Media (FIN)

Media Publishing errata in news articles that cover security and hacking was the impetus of the entire Errata project. At a time when security and hacking were becoming increasingly popular, journalists were blindly stumbling into this new field with a notion that they could leave fact-checking and integrity behind. There seemed to be a serious disconnect between security articles and anything else journalists covered, as if the field was only worth pieces that were as much op-ed as fact.

Writing to a journalist or their editor usually proved a waste of time. Constructive criticism was ignored or met with a smug attitude that some 'hacker site' couldn't possibly be right or relevant, while the journalist refused to admit any error. As the bandwagon grew, so did the number of articles and errata. It would have literally be a full-time job to read, analyze, debunk and post errata on articles that have become overly repetitive, dramatic and overly liberal with the use of the words "hacked" or "hacker".

Even worse, with researchers and vendors inventing new terms to name slight variations on older attacks or offerings, the current state of media has turned into Buzzword Bingo with ill-defined terminology at best. Articles barely scrape the surface of security including events, technology, exploits or anything else marginally related. Fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD) is still a powerful and over-used weapon in the hands of journalists.

As a result, this section of the Errata project is no longer updated. Instead, we occasionally reply to articles posted to the InfoSec mail list, challenging the journalist when a given article stands above the rest in poor quality.


Articles are sorted by publication, then journalist and finally by date. For the errata, the article will be printed, with comments in red text (in brackets), followed by any general observations about the article. Original article links may be dead, but are kept for reference. Accuracy and integrity in journalism must be checked and held at high standards. There is no excuse for anything less.

Publication Reporter Article Title Original Date of Article Original Article
ABC Martinez Computer Subculture Faces Generational Questions 02.04.99 original
ABC Martinez Hacker Tools Getting Smarter,Watch Out for Vandals 04.29.98 original
AFP Software piracy cost 11 billion dollars in 1998: study 05.25.99
All Net Cohen The Seedy Side of Security 08.01.98 original
AntiOnline Vranesevich A Criminal In Expert's Clothing 08.02.00 original
AntiOnline Vranesevich AntiOnline Hacked? 08.05.99 original
AntiOnline Vranesevich Mitnick's Life - As It Stands Now 08.02.99 original
AntiOnline Vranesevich Does The Dead Cow Stink? 07.08.99 original
AntiOnline Vranesevich Get The DIRT On PC Phone Home 06.30.99 original
AntiOnline Vranesevich AntiOnline tracks F0rpaxe 06.29.99 original
AntiOnline Vranesevich AntiOnline Mans Battle Stations 06.02.99 original
AntiOnline Vranesevich F0rpaxe Joins the Force 06.01.99 original
AntiOnline Vranesevich Who REALLY Hacked Ebay? 04.15.99 original
AntiOnline Vranesevich FAA Experiences Turbulence 04.29.99 original
AntiOnline Vranesevich What Kind Of Hackers Head The Culture? 04.23.99 original
AntiOnline Vranesevich Head of gH Raided 05.29.99 original
AP Danish Hacker Picks Wrong Victim 01.21.99 original
AP Thousands of passwords accessed by cyber prowler 08.13.98 original
AP Flaw found in state Web site 04.??.98 original
AP Computer intrusion prompted Air Force security review 12.15.97 original
AP Frothingham Teen Hacker 'Coolio' Pleads Guilty 01.02.01 original
BBC Grady UK Hacker risked astronauts lives 07.03.00 original
BBC Ward 'Trojans' open online accounts 08.24.00 original
Boston Globe Ulsch We're not ready for Cyberspace attacks 05.23.00 original
Business First Troester Experts say stymie hackers by using several safeguards 01.18.99 original
Business Wire Infowar IDG's Report: Vigilante Companies 01.12.99 original
Business Wire MEMCO Hurwitz Group names buffer overflow as significant threat 02.03.99 original
Calgary Herald McClearn Firms wage electronic war on industrial espionage 01.18.99 original
Chicago Tribune Greising Hackers Hardly Huggable 05.25.00 original
Chicago Tribune Moran Now Hiring: Hackers (Tattoos Welcome) 04.12.98 original
Chicago Tribune Schodolski ..a skilled person could shut off electricity.. 12.27.98 original
CNET Clark Network Associates adds Linux product 02.08.99 original
CNET Festa Former hacker site changes course 08.09.99 original
CNET Festa A Net home for hackers 01.19.99 original
CNET Heskett Service targets network security 04.07.98 original
CNET Hu TCP/IP "hole" leads to alert 12.22.98 original
CNET Kanellos HP reveals security initiatives 10.05.98 original
CNET Luening Cyberguard offers firewall for NT 04.28.98 original
CNN Kellan Hackers: the good, the bad, the ugly 09.03.98 original
Computer Weekly Pettitt Unscrupulous Security Firms Prey on Unsuspecting Users 04.23.98
ComputerLife Canon Digital Terrorism 03.??.98
ComputerWorld Didio Hackers Find More Ways In 06.01.98 original
ComputerWorld Fusaro Internet worm can crash corporate servers 01.29.99 original
Computing Masters Security - Return of the Hack 04.30.98 original
ComputerWorld/Guardent Thornton May Info Security 'Teachers' Need More Learning 10.01.01 original
Contra Costa Times John Simerman Hacking not just for geeks anymore 03.03.98 original
Daily Mail Britons Hack into Pentagon 02.26.98
FCW Frank/Brewin Hacker group targets Navy sites 06.23.99 original
FCW Frank/Brown Feds batten down the online hatches 06.09.99 original
Financial Times Murray-Brown Hacker takes Ireland offline 08.17.00 original
GCN Karen Schwartz Hackers are ubiquitous, malicious and taken far too lightly expert says ??.??.??
GCN William Jackson Network security is poor and is getting worse, a poll of 61 organizations finds 07.21.97
GJSentinel Vader GJSentinel, US Attorney Suthers, Colorado 04.25.03 original
Happy Hacker Meinel Happy Hacker News 09.22.99
Happy Hacker Meinel Inside Happy Hacker 07.02.99 original
Happy Hacker Meinel Latest News 06.26.99
Herald Sun Barnard Hackers Fight Net Monsters 06.24.98
Herald Sun Bell Who's Watching Your Keyboard 04.22.98
Herald Sun Jennison Hackers Pay no Heed to Chaos they Might Cause 08.12.98
Herald Sun Probyn Millions Lost to Phone Hackers 05.14.98
Herald Sun Computer Hackers Copy Mannesmann Mobile Phone Sim Card 04.27.98
InfoWar Infowar Staff Enforcers Hackers Group Make Peace 03.29.98 original
Infoworld Essick Navy caught breaking into WDCS 05.08.98
Infoworld Young Securing the Nest 10.02.98 original
Internet Business McMullen The Big Hack Attack 10.01.98 original
InternetWeek DelMonico Encryption is Key to Securing Data 06.22.98
InternetWeek Yasin The Enterprise Strikes Back 12.04.98 original
Iron Box Technologies spyd3r A Brief History of Hacking 06.08.00 original
Jacksonville Business Journal Eric Cravy Hackers hit tech firm 05.25.01 original
Jiji Press NEC NEC To Start Computer Security Services 04.10.98
Lan Times Al Berg Is your web site secure? 07.21.97 original
Liberation (FR) Marie Guichoux Response to an article 03.16.00 original
Mazu Networks PR Company Code Red commentary... 07.31.01
MSNBC Sullivan 'Netpionage' Costs Firms Millions 09.12.00 original
Nando Rosen Reno calls for help in battling cybercrime 06.20.00
National Post Hunter White Hat hackers are new 04.28.03
Net Live Matt McGrath Meet the Hacker Trackers ??.??.?? original
Netly News Declan McCullagh Big Eight Ball 12.10.97
Network Week Kimber Thieves Trick Crackers Into Attacking Networks 02.16.99 original
Network Week Modem on the Desk Earns a Pink Slip at Sun 03.18.98
Network World Fusion Gibbs With pcANYWHERE, you can hack away without really trying 02.12.99 original
Network World Fusion Messmer Security Expert explains NYT breakin 09.18.98 original
Network World Fusion Schwartau Guidelines for would-be corporate vigilantes 01.11.99 original
Network World Fusion Schwartau Corporate vigilantes go on the offensive to hunt down hackers 01.11.99 original
Network World Fusion Schwartau It's getting easier to dig up DIRT on criminals 07.06.98 original
Network World Fusion Messmer NT 4.0 flunks cryptography test 01.11.99 original
Networking+ Hacked Off with Computer Crime 05.??.98
New Scientist Kleiner/Walker Melissa's mayhem 04.10.99 original
New York Times Richtel Federal Cybercrime Unit Hunts for Hackers 06.02.99 original
New York Times Richtel Response to a Richtel article 10.07.99 no original
NEWS/400 Cheryl Ross News/400 Goes after Credit Card Number in Ethical Hack 04.??.98
Newsbytes Bartlett Hacked FreeWebStuff Site Still Offline 08.21.00 original
Newsbytes Emigh Network Cracking Turns Meaner With Fracking And Crypting 05.28.98 original
Newsbytes Gustavson Axent Takes A SWAT At Hacker Intrusions 03.23.98
Newsbytes Menefee Gaping Hole Found In Windows Internet Security 07.06.98 original
Newsbytes Pietrucha NASA Nabs E-mail Bomb Hacker 04.27.98 original
Newsbytes Woods Hacker Cracks EBay's Web Site 03.22.99
Newsweek - CIA Hacking? 07.05.99
Observer Wazir Hacker cries foul over FBI Snooping 10.21.01 original
PA News Turnbull Secret Service Hackers Can't Crack Intranet 04.21.98 original
PA News Watkins CyberAngel Swoops in for Extra Security 05.20.98 original
PC Magazine Lipschutz Filter Out Misbehavin' Java 01.20.98 original
PC Week Taschek It gets really scary when hackers join security firms 01.21.00 original
PC Week Online Kerstetter Low-tech break-ins a big problem 06.31.98 original
PC World Mainelli Surf-for-pay sites jeopardized by hackers 08.18.00 original
PC World News Radio McWilliams High School Virus Prankster Facing Prison 03.13.98 original
PR Newswire FORE Systems Hollynet ATM network deemed secure 08.??.97
PR Newswire Netway 2000 Fire door protects against Net raiders ??.??.??
PR Newswire Siemens Siemens and Internet Security Systems Announce Worldwide Partnership Agreement 02.24.98
PR Newswirie Meganet Meganet Corp. Ships Virtual Matrix Encryption 04.01.98
Press Democrat Bob Norberg How teens tapped into Pentagon 02.28.98
Reuters Poletti First-Ever Insurance Against Hackers 06.14.98 original
Reuters Quinn Pentagon Cyber-Hackers Claim NASA Also Cracked 04.23.98 original
Reuters IBM Successfully Hacks A Client's Computer Network 03.23.98
San Fran Chronicle Jon Swartz Another Hacker Targets PCs ??.??.98 original
San Fran Chronicle Stroh Hacker Backers Disrupt Newspaper Web Sites 01.11.99 original
San Fran Chronicle Wallace Next major attack could be over Net Power grids, 911 shown to be vulnerable 11.12.01 original
San Fran Examiner Beer Card games on the Web 12.13.98 original
Signal Robinson Make-My-Day Server Throws Gauntlet to Network Hackers 05.??.98 original
St Petersburg Times Trigaux Computer security's rock 'n' roll pioneer 06.15.98 original
Straits Times Pentagon's computers open to attacks 08.30.99
Stuff:Canterbury Armstrong Christchurch fraud squad out to nail hackers 12.01.98 original
Sunday Times Hargrave Software Hits Back at Hacker With Viruses 05.24.98 original
Sunday Times Ungoed-Thomas Riot organisers prepare to launch cyber war on City 08.15.99 original
TechWeb Douglas Hayward Hackers' Dark Side Gets Even Darker 06.19.97 original
TechWeb Douglas Hayward Consultant Warns Of Ex-Hackers 06.11.97 original
TechWeb Patrizio First Virus Written In Java Found 08.20.98 original
The Advocate Gyan FBI Agent describes front line of war on cybercrime 05.26.00 original
The Age - Defence expert warns cyber-terrorism is latest weapon 05.26.00 original
The Register Thomas Crackers are common criminals 04.07.00 original
The Star Howell Hack attack: My Search for Zyklon 04.03.99
The Telegraph Rajeev Syal Hackers did NOT steal Bill Gates' credit card info (reply) 03.27.00 no original
Time Magazine McCullagh Codebreakers 04.20.98 original
UPI Warminsky Scientists Look to Combat Cyber-terror 01.28.99 original
Upside Radcliff Hackers for Hire 01.14.99 original
US News Koerner A man-child messenger for the hacker world 10.11.98 original
Vanity Fair Burrough Barbarians @ The Gate 05.21.00
The Village Voice Martin Virtually Helpless 09-11-02 original
Vnunet -- Hacker hits Taleban Website 10.23.01 original
Vnunet/Qualys Middleton Linux based Trojan gets a closer look 07.09.01 original
Wall Street Journal Takahashi Hackers and Virtual Perps: Beware of ICSA.net Sleuths 09.30.99 original
Washington Post Suro The Hackers Who Won't Quit 09.01.99 original
Wired Bunn Conference joins spooks with hackers 08.11.97 original
Wired Glave Cracking the Mind of a Hacker 01.20.99 original
Wired Glave Confusion Over 'Cyberwar' 01.12.99 original
Wired Glave Crackers Set Sights on Iraq 12.30.98 original
Wired Glave AntiOnline Founder Under Fire 06.04.98 original
Wired Glave Crackers: We Stole Nuke Data 06.03.98 original
Wired Glave Should Feds Trust Windows NT? 05.06.98 original
Wired Glave Crackers Set Sights on Submarines 04.24.98 original
Wired Glave Have Crackers Found Military's Achilles Heel? 04.21.98 original
Wired Glave Network Security Seal a Sticky Wicket 04.08.98 original
Wired Glave Analyzer: Primed to Kill Since 6 04.01.98 original
Wired Glave Hacking Posse (Mostly) Leaves Web in Peace 03.27.98 original
Wired Glave Hackers: We Fight Pedophiles, Not Pentagon 03.06.98 original
Wired Glave Hacker Raises Stakes in DOD Attacks 03.04.98 original
Wired Glave Pentagon 'Hacker' Speaks Out 03.03.98 original
Wired McKay Coming Soon: Back Orifice 2000 06.30.99 original
Wired Oakes MS Office Leaks Sensitive Data 06.29.98 original
Wired Sprenger Hacker Pundits Squabble 06.07.99 original
Wired Stutz Can You Believe What You Read? 08.16.98 original
ZDNet Bellamy Linux snares security tool 11.06.01 original
ZDNet Berinato/more Microsoft's Outlook: Cloudy security 05.15.00 original
ZDNet Beriniato NT Server bug exposes user groups, users 11.30.98 original
ZDNet Maria Seminerio FBI warns 'electronic Pearl Harbor' possible 03.25.98 original
ZDNet Nicolaisen/Costa Hackers Go Pro 02.01.99 original
ZDTV Wellen Hackers wipe out an ISP during hacking contest 04.09.98 original
ZDTV Winkler Freemail Vulnerabilities 02.10.99 original
ZDTV Winkler Cable Modem Security 02.03.99 original
ZDTV E-bay hacked 03.22.99
Ziffdavis Seltzer Black Hat: Security Conference or Burglar School? 07.31.03 Original
Michal Revah A fast-growing Web of fear ??.??.??
No one cracked this Mac ??.??.??

 

In the past, a handful of journalists or other bodies have debunked articles in their own writing. Kudos to these journalists for stepping up to the plate and speaking out against the lies.

John Leyden on Qualys Linux Trojan spotted in the wild
Brian McWilliams on Meinel 'Happy Hacker' Drops A Bomb On Security Experts
Thomas Greene on Jones/DIRT Reg duped by crime-busting D.I.R.T Trojan
Steve Silberman Kid-Porn Vigilante Hacked Media (se7en)
Crypt Magazine Crypt Mag debunks the myth of the Blitzkrieg Server
Douglas Hayward Electronic Attacks On Banks A Myth
Adam Penenberg Penenberg debunks Phantom Mobsters and high tech crimes
Charles Cooper on NAI Cyber terrorism? How about cyber hucksterism!
Adam Penenberg Penenberg smokes out New Times Republic and S. Glass
Wired Pentagon trashed for 250k figures
Thomas Greene Walsh and America's Most Wanted
Lew Koch Cyberstalking Hype
Joe Barr Chris Klaus @ ISS a White Hat?
James Rainey Sacramento Bee says Diana Griego Erwin could not confirm the identities of her sources

Copyright 1998-2011 by Attrition.org. Permission is granted to quote, reprint or redistribute provided the text is not altered, and appropriate credit is given.