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You read it here first

Sometimes trade publications can feel like Rodney Dangerfield -- we just don't get any respect. And today offers a case in point. Those here in the Washington area most likely picked up their morning Washington Post to read this headline on the front page:
Hackers' Chinese Staging Ground
U.S. Agencies' Networks Are Among Targets
By Bradley Graham
Web sites in China are being used heavily to target computer networks in the Defense Department and other U.S. agencies, successfully breaching hundreds of unclassified networks, according to several U.S. officials.


Is it a mere coincidence that it comes after Federal Computer Week's story appeared on Aug. 22?
The new Trojan war [Federal Computer Week, Aug. 22, 2005]
Defense Department finds its networks under attack from China


The 'Trojan horse' story was picked up Monday in DOD's popular "Early Bird" news round-up. (Sorry -- the Early Bird is only available to dot-mil domains.)

For those less familiar with the journalism world, it is often easier to follow-up on stories once the original story has been broken. That is, in part, because organizations have pulled together the information for the initial queries.

The WP story also does not make any reference to the FCW story, although I would be surprised if the timing was merely a coincidence. The dailies and mainstream news organizations sometimes see the trade press as second-class journalist citizens. However, many good reporters read our publications to keep track of some individual areas. The WP is unlikely to ever do a piece on enterprise architecture, for example, yet the business reference models are a staple of FCW coverage.

Back to the hacking story... This is a story that FCW senior reporter Frank Tiboni has been working for a long time. I don't like to pat ourselves on the back too often, but he did a nice job... and the WP story only makes that more clear.

So ends the self-congratulations.

UPDATE: The crafty producers at Lou Dobbs' CNN program, Lou Dobbs Tonight, actually read our China hacking... and they saw that we did it first. (I'm sorry! I just keep coming back to that, don't I?)… So Tiboni is probably going to be on Dobb's show tonight. They are working out the details now, given that he is in hurricane threatened Ft. Lauderdale, Fl., he will need to get to one of their stations there... but you can check it out at 6p ET... and I'll update as I learn more.

OK... now I'm really through.


UPDATE #2 (2:25p ET): Tiboni is actually headed to the station now, where they will be recording his interview. My sense is that this is part of a packaged piece that they are doing rather than an interview by Dobbs himself, but we'll see tonight.

UPDATE #3 (2:48p ET): The CNN.com story on the hacking of DOD networks actually credits both the WP and FCW. "The investigation into the hacking and the debate about the origin were first reported by Federal Computer Week and The Washington Post," the story says.

Posted by Christopher Dorobek on Aug 25, 2005 at 12:14 PM


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