Security in Context: The BeyondTrust Blog

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How Much is Goldman’s Code Worth?

Posted December 6, 2010    Peter McCalister

The trial of a former Goldman Sachs programmer accused of stealing source code to take to a competitor has begun in somewhat of a public spectacle. The Wall Street Journal unveiled some particularly interesting details. For example, the programmer was one of the highest paid in the company with a $400,000 annual salary, but competitor Teza Technologies offered him over $1 million in total pay including a $700,000 bonus.

Greedy much?

So how does the highest paid programmer of one of the largest investment banks in the world get a nearly three-fold salary hike by a much smaller competitor? Ok, ok, he’s innocent until proven guilty, but if he is guilty, I would bet a good chunk of cash that the $1 million paycheck was the price the company was paying for Goldman’s code.

Here’s the breakdown. He was offered $300,000 in salary, $700,000 in bonus and $150,000 in profit sharing. Here’s my question to you – which portion of his pay do you think was (could be) the bribe and could the programmer have gotten more? How much is Goldman’s source code worth?

Personally I think he was drastically underpaid for the value of the code, but a clean million is plenty to motivate someone to steal data despite the actual value of the stolen property being much higher.  Unfortunately this could be construed as a case of dealing with the symptom instead of the disease.  Had a least privilege solution been instituted then he wouldn’t have had the ability to misuse privilege and accomplish the theft at any price.

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Additional articles


Closing the Vulnerability Gap

Posted October 7, 2015    Brian Chappell

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Scottrade Breach: Identified by Federal Officials

Posted October 5, 2015    Morey Haber

Late afternoon on October 2nd, news leaked out of another large security breach, now at Scottrade. The identity count of records, in the millions again (4.6 million is the latest). This breach comes on the second day of national CyberSecurity month, the first being Experian/T-Mobile breach.

3d image Data Breach issues concept word cloud background

Experian/T-Mobile Data Breach: When 2 Days is not Enough

Posted October 2, 2015    Morey Haber

On October 1, Experian admitted full responsibility for the loss of T-Mobile customer data. 15 million user records dating back to 2013 were effected in the breach, with data including sensitive information that may be decryptable like social security numbers and drivers licenses.