CYBER Hacking


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.

  • It’s 2020 And We Need To Talk About Nuclear Warheads
    by VICE on August 13, 2020 at 11:00 am

    Some people think they’re just a vestige of a bygone era, but they’re not. In fact, nuclear weapons remain the everlasting threat they were when we first introduced them to planet earth: An existential nightmare wherein we possess the ability to obliterate our own planet, many times over, with the push of a button. So this week we have friend of the show and Motherboard contributor Matthew Gault to talk nukes. America’s arsenal is being updated; Russia has (probably) hypersonic missiles; and why since the Cold War have we collectively decided to forget about nuclear warheads. It’s not like they’ve gone anywhere!  See for privacy and opt-out information.

  • The Internet Vigilante That Hunts Gaming’s Biggest Cheaters
    by VICE on August 6, 2020 at 11:00 am

    He’s a vigilante that goes by the alias Gamerdoc. He infiltrates secret online chatrooms to hunt down wrongdoing and the dishonest who prey upon and exploit the system. His target you might ask? The many cheating gamers out there who are using flawed code to be really good at titles like Valorant and’s a huge underbelly of cheating gamers out there who trade and sell gaming cheat codes, the zero-days of the video gaming world, to get to God Mode without the hours of practice. Believe it or not, cheaters and hackers are a huge problem for gaming companies and today we have Motherboard reporter Lorenzo Francheschi Bicchierai on the show to tell us about the infamous cheater hunter, Gamerdoc.  See for privacy and opt-out information.

  • Countries Are Trying to Hack Coronavirus Vaccines From Each Other
    by VICE on July 30, 2020 at 11:00 am

    The US has accused Russia and China of trying to hack research groups that are working on a coronavirus vaccine. Is that a bad thing?  See for privacy and opt-out information.

  • How Hackers Took Control of Twitter
    by VICE on July 23, 2020 at 11:00 am

    Motherboard reporter Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai hosts this special episode of Cyber. He’s joined by Joseph Cox, who reported on the Twitter hack that had the accounts of Elon Musk, Joe Biden, and Apple amongst others tweet out a cryptocurrency scam.  See for privacy and opt-out information.

  • The Hacker Who’s Hacking Ventilators to Save Lives
    by VICE on July 16, 2020 at 11:00 am

    It’s a tale as old as our digital era: Tech enthusiasts wanting to repair their devices without the authorization of the company that makes them. Apple, for example, is notoriously awful at allowing users access to easy fixes of iPhones or Macbooks and instead offers expensive options with one of its “geniuses.” And like everything in our society, the current pandemic has exposed these right to repairs practises for what they are: Ridiculous. Our Motherboard EIC Jason Koebler is here to tell us about a Polish hacker who is saving ventilators.  See for privacy and opt-out information.

  • Hit Men, Drug Traffickers: The Criminal Phone Service Hacked By Cops
    by VICE on July 9, 2020 at 11:00 am

    It’s straight out of a hacking thriller: drug dealers. Murderers. Extortionists. Traffickers. Hit men. All using an encrypted network to openly talk about their illicit trades, amassing millions in messages. Then, like the magical hacks of a CSI cyber episode, the cops were in the network and went on the offensive.In one of his wildest stories to date, and that’s saying something, we have the great Motherboard reporter Joseph Cox on the show this week to tell us all about his wild cybercrime scoop.  See for privacy and opt-out information.

  • Is America Still Number One At Hacking?
    by VICE on July 2, 2020 at 11:00 am

    It used to be that American hackers and the NSA were the unquestionable world’s best. Following the many revelations from the Snowden leaks, it became clear the U.S. government had not only violated the civil liberties of American citizens, but the NSA had done an excellent job hacking, well, everything. It hacked the phones of world leaders (including key allies) and made major geopolitical rivals China and Russia very nervous.But, like everything else in the world, American hegemony in cyberspace has quickly faded as the proverbial American empire looks like it’s in quick decline for a variety of obvious reasons. And when it comes to hacking powers across the world, it’s been widely reported that everyone from China to private mercenaries have caught up to the hacking skills of American hackers. So for our Independence Day edition of CYBER, Motherboard reporter Lorenzo Francheschi Bicchiarrai and host Ben Makuch are discussing America’s standing among the world powers of cyberspace.  See for privacy and opt-out information.

  • Huawei’s Chief Security Officer on 5G and Government Spying
    by VICE on June 25, 2020 at 11:00 am

    The US government is in a race with China to provide the world with 5G networks. Some call it the new arms race, as both Washington and Beijing go from country to country trying to negotiate for its companies to provide the future of the internet’s architecture. Part of that has been Trump himself slagging Huawei and undermining the Chinese company as national security risk: The allegation being the company would give the Chinese government a mainline into spying on countries across the world. While some experts agree those fears are well founded, some of the bravade is undoubtedly part of the game of geopolitics. Today on the show we have Andy Purdy, Chief Security Officer for Huawei Technologies USA, to discuss the concerns around the company’s technologies.  See for privacy and opt-out information.

  • The Story of A Robot FBI Agent And Another American Revolution
    by VICE on June 18, 2020 at 11:00 am

    On CYBER this week, we’re talking about a novel that frightfully depicts a not-so-distant future where FBI agents work with robot partners and terrorists meet up inside video games.  See for privacy and opt-out information.

  • Is Anonymous Really Back?
    by VICE on June 11, 2020 at 11:00 am

    Back in 2011 during Occupy Wall Street protests, a certain hacktivist collective truly came into its own. The years since Anonymous exploded in popularity and even became the constant pop culture reference point to all hacktivism or even, just hackers. But as we’ve discussed on the show, lately, it kind of seems to have disappeared. Until the latest Black Lives Matter protests seems to have kicked it back into the headlines. I got Motherboard reporter Lorenzo Francheschi Bicchierrai on the show to tell us more.  See for privacy and opt-out information.

  • It’s Now the Military Industrial Complex Versus Protestors
    by VICE on June 4, 2020 at 11:00 am

    Well, it’s a hell of a time to be alive. After a brutalizing pandemic, fit with stay at home orders and government indecision, something else happened. The cold blooded murder of unarmed black man George Floyd by a white cop in Minneapolis has set off unprecedent protests demanding racial equality and an end to police violence against people of color.But instead of quelling these protests with actionable change, it appears the government is just spying on them. We’ve got evidence that now the infamous Military Industrial Complex and its surveillance superpowers are being deployed against protests across the country.  See for privacy and opt-out information.

  • The Privacy Concerns Behind App Based Contact Tracing
    by VICE on May 28, 2020 at 11:00 am

    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 for privacy and opt-out information.

  • The FBI Can Now Search Your Browser History
    by VICE on May 21, 2020 at 11:00 am

    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 for privacy and opt-out information.

  • The Short And Terrifying History Of Modern Surveillance
    by VICE on May 14, 2020 at 11:00 am

    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 for privacy and opt-out information.

  • The Senator Who Believes in UFOs
    by VICE on May 7, 2020 at 11:00 am

    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 for privacy and opt-out information.

  • NSO Employee Abused Phone Hacking Tech to Target a Love Interest
    by VICE on April 30, 2020 at 11:00 am

    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 for privacy and opt-out information.

  • Russian Spies And The Media
    by VICE on April 23, 2020 at 11:00 am

    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 for privacy and opt-out information.

  • Why the United States Isn’t Ready for Online Voting
    by VICE on April 16, 2020 at 11:00 am

    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 for privacy and opt-out information.

  • Bonus: The Distance
    by VICE on April 10, 2020 at 11:00 am

    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:  See for privacy and opt-out information.

  • The Cyber Mercenaries Who Can’t Stay Out Of Bad News
    by VICE on April 9, 2020 at 11:00 am

    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 for privacy and opt-out information.

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