Reporter's Notebook

The art and science of the interview

Posts Tagged ‘Hackers

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I just heard a story on American Public Media’s “Marketplace” about a group of hackers that stole almost a billion dollars from some of the world’s largest banks.  The story didn’t identify the banks because, … oh who knows why.  I’ll get to that in a minute.  However, the reporter noted that the hackers were careful as to steal only 10 million dollars per bank before moving onto the next bank.  The assumption seems to be that a bank won’t notice a theft of 10 million dollars being slowly stolen over a long period of time.

But, if you divide 10 million into 1 billion, that means hackers hacked about 100 banks this way.  And if you assume that they probably focused on the top 100 banks in the world, and you know what that list is, then you can probably make an educated guess as to which banks got hacked.

Sometimes, when reporters tell a story, they can’t always just say what they want to say.  Sometimes, they don’t know.  Or sometimes, there are political consequences.  Or sometimes, they know in their gut but can’t say something definitively and categorically.  So they have to bury those fine points in a story and assume; and hope the listener is really listening and smart enough to connect the dots.

I talked about something like this in a post last year.  Then as now, I’m talking about how the real story depends on a relationship between the listener and the reporter that goes beyond the actual words coming out of their mouths and into the spaces between the lines.

BTW, here’s a list of the top 100 banks in the world.

Written by Interviewer

February 17, 2015 at 14:51