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Monday, 04 December 2017 09:05

Ex-WP man Krebs pulls claims of Russian links to Shadow Brokers


Former Washington Post employee Brian Krebs has taken down a story he wrote recently, claiming that a man with a Russian name could be the person who leaked NSA exploits to a group known as the Shadow Brokers.

(An archived version of the article is here.)

Krebs mentioned the takedown at the very end of a story he wrote about the arrest of a Vietnamese American who pleaded guilty on Friday to taking masses of NSA material home.

Comments were not allowed on this article, presumably to avoid criticism of his earlier claim.

Krebs did not offer any reason why he had taken down his article but it appears that he had allowed himself to be a willing vehicle for claims by a Washington DC-based security firm, InGuardians, about a man of Russian origin being behind the leak of exploits to the Shadow Brokers. In that article, he avoided citing his source for the claims until the 30th paragraph.

iTWire was one of two publications that questioned Krebs' claims and pointed out mistakes in the article; well-known blogger Marcy Wheeler was the first to do so in a post on her blog.

In reporting the arrest of the Vietnamese American, iTWire had noted the following: "(Vietnamese American Nghia Hoang) Pho's plea also puts paid to theories being floated that the person who leaked NSA files to the Shadow Brokers was a man of Russian origin. As... pointed out, this theory was floated by former Washington Post employee Brian Krebs."

Krebs is yet to remove a tweet pointing to the story on his Russian claims, though that may disappear soon.

Update: Krebs has been contacted for comment.


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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.



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