David Byrne’s Journal – “You Are The Target” (Dec. 24, 2013)

I enjoy reading things by David Bryne, author of How Music Works (2012), and listening to interviews with him including a recent one on CBC Radio’s The Current.

A recent blog post that he’s written is entitled “You Are The Target.”

The opening paragraphs read:

  • A few days ago Target revealed that they’d been hacked—beginning before Thanksgiving and ending December 15th, 40 million credit and debit cards were compromised: names, numbers and expiration dates. The name of the store now seems prescient.
  • Earlier incidences of large-scale data theft have happened repeatedly. In 2007, the company (TJX) that processes purchases at TJ Maxx, Homegoods and other discount retail chains lost the data on 90 million cards. Another heist was revealed this July when criminal charges were revealed against a group that cracked a similar company that processes the cards sales for J.C. Penny, 7-Eleven, NASDAQ, Dow Jones, JetBlue TJX Cos., BJ’s Wholesale Club, OfficeMax, BostonMarket, Barnes & Noble, Sports Authority and the Dave & Busters restaurant chain, the Maine-based supermarket chain Hannaford Brothers and Heartland Payment Systems Inc., a New Jersey-based processor of credit and debit cards.
  • 160 million cards were involved in that heist. These hacks were pulled off by a group of thieves led by Albert “Soupnazi” Gonzalez—a guy who was a paid U.S. government informant, paid 75k a year, but I guess he couldn’t help himself. (A great story, told in full here.)

[End of excerpt]


2 replies
  1. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    Colleen O’Marra has commented:

    For all David Byrne’s musings about espionage,thank God Edward Snowden
    wasn’t around to blab about D-Day before June 6th, 1944. I’m sure he’d
    reason that the enemy should have an even chance. Some hero ! ( C. O’Marra)

  2. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    With regard to this topic, I’m impressed with the story of William Stephenson and the agents on the Allied side that he worked with during the Second World War.

    I’ve put together some background about Stephenson, and his legacy, at a blog post entitled entitled Evil Men (2013) and at one entitled The True Intrepid: Sir William Stephenson and the Unknown Agents (2001). I’ve also enjoyed reading Camp X (2002) by children’s author Eric Walters, which includes references to William Stephenson’s work.


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