The proprietary software used by large Wall Street firms to guide their trading of stocks and bonds is valuable, extremely valuable. The products probably take years to create and enhance so that they can detect movements in the market that might take a human much longer to discover. The software can help large banks create millions of dollars in profits.
Reuters, in an exclusive report, has found out that a cyber-thief came close to stealing one of Goldman Sachs' (GS) most valuable assets. According to the news service "a Russian immigrant living in New Jersey was being held on federal charges of stealing secret computer trading codes from a major New York-based financial institution." The news report identifies the company in question as Goldman.
This robber was caught, but other Wall Street firms may not be so lucky. The trading codes from the largest banks are almost certainly worth a great deal to traders, not just in the U.S., but all over the world. It is a product that could certainly be sold to trading interests in Asia and Europe.
Wall Street turns out to be like any other industry having trouble protecting software-based assets. Hackers are so talented that even code with the best security is at risk. If one of the theft attempts works, day traders could be using the most sophisticated trading software in the world.
Douglas A. McIntyre is an editor at 24/7 Wall St.