Let’s try to understand, why Brian Krebs is called “principal defender of the Internet”? How he has survived during the most massive DDoS-attack in the history? Why Special Forces has searched heroin in his house?
Brian Krebs was born in 1972 in Alabama, USA. During the period from 1995 to 2009, Krebs has been working as a reporter in The Washington Post, where he wrote about IT and computer security, and also kept the Security Fix blog.
An interesting fact: in 2001, Brian’s computer was blocked by a hacker. After this incident, Krebs has decided to devote his career to covering the problems of privacy in the Internet and investigating cybercrime.
Brian left the position of full-time writer in The Washington Post at the end of 2009 and launched the portal KrebsOnSecurity.com. His new blog Krebs started by writing about the consequences of cyber organized crime group operations in Eastern Europe, which stole tens of millions USD through fraud in online banking. These materials caught up the attention of thousands of people and made them see cybercrime.
During the first year of the blog’s existence, the author has published a series of investigations on large cases of fraud in the Internet. No one was wound up behind bars at that time. However, several large Internet providers were left without customers. Customers decided to refuse their services, as Krebs had proved that these providers were servicing cybercriminals.
The best reporter is in crosshairs at hackers and Special Forces
In 2010, Krebs, as they say, really was noticed as a reporter. At that time, Brian (the first in the whole world) has found a computer virus, which later became known as Stuxnet. A new bad luck threatened to sabotage uranium enrichment plants in Iran. It’s terrible to think what could happen if the virus was found only after it had completed its mission.
During his career, Brian received many awards, including:
- 2004 – Carnegie Mellon CyLab Cybersecurity Journalism Award of Merit.
- 2005 – CNET News.com listed Security Fix as one of the top 100 blogs, saying “Good roundup of significant security issues. The Washington Post’s Brian Krebs offers a userful, first-person perspective”
- 2009 – Winner of Cisco Systems’ 1st Annual “Cyber Crime Hero” Award.
- 2010 – Security Bloggers Network, “Best Non-Technical Security Blog”
- 2010 – SANS Institute Top Cybersecurity Journalist Award
- 2011 – Security Bloggers Network, “Blog That Best Represents the Industry”
- The Krebs pearl was recognition by National Press Foundation, “Chairman’s Citation Award” (2014).
However, there were failures, as well. In 2016, the blog KrebsOnSecurity.com was subjected to the most massive DDoS-attack in the history of the Internet. The flow of “junk” traffic reached 620 Gbit/s. In each package there was a message “godiefaggot”.
According to Krebs’s words, this attack was revenge for the fact that he, essentially, exposed publicly in his investigation the people that are a background of the service for organizing DDoS attacks called vDOS. This service officially existed for testing websites loads, but was used, in fact, to disrupt the operation of websites. For two years, its owners have earned about 600 thousand of dollars.
Akamai, one of the largest companies involved in website maintenance, has refused to service Brian’s blog, since the attack was so strong that the paid customers began facing some problems.
In the same year, the Ukrainian hacker Sergei Vovnenko has bought heroin for the amount of two bitcoins and sent it to Krebs’s home by post. A couple of months later Special Forces broke into the house of the reporter with a house-check, but it was a false alarm.
However, these actions couldn’t shut up the mouth of the “defender of the Internet”.
Krebs is a cancer. How hackers set up the Internet against Brian
In March 2018, Brian Krebs published in his blog the last part of one of the most ambitious investigations in his career. His goal has been to determine who exactly now owns the Coinhive service for the browser-based mining. In spite of a good cause, Krebs strongly hurt by his words the community of the German imageboard Pr0gramm (pr0gramm.com), which is closely related to Coinhive operators. As a result, its users have eventually organized a very unusual protest action – they have done so that the fatal illness “cancer” people began to associate with Brian.
According to experts of 360 Netlab, service Coinhive retains leadership in this issue.
Let’s return to the main problem. From the German language “Krebs” is translated as “cancer”. The Pr0gramm community has decided to gain benefit from this and collected huge donations “to fight cancer.” The fundraising campaign was called # KrebsIsCancer. For a few days, the community has collected more than $ 126,000, and each business-angel received special badges with the name of the campaign.
Brian Krebs: forever
Against all odds and all hackers’ attempts to spoil the reputation of the famous reporter, Brian continues to write about cyber security, investigate famous crimes and disclose the identities of the most dangerous hackers.
In one of the latest materials Krebs discusses the problem of accessibility of personal data on the Internet – with the help of only the user’s first and last names, hackers can destroy the life of a particular person. And this is not an exaggeration.
However, so far, there are no loud investigations in the Brian’s blog – the author also writes about “boring” day-to-day things: the last Windows update for example. No matter how it may sound, the devil never sleeps, especially in the Internet. So, that means it is necessary, at least periodically, visit KrebsOnSecurity.com – this is a useful habit that can save lives.