How Brian Krebs Became the World’s Leading Cybercrime Investigative Journalist

Brian Krebs, author of KrebsOnSecurity, did not become a cybercrime expert overnight.  As his website says, he wasn’t trained in computer security and actually stumbled upon the field by accident. It wasn’t until the former Washington Post reporter fell victim to Chinese hackers taking over his entire home network in 2001 that he found his true calling. As he writes, “It’s an obsession that hasn’t let up.”

“Much of my 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,” Krebs said. “The rest I think probably comes from a willingness to take risks, make mistakes and learn from them.”

You probably know Krebs as the guy who first discovered and reported on the Target and Home Depot data breaches. He was also the first to break the Neiman Marcus, Michael’s, Jimmy Johns and Kmart breaches, as well as Heartland — the largest single data breach to date. 

Before he began his work as the modern-day cyber Shaft, Krebs worked as a reporter for The Washington Post from 1995 to 2009, authoring blog posts for the Security Fix blog, as well as hundreds of stories for and The Washington Post newspaper. He achieved notoriety investigating cybercriminals’ illicit activities, uncovering massive data breaches and the theft of consumers’ personal and financial information. Krebs was the first journalist to report on the malware that would later become known as Stuxnet.

So, how does he know about data breaches before the companies that are being breached do? How does he stay one step ahead? Don’t worry; I’m not going to tell you to come to our 26th Annual ACFE Global Fraud Conference in Baltimore, Md., June 14-19, 2015, if you want to find out. But I will give you hints. He is passionate about his work, he knows how to follow an online trail and he stays one step ahead of the guys working night and day to steal another corporation’s customer data.

In addition to speaking at next year’s ACFE Global Fraud Conference, Krebs will also be accepting the ACFE’s Guardian Award. The award is given annually to a journalist “whose determination, perseverance, and commitment to the truth have contributed significantly to the fight against fraud.”

Read more about Krebs and follow his next discoveries at and check back regularly on to get the latest conference updates. Also, be sure to keep your eyes open for Krebs' new book, Spam Nation, scheduled to come out November 18.