The Hack Attack that Wasnt

By Lance Ulanoff  |  Posted 2003-07-08 Print this article Print

A hacking contest goes nowhere. Did the media get played, or is this a bigger story than we think?

A few days ago, CNNfn scheduled an interview with me about the recent hacking contest in which hackers worldwide were supposed to compete to see who could deface 6,000 Web sites first or the most Web sites in a six-hour period. The announcement of the contest appeared at On July 7, the morning after the scheduled contest, the cable-news channel canceled, saying the event "had become a non-story." I actually think it may be one of the biggest stories of the year—a sort of quiet giant.

A mere 300 or so Web sites were defaced during the contest and not one of them was the site of a major player like AOL, CNN, The New York Times, or Yahoo. The challenge to hackers went out earlier in the week, which gave these folks ample time to search for security holes to exploit. They obviously found little to work with.

Apparently all that talk about protecting your infrastructure, Web security, shielding Web servers from denial of service attacks, being good World Wide Web citizens by not letting damaging code spread beyond your own boundaries, and Windows 2000 patch management actually worked! Web developers, managers, system administrators, CEOs, CFO and CIOs had taken the messages to heart.

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Lance Ulanoff is Editor in Chief and VP of Content for PC Magazine Network, and brings with him over 20 years journalism experience, the last 16 of which he has spent in the computer technology publishing industry.

He began his career as a weekly newspaper reporter before joining a national trade publication, traveling the country covering product distribution and data processing issues. In 1991 he joined PC Magazine where he spent five years writing and managing feature stories and reviews, covering a wide range of topics, including books and diverse technologies such as graphics hardware and software, office applications, operating systems and, tech news. He left as a senior associate editor in 1996 to enter the online arena as online editor at HomePC magazine, a popular consumer computing publication. While there, Ulanoff launched, and and wrote about Web sites and Web-site building.

In 1998 he joined Windows Magazine as the senior editor for online, spearheading the popular magazine's Web site, which drew some 6 million page views per month. He also wrote numerous product reviews and features covering all aspects of the computing world. During his tenure, won the Computer Press Association's prestigious runner-up prize for Best Overall Website.

In August 1999, Ulanoff briefly left publishing to join as producer for the Computing and Consumer Electronics channels and then was promoted to the site's senior director for content. He returned to PC Magazine in November 2000 and relaunched in July 2001. The new was named runner-up for Best Web Sites at the American Business Media's Annual Neal Awards in March 2002 and won a Best Web Site Award from the ASBPE in 2004. Under his direction, regularly generated more than 25 million page views a month and reached nearly 5 million monthly unique visitors in 2005.

For the last year and a half, Ulanoff has served as Editor, Reviews, PC Magazine. In that role he has overseen all product and review coverage for PC Magazine and, as well as managed PC Labs. He also writes a popular weekly technology column for and his column also appears in PC Magazine.

Recognized as an expert in the technology arena, Lance makes frequent appearances on local, national and international news programs including New York's Eyewitness News, NewsChannel 4, CNN, CNN HN, CNBC, MSNBC, Good Morning America Weekend Edition, and BBC, as well as being a regular guest on FoxNews' Studio B with Shepard Smith. He has also offered commentary on National Public Radio and been interviewed by radio stations around the country. Lance has been an invited guest speaker at numerous technology conferences including Digital Life, RoboBusiness, RoboNexus, Business Foresight and Digital Media Wire's Games and Mobile Forum.

Lance also serves as co-host of PC Magazine's weekly podcast, PCMag Radio.


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