[ISN] Forbes smokes out fake New Republic story on hackers

From: mea culpa (jerichoat_private)
Date: Wed May 13 1998 - 18:54:55 PDT

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    Forwarded From: Mike Prosser <mprosserat_private>
    Forbes smokes out fake New Republic story on hackers
    By Adam L. Penenberg
    orbes Digital Tool unearthed a completely fabricated story in The New
    Republic about teenage hackers extorting money from corporations.
    The story, "Hack Heaven," by Associate Editor Stephen Glass, tells how Ian
    Restil, a 15-year-old computer hacker, broke into the databases of a
    "big-time software firm," Jukt Micronics, and then demanded money, porn
    magazines and a sports car from the company.
    The colorful story, which was published in the May 18 issue, also described
    how hackers were even hiring agents to broker lucrative deals while
    government agencies sat on the sidelines, powerless.
    Glass further alleged that in Nevada, frustrated police officials arranged
    for a radio campaign to discourage companies from hiring hackers.
    After investigating the claims made in the story, Forbes Digital Tool could
    not find any trace of the characters or companies or governmental agencies
    Lane admitted that the story "contained fabricated characters and
    On Friday, May 8, Forbes presented its full findings to Charles Lane, the
    editor of The New Republic, who at that time was unaware of any questions
    regarding the story. Lane then conducted his own investigations as Forbes
    was going to press.
    On Sunday, May 10, Lane issued a press release announcing that he had fired
    Associate Editor Stephen Glass. Lane admitted that the story "contained
    fabricated characters and situations."
    The New Republic took these steps only after Forbes Digital Tool informed
    the magazine that it was going to publish a story that proved "Hack Heaven"
    was a sham from top to bottom. "Your inquiries triggered my inquiry," Lane
    told Forbes.
    According to Lane, Glass enlisted the aid of his brother and used the
    latter's cell phone as the phone number for "Jukt Micronics." In addition,
    Glass concocted a fake corporate site for "Jukt Micronics" on America
    Online, as well as phony voice and E-mail accounts for all his sources.
    Charles Lane admits that there are "serious questions" about other pieces
    Glass has written for the magazine. "On Saturday morning I confronted Glass
    in the office and he confessed," Lane said.
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