CYBER
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CYBER

Author: VICE

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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.

80 Episodes
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If you’ve been listening to the news, chances are you’ve heard about it incessantly: contact tracing. But what is it exactly? And what are the surveillance and privacy issues surrounding it? Will yet another app that tracks your movements really be the key to ending the pandemic? Today we got Motherboard reporter Lorenzo Francheschi Bicchierai on the show to tell you everything you need to know about contact tracing.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Since the dawn of the Patriot Act, a sweeping surveillance bill enacted shortly after 9/11, it’s been both the bane of privacy hawks and the favourite tool of the Intelligence Community. But lately, the Senate, courtesy of Mitch McConnell, helped the IC by giving agencies like the FBI the power to warrantlessly search the browser history of American citizens. That’s terrifying and today we’ve got Motherboard editor/reporter Janus Rose on to breakdown how this happened and what’s next.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
On the show, we talk a lot about the state of Orwellian world we’ve found ourselves in: big data, corporate and governmental surveillance. You know, Big Brother. But where did it come from? What’s it’s historical context? To answer these questions, we have author and Assistant Professor at the University of Alabama, Lawrence Cappello on the show who wrote a book called None of Your Damn Business: Privacy in the United States from the Gilded Age to the Digital Age. In it he traces the over 100 year history of how the surveillance state came to be.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
In 2017, amidst the backdrop of the Mueller investigation and Russian spy paranoia, the world learned, via a New York Times bombshell, that the Pentagon had a top secret UFO program. The Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, AATIP for short, had a $22 million dollar black budget and looked into an aerial threat nobody could understand: UFOs. The details were terrifying, US fighter jet pilots regularly came into contact with other worldly flying objects that nobody understood. There was mention of alien alloys and dark auras. Sci-fi had become reality. And possibly most striking of all? Highly respected Democratic Senator from Nevada Harry Reid, had been instrumental in the whole project.  This week on CYBER Motherboard EIC spoke to Senator Reid, about why he believes in UFOs and why we need to consider them a possible threat worth investigating.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Back in 2013, between the many revelations on mass surveillance abuses by the NSA coming from the trove of Snowden leaks, Americans also learned agents at the signals intelligence agency were snooping on their love interests. Dubbed LOVEINT (a play on ‘Love-Intelligence,’ apparently), a number of agents around the world were caught spying on their love interests using the godlike spy tools of the NSA.  Now an employee from an infamous surveillance company was caught trying to do the exact same. According to four sources, a former employee of NSO Group—the surveillance firm out of Israel whose hacking technology was reportedly used on the phones of associates of murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi—was caught using the company’s hacking tool to target a love interest. While the controversial company did immediately fire the employee, it's yet another example of how powerful surveillance tools are still being abused by the very people entrusted with wielding them. Motherboard reporter Joseph Cox is on this week’s CYBER to discuss the story.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The DNC hack. It was a tale of espionage and intrigue. But behind closed doors, Russian intelligence knew just how to play the media in a liberal democracy. And that is a tale as old as time. Thomas Rid, a world renowned academic on national security and intelligence, wrote a new book called Active Measures tracing secret history psychological warfare over a century. On this week’s episode we have him on the show.   See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The mechanics of voting really hasn’t changed since the dawn of democracy. People line up, mark a ballot for their candidate and then leave. But in today’s pandemic, the lines for the Wisconsin primary illustrated the legitimate dangers of having thousands of people line up with one another to vote. Likewise, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo delayed his state’s primaries from April to June for the same reason. All of this forces us to ask the question: In an age where everything is done online, why aren’t we voting from our phones this November? Of course, that brings in a ton of cybersecurity questions, so this week we have Motherboard reporter Lorenzo Franceschi Bicchierai on to discuss what that might actually look like.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Bonus: The Distance

Bonus: The Distance

2020-04-1007:20

Hi Cyber listeners! Friendly podcast producer Ricardo here with a new bonus podcast from the Vice Audio team. The Distance features short, first-person stories from all over the world about how the pandemic is changing the way we live. We're sharing the "DJ set" episode on our feed for y'all, but you can click here for more! Javi streams a two hour tropical set from his living room in Madrid. Check it out: https://tinyurl.com/s8f246v  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
It was implicated in the hacking and spying of activists in Mexico. It may have helped the Saudis kill and behead Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Now, it’s inserting itself into the pandemic news as if it needed more bad press. NSO Group, the infamous Israeli spyware company with links to intelligence agencies, developed software tracking coronavirus-infected citizens. But, as our Motherboard reporter Lorenzo Franceschi Bicchierai tells us, that’s likely just a way for it to expand its questionable business.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
This time of pandemic and social isolation is introducing a lot of new normals to us all. While we’re all holed up in our apartments, the need to interact with our friends and the outside world hasn’t just suddenly ended. In fact, people are FaceTiming and setting up Google Hangouts just to feel normal. But one app, that I never even heard of until now, seems to be coming out on top as the choice video conferencing platform: Zoom.  And its services have allowed us all to have chaotic Zoom parties with twelve friends screaming on top of each other. But as Motherboard's Joseph Cox has reported, the app, has a host of privacy issues.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Right now, many people are sitting indoors quarantined from the world, stocked up on supplies and watching way too much Netflix. Some might even feel the impulse to order goods to their doorstep. So they fire up their Amazon Prime accounts and order some quarantine trinkets.  Before this plague happened that whole process seemed completely normal. But behind that push of a button an entire workforce of Amazon workers, some with no health insurance or a union protecting their employment, are struggling through their orders knowing the virus is either in their fulfillment centers or is about to be. In fact, it already happened in New York City at one of Amazon’s Queen’s based warehouses: A worker fell ill with COVID-19, employees were sent out of the premises, the factory was then sprayed, and three hours later it was business as usual. This week we’re talking to Lauren Kaori Gurley of Motherboard to discuss how the workers of Amazon, headed by the single richest man in the entire world, are faring during this very trying time.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Yes, friends, this week’s CYBER podcast was recorded from the comfort of our apartments. Because, well, the global pandemic.  Today on the show, we thought it would be important to discuss how coronavirus will affect state and corporate surveillance. Yes, because, like 9/11 and the quick enactment of the Patriot Act, there is already evidence of a boom for the spy industry. One company is advertising tech that leverages video surveillance software it says can spot people who have a fever, while the Israeli government has already given Shin Bet (its internal police agency) access to secretive cellular data to see who coronavirus positive patients have interacted with in an effort to stem the disease.  In other words, sometimes companies react to crises by exploiting a business opportunity and governments might look to increase their Big Brother powers. Motherboard editor-in-chief Jason Koebler joins host Ben Makuch on the show.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
It’s cliche to say it, but it’s true, we’re living in a frighteningly similar world to George Orwell’s 1984. Where it’s not just people that are spies, but everything can be a spy. And people are making money off of it to fuel this Big Brother world. It’s a panopticon of mass surveillance and here at Motherboard, Jason Koebler and Emanuel Maiberg broke the news of yet another company hawking its dystopian services.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
In late 2014, North Korean hackers made their blockbuster debut in popular culture after the infamous Sony hack. It was one of those watershed cybersecurity moments when a hacking story finally dominated news headlines with a made for Hollywood plot: A Seth Rogen stoner comedy catching the ire of the Hermit Kingdom so much so that Kim Jong Un deployed his team of skillful hackers to embarrass the movie company that made the film.  Even when the NSA confirmed North Korea was the culprit, people still openly wondered how a country virtually shut off from world markets by a series of international sanctions and with less than 1 percent of its population actually on the internet, could afford or train elite hackers? But then North Korean hackers struck again by allegedly creating the globally impactful WannaCry ransomware attack in 2017, and then yet again by apparently stealing money from a South Korean cryptocurrency exchange not long after that—further showing that the country is a hacking threat. On today’s CYBER we have Shannon Vavra from CyberScoop News, who covers geopolitics and cyberwarfare, to talk about what North Korean hackers are up to these days and how the U.S. government is responding to them.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
It used to be that if you wanted to interact with your favourite celebrity you’d have to do elaborate things like camp out near a red carpet in Hollywood, lying in wait, until you finally got the chance to scream-ask Queen Bey for her autograph amongst a gaggle of other fans. Well, in 2020, like everything else in this world, including our dating lives, our health, and voting there’s an app for paying celebrities to give you personalized shoutout videos. That’s right, the app Cameo provides you a list of celebrities ranging from Snoop Dogg to Michael Rappaport, that you can select, pay, and then receive everything from a personalized ‘happy birthday’ to a ‘get well soon’ from your favourite celeb.  But through a flaw in its website's design, a security researcher discovered that many of these personal videos were available to anyone, including those that had been set to 'private'. Motherboard then wrote code to find the private videos en masse. Joseph Cox, Motherboard reporter of cybercrime and sketchiness extraordinaire, tells CYBER how he broke the story and got Gilbert Gotfried to verify the flaw on Cameo’s site with a personal message using that lovable voice of his.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
When we think of the titans of industry, we used to think of names like Rockefeller, Carnegie, and Vanderbilt. But today, in 2020, we have new names that dominate the world economy: Zuckerberg, Cook, Musk, and Thiel. Above them stands one man: Jeff Bezos. Although those names control industries that are less obvious than the sprouting giant steel bridges or skyscrapers of the Second Industrial Revolution, their products arguably have just as big of an impact on our lives. Silicon Valley has become the epicenter of innovation and industry, where apps and devices dictate what our very society looks like. But lately, the sheen is coming off of these monolithic, billion-dollar companies. And while giants like Facebook have faced questions about how its platform was used to manipulate our political system and Apple has been criticised for its abusive labor practices in China, one company is only recently coming under the collective microscope: Amazon. Jeff Bezos’ empire has enjoyed a meteoric rise. And now, Amazon has become one of the most powerful, single corporate entities in the entire world. But what does that mean for all of us? In an excellent new documentary for PBS’s FRONTLINE, journalist James Jacoby examines Amazon with a fine toothed-comb. From its treatment of its factory workers, Ring, to Alexa, and asking the same question throughout: Has Amazon gone too far? This week, we have Jacoby on the show to tell us more.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
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.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
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.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
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.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
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.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
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Comments (56)

Debra Dukes

Ben & Lorenzo you two are absolutely incredible and I love what you do. I have been fortunate enough to get much help from Google in the past because I have a little tech in my background but I do have a problem with the hackers because like I said in past if they want to know something just ask. I don't have this awful thing that is going around Thank goodness.I just feel sorry for the people who do or have had it.Love your show and your guest was truly awesome.Oh and Ben it's ok to talk to yourself because I do too.As long as you don't answer yourself 😉Good luck with the bike excellent exercise but get a lock take it from someone who has had a few walk away.Enjoy the Bikes guys and so love the Show.Deb 👌😉✌

May 28th
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Debra Dukes

Thanks so Much, Ben & Janus really enjoyed the show and also thanks for sharing all the information about how once again how you can get trolled online for listening to what you love. The worst part is I gladly hand mine over if it meant I didn't have to factory reset my device three times, lose all my contacts and pay for things under several different screen names that I had for Years. Sad world we live in when you have to jump through hoops to listen and follow what you like.Thanks for sharing always enjoy explains a lot, Deb.👌✌

May 28th
Reply

Debra Dukes

Thanks so Much Ben & Janus really enjoyed the show and also thanks for sharing all the information about how once again how you can get trolled online for listening to what you love.The worst part is I gladly hand mine over if it meant I didn't have to factory reset my device three times, loose all my contacts and pay for things under several different screen names that I had for Year's.Sad World we live in when you have to jump through hoops to listen and follow what you like.Thanks for sharing always enjoy explains a lot Deb.👌✌

May 28th
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ID18553327

Can the female guess say ummm some more please

May 21st
Reply (1)

Brandon Binger

I tried counting how many times the word "like" was said in this episode. I lost track around 300 and still had like half the episode to like go.

May 21st
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Debra Dukes

Very sad I know all about it and goes on for Year's.Thanks for sharing this.Deb

May 1st
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Debra Dukes

Absolutely enjoyed Deb ✌

Apr 7th
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Siri

I really enjoy the other dude swearing because of his accent.

Feb 19th
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Debra Dukes

Well Said really enjoyed Appreciate it Deb 👌👍✌

Jan 26th
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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
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mrmr

wow lots of generalizations in this episode.

Nov 12th
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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
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Bob Moriarty

this is auper gnarly

Sep 16th
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Debra Dukes

Thanks so much for sharing this very much appreciated.Deb

Sep 12th
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Pedro Abreu

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

Aug 30th
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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
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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
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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)
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