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Security of a Strategy setting up in a Dedicated Server
Started:October 30th, 2016 (05:42 AM) by chrisbh Views / Replies:319 / 9
Last Reply:November 10th, 2016 (03:06 AM) Attachments:0

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Security of a Strategy setting up in a Dedicated Server

Old October 30th, 2016, 05:42 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Security of a Strategy setting up in a Dedicated Server

Hi folks,

i was thinking of setting up my NT7 platform on a Dedicated Server in Chicago together with my strategy...

Problem: I have so much love for my algo that i can't sleep at night and I would be destroyed if some admin guy or hacker intended to steal it....

From traders who already have experienced using a Dedicated Server, did you take any particular prudence to crypt your algo ?
Your feedback is highly appreciated!

Kind regards
Chris

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Old October 30th, 2016, 12:20 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Usually with dedicated servers you have admin access to server. You can setup encrypted disk and put your nt strategy there.
No one should be able to login into your machine as well, as you can always delete any other users from the system, as you have admin access.


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Old October 30th, 2016, 12:44 PM   #3 (permalink)
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chrisbh View Post
Hi folks,

i was thinking of setting up my NT7 platform on a Dedicated Server in Chicago together with my strategy...

Problem: I have so much love for my algo that i can't sleep at night and I would be destroyed if some admin guy or hacker intended to steal it....

From traders who already have experienced using a Dedicated Server, did you take any particular prudence to crypt your algo ?
Your feedback is highly appreciated!

Kind regards
Chris

Let's assume your code has been stolen, do you really the thief will use it with no details about what you had in mind in writing it, with no details on the risk/reward ratio, etc? This would be suicidal for the thief account...

On Windows you can use BitLocker, on most Linux platform you can encrypt folders, nobody could then read your files with the encryption's password. Both have performance impacts.

Usually in trading, those who know don't talk, and those who talk don't know. (Al Brooks)
success requires no deodorant! (Sun Tzu)
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Old October 30th, 2016, 01:39 PM   #4 (permalink)
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chrisbh View Post
Problem: I have so much love for my algo that i can't sleep at night and I would be destroyed if some admin guy or hacker intended to steal it....

They have spies watching out for just this sort of post on the web....

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Old October 30th, 2016, 01:51 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Are you a NinjaTrader user?

 
Thanks for the answers.

Without falling into some paranoid dilemma, i do think that most servers are "hackable"..Look at the pictures of celebrities stolen from the icloud or some accounts data from Steam or Linkedin and many others...The concern is legitimate...

Now providing the fact that someone could steal my strategy, this b*****d could definitely use it on the fly after a quick optimization of the parameters followed by a walk farward analysis.

Thanks for the tip with Bitlocker, I'll investigate that... Is it what you are using on your remote server?

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Old October 30th, 2016, 02:01 PM   #6 (permalink)
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chrisbh View Post
Without falling into some paranoid dilemma, i do think that most servers are "hackable"..Look at the pictures of celebrities stolen from the icloud or some accounts data from Steam or Linkedin and many others...The concern is legitimate...

They all were hacked by figuring out their password.

Make sure you are using very strong password for your remote server, and on top of that use encrypted disk with completely different password for it. And you should be good. Even if someone would gain physical access to your server, they still will not be able to get any info from hard drive.

And if you are super paranoid, you can use your own server in datacenter, you can build it, configure it, and then ship it to datacenter where they will install it into the rack. That way you know 100% there are no backdoors into your server.

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Old October 30th, 2016, 02:10 PM   #7 (permalink)
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chrisbh View Post
Thanks for the answers.

Without falling into some paranoid dilemma, i do think that most servers are "hackable"..Look at the pictures of celebrities stolen from the icloud or some accounts data from Steam or Linkedin and many others...The concern is legitimate...

Now providing the fact that someone could steal my strategy, this b*****d could definitely use it on the fly after a quick optimization of the parameters followed by a walk farward analysis.

Thanks for the tip with Bitlocker, I'll investigate that... Is it what you are using on your remote server?

The security measures in place on our servers are not public.
Stolen email/Facebook/iCloud/... accounts is different from finding a private server IPaddress in the middle of billions and billions of IP addresses.

Usually in trading, those who know don't talk, and those who talk don't know. (Al Brooks)
success requires no deodorant! (Sun Tzu)
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Old November 10th, 2016, 12:45 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Honestly, let's say there really is someone stalking you, has your entire apartment wiretapped and has his telescope trained on your screen from the building across the street, and that you're making $100M per year using that algorithm. And that the said person goes through meticulous efforts to steal this algorithm from you by hacking into your server.

Then what?

No one in his right state of mind is going to run an algorithm that makes $100M per year because it only takes a nuanced change in 1 line of code to accidentally convert that algorithm into one that loses $100M per year. Sure he can study what you're doing in your algorithm and get some ideas of what's good about your algorithm, but that's a rare skill and at best he's going to understand only a fraction of what is going on without the exact same data and tools around it.

Now then maybe what's more realistic is that this algorithm is making you, say, $200k per year, and even that's being rather generous. (I doubt someone who is making $200k per year from electronic trading isn't aware that, with basic deployment/ssh practices, it's difficult to reverse engineer compiled code that is deployed in volatile memory and purged when the system goes down.)

If I had the skill to hack into an extranet in a secured data center that is designed to guard against even the most experienced security experts as well as the development skills to understand the nuances of a trading strategy, then I'm pretty sure I'd be able to find a $200k per year job as a UNIX systems administrator or devops with much lower risk. Or I could just easily crack a big enterprise's database systems - large organizations often have more vulnerabilities because they have more points of exposure, and almost certainly have more valuable data (e.g. credit cards, client info, trade secrets).

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Old November 10th, 2016, 12:53 AM   #9 (permalink)
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^Not to mention, most hackers don't even care what you're doing on your host, they just want to harvest your cycles for a botnet. The sort of corporate espionage you're talking about is only trained at high-profile targets.

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Old November 10th, 2016, 03:06 AM   #10 (permalink)
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It would not be impossible to write a second algo that checks if other instances are pushing the same orders to the book.

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