Brian Krebs has been sent heroin and a wreath in an attempt to discredit and intimidate him but sees irresponsible hardware manufacturers as the real threat

Brian Krebs does not use heroin, but sometimes people send it to him anyway. The 43-year-old Alabama native writes Krebs on Security, a one-man operation focused on digital crime. His encyclopedic knowledge of the subject and his network of contacts has made his blog essential reading for anyone interested in cybercrime and a coveted lecturer at some of the biggest companies in the world. It has also made him some dangerous enemies – hence the heroin, meant as a sinister, silencing message.

Looking back on a year in which Russian cyber-spies have been accused of meddling in the US election, Yahoo announced that 1bn email accounts were compromised and hackers used internet-connected devices including baby monitors, webcams and thermostats, to take down some of the world’s biggest websites, what surprise Krebs the most is that people are surprised at all.

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