whois info

My name is Sean Gallagher, and…

I am currently a principal threat researcher at Sophos.

From 2011 until 2020, I was IT and National Security editor for Ars Technica. I have periodically written for them since then as an Editor Emeritus, but it’s no longer my day job. Instead, I spend my days focusing on the tools, techniques and practices of malware operators and other cyber criminals.

At Ars, I focused on technology related to national security, defense, cyberwarfare and information security,  government, and the Internet of Other Things (drones, robots, digital manufacturing, surveillance sensors, and cats) . I was Ars’ resident enterprise IT expert, and covered some aspects of DIY tech and geek culture.

I’ve been an information technology journalist, researcher and practitioner since before Al Gore invented the Internet. Prior to that I was an officer in the US Navy, and served aboard USS Iowa and with a Special Boat squadron as a junior staff officer.

I’ve done a lot of things, the refuse of which is scattered across the Interwebs:

  • I’ve spoken at the Shmoocon , BlueRidgeCon, and BSides LV information security conferences, on matters related to infosec people dealing with the media. I co-presented a workshop on packet hunting with Dave Porcello at DefCon, and have appeared on PBS NewsHour, CNBC, Fox Business, and other TV news outlets to discuss information security topics.
  • For many years, I wrote Government Computer News’ The Packet Rat, an unsigned rumor/humor/fictional account of an anthropomorphic swamp rat who ran IT for an unnamed government agency. I started the column just before I left GCN in 1994, and continued it until 2010.
  • I was a Technology Editor, and then Managing Editor of Labs for InformationWeek.
  • I ran a group of developer magazines (Enterprise Developer, Java Pro, XML Magazine, and a few other one-offs) at Fawcette Technical Publications. Yes, they used to have magazines for software developers.
  • I joined Ziff-Davis Enterprise as the Technology Editor for Baseline Magazine before it launched.  It was a great magazine, and I won a few awards there—two ASBPE awards for features I wrote, plus a Neal for a recurring feature. Then I moved over to eWEEK.com, where I was an executive editor in charge of vertical tech sites, the channel site ChannelInsider, and Publish.com.  Eventually, since I pulled a forced death march to get Ziff’s blogging platform working (even writing .NET code after doing a PHP prototype), they made me Director of IT Strategy.
  • I left Ziff to join Tech Target as editorial director of a channel site group. That didn’t go as well as expected.
  • I was editor-in-chief of 1105 Government Information Group’s Defense Systems magazine, and then became a contract contributing editor after 1105 cut staff by 20 percent. I have also written for C4ISR Journal and other defense tech publications.
  • For 18 months, I blogged for NBC Universal’s Life Goes Strong, providing tech advice to boomers.
  • I’ve done all manner of media and tech consulting, including helping the Baltimore news site Baltimore Brew launch.

For non-Sophos related issues, you can reach me through the form below.