Sean Gallagher on Muck Rack

Sean Gallagher Verified

IT Editor — Ars Technica
As seen in:  Ars Technica
Covers:  open source, arduino, web development, social networks, car technology, software, defense industry, internet, technology, technology of business, cyberwarfare, cybersecurity, biotech, internet culture, big data, business of technology, hardware hacking, internet of things, networks, information technology, enterprise technology, google, open government
Doesn't Cover: funding rounds

IT editor at Ars Technica. Ex-sysadmin, ex-director of IT strategy, ex-Navy. Currently planning Arduino robot uprising. Posts are my own, my employer's.

Sean Gallagher's Biography

Ars Technica's IT Editor, overseeing enterprise and general information technology coverage. Over 20 years of tech journalism experience, from test lab to news beats. Winner of two American Society of Business Publication Editors awards and one Neal award. Past positions include Managing Editor, InformationWeek Labs; Technology Editor, Baseline Magazine; Editor-in-Chief of Defense Systems.

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American Association of Business Publication Editors National Gold Award

2003 - Case History
With Larry Barrett, for McBusted—a case study of the failure of McDonalds' attempt to computerize the entire business process of its franchisees right down to how often the fryer oil was changed.

What was your first job as a journalist?

As a freelancer, I wrote about trade finance. My first full-time gig was as assistant editor for a DC computer newspaper.

How is social media changing news?

It's an ongoing open conversation with sources and readers. It creates transparency.

How do you prefer to be pitched on stories?

We don't take pitched stories very often. I prefer PR people understand Ars before wildly pitching, or I may never have time to respond.

Hackers promise “Christmas present” Sony Pictures won’t like — This weekend, the "Guardians of Peace"-the cyber-attackers who brought Sony Pictures Entertainment's network down in November and have since shared over a terabyte of the company's internal data-made two more dumps of SPE data to file sharing sites and torrents. The second of the two, on Sunday, was the e-mail box of Sony Pictures Releasing International president Steven O'Dell.

Flights in UK disrupted by air-traffic software failure — The BBC reports that a software failure in the United Kingdom's National Air Traffic Control Services (NATS) Swanwick control center caused widespread flight delays and cancellations. The failure, according to a BBC source, was in NATS' "flight planning tool"-software that tracks and coordinates flights coming into the London control area and manages landings and take-offs at the area's airports.

Iranian hackers used Visual Basic malware to wipe Vegas casino’s network — Stop us if this sounds familiar: a company executive does something that makes a foreign government's leadership upset. A few months later, hackers break into the company's network through a persistent cyber attack, and plant malware that erases the contents of hard drives, shuts down e-mail servers and phone systems, and brings operations to a screeching halt.

Sony fights spread of stolen data by using “bad seed” attack on torrents — Those trying to download files and films from the recent Sony Pictures Entertainment leak are being widely frustrated thanks to a large number of Torrent filesharing nodes that advertise fake "seeds." These files are offered via the Bittorrent file sharing protocol, and they match the signature of the stolen data while containing no usable content.

Under attack: violence and intimidation stalk journalists in Europe, Index map shows — In the six months since the mapping project was launched, over 500 reports from across Europe have been verified and published by the mapping media freedom team. Reports have come in from as far afield as Finland and Malta, Ireland and Turkey. Over 150 reports have been mapped to the states of the former Yugoslavia and Italy.

Sony Pictures mad at Netflix’s failure to block overseas VPN users — The latest data leaked from Sony Pictures Entertainment by hackers reveals that Sony executives had accused Netflix of breaching its licensing contract for Sony Pictures Television shows by allowing customers in foreign markets to use virtual private networks to stream them, calling it piracy "semi-sanctioned by Netflix."

Sony attackers also stole certificates to sign malware — Security firm Kaspersky Labs reports that a new sample of the Destover malware-the malware family used in the recent attack on the networks of Sony Pictures-has been found bearing a valid digital signature that could help it sneak past security screening on some Windows systems. And that digital signature is courtesy of a certificate stolen from Sony Pictures.

Leaked Sony e-mails reveal Aaron Sorkin wanted Tom Cruise as Steve Jobs — Analysis of code shows it used knowledge of Sony's Windows network to spread and wreak havoc. While the cyber-attackers who struck at Sony Pictures the week of Thanksgiving may have been motivated to stop Sony's delivery of a certain film this Christmas, the data they leaked on Monday gives insight into the collapse of Sony's role in another film-the adaptation of Walter Isaacson's biography of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.

Sony Pictures attackers demand: “Stop the terrorist film!” — A new statement from the Sony Pictures cyber-attackers "Guardians of Peace" was posted on GitHub today, claiming that the GOP was not involved in threats to Sony employees over the weekend.

Version of malware that took out Sony Pictures seen “in wild” in July — While the malware that took down computers at Sony Pictures last week was compiled just days before it was triggered, an earlier version of the code used to unleash the destructive attack may have been in use much earlier within Sony's network.
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Dec 18, 2014

Sony Pictures not showing #TheInterview is more damaging to them in my mind than anything the hackers did to their image.

Dec 18, 2014

Sigh. Theaters Cancel Screenings of 'Team America: World Police'… via @YahooMovies

Dec 18, 2014

RT @pwnjeetdo: @security_craig @thepacketrat a life sized poster of Seth Rogan & James Franco hangs on a wall behind the books. The eyes h…

Dec 18, 2014

@security_craig and Dennis Rodman, his QA engineer, gives him a big thumbs up.

Dec 18, 2014

RT @security_craig: @thepacketrat Surrounded by redbull cans with music blasting, he proudly announces success. Camera pans a book on secure code sits unopened.

Dec 18, 2014

Imagine a musical montage of Kim Jong Un practicing coding with "Eye of the Tiger" as the soundtrack.

Dec 18, 2014

Turns out the Feds went after the wrong Kim. @KimDotcom #KimJongUn I guess these mixups happen.

Dec 18, 2014

Turns out Kim Jong-Un was missing for months because he was learning how to code malware. At least, in my movie version of the Sony hack.

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