Brian Krebs worked as a reporter for The Washington Post from 1995 to 2009, authoring more than 1,300 blog posts for the Security Fix blog, as well as hundreds of stories for washingtonpost.com and The Washington Post newspaper, including eight front-page stories in the dead-tree edition and a Post Magazine cover piece on botnet operators. In 2014, he was profiled in The New York Times, Business Weekand by Poynter.org. More recently, he was invited to an “Ask Me Anything” discussion on Reddit about investigative reporting.
How did Brian Krebs get into Computer Security?
The short answer is “by accident,” and “no,” respectively. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies from George Mason University in 1994, and at the time he wasn’t much interested in computers, although I had programmed a bit on an Apple II and spent quite a bit of time visiting online bulletin boards as a kid.
It wasn’t until 2001 — when his entire home network was overrun by a Chinese hacking group — that he became intensely interested in computer security. He had been monkeying with a default installation of Red Hat Linux (6.2) on an old Hewlett-Packard system, because for some reason he had it in his head that it would be fun to teach himself how to turn the spare computer into an oversized firewall [ah, the irony]. That is, until the Lion Worm came around and locked him out of his system. Twice.
After that incident, he decided to learn as much as he could about computer and Internet security, and read most everything on the subject that he could get his hands on at the time. It’s an obsession that hasn’t let up.
Much of his knowledge about computers and Internet security comes from having cultivated regular and direct access to some of the smartest and most clueful geeks on the planet. The rest he thinks probably comes from a willingness to take risks, make mistakes, and learn from them.
He is a 47 years old, and lives with his wife Jennifer in Northern Virginia. When he’s not at the computer, he most often spend my free time reading, writing, cooking, gardening, studying Russian and playing guitar.