SocGen Trader Was No Super Hacker

Kerviel gained passwords through careless IT security
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 4, 2008 3:56 PM CST
Societe Generale bank CEO Daniel Bouton, second left, leaves a court at the Paris courthouse, Monday Feb .4, 2008 after hearings in a case of money laundering operation between France and Israel. French...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – While he’s been called a computer genius, the access Jerome Kerviel obtained to the Société Générale’s systems was probably the result of terrible IT security, writes PC World, not a successful hack of the French bank’s computers. Managing a bank’s passwords is a task often given to the lowest-level IT employee, which Kerviel was before his infamous stint as a futures trader.

Analysts say such a weak point in otherwise sophisticated security systems, which in this case resulted in Kerviel having unlimited levels of access available to him, is symptomatic of the lack of integration between IT and the highest levels of business. IT security “is something you've got to live with, rather than being viewed as an integral part of the business structure," said a Professor of Communications law at the University of London.