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September 12, 2019
In January 2010, Google revealed in its blog that it was hacked. This attack, since known as Operation Aurora, is attributed to China. In this series of episodes, we'll expose the complicated and often turbulent relationship between the world's largest internet company, and the world's most populated nation.
August 29, 2019
Is the use of deadly force a legitimate – and practical – response to cyber attacks? what lessons did Israel learn from the Yom Kippur War of 1973 about the best way to manage it’s offensive cyber units? How can governments ‘signal’ to their opponents their cyber power, without actually deploying cyber weapons? Join us […]
August 15, 2019
Ad Blockers, such as AdBlock Plus, provide an important service to users who find web ads annoying, creepy and sometimes even dangerous. In recent years, how ever, the business models adopted by some blockers present us with a moral dilemma.
July 18, 2019
Can a malware be *too* successful? This is the story of Conficker, one of the most advanced worms in history - and how its success led to its ultimate failure.
July 4, 2019
A rare, inside look, at how Cybereason's researchers were able to uncover one of the largest Cyber Espionage campaigns ever discovered, against multiple Telecommunications companies around the world.
June 13, 2019
The YIPL phreaking magazine was the spiritual predecessor to the better-known '2600' zine, and it was founded by a ideological party determined to bring down the largest monopoly in US history: Bell Telephone.
May 27, 2019
After the Challenger Disaster of 1986, NASA had a hard time convincing the public that the Galileo spacecraft, fueled by radioactive Plutonium, is safe to launch. The WANK worm, it turns out, was a message aim at NASA - from the two most powerful hackers in the world.
May 10, 2019
After the Challenger Disaster of 1986, NASA had a hard time convincing the public that the Galileo spacecraft, fueled by radioactive Plutonium, is safe to launch. The WANK worm, it turns out, was a message aim at NASA - from the two most powerful hackers in the world.
April 25, 2019
On October 16th, 1989, NASA's scientists went into work preparing to launch a spacecraft that very day. But when they sat down to their computers, they were met with an unexpected greeting: “Your system has been officially WANKed. You talk of times of peace for all, and then prepare for war.”
April 11, 2019
After its momentous breach, Equifax's CEO Richard Smith said: “Equifax will not be defined by this incident, but rather by how we respond.” Well, he was spot on, but not in a good way.
March 27, 2019
In their 120 year history, Equifax never sold anything, or provided any service to ordinary folks - except collect DATA. In 2017, that huge data repository, a 1000 times larger then the Library of Congress, got hacked.
March 13, 2019
Twenty years ago, a 15-years old Norwegian kid was put on trial for breaking the DVD Copy Prevention system. His case spawned a whole new "artistic" movement...
February 21, 2019
Guglielmo Marconi--the beloved, hated, disputed inventor of radio--gets trolled by a mustached magician in the world’s first ever, wireless, grey hat hack.
February 6, 2019
In its prime, Mt. Gox was essentially the place where Bitcoin happened. But for two years, Mt. Gox was imploding from the inside - while soaring to unprecedented success on the outside.
January 24, 2019
CYBER is a new podcast from Motherboard, a very well known and respected technology blog and online magazine. The episode you’ll hear shortly is about the shady 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 edge of what the law allows and use "neuro linguistic mind manipulation" to get people to give them information.
January 22, 2019
In its prime, Mt. Gox was essentially the place where Bitcoin happened. But for two years, Mt. Gox was imploding from the inside - while soaring to unprecedented success on the outside.
January 8, 2019
This week we're doing an episode swap with the excellent podcast Darknet Diaries. A former NSA agent who has gone off to be a security consultant, tells a story about an assignment that he'll never forget...
December 25, 2018
Today on Malicious Life, tens of thousands of people get robbed.  Then a community gets together to ask: should we take our money back, or let the hacker walk with it?
December 13, 2018
Today on Malicious Life, tens of thousands of people get robbed.  Then a community gets together to ask: should we take our money back, or let the hacker walk with it?
November 26, 2018
How did the Jerusalem virus trigger the birth of the entire Anti Virus industry in Israel? A high-stakes wager on Live TV, and more.
November 15, 2018
Although scary, the Jerusalem virus, discovered in Israel in 1987, was in fact a rather simple virus. How, then, did the virus trigger the birth of an entire national industry?
October 31, 2018
Eugene Spafford (aka Spaf), a professor of computer science at Purdue University, was the first researcher to publish a detailed analysis of the infamous Morris Worm. Gene talks to Ran about this incident, as well as how was security different in the 1980’s.
October 16, 2018
It’s a weapon that harnessed the strength of millions of computers at once: a cannon so powerful it could break through any wall, take down any website. It is “the Great Cannon”.
October 4, 2018
On the second installment of our Ashely Madison hack retelling, we look at the fallout of one of the hack, and the people who’ve suffered from it.
September 19, 2018
When Ashley Madison got hacked, it made international headlines. Why? Because it wasn’t just a major event. It demonstrated how there’s information even more sensitive, even more significant than your credit card, or your social security number: your secrets.
September 5, 2018
As we prepare to release an awesome 2-part story in two weeks, we decided to give you a chance to go back to some old favorites and check out some of the behind-the-scenes interviews of Malicious Life. Graham Cluley tells about his entry into the world of security. There are stories aplenty in this interview- Graham […]
August 23, 2018
If movies have taught me anything, it’s that if you want to rob a bank, you dress as the cleaning crew. The people behind the Target hack must have seen one action film too many, because when they decided to hack one of the biggest retailers in the world, they did so via the HVAC […]
July 25, 2018
How does the outbreak of a “plague” inside a video game- a bug, essentially- affect real-life disease research?
July 12, 2018
Stuxnet was a devastating weapon, but who wielded it? That is the question we try to answer with the final installment of our Stuxnet series. In this episode, we explore other, similar battles of the modern cyber war, and look further into the topic of Zero Day vulnerabilities. With special guests: Andrew Ginter, and Blake […]
July 12, 2018
Stuxnet was a weapon, a kind of a smart bomb- perhaps one of the smartest bombs ever created. A bomb that couldn’t rely on operators, cameras, and laser targeting, instead it had to “think” its way to its destination. An invisible commando unit, dropped deep behind enemy lines. And its payload- not explosives, but lines […]
July 12, 2018
Where armies once fought with bullets and bombs, they now engage in clandestine, invisible warfare. In 2010 a virus was discovered that would change the world’s perception of cyber warfare forever. Dubbed Stuxnet, this malicious piece of code has a single focus- to stop to development of Iran’s nuclear program. Part one of this three […]
June 29, 2018
The Shammon Virus. There is a single company, run by a royal family, which employs the majority of the Saudi working population. It’s worth more than Apple, Google, and Amazon…by a lot. The Saudi Aramco oil company is one of the most significant commercial entities in human history. It’s hard to imagine, then, what could […]
June 14, 2018
Not all malware is created equal. Some malware will attempt to erase your files, demand ransom, or steal your information. Others will do no such thing- and still end up being worse. Don’t believe us? What if a virus made your computer send pornography to fifty of your closest friends and family? Yes, including your […]
May 30, 2018
A young woman is arrested by the Chinese government while trying to cross the border to Tibet. Her interrogator, a Chinese spy, pulls out a dossier full of information regarding her activity online. It turns out she’s been visiting pro-Tibet websites, and for that, she’s sentenced to two months in jail. What is GhostNet? Find […]
May 16, 2018
In an attempt to halt the Morris worm’s path of destruction, a systems administrator at Harvard shut down the university router through which Andy Sudduth’s message would be sent to the internet.  The post didn’t go through until after it was too late.  In a tragic movie-twist, the fix that everybody needed was heard by […]
May 2, 2018
We’ve introduced you to some of the seminal malware attacks that have shaped cybersecurity history. Perhaps no other incident in history, though, has had the effect on how we think about computer security today as the Morris worm.
April 18, 2018
How far should a die-hard fan go, in order to bring closer to them the thing that they love? In one of the most interesting, yet relatively unknown cybersecurity stories, a young hacker attempts to steal his favorite game prior to its release and then attempts to blackmail his victims into hiring him. An evil […]
April 4, 2018
Catching a criminal is by no means easy, but there’s something we take for granted in any crime: that the criminal has a face and a name, that they used a specific weapon on a specific target, and that the crime had ended once it was complete.   But what about a crime without a […]
March 21, 2018
When representatives from the Democratic National Committee reached out to a silicon valley cybersecurity company, to investigate a potential breach in their computer system, it’s hard to imagine what they might have expected to come of it. It didn’t take long to discover that something was amiss.  Red flags were popping up all over the […]
March 7, 2018
Those who have experienced a cybercrime know the feelings of frustration and helplessness that come along with it. A hacker could be halfway across the world when they attack you, and you might have no way of figuring out who it was or catching them even if you could. So frustrating. But is there really nothing we […]
February 21, 2018
What governments and powerful organizations regularly use, others will find ways to use as well. Cyber activity fits so incredibly well with terrorism. Actors can remain hidden, or reveal themselves to the world; Create propaganda campaign, or aim for real damage. Join us on this episode of Malicious Life, as we learn the story of […]
February 7, 2018
The NSA has many means at its disposal. But how does it use these means, and for what goals? Discover the (literally) secret history of the NSA’s cyber activity. Travel with us to Russia and back, learn the origins of FISA, and find out more about the government agency so secret it was once dubbed […]
January 24, 2018
The early 2000s were an interesting time in Information Security. This is roughly the period when malware transitioned from viruses written by teenagers for fun, to cybercrime tools in the hands of sophisticated criminals. This week’s story took place in that time frame – and was a precursor of that transition. It is also a cautionary […]
January 10, 2018
The largest hack in U.S military history may have been conducted by… The NSA. In 1997, a wargame conducted by the NSA showed just how unprepared we were for a potential cybernetic strike- in 4 days, NSA hackers were able to take down entire military networks. It revealed the dire consequences of a possible cyberattack, and even […]
December 27, 2017
It’s the holidays and everyone’s on vacation – but the Internet never rests and neither do the bad guys in cybersecurity. So, for this holiday special, we figured we’ll air an interesting interview we did a few weeks back with Amit Serper, Principal Security Researcher at Cybereason, NotPetya vaccinator, and former cyber warrior for the […]
December 13, 2017
From the Bulgarian hacker scene of the 90’s, featured in episodes 1 and 2, we now move to the vibrant underground hacker scene of West and East Berlin. Working secretly for the KGB, a young Berliner hacker attempts to hack the U.S military network, only to be stopped by a curious, and inventive astronomer. A […]
November 29, 2017
The threat of fire and fury stands at the center of all modern conflicts- nuclear bombs that can eradicate life in seconds are the ultimate weapon of war, as they pose a huge threat to centers of population. But what of the cyber war? What threat could it possibly pose to life as we know […]
November 15, 2017
Guerrilla warfare has been around for as long as conventional warfare has. The idea that a small force, through cunning and brazen action, could overtake a larger force is an old one. From pirates who would take merchant ships by surprise, to lengthy military campaigns against an enemy that is hiding in plain sight. The […]
November 1, 2017
Governments around the world have been making devious use of the internet as a platform to spread, not malware, but propaganda. As in all wars, propaganda is a huge part of the modern cyber war. Join us as we explore the roots, and the most creative uses of the internet to spread information and disinformation […]
October 17, 2017
WikiLeaks has ushered in a new age in whistle blowing: Modern leakers such as Chelsea Manning – who’s story is the focus of our current episode – expose huge amounts of confidential information. But can these mega-leaks really influence the actions and policies of governments?
October 2, 2017
Stuxnet was a devastating weapon, but who wielded it? That is the question we try to answer with the final installment of our Stuxnet series. In this episode, we explore other, similar battles of the modern cyber war, and look further into the topic of Zero Day vulnerabilities. With special guests: Andrew Ginter, and Blake […]
September 18, 2017
Stuxnet was a weapon, a kind of a smart bomb- perhaps one of the smartest bombs ever created. A bomb that couldn’t rely on operators, cameras, and laser targeting, instead it had to “think” its way to its destination. An invisible commando unit, dropped deep behind enemy lines. And its payload- not explosives, but lines […]
August 30, 2017
Where armies once fought with bullets and bombs, they now engage in clandestine, invisible warfare. In 2010 a virus was discovered that would change the world’s perception of cyber warfare forever. Dubbed Stuxnet, this malicious piece of code has a single focus- to stop to development of Iran’s nuclear program. Part one of this three […]
August 21, 2017
A global FBI manhunt for the world’s most wanted cyber criminal ends in the capture of a massive criminal network, but with the escape of the man himself. Security experts who operate within the gray areas of morality develop botnets that destroy personal devices infected with malicious botnets in what they call “the chemotherapy of […]
August 7, 2017
WannaCry’s widespread cyber attack on more than 200,000 computers all over the world made headlines – but only a few people remember a similar attack, named The AIDS Trojan, almost 30 years earlier… In this episode of Malicious Life, we go deep into the world of ransomware to examine its roots, the tools used and […]
July 24, 2017
2016 is known throughout the circles of information security as “The Year of The DDoS Attacks”, and rightfully so: 5 large scale DDoS attacks – ‘Distributed Denial Of Service’ – shocked the technology world. In this episode of Malicious Life, we examine how the power of the internet itself can be harvested and deployed to […]
July 6, 2017
In this episode of Malicious Life, we take a look at one of the oldest forms of criminal activity on the web- the spam empires of the 90’s and 2000’s. Find out how these multi-million dollar industries operated, how they served as a half step towards the organized online crime groups of the modern age, […]
June 30, 2017
In 1989, a message was found in a virus: “Eddie Lives…Somewhere in Time!”. ‘Eddie’ was a particularly nasty virus, and its discovery led a young Bulgarian security researcher down a rabbit hole, on a hunt for the prolific creator of the Eddie virus: The Dark Avenger. With special guests: Vesselin Bontchev, Graham Cluley.
June 28, 2017
Cybercrime is one of the most notable threats we face as computer users, nowadays. But it wasn’t always so. Those of us who’ve been in the field long enough may remember a time when computer viruses were much more innocent, and virus authors were usually just bored computer geeks- not members of a sophisticated, well-organized […]
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