Hackers? Yes. But what color hat?

PBS NewsHour re-aired a short documentary on hackers that draws on the stories from our Cyber Rattling series. Coresondent Rick Karr spent some time with me at the Trib and focused on the work CMU does to train hackers. Whether they go on to wear a white hat or black, well…


ANDREW CONTE:  It’s often the people who as young high school students they started goofin’ around with– electronics or computers, and they started figuring out, you know, how to do simple attacks, how to get inside of– machines.

RICK KARR: Andrew Conte is an investigative reporter at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review who’s written dozens of articles about hackers and cybersecurity.

ANDREW CONTE : And at some point they make the decision.  You know, “Am I going to be– a good hacker or a bad hacker? And there’s not that much difference between them in terms of– their abilities.  Huge difference in terms of their motivations.

Watch the entire video here. And check out our Cyber Rattling series by clicking here.

Change creates opportunity

A change of administration creates many interesting moments. One happened Thursday when Mike Huss, Pittsburgh’s public safety director, wandered into the Tribune-Review’s newsroom. He wanted to talk about the last nine months of the Ravenstahl administration, his role during the transition and his future. In an often emotional session, he talked with reporters Margaret Harding, Carl Prine and me along with editors Sandy Tolliver and Jim Wilhelm. The Ravenstahl administration often was off-limits to reporters, so it was refreshing to have a frank discussion with one of the former mayor’s top lieutenants. The story appears in today’s Trib.

Pittsburgh Public Safety Director Mike Huss talks to the Trib about his uncertain job security on Thursday January 9, 2014. Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review

Pittsburgh Public Safety Director Mike Huss talks to the Trib about his uncertain job security. Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review

By Margaret Harding, Carl Prine and Andrew Conte

Facing an uncertain future, Pittsburgh Public Safety Director Mike Huss said on Thursday he would like to stay on board with Mayor Bill Peduto to finish cleaning up the mess left by the ongoing corruption investigation of city government.

“There’s no one more disappointed about what happened,” Huss, 46, of Lincoln Place told the Tribune-Review in an exclusive interview. “I believe, had I been in a position where I was in (city police headquarters in the North Side), that never would have happened. I believe that. It did happen on my watch. There’s no one feels worse about it than me. Nobody.”

But Huss said the public has no idea how difficult it is to effect change in a city where unions and arbitrators’ decisions control the workings of police, fire and emergency services departments.

To read the entire story, click here.

How do they do things? Where? Oh…

Just in case you haven’t gotten enough of an Andy Conte fix, there’s this in today’s Trib. A full-page ad.

fullpage cropped

The only thing missing is the cape! At least that was Trib photographer Andy Russell’s take on my portrait (he’s the one who shot the cover photo we used for Breakaway). They’re not making fun of me, right? ;-)