Investigative Journalist Brian Krebs Receives M3AAWG Mary Litynski Award for
Protecting Online Community; Krebs Urges More Industry
Cooperation Against Abuse
SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- (Marketwired) -- 02/18/14 -- With an intense
passion and impressive self-taught technical skill, investigative
journalist Brian Krebs has persistently and courageously shed a rare
light on the dark underbelly of the Internet that has resulted in the
disruption or shutdown of innumerable cybercrime operations.
Recognizing the importance of this new breed of journalism and its
role in protecting the online community, Krebs was honored by the
Messaging, Malware and Mobile Anti-Abuse Working Group as the
recipient of its M3AAWG Mary Litynski Award at the organization's
meeting Tuesday in San Francisco.
Writing on his KrebsOnSecurity.com blog, Krebs has extensively
tracked and been the first to report on major exploits and security
threats affecting the industry. He is credited with uncovering major
retail and credit bureau cyber break-ins including the 2013 Target
holiday shopping intrusion, exposing hidden malware threats and
identifying clandestine activities of online criminals.
Responding to the award, Krebs noted that he often works on stories
with security professionals who are also passionate about protecting
their end-users. However, from his journalistic vantage point, he
pointed out that the industry as a whole needs to be more willing to
share vital abuse information within the vetted community to help
identify and block cybercrime as it develops.
"Unfortunately, the crooks are doing a better job than the security
industry of sharing information right now. They also have gotten
better at not putting all their eggs in one basket and spreading
around their parasitical behavior, making it harder to detect.
"We need a better way to gauge the reputation of various online
enterprises in the ecosystem. We need to develop a self-defense
immune system that can provide feedback when a hosting provider or
network operator starts showing it is inflected with a high
concentration of parasites," Krebs said.
Among the breaking stories Krebs has researched and reported over the
-- He discovered and alerted retailers of recent financial data theft at
Neiman Marcus, arts and crafts store Michaels and Target.
-- He identified recent data theft at Marriot, Hilton, Sheraton and
-- He exposed the sale of personal data from a major credit reporting
service to an underground identity theft service.
-- He exposed the availability of personal identity information taken
from the three major credit reporting services, including social
security numbers and birth dates, on a site that sold inexpensive
credit reports directly to the public.
-- Through elaborate research and detailed tracking, Krebs identified the
McColo hosting provider as one of the largest sources of spam at the
time, leading to the shutdown of the service.
"Brian Krebs has created a whole new world of journalism, proving it is
possible for a dedicated reporter to make a good living by pursuing
in depth investigative reporting that has a noteworthy impact on
society. He quite often focuses on the narratives no one else wants
to cover, yet these turn out to be the stories that no one can stop
talking about once they hit the street," said M3AAWG Co-Chairman
The 2014 award was announced at the M3AAWG 30th General Meeting,
February 17-21, in San Francisco with 40 sessions covering mobile
security, malware identification and mitigation, Web security, public
policy and other issues. The Voice and Telephony Anti-Abuse Workshop
held during the meeting with industry, government and academia
professionals identified key threats and actions to help reduce
telephone services exploitation. The M3AAWG 31st General Meeting will
be in Brussels, June 9-12, 2014.
The annual M3AAWG Mary Litynski Award recognizes the lifetime
achievements of a person who has significantly contributed to making
the Internet safer for all. It seeks to acknowledge individuals
driven for the greater good. As with the 2014 award, submissions for
the 2015 award are open to the public at
About the Messaging, Malware and Mobile Anti-Abuse Working Group
The Messaging, Malware and Mobile Anti-Abuse Working Group (M3AAWG)
is where the industry comes together to work against bots, malware,
spam, viruses, denial-of-service attacks and other online
exploitation. M3AAWG (www.M3AAWG.org) represents more than one
billion mailboxes from some of the largest network operators
worldwide. It leverages the depth and experience of its global
membership to tackle abuse on existing networks and new emerging
services through technology, collaboration and public policy. It also
works to educate global policy makers on the technical and
operational issues related to online abuse and messaging.
Headquartered in San Francisco, Calif., M3AAWG is driven by market
needs and supported by major network operators and messaging
M3AAWG Board of Directors: AT&T (NYSE: T); CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL);
Cloudmark, Inc.; Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA); Constant Contact (NASDAQ:
CTCT); Cox Communications; Damballa, Inc.; Facebook; Google;
Mailchimp; Oracle/Eloqua; Orange (NYSE and Euronext: ORA); PayPal;
Return Path; Time Warner Cable; Verizon Communications; and Yahoo!
M3AAWG Full Members: 1&1 Internet AG; Adobe Systems Inc.; AOL; BAE
Systems Detica; Cisco Systems, Inc.; CloudFlare; Dynamic Network
Services Inc.; Experian Marketing Services; iContact; Internet
Initiative Japan (IIJ, NASDAQ: IIJI); LinkedIn; McAfee Inc.; Message
Bus; Mimecast; Nominum, Inc.; Proofpoint; Scality; Spamhaus; Sprint;
A complete member list is available at
Linda Marcus, APR
1+714-974-6356 (U.S. Pacific)
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