An examination of how financial services and tech companies, including PayPal, sometimes buy samples of stolen data from criminals in order to validate breaches and keep systems secure.
Despite the seriousnesses of the weaknesses they find, security researchers are sometimes ignored. That was the case with core banking provider Temenos and a hacker who begged the company for months to fix several serious gaffes that imperiled the transactions of millions of people.
Infighting and a flood of new discoveries is hampering a critical database of software weaknesses that businesses and government agencies rely on.
An early story evaluating the security of the first internet-connected Barbie doll. My reporting forced the startup behind the toy to create a bug bounty program. Also, I later questioned that company’s authentication processes and password protections.
A take on the rift between ERNW and FireEye, and the legal measures large companies sometimes take in order to discourage criticism.
An important disclosure about Netgear routers that the company failed to make.
You can find all of my latest stories, here.
A deep look at the cyber security landscape and the criminal economy behind data breaches.
A four part, explanatory series on the future of payments.
The first part, which began on a Sunday, took a look at the payments landscape; the second, the security behind our transactions and the up-coming issuance of chip cards; the third, big challengers to the payments industry, such as the Merchant Customer Exchange; and the final part of the series focused on the potential for the technology behind cryptocurrencies.
A take on medical device vulnerabilities and the reaction of regulators and manufacturers.
A dive into an economy of convenience store owners and mules that were allowed to profit underground for decades — buying lottery tickets at a discount from winners who owed back taxes. The story relied on an analysis of every person who hit a $600+ prize since 2003.
The Lottery began an investigation into suspicious winners the same month that I originally requested its data. As a result, the Corporation realized the issue, and tightened its controls.
An analysis of the state’s school report card system (the College and Career Ready Performance Index) that tied those scores to free, reduced lunch data — showing that poverty has an effect on a school’s performance.
There were a series of stories that came before this one that I performed all the research on.
Another analysis of the racial gaps in the state’s gifted and talented program.
ON THE FRONT:
A piece on the history of the plane that crashed into the eastbound lane of I-285 — killing its pilot and passengers.
A scoop on an Atlanta email service provider that was caught up in the 2011 Epsilon breach.
An explanation of wearable computing — including some discussion of Google Glass’ academic beginnings.
A profile of a Knuth Prize winner, Dick Lipton, who is a household name among computer science theoreticians. A fun love story about side-channel research. An overview of the Buckhead-based, anonymous social network, Yik Yak.
An explanatory story about how California’s money transmitter act was potentially stifling financial services startups. The sidebar took a look at how the O.G. of digital transactions, PayPal, weathered previous regulatory battles. Two months later the state reformed its laws.
A story about the Silicon Prairie and the emergence of fintech start-ups in the Midwest. (Later followed by the New York Times.)
Two stories and a video explaining how banks are leveraging sentiment analysis techniques in order to hedge against reputational and regulatory risk.
A story revealing Facebook’s quest for money transmission licenses.
An interactive family tree of the Big 4 banks that illustrates the consolidation of retail banks over the past several decades.
An examination of pockets of high salaries among municipal officers at a time when police unions were crying foul over Gov. Chris Christie’s call to curtail public employee pay.
A study of the hardest hit real estate markets in the state at the bottom of the financial crisis. This analysis was broken down into several other county stories.
An analysis of potentially forced teacher retirements in New Jersey in light of changes in public pension plans.
Another using public employee pay, this time using teacher’s pension data.
COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE:
A story about the incentives landlords were offering tenants in a market full of vacant commercial space; Another about developers building data centers in the heart of North Jersey.
RESIDENTIAL REAL ESTATE:
A story about real estate investors wading back into the market; An explanation of short sales; A look into the legally grey space in which mortgage mediators operate; And an insight into the thoughts of real estate developers who were building smaller homes.
My two favorite stories from my time at The Globe were both profiles.
The first was a story about a Harvard professor whose physical strength nearly matched his intellect. The other was of a North Shore philanthropist who made his employees whole again despite being bilked by Bernard Madoff.
*You can find some additional stories, here. I have a unique name.