CYBER

CYBER Podcast

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.

The Connection Between a Deadly Gunfight and Phone Location Data
In the span of six seconds and 20 gunshots and three dead bodies hit the ground of a Nissan dealership in Texas. And somebody was tracking one of their cell phones remotely. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy...

Inside Jigsaw, Google's 'Internet Justice League'
For years, Google’s internet freedom moonshot Jigsaw has gotten glowing attention for its ambitious projects. But current and former employees, along with leaked documents and internal messages, reveal a grim reality behind the scenes. Motherboard's Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai tells us about his months-long investigation into Jigsaw and its "toxic" workplace culture. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy...

Is Your Password Secure? Probably Not
For decades, experts have known that a simple alphanumeric password isn't enough to secure our identities online, but nothing has changed. In this episode, we’re talking to Wendy Nather, a veteran of the infosec world who knows a thing or two about identity and authentication. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy...


The Zuckerberg Deepfake Heard Around the World
Last week a video of Mark Zuckerberg emerged online. The video showed Facebook's CEO speaking to the camera in his office, but what he was saying didn’t seem right. This deepfake of Mark Zuckerberg was perhaps the biggest troll of Facebook in recent memory, but will it change anything? For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy...

What Happens When a US Border Protection Contractor Gets Hacked?
On this week’s episode of CYBER, Joseph Cox and Motherboard EIC Jason Koebler discuss the breach of a Customs and Border Protection contractor that exposed pictures of drivers in Pennsylvania, and the implications for the future of data retention. This story comes on the cusp of groundbreaking attempts by the CBP to use facial recognition software along the border and collecting visitors social media information. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy...

The Politician Fighting The Spyware Industry
On this week’s CYBER host Ben Makuch sat down with Dutch politician Marietje Schaake to discuss the future of cyberweapons, how governmental regulation on spyware should mirror the conventional arms industry, and how Brexit might make Britain a haven for commercial surveillance companies. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy...


The Grugq
Ben Makuch sits down with one of InfoSec’s only true celebrities: The Grugq (who recently added the name ‘Thaddeus’ to his Twitter account, which has over 100,000 followers.)For the uninformed, the Grugq is a South African hacker, security research, OPSEC expert and highly entertaining Twitter follow with a history of being an exploit broker that has a rolodex of government contacts (he once claimed in Forbes to be taking in over $1 million in a single year skimming a fee off of exploit sales as a middle-ma...

Who’s Afraid of Huawei?
In this week's CYBER podcast, we spoke to VICE News reporter William Turnton, who just spent a week in China as part of a bizzarre Huawei junket. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy...

Why There’s No Need to Panic About a ‘Cyber 9/11’
On this week's episode of CYBER, we spoke to Robert Lee, a former NSA analyst and infrastructure hacking expert, about the state of critical infrastructure, the threats it faces, and why there's still no need to panic. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy...


Manhattan’s District Attorney Explains How She Prosecutes Cybercrime
Elizabeth Roper, the chief of the cybercrime and identity theft bureau in the Manhattan District Attorney’s office explains how one of the country’s most important prosecutors goes after cybercriminals. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy...


How ‘Unicorn Riot’ Exposes The Far Right Online
This week, CYBER speaks to Freddy Martinez, one of the members of Unicorn Riot, an activist and media collective that’s been tracking and exposing nazis, racists, and other far-right people on the internet.  For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy...

Why The ASUS Supply Chain Hack Is a Big Deal
On this week’s episode of CYBER, we sat down with Kim Zetter, the legendary cybersecurity reporter and the author of the original news story on the ASUS hack. Zetter walked us through this specific hack, and also told us about previous supply chain attacks, and why they’re so scary. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy...


Why Hackers Are Stoked That Beto O’Rourke Was One Of Them
This week, CYBER speaks to Oxblood Ruffin, a long-time member of the legendary hacking group Cult of The Dead Cow, or cDc. Ruffin told us about the cDc, its historical importance, and why it's a big deal that a US presidential candidate was once part of the group. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy...

How Online Disinformation Affects the Real World
In the lead up to the 2016 US presidential elections, the Russian government allegedly used internet trolls, fake Facebook accounts, and hackers in a coordinated disinformation campaign. What did we learn from it? And how is the world preparing to deal with this new kind of information operations that straddle between the online and real world? We spoke to Roel Schouwenberg, the director of intelligence and research at Celsus Advisory Group, a consulting firm based in the US that helps clients deal with dis...

The Prototype iPhones Hackers Use to Research Apple’s Most Sensitive Code
Very few people have heard of them, but "dev-fused" iPhones sold on the grey market are one of the most important tools for the best iOS hackers in the world. Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai talks about his blockbuster investigation, and host Ben Makuch talks to someone who sells these prototype phones. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy...


The Cybersecurity Industrial Complex
Last year, investors poured $5 billion in cybersecurity startups. The whole industry will be worth $170 billion in three years, according to a recent estimate. There’s so many infosec companies it's hard to keep track of them. And yet, are we all really secure? Is the infosec industry really keeping us safe? Is it even focusing on the right problems?Next week, tens of thousands of people will meet in San Francisco for the year’s biggest information security gathering focused on business: the RSA Conference....

How Hackers Break into iCloud-Locked iPhones
In spring, 2017, a teenager walked up behind a woman leaving the Metro in Northeast Washington DC and put her in a chokehold: "Be quiet," he said. And "delete your iCloud." He grabbed her iPhone 6S and ran away.The iCloud security feature has cut down on the number of iPhones that have been stolen, but enterprising criminals have found ways to remove iCloud in order to resell devices. To do this, they phish the phone’s original owners, or scam employees at Apple Stores. Thieves, coders, and hackers particip...

How Google Tracks Hackers
Tracking hacking groups has become a booming business. Dozens of so-called “threat intelligence” companies keep tabs on them and sell subscriptions to feeds where they provide customers with up to date information on what the most advanced cyber criminals and government hackers are up to. Lots of these are small companies, but one of the best in the biz you've definitely heard of: It's Google. The internet giant has more than 1.5 billion active users on Gmail, more than 1 billion people who use Chrome, and ...


The Spyware Sting Operation
Citizen Lab, a human rights watchdog, tracks governments who do bad things online, and learned that slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi's phone was bugged. Soon after that revelation, Citizen Lab's researchers began getting weird requests to meet in person from companies that didn't exist. They surmised that they were being spied on, and so they decided to turn the tables—and an Associated Press reporter was along for the ride. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy...

The Penetration Tester
This week, we talk to Jek, a physical penetration tester whose job is to infiltrate offices, data centers, store stockrooms, and other supposedly "secure" locations and either steal information or install a tool so that other hackers can exfiltrate data. She relies on the most reliable vulnerability of all: human weakness. Jek tells host Ben Makuch how she does it, some of her most memorable operations, and why other hackers think that what she does is "witchcraft." For information regarding your data priv...

I Gave a Bounty Hunter $300. Then He Located Our Phone
Earlier this month, Motherboard sent $300 to a bounty hunter. Within moments, he sent us a Google Maps screenshot with the real-time location data of a phone that we'd asked him to track. Motherboard editor-in-chief Jason Koebler and senior staff writer Joseph Cox go deep on the shady—but legal—market of data aggregators and brokers who sell smartphone location data to bounty hunters, bail bondsmen, landlords, used car salesmen, and anyone who can afford it.We learn how bounty hunters go right up to the edg...


[BONUS] Malicious Life: The Ashley Madison Hack
This week, CYBER presents an episode from Malicious Life, one of our favorite hacking podcasts. In this episode, host Ran Levi takes a deep dive into how Ashley Madison, "the dating site for people who want to have an affair," got hacked. More importantly, the episode looks into the fallout of that hack. You can subscribe to Malicious Life on whichever podcast app you're using now. CYBER will be back with another new episode next week. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy...

The PewDiePie Hacks
In November, 50,000 printers started suddenly printing a message urging recipients to subscribe to PewDiePie—YouTube’s most popular star ever, with 80 million subscribers. It came with a warning, too: That the printers were hacked because they were dangerously exposed to the internet.A month later, the same hacker, known as HackerGiraffe, struck again, this time hacking smart TVs and Chromecast devices to autoplay a video promoting PewDiePie and urging them to fix their exposed devices.Things only got crazi...

The Dark Overlord and the 9/11 Insurance Files Hack
A few hours before midnight on New Year’s Eve, the mysterious hacking group the Dark Overlord tweeted a link to an encrypted file: “We'll be providing many answers about 9/11 conspiracies through our 18,000 secret documents leak.”This is just the latest in a string of high profile hacks by the Dark Overlord, who have popped celebrity plastic surgeons, schools, family businesses and Netflix studios. Their motivation is simple: they want money, and they’re not afraid to extort people for it. CYBER talks to re...


The Base
CYBER host Ben Makuch and reporter Mack Lamoureux recently spent months embedded on in a secretive social network called “The Base," which is used by American neo-Nazis to organize real-life meetups. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy...

How to Track Government Hackers and APTs
Fancy Bear, APT10, Lazarus Group, Charming Kitten. These are all the names given to government hacker groups.And if you pay any attention to cybersecurity news you heard about Russian hackers, Chinese hackers, and groups that are usually called APTs—government-sponsored hackers. This week we’re talking with Eva Galperin, the director of cybersecurity with the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Eva has been researching APTs for years, investigating these state hackers from all over every corner of the globe. Be...

The Motherboard Guide to Not Getting Hacked
In the coming weeks, millions of people will get new phones, computers, Amazon Echos, Google Homes, Smart Coffee Makers, and other internet of things devices. All of these things come with their own privacy, surveillance, and hacking risks, but there are steps you can take to minimize your exposure. So we thought it’d be a good time to talk about the Motherboard Guide to Not Getting Hacked, our comprehensive advice on digital security.We’ve released a new version of it every year for the last three years, a...


Inside the Messy World of Nintendo Switch Hacking
Pirates recently dumped Super Smash Bros. Ultimate around two weeks before it was scheduled to hit stores. Motherboard senior staff writer Joseph Cox takes us inside the messy world of Nintendo Switch hacking and piracy. The Switch piracy community—much of which operates on the gamer-focused chat app Discord—is full of ingenuity, technical breakthroughs, and evolving cat-and-mouse games between the multi-billion dollar Nintendo and the passionate hackers who love the company but nonetheless illegally steal ...

America's Voting Machines Are Vulnerable to Election Hacking
When you say “election hacking” it means something different than the Kremlin's disinformation campaigns. On this episode of CYBER, we talk about what real election hacking is with Motherboard contributor Kim Zetter, who just wrote a piece for New York Times Magazine called “The Crisis of Election Security.” Kim says the real vulnerability in our system is something of our own making: the outdated voting machines we use to carry out our key civic duties. For information regarding your data privacy, visit a...

SIM Hijacking and the Phone Number Ransom
Imagine if your phone suddenly stopped working. And then you couldn’t login to Facebook, Instagram, your email, or bank account. Your phone switches back on, and you get a call. On the other end of the line is a guy telling you he’s stolen your phone number, and is about to take all your money. This is a new type of hack called SIM hijacking, and there’s almost nothing you can do to stop it. In this first episode of CYBER, we hear audio from a real-life ransom attempt, and host Ben Makuch speaks to Motherbo...


Introducing CYBER: A Hacking Podcast by MOTHERBOARD
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. CYBER is coming next week, and will help you understand what's going on in infosec. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy...