying to excuse his actions, I'm just trying to explain why would someone be so cavalier about teaching a class with such materials (usually, programmers teaching classes have to list the examples they're going to use in the agenda they advertise, otherwise nobody shows up).

Zhang faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $250,000, or twice the financial gain derived from the offense or twice the gross financial loss to the victims.

Also, I wonder how they're going to calculate the gross financial loss to the victim (unless the real victim here is the middleman between the government and the individual doing the work, not the government itself). It's not like the government was planning to sell that software. So even if it paid 9 million dollars to get that code written, it doesn't sound like they lost anything by his actions (unless they can prove they have to do additional work trying to make it more secure because of him).

Re:Citizenship not required? (3, Informative)

RenderSeven (938535) | more than 2 years ago | (#38756902)

The story says that he's Chinese, not that he's a Chinese citizen.

The Bloomberg article [bloomberg.com] states that he is in fact a Chinese citizen

since he "stole" the code for his own private training business

No, he claims he stole it for his own private business. May or may not be true, but it sure sounds better than admitting espionage.

Re:Citizenship not required? (4, Informative)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 2 years ago | (#38756974)

Zhang is a Chinese citizen, said a person with knowledge of the matter who didn’t want to be identified because the information wasn’t public. [bloomberg.com]
The software system relates to the “tracking of the billions of dollars that are electronically transferred every day in the U.S.’s general ledger,” prosecutors said.
Zhang has been in the U.S. on a work visa since 2000, said another person familiar with the matter who also didn’t want to be identified because the information isn’t public.

Kind of destroys your theory there.

Re:Citizenship not required? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38757452)

This is true. The Chicago Fed enforces this policy. I work in a department that develops and supports software there and we won't hire anyone who is not a U.S. citizen, not even anyone with a work or student visa. Security first.

Just being stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38755920)

I'm sure in his boilerplate contract, there are articles and clause that prohibit what he did. Of course, he didn't read it. Now he'll pay the price for doing this.

With people like these... (0)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 2 years ago | (#38755928)

Is it a wonder that there is a growing contempt for China and its actions?

I believe we've gone way past the "three times is enemy action" for incidents like these.

Re:With people like these... (2, Funny)

EEPROMS (889169) | more than 2 years ago | (#38756054)

1. this has nothing to do with China 2. USA is just as bad as China when it comes to covert internet access, just that China doesn't run around complaining like a little girl when it happens.

Re:With people like these... (2)

Oxford_Comma_Lover (1679530) | more than 2 years ago | (#38756172)

2. USA is just as bad as China when it comes to covert internet access, just that China doesn't run around complaining like a little girl when it happens.

I can't decide if this is misogynist, bully-ist, antidemocratic, or just silly.

Your other point is good, though. It's a guy teaching. I don't have any problem with him using the code, he just should have asked permission and they should have been willing to give it to him. Problem is they see it as something it's worth making an example over--possibly destroying his life because he didn't see a problem with using a snippet of code that, in all likelihood, it was not a problem to use.

Re:With people like these... (4, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38756114)

Is it a wonder that there is a growing contempt for China and its actions?

I believe we've gone way past the "three times is enemy action" for incidents like these.

Sensationalism by the author, playing to the xenophobic among the indigenous readership. It should have been 'Programmer Steals Code ..' Not 'Chinese Programmer Steals Code ...'

Now, if he were an agent of the PRC, a point of nationality would be highly relevant, but in this case it does not serve fair news reporting.

Re:With people like these... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38757338)

If he were an agent of the PRC, would the media know?

Besides, there's another error in the headline: it should be 'Programmer Copies Code ...'. Unless he deleted the original.

Re:With people like these... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38756148)

Because we all know Western European countries do not perform espionage and intelligence on the US. And industrial espionage does not exist within US borders, right? I follow you correctly, you xenophobic piece of shit..

If the chinese are guilty of anything, it is that they just not very good spies. considering they are behind most of the rest of the world by over 100 years in some cases they're actually doing pretty good.

I'm not a white knight for the fucking Chinese, but this type of idiocy doesn't help anyone's cause (anti-China or not). I care about US national security, but I don't care for twats like you. Actually if your indignation was over how poorly the Chinese perform espionage, I might actually accept your opinion on the matter, but you're just a, you know, moron.

Re:With people like these... (4, Insightful)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#38756272)

I have more contempt for the fuck that hired a Chinese contractor to work on government systems while people are begging for jobs here

Re:With people like these... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38756910)

What if he was the best for the job?

Re:With people like these... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38757698)

Nope, the cheapest.

Re:With people like these... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38756322)

Yep, I agree! It's time we wipe out everyone that isn't American on the map!

Re:With people like these... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38756570)

I think most people have more contempt for the banks and the federal reserve than they do for china.

Re:With people like these... (3, Insightful)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | more than 2 years ago | (#38756780)

Is it a wonder that there is a growing contempt for China and its actions?

If all it takes is for one citizen to copy a bit of code for you to hold his country in contempt, then you must really hate America after all those people lost billions of dollars in the Enron scandal. Of course, I chose the Enron example at random, but there are probably thousands of criminal acts occurring across the country every day. If you are going to just single out the ones committed by people of Chinese decent then think that says more about you than China.

Why? (1)

Cyphase (907627) | more than 2 years ago | (#38755992)

Why would he want that crap code?

Re:Why? (4, Insightful)

tomhath (637240) | more than 2 years ago | (#38756070)

FTA: "he used the GWA Code in connection with a private business he ran training individuals in computer programming" Training individuals who are interested in the Fed's software? Now who (cough) would be interested in that?

Lesson: read what you sign (3, Insightful)

RightwingNutjob (1302813) | more than 2 years ago | (#38756030)

I work in a place that makes you sign an NDA. Betcha he had to sign one too. Whether blueprints or code, industrial espionage is a real crime, both morally and legally.

Re:Lesson: read what you sign (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38756186)

Indeed. There's nothing more immoral than the idea that information which allows humanity to advance can be owned and kept secret.

Could be worse, I guess - could be information controlled by a private company with special control over the money supply. And worse, could be information related to accounting which ensures its systems are being operated properly.

Re:Lesson: read what you sign (0)

HornWumpus (783565) | more than 2 years ago | (#38756960)

I know something more immoral then that: Letting a sucker keep his money.

Re:Lesson: read what you sign (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38756254)

I'd never sign such a thing, unless I owned a stake in the company.

Intelligent business owners know that skilled software developers are worth their weight in pure platinum.

Re:Lesson: read what you sign (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38757476)

Legally, yes. Morally, maybe not. There's a good case to be made that corporations, not being people, shouldn't have any right to privacy.

Unless (1)

bussdriver (620565) | more than 2 years ago | (#38757610)

His mistake was he should have covered himself by stealing a few billion dollars and giving a few million dollars to election campaigns. Or may he should have incorporated as a bank...

Really? (5, Informative)

wbr1 (2538558) | more than 2 years ago | (#38756088)

Zhang said that he used the GWA Code in connection with a private business he ran training individuals in computer programming.

Correctly edited version: Zhang said that he used the GWA Code in connection with a private business he ran training Chinese Hackers in Reserve Bank Code.

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38756476)

I guess at Fox that's correct editing. Meanwhile the original properly attributes the statement to the defendant, and anyone with reading comprehension skills can tell a defendant's statement is only that, not fact.

But what the hey, if you want to declare fact and guilt before the investigation it presented to a judge, I hear that's pretty big in China. You'd do well there.

Re:Really? (1)

wbr1 (2538558) | more than 2 years ago | (#38756574)

I guess at Fox that's correct editing. Meanwhile the original properly attributes the statement to the defendant, and anyone with reading comprehension skills can tell a defendant's statement is only that, not fact.

But what the hey, if you want to declare fact and guilt before the investigation it presented to a judge, I hear that's pretty big in China. You'd do well there.

It was meant as sarcasm. Grow a sense of humor.

Re:Really? (1)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 2 years ago | (#38756818)

Correctly edited version: Zhang said that he used the GWA Code in connection with a private business he ran training Chinese Hackers in Reserve Bank Code.

That's all right then. Otherwise he would probably have been in violation of the work visa that Bloomberg says he held.

Nothing Interesting (2)

brainzach (2032950) | more than 2 years ago | (#38756128)

“Government-Wide Accounting and Reporting Program” (GWA), a software system owned by the Department of the Treasury that is used mainly to manage central accounting and reporting functions and processes associated with budget execution, accountability, and asset management.

Just sounds like some average bloated corporate code that was stolen. Nothing noteworthy.

Re:Nothing Interesting (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38756428)

“Government-Wide Accounting and Reporting Program” (GWA), a software system owned by the Department of the Treasury that is used mainly to manage central accounting and reporting functions and processes associated with budget execution, accountability, and asset management.

Just sounds like some average bloated corporate code that was stolen. Nothing noteworthy.

He was probably using it as an example of obfuscated code You can't beat code writtent to government specifications for cruft, obfuscation and general unuseability.

Re:Nothing Interesting (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | more than 2 years ago | (#38757012)

Sounds like governmentese for general ledger.

I'm guessing it was a huge mess of import and mapping, one per government accounting system 'incorporated'. Awful soul draining work. Decades of government accounting tricks to unscramble, unify, and apply standard book cooking to present a unified coherent lie.

Use it like a club on the students: 'Do you want to end up maintaining this?'

Send him to a federal pound me in the prison (-1, Troll)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#38756134)

For a very long time and then deport him.

The source code might look like this.. (1, Funny)

teknx (2547472) | more than 2 years ago | (#38756188)

private class LeechAmericanPeople{}

meanwhile just a handful of hours away (4, Interesting)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#38756198)

There is an unemployed American programmer begging for minimum wage temporary night shift job, and eating spaghetti for the 4th night in a row, meanwhile these shits are hiring Chinese contractors

God bless America!

Re:meanwhile just a handful of hours away (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38756710)

There is an unemployed American programmer begging for minimum wage temporary night shift job, and eating spaghetti for the 4th night in a row, meanwhile these shits are hiring Chinese contractors

God bless America!

Wait, what's that I hear? The sound of misplaced sense of entitlement?

Re:meanwhile just a handful of hours away (1)

s73v3r (963317) | more than 2 years ago | (#38757276)

There's absolutely no sense of entitlement at all. A country should be putting the employment of it's citizens ahead of those of other countries.

Re:meanwhile just a handful of hours away (1)

ironjaw33 (1645357) | more than 2 years ago | (#38757354)

There's absolutely no sense of entitlement at all. A country should be putting the employment of it's citizens ahead of those of other countries.

You got it. I applied for a job in Canada recently and it was stated on the application under no uncertain terms that Canadian citizens would be given preference.

Re:meanwhile just a handful of hours away (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38756820)

Well, the desks, chairs, rugs, and clothing are all from China, so why not the person using them?

Re:meanwhile just a handful of hours away (1)

sdguero (1112795) | more than 2 years ago | (#38756836)

Where is he? Because we are hiring. Unless he expects to sit in his cube and eat spaghetti for 4 days in a row, not writing code. Because that seems to be a recurring theme among our candidates.

Re:meanwhile just a handful of hours away (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38756916)

You should at least provide a keyboard. Writing COBOL by blowing into a straw must be really hard!

Re:meanwhile just a handful of hours away (1)

happyhamster (134378) | more than 2 years ago | (#38757576)

Surely smells like bs. You can't find decent developers? In THIS economy?

A few things to check:
- are your expectations realistic, or are you looking for PhD with tons of experience while advertising for recent grad to "save some money"?
- are you paying above $10-$15/hr or whatever minimally decent rate is in your area?
- do you provide a semi-decent work environment: hardware, software, atmosphere?
- are you running a sweatshop (be honest)?

Your attitude is disgusting. I hope that your "company" never finds those hypothetical employees and quietly folds like it should.

"WEAR IT UNTIL YOU LOVE IT!" -- hollywood enema (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38756244)

Carlin - The Real Owners Of America

"The real owners are the big wealthy business interests that control things and make all the important decisions. Forget the politicians, they're an irrelevancy. The politicians are put there to give you the idea that you have freedom of choice. You don't. You have no choice. You have owners. They own you. They own everything. They own all the important land. They own and control the corporations. They've long since bought and paid for the Senate, the Congress, the statehouses, the city halls. They've got the judges in their back pockets. And they own all the big media companies, so that they control just about all of the news and information you hear. They've got you by the balls. They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying  lobbying to get what they want. Well, we know what they want; they want more for themselves and less for everybody else."

"But I'll tell you what they don't want. They don't want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don't want well-informed, well-educated people capable of critical thinking. They're not interested in that. That doesn't help them. That's against their interests. They don't want people who are smart enough to sit around the kitchen table and figure out how badly they're getting fucked by a system that threw them overboard 30 fucking years ago.

"You know what they want? Obedient workers  people who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork but just dumb enough to passively accept all these increasingly shittier jobs with the lower pay, the longer hours, reduced benefits, the end of overtime and the vanishing pension that disappears the minute you go to collect it. And, now, they're coming for your Social Security. They want your fucking retirement money. They want it back, so they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street. And you know something? They'll get it. They'll get it all, sooner or later, because they own this fucking place. It's a big club, and you ain't in it. You and I are not in the big club."

"This country is finished."

Maybe better background checks? (2, Insightful)

Karmashock (2415832) | more than 2 years ago | (#38756250)

Seems every other day we're hearing about some chinese scientist or programmer that steals US proprietary secrets of some kind. Why does this keep happening? I thought the whole point of a background check was to avoid this sort of thing. Review where you f'ed up in the background check. See what you knew at the start that should have been a red flag and then add it to the disqualified list. If you were fooled at that point or didn't get enough information then see to it that you're harder to fool and gather more information. This is just sad.

Do your damn background checks.

Re:Maybe better background checks? (3, Insightful)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 2 years ago | (#38756840)

You can do all the background checks you want. If a representative of the Chinese government says "Here's 20K$ to hand us some code", a very large percentage of people will say "Deal". If a representative of the Chinese government says "hand us the code you work on, or your relatives in China disappear", a very large percentage of people will say "what sort of media would you like it on".

Re:Maybe better background checks? (1)

ironjaw33 (1645357) | more than 2 years ago | (#38757508)

You can do all the background checks you want. If a representative of the Chinese government says "Here's 20K$ to hand us some code", a very large percentage of people will say "Deal". If a representative of the Chinese government says "hand us the code you work on, or your relatives in China disappear", a very large percentage of people will say "what sort of media would you like it on".

Part of the process for some of these checks, especially for security clearances, is to find and weed out the candidates who are likely to disclose confidential information. It probably wasn't too rigorous in this case since security clearances and the extensive background checks that go with them are reserved only for US citizens. Getting a clearance, however, can be quite extensive, with investigators running down and questioning everyone you've lived and worked with for the past decade, administering polygraphs, and analyzing your behavior and personality to see if you are likely to keep quiet or blab to the first foreign agent you see. Of course, some still fall through the cracks.

And his other client, of course (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 2 years ago | (#38756276)

WAS THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT.

All part of the plan. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38756312)

"Zhang said that he used the GWA Code in connection with a private business he ran training individuals in computer programming" I wonder if anyone asked him if he was teaching them the code so that they might be able to create an exploit that would use elevated security from the system to worm about the treasury dept gathering all sorts of very important information . Which once collected sounds like it could create a situation where a foreign government might be able to force a default by calling for dept repayment which could collapse the world economy. Read about the program http://www.fms.treas.gov/gwa/index.html

Not good at all.

Or like Alonzo Harris said in Training Day: "This shit's chess, it ain't checkers".

please for the love of god read more books (2)

decora (1710862) | more than 2 years ago | (#38757090)

if you would read Henry Paulson's "On the Brink" he specifically talks about how the Russian government tried to do EXACTLY this in 2008 with the help of the Chinese government. But the Chinese government told the Russians to fuck off and die in a fire. Why ?Partly because Henry Paulson had been the CEO of Goldman Sachs and heavily involved in China for the past several years, . . . his book mentions far more discussions with Chinese leaders during the crash of 2008 than he mentions people like Dick Cheney or even George Bush.

none of this has anything to do with 'hackers' or 'source code'.

No (0)

florescent_beige (608235) | more than 2 years ago | (#38756334)

He didn't steal a pattern of symbols, he copied it.

Seems obvoius (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38756348)

[insert joke about Source Safe here]

Blown out of proportion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38756396)

My initial reaction is that this is blown way out of proportion. Sure, maybe what he did was technically against the law, but all of us do things that are technically in violation of the law every day. In the state I live in, it is technically illegal to ride a bicycle without making proper hand signals, but it is also illegal to remove your hands from the handlebars while the bicycle is in motion. This doesn't mean that nobody rides bicycles, just that we rely on a little bit of common sense when the laws are applied so the people who do things that are really morally wrong get punished and other people don't.

Honestly, taking some snippets of source code from a proprietary project and showing snippets as code samples to aspiring programmers doesn't seem morally wrong. At least not 10 years in jail and $250k fine wrong. It seems like the type of thing that maybe you get a small fine for and a stern talking to.

Now, I might be wrong here. The article really has very little details about what standards were like on the project-- it's possible that every day workers had to swear an oath not to steal code, and they had to work in Mission Impossible style clean rooms with booby-trapped floors, and everybody knew how extremely sensitive the code in question was. In that case, sure, what he did is morally wrong and 10 years seems reasonable.

But I suspect that it's more likely that the environment was relaxed. Maybe lots of programmers took their code home with them because there were stupid security protocols in place that prevented real work from getting done, and management intentionally looked the other way because they knew that's what the developers needed to do in order to be effective at their jobs. And the code in question is probably some module that does some boring shifting of numbers from one column to another, nothing that seemed particularly sensitive. In that case, well, I'd expect that justice would demand a much less harsh sentence, closer to a slap on the wrist and a stern talking to than a life-ruining multi-year prison sentence.

I think that it's especially telling that the article says that "stealing is stealing, it doesn't matter what the intent was". That's the kind of argument you make if you know that you have a morally flimsy case where somebody violated the letter but not the spirit of the law.

Of course, naive and idealistic opinions like these are probably why I am neither a judge, nor a lawyer, nor a politician.

Re:Blown out of proportion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38756638)

Or maybe the Fed and the FBI know more that they care to say publicly about this guy's past. Been in in the US for over ten years, worked at some pretty big financial institutions...just saying

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-01-18/man-said-to-be-charged-by-u-s-in-federal-government-computer-data-theft.html [bloomberg.com]

Zhang has been in the U.S. on a work visa since 2000, said another person familiar with the matter who also didn’t want to be identified because the information isn’t public. Zhang worked previously at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) and Bank of America Corp., the person said.

Re:Blown out of proportion (2)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 2 years ago | (#38757038)

The same Goldman Sachs and BOA that were cracked after he worked there?

oh dear (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38756430)

can you imagine what would happen if someone got hold of the federal reserve's pin number? they should probably call the bank and have them change it and maybe even issue a new card. this is the federal reserve, they should not leave this to chance!

It was the subroutine ... (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#38756582)

... that implemented, "One for you. One for Goldman Sachs. One for you ...."

why isn't it open anyway? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38756726)

Why does the Federal Reserve have interally-developed, proprietary software? What is the reason that this source code cannot be open? I don't mean to imply that it is some big secret, but perhaps the Fed should ask itself whether or not any damage has been done?

China thanks you (2, Insightful)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 2 years ago | (#38756914)

America is LOADED with Chinese spies. China is in a cold war with the west, and the west is disregarding it. Sad.

Racists (5, Informative)

digitallife (805599) | more than 2 years ago | (#38756930)

Holy f#ck people are racist on here.
The dude was using some code he wrote to train people. Can we assume guilt of something *after guilt has been proven*? Pretty please?

Re:Racists (4, Interesting)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 2 years ago | (#38757028)

Yeah, I can not image why a Chinese national would work on federal reserve, CONTINUE DOING CONTRACTING, but grab code to train ppl, except that he has no students. In addition, a co-worker who knew that he copied the source code to an external drive, later claimed to have lost said drive. [bloomberg.com]

There are times that racism is here. There may be posts here that are racists. HOWEVER, the vast majority are NOT racists, but simply pointing out somebody that very likely is a spy.

Re:Racists (1)

s73v3r (963317) | more than 2 years ago | (#38757296)

In this case, it appears to be fairly warranted. Although I agree with the Innocent until Proven Guilty thing.

Many things that ppl do not realize (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38757008)

GSA and BOA are somehow tied to China. In particular, many of their contract employees are paid via Chinese banks. THere is a LOT of weird things going on, that few realize it. Oddly, that little oddity was started back around 2005.

This code should be open-sourced? (0)

HongPong (226840) | more than 2 years ago | (#38757050)

There should be a git repository for all the code used for such core functions as the US Treasury ledger. Of course that would cause reporting to improve -- imagine if each budget operation got spit out in tweets or API-compatible calls. That would really mess up the routine at the Federal Reserve for laundering drug money & creating credit lines for foreign criminal banker arch weasels, so it's going to be closed source as far as they can take it.

Needs a better name (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38757196)

They missed a trick. They could have called it the GWAR [wikipedia.org] Program.

Bad code sample? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38757398)

I bet it was a code that he got so he can show his students how NOT to write code.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...