CYBER
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CYBER

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Hacking. Hackers. Disinformation campaigns. Encryption. The Cyber. This stuff gets complicated really fast, but Motherboard spends its time embedded in the infosec world so you don't have to. Host Ben Makuch talks every week to Motherboard reporters Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai and Joseph Cox about the stories they're breaking and to the industry's most famous hackers and researchers about the biggest news in cybersecurity.

64 Episodes
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Luxury cars, like everything else in this entire world, including sex toys, pacemakers, firearms, the electric grid, and ISIS, can be hacked. But most people aren't hackers, which is why a device that can automatically hack a keyless entry vehicle by the push of a button is quite useful for car thieves The so-called “relay attack” is ideal for the era of increasingly digitized vehicles, requires something called a “keyless repeater” to fake the signal of the keys to a targeted car and ultimately gain entry. After that, it’s as easy as what Whiz Khalifa once said in his famous song "Black & Yellow’:" No keys, push to start. And the keyless repeater is sold online for a few thousand dollars by a man who goes by the alias “EvanConnect” who shared a video of the whole process with Motherboard reporter Joseph Cox. It turns out that his device can specifically be used to hack snazzy cars made by upscale companies like Mercedes Benz, Rolls Royce, and Fiat.  This week on CYBER, Cox is back on the show to tell us about this whole sketch relay attack and how it all works. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
On this week's CYBER Cipher, we have Breaking News about the app that delayed the Iowa Caucus results, how it was made, and the company that made it. But first: it’s finally here. And I know it’s slightly off brand, But. I. Do. Not. Care. Because, who needs cybersecurity when aliens could exist? THEY COULD INVADE? Whatever they are or could be, here at Motherboard we have one of the best reporters on the UFO beat on the planet, MJ Banias. And recently he’s done some groundbreaking reporting on, well, aliens. But he’s done it in such a way that has peaked the interest of skeptics and made something that is normally thought to be conspiracy theory fodder, something to take seriously. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
The Dark Web has been around for as long as the internet has existed, but most people still don't know what it actually is. From easily obtained illicit drugs to rumors of cannibalism and human trafficking, it's been difficult for the average person to separate fact from fiction. On this week's Cyber, we've invited VP of Research at Terbium Labs and Dark Web expert Emily Wilson to talk us through what the Dark Web actually is, a few of its most infamous websites, and how it's a part of more people's everyday lives. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
In a special breaking edition of Cyber Cipher, Joseph Cox sits down with us to go over the alleged hacking of Jeff Bezos' phone by Saudi Arabia. After the break we have one of Motherboard’s newest reporters on the Uber beat, Edward Ongweso Jr., to tell us all about Uber and its troubles. When Uber truly came onto the scene in the mid-2010s it completely up ended an entire, century-old cab industry. And revolutionized the way we pay for taxis, how we hail them and how we interact with them. But behind the thin-veneer of a shiny, billion dollar rideshare company is a host of real problems from employment standards to driver abuses. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
At its height, the hacktivist collective known as Anonymous was the bane of Scientologists, the FBI, CIA, Mastercard, Paypal, Middle Eastern dictatorships, and in its latest effective iterations, even ISIS. But in recent years, Anonymous has all but disappeared. It leaves a legacy: It single-handedly brought back the Guy Fawkes mask as a true symbol of civil disobedience, was the obvious inspiration for the hit TV show Mr. Robot, and is also associated with all sorts of more nefarious and negative aspects of trolling culture. In its wake, hacktivism hasn’t dried up altogether, either, with entities like Phineas Fisher still making headlines and taking up its mantle as an online vigilante force challenging the powerful. This week on CYBER we have Biella Coleman, a professor of anthropology at McGill University in Montreal who wrote the comprehensive book on the group—Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy: The Many Faces of Anonymous—to talk about what became of the infamous collective.  For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
Iranian Hacker Hysteria

Iranian Hacker Hysteria

2020-01-0900:30:362

If you’re at all plugged into the global news cycle, you’ll know the U.S. assassinated Iran’s General Qassem Soleimani, a commander in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and leader of the secretive Quds Force. Since that night, experts have been wondering what the blowback from Tehran will be. Naturally, in the age of cyberwarfare, people are getting pretty worried about the threat of Iranian hackers, who, if you were to believe some newscasts, are practically hiding in your modem. There are some real and some overblown threats from Iranian hackers now facing the U.S. In fact, the Department of Homeland Security issued a warning that it was logging increased cyberattacks emanating from the Iranian regime on American networks. But how worried should we be? On this week’s CYBER we have Motherboard reporter Joseph Cox who is already tracking alleged Iranian hackers defacing American websites, to discuss what Tehran’s hackers are actually capable of hacking. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
On this week's CYBER we're re-upping our longform interview of none other than Mr. Edward Snowden, a person who might've affected the infosec world more than any singular human over the last decade. We'll be back next week with a fresh new episode for our 2020 season. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
It occurred to us at Motherboard that for this final episode of CYBER in the 2010s we could recount the year in stories that we’ve done. The real scoops, traffic hogs, and think pieces. But then again, this is the decade that changed infosec. This was the decade that made hackers critical players on the world stage, our personal digital information sacred, and our political systems fixed into some strange, social media hellscape.  Since its founding in 2009, Motherboard has seen it all with you. So on this episode of CYBER, our dear editor-in-chief Jason Koebler and host Ben Makuch will take you through from the beginning of the decade to its end: from Guy Fawkes masks, strings of weaponized code to your brain being manipulated by a Facebook ad. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
Imagine installing security cameras in your house to protect your family. Then one day those cameras start talking to you. Trolling you, in fact. After last week when the news broke that Amazon’s super sketchy security camera company Ring, had its products compromised, Motherboard got even more scoop: There’s a livestream-podcast over a Discord channel where hackers take over people's Ring cameras and use their speakers to troll its owners in the comfort of their own homes. Then Motherboard tested the security of Ring and found, well, Ring accounts are lacking basic security measures. On this week’s CYBER we have our reporter Joseph Cox, who broke the stories, to tell us more.  For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
This week we talk to Adam Minter, author of “Secondhand,” about the end-of-life supply chain for our cell phones, computers, and all the other stuff we keep in our houses. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
Researchers learned that telecom companies are implementing the successor to SMS in vulnerable ways, making everyone’s text messages unsafe. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
The CYBER Cypher EP

The CYBER Cypher EP

2019-11-2100:16:58

On this week's episode we introduce the newly named "Cypher" part of the show where we round up the tech stories of the week that we think you need to know. On deck we discuss infamous hacker Phineas Fisher and an actual investigation called: "Who farted?" We'll be off next week for Thanksgiving, because Ben is going back to Canadia. Good luck eating too much, everyone! For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
Some of the most fascinating hacks are the types that don’t just pwn a shady malware company, the trade secrets of America or embarass the Democratic National Committee, but the kinds that target water systems, nuclear power plants and the oil and gas sector. Critical infrastructure hacking was brought into the public psyche by former Secretary of State and CIA director, Leon Panetta, in a much taunted 2012 speech where he warns of a coming “Cyber Pearl Harbour.”  On this week’s CYBER we have Selena Larson, a former CNN reporter and cyber threat intelligence analyst working over at Dragos which is a leading cybersecurity company that specializes in critical infrastructure security, to tell us what we should be realistically worried about and if she believes Panetta’s speech has any merit in 2019. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
It’s the classic story of a corporate giant swallowing up a darling startup into its ranks and destroying its core business. Originally a spawn of the Alphabet company—Google’s parent umbrella—Chronicle was a cybersecurity startup considered by many to be a game changer: it was going to leverage machine learning and Alphabet’s endless supply of malware samples and technical data via Google, and fuse it into an over the counter product that infosec units in companies all over the world could use to make the Internet better for everyone.  It seemed, to many, this was a cybersecurity company that wasn’t hawking snakeoil, but a real, helpful product. And part of its allure was that Chronicle would not join its corporate overlord outright, but instead remain independent of Google. Then it was announced they were going to join Google and everyone jumped ship. Now, as one employee put it, “Chronicle is dead.” In other words, one of the cybersecurity industry's most promising startups is falling apart after one of the most profitable companies in the world took it over.  This week we have Lorenzo Francheschi Bichierrai on the show to tell us about the internal struggles of Chronicle. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
The tale started with an encrypted phone company, Morroccan gangsters, the Scottish mafia, and a blogger. It ended with an assassination outside of a sex club in Amsterdam. Last week, Motherboard reporter Joseph Cox broke the news that MPC—a Scottish company that hawked special encrypted phones that could evade police surveillance—had been connected to the murder of crime blogger Martin Kok. Kok was a former criminal himself who had previously served a jail sentence for two murders. Kok’s crime blogging had gotten him on the wrong side of the Gillespie brothers, two Scots who are still operating a highly sophisticated drug and gun running operation connected to South American cartels, as well as Morroccan gangster associates. They allegedly hatched a successful plan to kill him in December 2016. On this week’s episode of CYBER, Cox goes into detail about how this criminal syndicate carried out Kok's murder, and what it means for crime in 2019 when the mafia isn’t buying encrypted phones, but making them for itself. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
Inside the U.S. Cyber Army

Inside the U.S. Cyber Army

2019-10-2400:50:243

The U.S. military prides itself on being one of the most powerful militaries on the face of the earth. The best trained, the best equipped with the latest wartech, the most mobile, with a power projection around the world. It’s why, sadly, as the Bureau of Investigative Journalism—which tracks U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen, Afghanistan, and Somalia—maintains that the American military has killed as many as over 12,000 people in targeted strikes since 2004. Of those numbers, close to 1,800 are civilians and up to nearly 400 of that number, are kids. There’s even been consideration on whether or not the U.S. military could have at on point taken on the entire world in the kinetic reality of ground, air, and sea war.  But in 2019, the American war machine doesn’t simply need soldiers,helicopters, or F-22s. It needs hackers to infiltrate secure networks, to spy, or disrupt critical infrastructure of an enemy during any given military operation.  In order to professionalize and certify its importance within the military, the Department of Defense officially elevated “Cyber Command” as its cyberspace force in 2018 to do just that, giving it the distinction of being one of its eleven “unified combatant commands.”  In other words, USCYBERCOM (as its known for short) joins other permanent forces that are designated across DoD with a broad mandate during times of peace and war. For example, the special forces has its own Special Forces Command, while AFRICOM looks after African centric military operations.  According to its mission statement, USCYBERCOM first defends DoD assets, then it’s responsible for “providing support to combatant commanders for execution of their missions around the world, and strengthening our nation's ability to withstand and respond to cyber attack.” Already there are media reports showing USCYBERCOM coordinating hacking operations against ISIS with the help of the NSA and carrying out a top secret “strike” on Iranian government propaganda wings in response to Tehran’s attacks on a Saudi oil field.  On this week’s CYBER we’ve got Dave Weinstein, a former member of USCYBERCOM and the now CSO of cybersecurity firm Claroty, to give us the inside tract on how this new American cyber army functions. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
Girls Do Porn

Girls Do Porn

2019-10-1700:27:472

The operators of a site called Girls Do Porn have been indicted on charges of sex trafficking. Meanwhile, 22 women have sued the company, saying they were coerced into doing porn. How did the company get away with it for so long? For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
Neo-Nazi terrorists are taking a page from ISIS' playbook and carrying out calculated, horrific, mass casualty attacks all over the world to shock and scare of the public. And they’re taking another tip from the infamous terrorist group: using internet savvy and encrypted networks to spread propaganda, recruit new members, and ultimately orchestrate terrorism. They have even used famous jihadist images of Osama bin Laden in their propaganda and glorify ISIS videos. After a spate of high-profile deplatforming campaigns on more mainstream social media sites like Twitter and Facebook, the far-right retreated to the more covert corners of the internet, taking up on platforms like Minds. Recently, and similarly to ISIS, neo-Nazis have begun using Telegram for everything from shitposting to coordinating terrorist activities. On this week’s CYBER we’ve got VICE News reporter Tess Owen to talk about her scoop on neo-Nazi terror and its relationship to Telegram. Follow Ben on Twitter. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
The last few months have been decidedly horrible for rideshare apps Uber and Lyft, which were once the darlings of Wall Street investors who contributed billions of dollars in venture capital to help them disrupt an entire industry.   Now, there’s trouble on the horizon.   Lyft has been sued for sexual assault by at least 26 passengers in recent months. One driver was allowed to continue operating on the platform after a truly horrifying incident: He and several other men allegedly took a passenger intended for Crown Heights to a park in New Jersey, where they violently assaulted her. Another driver was permitted by Lyft to continue giving over 700 rides after severely beating one of his passengers, stomping his head into the ground.    Lyft users are alleging a robotic and inefficient complaint system shows Uber’s biggest rival cares more about profits than the safety of its clients. Then, there’s Lyft rival Uber, which has been posting major losses after the biggest IPO of 2019. Now. the question is: are rideshares unsafe and unfit for our current world? On today’s episode of CYBER, new Motherboard reporter Lauren Kaori Gurley tells us all about how Lyft and Uber have a lot to answer for.   Follow Ben and Lauren on Twitter. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
Catch the rat. Find the mole. It’s the classic scenario of a spy thriller.  Recently, a top spy in the Five Eyes collective—the secretive espionage and intel sharing alliance between agencies in the U.S., U.K., Canada, New Zealand and Australia—was caught trying to sell top secret information. An FBI investigation of Phantom Secure, the encrypted cell phone provider which sold devices to Mexican cartels, uncovered a secret Canadian mole  who allegedly offered its CEO Vincent Ramos intel on the investigations surrounding his company. Without knowing the anonymous leaker, the Canadian feds began the slow process of paring down the list of who the potential mole could be. This led them to a top cybersecurity expert and head of an intelligence unit that had access to not only Canadian spycraft, but to international intelligence shared between the top secret collective.  James Ortis, the alleged mole, had his hands on things like heavily guarded NOC lists (“Non-Official-Cover" spies, or double agents in the employ of intelligence agencies), international terrorism investigations, the clandestine surveillance records of cartels, and much more. The leak is so unprecedented for Canada, the usually cagey RCMP, the country’s federal policing agency, issued an uncharacteristically forthright statement following Ortis’ arrest. “The charges against a senior employee of the RCMP for alleged criminality under the Criminal Code and the Security of Information Act have shaken many people throughout the RCMP, particularly in Federal Policing,” it said. “While these allegations, if proven true, are extremely unsettling, Canadians and our law enforcement partners can trust that our priority continues to be the integrity of the investigations and the safety and security of the public we serve.” Just what else was leaked, and the fallout from Ortis’ alleged betrayal has yet to be determined, but a breach from the “insider threat”—an employee of a spy agency—is almost impossible to defend against. As it stands, it appears Ortis wasn’t doing this on ideological grounds, like say, a communist-sympathizing Westerner who might’ve sold to the KGB during the Cold War. Instead, it was for cash. That means the list of suitors for that type of intel could range from hostile foreign powers like Russia or China, to bikers and mafia outfits. Ortis is charged with five criminal counts including the rarely used Canadian version of the Espionage Act, which criminalizes the leaking of secrets to a foreign power. He is awaiting trial in Canada. It’s believed his arrest is expected to be part of a global intelligence operation that will crackdown on a global, covert network of intel leakers. To breakdown this monumental intelligence breach on CYBER, we have former Canadian spy Stephanie Carvin, who is a former CSIS (Canadian CIA) analyst turned academic at Carleton University and host of the Intrepid Podcast. “You don't often hear the term Canadian spy,” said Carvin, but nonetheless this is “a serious story because the consequences could be so potentially severe." Follow Ben Makuch on Twitter. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
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Comments (46)

Debra Dukes

Well Said really enjoyed Appreciate it Deb 👌👍✌

Jan 26th
Reply

mrmr

the reason people/ businesses are limited in repairing damaged devices at a board level is often because of pressure from companies that don't want you to do that (apple). go check Louis Rossmans YouTube channel. on the slack that Apple gives him for repairing easy to fix things that apple tries to charge huge replacement fees at the genius bar.

Dec 16th
Reply (1)

Debra Dukes

Ben Awesome Podcast love all such great information about what is going on.Thanks so much for sharing Deb 👍✌

Nov 15th
Reply

mrmr

wow lots of generalizations in this episode.

Nov 12th
Reply (1)

DB 'patrick-jolicoeur' LeConte-Spink

What an excellent episode! Hearing Kim's actual voice was subversively thrilling - she sounds like I think I'd suspected: smart and wise and totally on top of every important topic. Legendary, indeed! Thanks for sharing this - beautifully done.

Oct 27th
Reply

Bob Moriarty

this is auper gnarly

Sep 16th
Reply (1)

Debra Dukes

Thanks so much for sharing this very much appreciated.Deb

Sep 12th
Reply

Pedro Abreu

RAT is remote access tool right? A trojan is a type of malware in itself.

Aug 30th
Reply

Pedro Abreu

Telling what to do to anarchist types will provoke a backlash. Most of it is probably not mysogyny itself just an atempt to be edgy.

Aug 16th
Reply

Jeff Hirai

wow that's how the they treat heroes!

Aug 8th
Reply (1)

Debra Dukes

Absolutely Excellent love your Podast's Thank you for sharing Deb 👍✌

Aug 1st
Reply (1)

Pedro Abreu

"I used ASUS computers when I was a poor student" come on man... Most ppl know ASUS because of their motherboards to be honest...

Jul 31st
Reply (1)

Debra Dukes

Absolutely enjoy all Podcasts for Cyber.Really Awesome Deb.👍✌

Jun 8th
Reply

Debra Dukes

Imo I think anyone who has a brain could see what really going on.Always enjoy Deb 😉👍✌

Jun 7th
Reply

Debra Dukes

Absolutely another Awesome Podcast and what is funny I go lookup where Grugq and find out that I follow them in another subscription to Medium which is also excellent.Great Podcast.Deb 👏👏👍✌

Jun 7th
Reply

Debra Dukes

Absolutely Excellent Podcast.This has become one my favorite,The amount of information and truly amazing to educate the average person.Thanks so much appreciated.Deb 👏👏👍✌

Jun 7th
Reply

Dan Christensen

Stopped playing at minute 17:33

May 22nd
Reply

s smith

God I hate vice so much

May 14th
Reply

Debra Dukes

Fantastic Absolutely enjoyed this and would like to shake her hand.Having experienced this first hand in more ways than one.Love that their is finally someone taking care of this.Thanks so much for sharing.Deb👌✌

May 7th
Reply

Michael Bergman

Best episode yet, and that's saying much. Deep discussion with @Snowden re #Assange, Altering facts for the greater good, and pizza in Russia. Check out all the podcasts I'm into at swoot.com/bergman

Apr 24th
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