Business Wire's security lapse exposes journalists' inquiries toall

NEW YORK: Until a Wall Street Journal reporter called early last

week, executives at Business Wire (BW) were unaware of a security breach

in the company's journalist source service, ExpertSource.

When BW changed Web hosting companies, the old hosting company, H&T, did

not purge its file of old Expert-Source queries. According to BW, the

WSJ reporter found the old files when he performed a Google search for

another reporter's name.

Dan Savio, BW PR manager, received the initial WSJ call. He said as soon

as he learned about the problem, he contacted H&T and had them purge the

old files from their server. He also explained he called Google and had

it remove the information.

ExpertSource Web hosting is now provided by BW partner Round Table


To assure registered media that the security lapse had been fixed, Savio

sent out a statement the evening the WSJ story appeared, though he

stressed that the Google search procedure was "sophisticated."

In an interview with PRWeek, Neil Hershberg, BW VP, spun the story into

a positive one, saying close to 40 journalists had registered on

ExpertSource the morning the WSJ story hit as part of a "tremendous

flurry of interest in ExpertSource" as a result of the article.

Hershberg downplayed the temporary loss of security saying: "We moved

cleanly and decisively to repair the problem and rectify it. We're not

talking about the Pentagon Papers here."

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