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Brian Krebs, a former reporter at the Washington Post who operates the widely-read blog Krebs on Security, may be the subject of a movie that Sony Pictures plans to develop about his cyber-sleuthing. Krebs broke the news of the massive data breach at Minneapolis-based Target. January 2014 file photo.

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Blogger Brian Krebs, a former reporter at the Washington Post, posted the first reports of security troubles at Target.

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Blogger who broke Target data breach goes Hollywood

  • Article by: Jennifer Bjorhus
  • Star Tribune
  • March 22, 2014 - 6:24 AM

Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. confirmed Friday that it is working on a movie based on the security blogger who exposed Target Corp.’s monster data security breach.

No production date has been set, a Sony spokeswoman said, but the cyberthriller will be penned by Richard Wenk, a writer and director whose credits include “The Expendables 2” and “The Mechanic.” He also wrote “The Equalizer,” a not-yet-released movie that has Denzel Washington playing a former black ops commando.

The blogger, Brian Krebs, is an independent investigative reporter who digs into the dark Web world of hackers, malware, stolen data and cybercriminals, many from Eastern Europe. The former Washington Post reporter says he keeps a 12-gauge shotgun handy because he has been threatened so often. He was once shipped a parcel containing fecal matter.

While he’s been blogging about cybersecurity issues and network break-ins for years, Krebs shot to a new kind of fame following his scoop last December that Minneapolis-based Target Corp. was ­struggling with a major data security breach. He has ­consistently broken news about how the attack was carried out.

Krebs, who blogs from his home in Annandale, Va., did not immediately return phone calls for comment on the movie plans. But at www.krebs onsecurity.com he wrote that the development “took me by complete surprise.”

“Judging from accounts of the screenwriter’s other movies, if this flick actually gets made someone vaguely resembling me probably will be kicking some badguy butt on the Silver Screen,” Krebs wrote.

Target declined to comment on the movie.

In the breach, thieves made off with the payment and personal information of up to 110 million customers, making it one of the country’s largest consumer data security breaches. Target’s publicity nightmare has become an international whodunit involving the U.S. Secret Service and other law enforcement agencies.

Sony bought the rights to an article about Krebs called “Reporting From the Web’s Underbelly” by New York Times technology reporter Nicole Perlroth.

News of the movie was first reported in the Hollywood Reporter newspaper. Jean Guerin, a spokeswoman for Sony Pictures Entertainment, declined to make anyone available for an interview.

Krebs wrote that he hasn’t yet worked out details for the movie with Sony.

“Beyond remuneration (and perhaps a fleeting Hitchcock-style cameo) I would be delighted if I could influence the selection of the leading man,” he wrote. “In the past week, I’ve been told I look like both Jim Carrey and Guy Pearce, but I’m not so sure. But if I had to pick one of my favorite actors, I’d love to see Edward Norton in the role.”

 

Jennifer Bjorhus • 612-673-4683

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