USA TODAY reporter and video producer Byron Acohido is one of the nation’s most respected cybersecurity journalists. Acohido first began paying close attention to cybersecurity in 2004. He conceived and delivered what has evolved into a pioneering body of work, chronicling the frenetic evolution of cybercrime in its formative stages. He has produced dozens of USA TODAY cover stories and news videos, countless news strips and blog posts, and an award-winning book, earning half a dozen national journalism awards along the way.
While at the Seattle Times earlier in his career, Acohido was awarded the 1997 Pulitzer Prize for Beat Reporting and 11 other national awards for investigative stories linking a dangerous defect in the rudder controls of Boeing 737 jetliners to a string of crashes that killed hundreds of people.
At USA TODAY, Acohido’s deeply-reported stories and videos – highlighted by evocative cover story packages timed to coincide with the industry’s top tradeshows, Black Hat in Las Vegas and RSA in San Francisco — have become the gold-standard for smart coverage of complex security and privacy topics distilled for a non-technical audience. Here’s an example.
Most recently, Acohido launched CyberTruth, a USA TODAY-branded news blog designed to help coalesce intelligent, helpful discussions for the greater good. CyberTruth features quick-turnaround analysis of breaking news, documentary-style video shorts and guest essays from industry experts that shed light on complex, fast-morphing cybersecurity and privacy topics.
Acohido is a native of the 50th state of Hawaii. He graduated from Damien Memorial High School in Honolulu and the University of Oregon School of Journalism, and has practiced journalism at The Herald, of Everett, Wash., the Dallas Times Herald and the Seattle Times. Since joining USA TODAY in December 2000, Acohido has led the newspaper’s cutting-edge coverage of cybersecurity and privacy. He led a team of reporters awarded the 2011 NYSSCPA Excellence in Financial Journalism Award for “How China Does Business,” an examination of hacking and politics that led to Google pulling out of Beijing. In 2010, The SANS Institute named Acohido among the nation’s Top Technology and Cyber Security Journalists Byron Acohido for newspaper and online coverage of identity theft and privacy.
Acohido co-authored Zero Day Threat: The Shocking Truth of How Banks And Credit Bureaus Help Cyber Crooks Steal Your Money and Identity, which was awarded the 2009 Excellence in Financial Journalism Award for general audience books from the New York State Society of Certified Public Accounts. NYSSCPA also awarded he and Jon Swartz the 2008 Excellence in Financial Journalism Awards for their newspaper stories about data theft and identity fraud. The Society of American Business Editors and Writers awarded Acohido and Swartz the 2005 Best in Business Award for Projects by large newspapers; and they were named finalists for the prestigious 2005 and 2006 Gerald Loeb Award for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism.
As an author, analyst, instructor and public speaker, Acohido is dedicated to fostering fresh thinking and productive discussions about cybersecurity and personal privacy.