Secrets from deep inside Goldman Sachs may soon flood the Street. The supposedly secure computer system used by the firm has been compromised.
It seems like the stuff of a Hollywood spy movie, but these events are all too true. Just a few days ago, authorities arrested a Russian and charged him with “theft of trade secrets.”
And this accused spy didn't hack just any old codes. He got his hands on prized data, the algorithm used to execute Goldman’s rapid-fire stock and commodity trades. It’s sophisticated code that tells computers to buy or sell stocks as they rise and fall across key technical levels. And it’s code that generates many millions of dollars of profits every year.
And like every spy movie worth its salt, the suspect in custody says he didn't do it. (Well in this case, he did it, but says he didn't mean to.) Nope, 39-year old Sergey Aleynikov insists he did not intend to break the law – he wasn’t planning to sell the codes to our enemies – not even to Goldman’s rivals. Instead he says, he merely uploaded more data than intended.
Whether he's the victim of an innocent mistake or involved in something rather sinister one thing is very clear. The case is certain to raise questions about the security of Wall Street computer systems going forward. And it could well force Goldman to go public with the innermost secrets of their much envied trading system.
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Trader disclosure: On July 7th, 2009, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s Fast Money were owned by the Fast Money traders: Terranova Owns (MSFT), (XBI), (ABT); Terranova Owns (UNG) Puts; Adami Owns (AGU), (C), (GS), (INTC), (MSFT), (NUE), (BTU); Finerman Owns (TBT), (RIG); Finerman's Firm Owns (FCN), (MSFT), (NOK), (PBR), (RIG), (TBT), (WMT), (FLS); Finerman's Firm Owns (BAC) Preferred; Finerman Owns (BAC) Preferred; Finerman's Firm Is Short (BAC), (IYR), (IJR), (MDY), (SPY), (USO); Seymour Owns (AA), (AAPL), (BAC), (BX), (DRY), (EEM), (FXI), (INFY), (SBUX); Seymour's Firm Is Short (PBR); Seymour's Firm Owns (FCX), (NOK)