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Beers with Talos Podcast
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Beers with Talos Podcast

Author: Cisco Talos

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Threats, Beers, and No Silver Bullets. Listen to Talos security experts as they dive into emerging threats, forcing the bad guys to innovate, hacking refrigerators, and other security issues, all with beer.
103 Episodes
Recorded March 2020 – ICS and SCADA systems are deeply embedded all around us in critical infrastructure. Today we talk about some of the inherent issues in infrastructure security and take a wide-ranging look at the ICS- and SCADA-specific issues found there. Joe Marshall from the Talos Outreach group joins to share his insights on the space and how donuts are the ultimate career track switching tool. Oh- and Matt’s cat discovers jerky. Full show notes on the Talos blog
We’ve been quiet for a minute, but we have a few new EPs ready to go, starting with some of your questions from Twitter. And yes, one of the first questions concerns Craig and the robots. Do you have a question you’d like to ask us for the next listener questions episode? Send us a tweet (links below). Ask us anything security related or something else entirely. It’s your question, I’m not going to tell you what to ask. Full show notes on the Talos blog
We get a lot of questions in Talos about HOW to get a job in security. This ep takes a look at figuring out IF Security is the right career choice for you - and if so, where? The industry is a big place with so many different skills in demand, so having a good idea of your strengths and weaknesses is a good place to start. One constant is that curiosity, constant learning, and certain base knowledge seems to be correlated with success across most skills in the industry. We wrap it all up talking about mapping skillsets to transition careers. Full show notes on the Talos blog
Recorded January 8, 2020 – It’s hard to believe that we have made 100 episodes of BWT. It easily feels like two or three times that many. This is a long winded show, as we welcome back our buddy Nigel for this special milestone. As an unintentional nod to our early episodes, the opening roundtable gets way off track and we basically host an “In-between” ep in the middle of a regular show. We also dig into supply chain attacks, in light of the recent SolarWinds incident, delving into defensive and IR strategies. Finally, we take a trip into the past remembering some of our favorite moments from the past 100 times I’ve written these show notes. Full show notes on the Talos blog
This EP was recorded toward the end of the year and lived a quiet, but meaningful life in the production queue patiently waiting it’s turn to get released. In this Ep, we dig into a discussion on passwords and some of the issues both conceptually and in practice. Passwords aren’t inherently problematic, but how they are used…sometimes is. We discuss best practices to share with your friends and also touch on MFA (and SMS as an option of last resort). Craig seems to think lock analogies are key to understanding everything. The session was 2 hours long and this is the balance remaining after decency and standards review. All of us want to thank you for listening and making three years and (almost)100 episodes of Beers with Talos possible. Cheers. Full show notes on the Talos blog
Recorded early November, 2020 – This is an EP we recorded in early November but got pushed back in the end of year shuffle to make production schedules work. We’re happy to put this one out now with somewhat belated takes on (somewhat recent) health care ransomware attacks. We discuss a few key questions that are rather evergreen. Why is health care targeted in this way (and other verticals for that matter)? What defines a “high value” target to a ransomware actor? How can targeted entities better defend themselves? Full notes on the Talos blog
Recorded November 24, 2020 – On this EP, Mitch and Matt are joined by Wendy Nather to discuss the newly released Cisco Security Outcomes Study. The results and findings of the research are interesting and somewhat surprising. As often happens with most good research, we end up asking more questions - in this case, geared toward the nature of the relationships found in the data. Special thanks to Wendy for coming on and joining us. As usual, her insight is stellar and she is much more entertaining than the rest of us. Full show notes on the Talos blog
We got delayed with the holidays and PTO, but here is a long awaited ep. The rest of the year is on deck to release through the holidays, so fret not. In this EP we talk about QR codes becoming pervasive as easily deployed “touchless tech” (and how they could help the robots try to kill Craig), and then we take a look at some recent DOJ and APT activity that begs the question: is bringing charges against foreign APT actors anything more than a symbolic gesture? Full show notes on the Talos blog
Recorded October. 9, 2020 – We are running a short bench today after Nigel’s retirement and Joel being on vacation. We start off talking about how specific use cases don’t equate to the death of entire defensive technologies, despite the frequent assertions otherwise you may find on Twitter. The key to defense in depth is that no silver bullet stops everything - nothing is surprising here. The big focus of this EP, leading into the 2020 election is, of course, election security. We recap some important points from our research and go over materials we have put together for election officials and voters alike. Please take a minute to go though the links in the extended show notes on the Talos blog for a full list of Talos elections security and disinformation resources.
Recorded Sept. 25, 2020 – Today is Nigel’s last episode as a regular host of BWT. Join us in wishing him a happy transition to his next chapter - as we all know, Nigel won’t ever actually retire. Today’s show is us chatting with Nigel - about his career and his take on the industry as he entered, and now as he moves on to whatever comes next. Every aspect of Talos is better off because Nigel was here, as well as so many of the people he impacted along the way. We will all miss your daily presence, but we are excited to see what you come up with next. Cheers. Full show notes on the Talos blog
On today’s show we take several of the larger security myths that are often heard around things like patching vulnerabilities - specifically the notion that more patches indicate less secure software. We also talk about other “common knowledge”-esque bits of advice we’ve all often come across. We could do a whole episode on silver bullets that (spoiler alert) weren’t. Let us know some of your favorite silver flashes on Twitter or drop us an email. Full show notes on the Talos Blog
Disinformation is front and center right now. As disinformation efforts constantly increase, platforms struggle to contain the problem without giving the appearance of censuring or controlling all information present. A Talos research team recently published some findings on the building blocks of disinformation campaigns (available via link below). Special guest Kendall McKay joins us to discuss the research she co-authored with her team in Talos. We go over exactly what defines disinformation and the most pervasive sources. We also look at who these actors are and how they operate at scale while remaining hidden. Full show notes on the Talos blog
Get the FUD out

Get the FUD out


Recorded August 14, 2020 – Let’s talk about FUD - it’s not enough to just say FUD sucks. Let’s talk about exactly how and why producers of FUD are garbage nightmare monster people. We also cover how they are actually damaging themselves, not just the people and organizations that buy their hype. We have rather strong opinions on this, so we invited Meredith Corley, an actual professional on the topic, to break it down for us all. Meredith is our Security communications and PR Director (previously of Duo and Blackhat fame) and takes us through spotting, defusing, and refuting FUD in the security community. Full show notes on the [Talos blog}(
Recorded July 31, 2020 –This week in BWT land, we’re discussing hacktivism - from the unintended consequences to the tropes perpetuated by Hollywood. Regardless of the reason or cause, hacktivism often wields DDoS and web defacement as easily deployed tools. We discuss some instances where using code as a weapon without deeper understanding can have disastrous consequences. The crew also digs deeper into the ethical considerations of hacktivism, pseudo anonymity, and the intended impact of civil disobedience on civil society. Full show notes on the Talos Blog
Recorded July 17, 2020 – The gang’s all back this week, and we take on what happens when you get pwnd, hacked, or your data is leaked. It happens to all of us eventually, one quick moment connecting to public wifi, clicking on a bad link when you just aren’t paying enough attention, or your account data is leaked through no real fault of your own. So, what do you do first when it happens to you? Sure, this is a fundamental review for some, but you can thank us the next time your brother’s co-worker’s uncle calls you because: “these hackers” - and you can just send a link to this episode. (If you were sent this link from your niece or nephew, I’m sorry you had to find out this way, but no worries, we got you). Full show notes on the Talos blog
Nigel is out this week, but we have a couple light and breezy topics on the docket: 0-day research and the institutions of democracy. FUN STUFF!! First, we chat about 0-day research tools and the questions raised around them, contrasted to the time before security research was widely accepted. We spend the last half of the show discussing some of the findings and finer points of Matt’s recently released research paper on election security “What to expect when you’re electing”.
Has it been 3 years already? We have a great episode to celebrate! We start off chatting about the origins of BWT and what made it… I don’t know… the way that it is. We also have some great guests. Hazel and Ben from the Security Stories podcast come by to talk about another anniversary of note to all of us - NotPetya. We also chat about what makes storytelling a powerful tool (even in security), and atypical paths to careers in cybersecurity. While we are talking about communication, we wrap up this ep discussing and sharing what worked (and still works) for Talos over the series of critical response events that included NotPetya and one of our very first podcast episodes. Full show notes on the Talos blog
Recorded June 5, 2020 – Prod. Note: Things are a hot mess right now and the team thinks that there are voices you have needed to hear more than ours, so we held back on releasing a few episodes. This is the last of those withheld eps, please pardon any weeks-old info. Be safe, be kind, and listen to each other. Black lives matter. This was a difficult show to make in light of the events the week prior. We were all in a mood along with the rest of the US and the world, and it showed. There was no amount of editing that could save that Roundtable. Regardless, we dig into vulnerabilities and exploits this episode starting with looking at the top 10 most exploited vulns from a recent CISA report (Full disclosure: Talos assisted in the creation of that report). We start to dig into some deeper convos around pentesting platforms and exploit stability that are sure to come back up soon. Full show notes on the Talos blog
The In-Between, Vol. 5

The In-Between, Vol. 5


Recorded May 29, 2020 – Prod. Note: Things are a hot mess right now and the team thinks that there are voices you have needed to hear more than ours, so we held back on releasing a few episodes. We are releasing those now, please pardon any weeks-old info. Be safe, be kind, and listen to each other. Black lives matter. This is the last of the In-Between episodes. Thanks for having fun with this non-security miniseries across a span of weeks that I am not even going to try and neatly sum up in snarky podcast notes. We started this miniseries as a fun way for us to stay connected and put some extra podcasts in your playlist as we all got used to new routines and staying at home. We can’t keep that pace forever, so here is where the In-Between wraps. The questions you’ve sent us on Twitter have been amazing, you can expect to see that become a recurring thing. I hope that you’ve enjoyed these episodes as much as we enjoyed making them. From all of us, thank you for listening and stay safe - Cheers. Full show notes on the Talos blog
Recorded May 26, 2020 – Prod. Note: Things are a hot mess right now and the team thinks that there are voices you have needed to hear more than ours, so we held back on releasing a few episodes. We are releasing those now, please pardon any weeks-old info. Be safe, be kind, and listen to each other. Black lives matter. You, our audience, have asked this question a lot - in person, on Twitter, in DMs, and one of you even sent me InMail - so we spend a whole EP talking about advancing your career in the middle stages - whether you are interested in jumping on the management track or rising to the top of the engineering/technical hill, there are certain skills, relationships, and habits that will make your quest more effective. Quest? Wow, I have really been playing too many games lately. Full show notes on the Talos blog
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