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About Malicious Life Podcast

Malicious Life Podcast

The Malicious Life Podcast by Cybereason examines the human and technical factors behind the scenes that make cybercrime what it is today. Malicious Life explores the people and the stories behind the cybersecurity industry and its evolution, with host Ran Levi interviewing hackers and other security industry experts about hacking culture and the cyber attacks that define today’s threat landscape. The show has a monthly audience of over 200,000 and growing.

All posts by Malicious Life Podcast

Malicious Life Podcast: The Tesla Hack

A mysterious stranger approached an employee of Tesla's Gigafactory and offered him 1 million dollars to insert a malware-laden USB flash drive into a company computer - check it out...

September 13, 2021 /

Malicious Life Podcast: Understanding China’s Cyber Culture

Lt. Colonel (Ret.) Bill Hagestad examines how China's culture and troubled history of western colonialism influenced its government views regarding the internet and its interactions with western tech companies...

September 7, 2021 /

Malicious Life Podcast: The Life and Times of John McAfee

What do you get when you take a gun-toting cybersecurity pioneer and add a serious amount of money to the mix? You get John McAfee's unbelievable life and times - check it out...

August 30, 2021 /

Malicious Life Podcast: Ten Years On - Are We Doing Security Right?

So how far have security solutions and capabilities come in a decade? Art Coviello, former CEO of RSA Security, is joined by Malcolm Harkins, former CSO at Intel, to discuss the cybersecurity landscape 10 years after the RSA Breach - check it out...

August 23, 2021 /

Malicious Life Podcast: DeadRinger - Exposing Chinese APTs Targeting Major Telcos

Cybereason identified several attack campaigns targeting the telecoms industry across Southeast Asia that are assessed to be the work of multiple Chinese APT groups - Nocturnus Team lead Assaf Dahan discusses the implications...

August 16, 2021 /

Malicious Life Podcast: The Jester - Hacktivist for Good

The Jester is a patriotic, pro-American Hacktivist that since 2010 has waged a personal cyberwar against an array of targets. So, who is The Jester and what can we make of his reported exploits? Check it out…

August 9, 2021 /

Malicious Life Podcast: The State of Credit Card Security

When Albert Gonzalez was hacking the networks of retail chains credit cards were still very insecure. We are joined by special guest Sherri Davidoff, CEO of LMG Security, who discusses the past and present state of credit card security - check it out…

August 2, 2021 /

Malicious Life Podcast: The Life and Exploits of Albert Gonzales Part 3

A fateful meeting between a U.S. Secret Service agent and a notorious European carder marks the beginning of the end for Albert Gonzalez and his 'All Star' crew of hackers...

July 26, 2021 /

Malicious Life Podcast: Dave Kennedy on the History of DerbyCon

Dave Kennedy, one of the founders of DerbyCon, talks about the unique vibe of the conference, his fear of clowns, and why he'll never listen to a Busta Rhymes album again - check it out…

July 19, 2021 /

Malicious Life Podcast: The Life and Exploits of Albert Gonzales Part 2

Special guest Sherri Davidoff continues the story where we find ShadowCrew's Gonzales working with the Secret Service on orchestrating the largest cybercrime bust in U.S history - check it out…

July 12, 2021 / 1 minute read

Malicious Life Podcast: Jeff Moss on the History of DEF CON

Jeff Moss discusses the origins of DEF CON and its interesting relationship with law enforcement and the intelligence community over the years...

July 6, 2021 /

Malicious Life Podcast: The Life and Exploits of Albert Gonzales Part 1

Special guest Sherri Davidoff has skillfully researched the fascinating life and exploits of Albert Gonzales, as detailed in her book Data Breaches - check it out…

June 28, 2021 /

Malicious Life Podcast: History of the THOTCON Hacking Conference

How did a small-scale event in Chicago grow to become a major hacker conference? THOTCON co-founders Nick Percoco and Jonathan Tomek reveal all - check it out…

June 22, 2021 /

Malicious Life Podcast: China's Unrestricted Cyberwarfare Part 3

Special guest Lieutenant Colonel, USMC (retired) Bill Hagestad, a leading international authority on cyberwarfare and Chinese cyber operations and capabilities...

June 15, 2021 /

Malicious Life Podcast: Inside the DarkSide Colonial Pipeline Attack

Threat researcher Assaf Dahan examines the DarkSide attack on Colonial Pipeline, and the implications for the security of critical infrastructure...

June 8, 2021 / 1 minute read

Malicious Life Podcast: China's Unrestricted Cyberwarfare Part 2

Nortel was positioning itself China's partner, not knowing it was China's primary target for corporate espionage and 'Unrestricted Warfare' doctrine...

June 1, 2021 /

Malicious Life Podcast: The Untold Story of the RSA Breach Part 2

No longer bound by NDA, former RSA execs share the untold story behind one of the most impactful attacks of all time - check it out...

May 24, 2021 / 1 minute read

Malicious Life Podcast: The Untold Story of the RSA Breach Part 1

No longer bound by NDA, former RSA execs tell how the infamous breach unfolded and share the untold story behind one of the most impactful attacks of all time - check it out...

May 20, 2021 / 1 minute read

Malicious Life Podcast: Creating BSides - A Grassroots Security Conference

Jack Daniel recalls how the BSides conference started and what 'community-oriented' events contribute that other events often cannot - check it out...

May 11, 2021 /

Malicious Life Podcast: China's Unrestricted Cyberwarfare Part 1

Special guest Bill Hagestad, a leading international authority on cyberwarfare, gives us a look inside Chinese cyber operations - check it out...

May 4, 2021 /

Malicious Life Podcast: Can Nuclear Power Plants Be Hacked?

Andrew Ginter dives into cybersecurity challenges for Nuclear facilities - how secure are modern nuclear power plants from cyber attacks? Check it out...

April 27, 2021 /

Malicious Life Podcast: Shutting Down the Internet in 30 Minutes

Chris Wysopal, one of L0pht's founding members, talks about the group's 1998 Senate testimony and how they used shaming to force corporations to secure their software...

April 20, 2021 / 1 minute read

Malicious Life Podcast: The Story of LØpht Heavy Industries, Part 2

By the end of the ‘90s many of the L0pht hackers had quit their day jobs and incorporated under the name L0pht Heavy Industries...

April 13, 2021 /

Malicious Life Podcast: The Story of L0pht Heavy Industries, Part 1

'L0pht' was one of the most influential hacker collectives of the '90s: they were even invited to testify in front of Congress on the state of Internet security. In this episode of Malicious Life, four of L0pht's members talk about the beginning and influence of the L0pht on cybersecurity. - check it out...

April 6, 2021 /

Malicious Life Podcast: Inside the HAFNIUM Microsoft Exchange Attacks

The recent HAFNIUM attacks hit tens of thousands of organizations’ Microsoft Exchange servers. What happened, what were the vulnerabilities exploited in the attack, and what can we do to defend against such attacks in the future? In this episode, Host Ran Levi is joined by Israel Barack, Cybereason CISO

March 23, 2021 /

Malicious Life Podcast: Inside NotPetya, Part 2

Listen as we break down the chain of events from the moment NotPetya began to spread around the world to the moment it was stopped by Amit Serper who was on his way to friends when he decided to take a swipe at the malware. Catch the latest episode of the Malicious Life podcast with guest Cyber Analyst Amit Serper

March 22, 2021 /

Malicious Life Podcast: Inside NotPetya, Part 1

Host Ran Levi is joined by Amit Serper, the first researcher to tackle NotPetya and provide a solution when he was Principal Security Researcher at Cybereason...

March 3, 2021 /

Malicious Life Podcast: Should Law Enforcement Use Facial Recognition? Pt. 2

Host Ran Levi is joined by attorney and privacy expert Ted Claypoole, and Andrew Maximov, CEO at Promethean AI who uses AI to fight Belarus's dictatorship, to explore the implications...

February 17, 2021 /

Malicious Life Podcast: Should Law Enforcement Use Facial Recognition? Pt. 1

Clearview AI scrapes billions of images off social media and the open web, applies facial recognition algorithms on them, and sells that data to law enforcement agencies all over the world. But who are the people behind this secretive company, and what did a breach into its databases reveal?

February 12, 2021 /

Malicious Life Podcast: Inside Clearview AI Facial Recognition

Clearview AI scrapes billions of images off social media and the open web, applies facial recognition algorithms on them, and sells that data to law enforcement agencies all over the world. But who are the people behind this secretive company, and what did a breach into its databases reveal?

February 3, 2021 /

Malicious Life Podcast: Breaking Into Secure Buildings

FC - aka 'Freaky Clown' - is an expert in physical security assessments - otherwise known as breaking into ultra-secure buildings like big international banks - check it out...

January 7, 2021 /

Malicious Life Podcast Special: The SolarWinds Attacks

Security expert Israel Barak discusses the SolarWinds Supply Chain Attacks, how can organizations defend against similar attacks, and what all this has to do with evolution and natural selection - check it out...

December 28, 2020 /

Malicious Life Podcast: 100th Episode Special

Here's three stories that were just too good to leave on the editing room floor: Shadow Inc.  and Election Hacking, J&K / Max Headroom, and T-Shirt-Gate and Yahoo's Ugly Death - check it out...

December 21, 2020 /

Malicious Life Podcast: Jan Sloot's Incredible Data Compression System

In the mid-'90s, a Dutch TV repairman claimed he invented a revolutionary data compression technology that could compress a full-length movie into just 8KB - check it out...

December 7, 2020 /

Malicious Life Podcast: Operation GUNMAN and the World's First Keylogger

Operation GUNMAN commenced debugging of electronic devices in the US embassy in the USSR and resulted in a surprising discovery that made the NSA what it is today - check it out...

November 22, 2020 /

Malicious Life Podcast: Election Hacking Part 2

The upcoming elections are plagued with uncertainty - and uncertainty and democracy go together like wet hands and electrical outlets - check it out...

November 2, 2020 /

Malicious Life Podcast: Election Hacking Part 1

Depending on which way this one state leans may bring the entire electoral college with it - a situation where the election systems cannot afford to be hacked, but might be - check it out...

October 26, 2020 /

Malicious Life Podcast: MDR vs. The TrickBot Gang

The Cybereason Managed Detection and Response team (aka MDR) uncovered an attack involving Russian cybercriminals, POS devices and an new family of malware - check it out...

October 12, 2020 /

Malicious Life Podcast: Yahoo's Ugly Death Part 2

Between 2010 and 2014, Yahoo was hacked numerous times - each time setting a new 'world record' for the largest data breach in history. It also hid those breaches from it's investors, customers and the SEC...

September 24, 2020 /

Malicious Life Podcast: Yahoo's Ugly Death Part 1

When Marissa Mayer joined Yahoo as CEO, the company's stock rose 2% the day of the announcement. But the new CEO was basically initiated into her job by a major data breath - and the worst was yet to come...

September 11, 2020 /

Malicious Life Podcast: The Great Firewall of China Part 2 - Cisco's Trial

Falun Gong movement members sued Cisco Systems for aiding and abetting the Chinese government in their persecution - having helped China erect Golden Shield - the massive IT infrastructure which combined internet censorship and cyber-spying...

August 22, 2020 /

Malicious Life Podcast: The Great Firewall of China Part 1

The Great Firewall is just mind-bogglingly big, repressing freedom of speech and information for over 800 million Chinese internet users every year. How did the Chinese manage to build it in the first place?

August 14, 2020 /

Malicious Life Podcast: Multi-Stage Ransomware

Israel Barak, Cybereason CISO, discusses the latest development in ransomware evolution: multi-stage attacks. What does this new tactic mean for the use of backups as a mean to mitigate the risk from ransomware?

August 2, 2020 /

Malicious Life Podcast: Protecting the Panama Papers Whistleblower

In 2015 Bastian Obermayer, an investigative journalist received a message about the biggest leak in journalism history. But dealing with the massive 2.7 Terabyte data dump, 11.5 million documents turned out to be a huge challenge...

July 16, 2020 /

Malicious Life Podcast: From Ransomware to Blackmail

Attackers keep modifying and improving their methods of operations. Assaf Dahan, Sr. Director and Head of Threat Research at Cybereason, tells us about the recent shift to double extortion blackmail as a way to pressure ransomware victims to pay up...

July 7, 2020 /

Malicious Life Podcast: SegWit2x Part 3

When Bitcoin forked, it wasn't the SegWit2x fork everyone was talking about - It was a different fork, supported by a coalition of miners who were essentially ditching SegWit2x in favor of their own scaling solution. What happened here and who betrayed SegWit2x?

July 2, 2020 /

Malicious Life Podcast: SegWit2x Part 2

SegWit2x was proposed as a solution to Bitcoin's network problems - but some people in the anti-2x movement claimed that it is nothing less than a cyber-attack: a 51% attack on Bitcoin, to be precise. This is getting ugly...

June 18, 2020 /

Malicious Life Podcast: SegWit2x or the Year Bitcoiners Will Never Forget Part 1

In 2017, Bitcoin was winning. It appeared that a Golden Age had dawned. But just under the surface, the network was teetering on the verge of collapse...

June 4, 2020 /

Malicious Life Podcast: No Honor Among Thieves

Amit Serper was doing a routine inspection on a client's network, when he came across a suspicious-looking pen-testing tool, exhibiting RAT-like behavior. We'll follow Amit's investigation, and in the process learn the basics of cyber research...

May 21, 2020 /

Malicious Life Podcast: Maintaining Secure Business Continuity with a Remote Workforce

The COVID19 pandemic forced organizations to transition to a work-from-home model - CSO Sam Curry talks about the lessons learned and what steps should Cyber Security professionals take in order to be ready for a future outbreak...

May 14, 2020 /

Malicious Life Podcst: The Problem with Passwords

It’s easy to blame people for reusing bad passwords, but since so many do we have to look at the common factor. - there are flaws inherent to the mechanism of authenticating users by static password strings...

May 7, 2020 /

Malicious Life Podcast: The Huawei Ban, Part 2

At the end of our last episode, it seemed like Huawei was completely innocent. They were being accused of crimes they may not have committed, based on evidence that largely did not exist. But there’s another side to this story...

April 23, 2020 /

Malicious Life Podcast: The Huawei Ban, Part 1

Over the past 20 years, western governments have accused Huawei of everything from IP theft to financial fraud to cyber espionage. Is Huawei really a national security threat, or are they a political scapegoat?

April 9, 2020 /

Malicious Life Podcast: The Max Headroom Signal Hijack

On November 22nd, 1987, a hacker took over the signals of two Chicago-area TV stations and broadcast two bizarre and somewhat vulgar messages. We explore this notorious hack and its implications...

March 24, 2020 /

Malicious Life Podcast: ToTok, Part 3: Becoming a Spyware Superpower

The fact that ToTok came out of the UAE is no surprise: in recent years, the UAE has deployed some of the most sophisticated mobile device exploits ever seen. But they got a lot of help from one country in particular...

March 24, 2020 /

Malicious Life Podcast: ToTok, Part 2: The Masterminds of Mobile Malware

The corporate structure supporting ToTok involved at least half a dozen real companies, shell companies, and intelligence groups, with every path leading to one very rich and powerful man at the heart of the Emirati state...

March 10, 2020 /

Malicious Life Podcast: ToTok, Part 1: How to Convince Someone to Download Spyware

Only a few months after its release, ToTok - an ordinary messaging app - had over 5 million downloads. What was it that made ToTok so popular, so quickly? The answer: nothing good...

March 5, 2020 /

Malicious Life Podcast: How to Defend a Bank Part 2 - Right of Bang

As much as we can imagine what it’s like to be a defender in a cyber conflict, we don’t really know unless we’re in the shoes at the time of it happening. That's what simulations are for...

February 27, 2020 /

Malicious Life Podcast: How to Defend a Bank Part 1 - Fusion Centers

Banks and other financial institutions face a variety of security threats. - to survive in this hostile landscape, these organizations turned to the military for inspiration...

February 13, 2020 /

Malicious Life Podcast: Triton Part 2 - The World’s Most Dangerous Malware

Petro Rabigh were facing lots of problems in defending their systems, but they did get lucky in one sense: their attackers were unprepared when their plan went awry...

January 29, 2020 /

Malicious Life Podcast: Triton - A Malware Designed to Kill Humans Part 1

Industrial Security requires a different skill set than working in IT does. We dive into the story of one of the most dangerous malware ever to be discovered in the wild: Triton/Trisis...

January 16, 2020 /

Malicious Life Podcast: Deepfakes Part 2 - Human vs. Machine

Deepfakes are set to revolutionize content creation and potentially two sow havoc, fear, and distrust via Social Networks. How can we identify deep fakes - even before they go online?

January 2, 2020 /

Malicious Life Podcast: GAN and Deepfakes Part 1

Over the past two years, the internet has been inundated with celebrity Deep Fake videos - their quality is surprisingly good and in some cases as good as what the biggest movie studios are able to produce with huge budgets...

December 19, 2019 /

Malicious Life Podcast: Sam Curry's 2020 Threats Crystal Ball

Sam and Ran discuss insights into what 2020 will bring for the security industry: the rise of 5G cellular networks, the US Presidential Elections, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and more...

December 10, 2019 /

Malicious Life Podcast: Human Side Channels

Even the best hackers are human, and humans are inescapably unique. Forensic Linguistics, Behavioral Signatures and Cultural Captchas can help defenders identify and (maybe) catch even the best of hackers...

December 3, 2019 /

Malicious Life Podcast: What's the Problem with Cyber Insurance?

Thousands of companies are losing millions of dollars to cyber attacks. Insurance seems like an ideal solution - but insurance is much less common than it should be. What's the problem with Cyber insurance?

November 21, 2019 /

Malicious Life Podcast: Gozi B-Side - Amit Serper and Sam Curry

We talked with Amit Serper and Sam Curry, notable veterans in cybersecurity, about Malware-As-A-Service, bulletproof hosting, avoiding the lure of the 'dark side' and more...

November 19, 2019 /

Malicious Life Podcast: Gozi Part 2 - Thief-in-Law

In 2010, Nikita Kuzmin returned to the malware scene with Gozi 2.0, an improved version of the successful banking trojan - how did Gozi 2.0 fair against Zeus and the new generation of trojans, and what can we learn from Nikita's story?

November 14, 2019 /

Malicious Life Podcast: Lodrina Cherne On Stalkerware

In this out-of-band episode, we're bringing you the full interview with Lodrina Cherne, a Digital Forensics Expertand authority on Spyware: what is it, how does it works, who sells it, and how you can avoid it...

November 7, 2019 /

Malicious Life Podcast: Gozi Part 1 - The Rise of Malware-as-a-Service

Nikita Kuzmin fell in with the wrong crowd and his hacking skills found a dark path: Gozi, the oddest and most brilliant malware operation ever conceived to that point in time...

October 31, 2019 /

Malicious Life Podcast: How is Spyware Even Legal?

Today's cyber-stalkers have free access to government-grade spyware software with which they can terrorize their victims - so who's enabling the commercial spyware market?

October 17, 2019 /

Malicious Life Podcast: Listener's Survey Special

We discuss the recent Listener's Survey results: what do like and dislike about the show, ideas you gave us for future improvements - and what do our listeners think about Ran's accent?

October 10, 2019 /

Malicious Life Podcast: Operation Aurora Part 2

Google, it turned out, was only one of 35 major U.S. corporations hit in Operation Aurora. Was it an espionage campaign, or could it be that it all began with one Chinese official who Googled his own name and wasn't happy with the search results?

September 26, 2019 /

Malicious Life Podcast: Operation Aurora Part 1

In January 2010, Google revealed in its blog that it was attacked in what became known as Operation Aurora - we expose the complicated and turbulent relationship between the world's largest internet company and China...

September 11, 2019 /

Malicious Life Podcast: Responding to a Cyberattack with Missiles

Is the use of deadly force a legitimate response to cyber-attacks? How can governments 'signal' to their opponents their cyber power, without actually deploying cyber weapons?

August 28, 2019 /

Malicious Life Podcast: Are Ad Blockers Malicious?

Ad Blockers provide an important service to users who find web ads annoying or even dangerous - however, the business models adopted by some blockers present us with a moral dilemma...

August 14, 2019 /

Malicious Life Podcast: Conficker

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 18, 2019 /

Malicious Life Podcast: Operation Soft Cell

A rare, inside look at how Cybereason Nocturnus researchers were able to uncover one of the largest cyber espionage campaigns ever discovered that targeted multiple telecommunications companies around the world...

July 10, 2019 /

Malicious Life Podcast: 'Pa Bell' vs. Youth International Party Line

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 U.S. history: Bell Telephone...

June 16, 2019 /

Malicious Life Podcast: The U.S. vs. Gary McKinnon

Gary McKinnon, a British hacker with Asperger's, broke into NASA and U.S. Army networks to find evidence of UFO coverup - when he was finally caught and the U.S. asked for his extradition, things got complicated....

May 27, 2019 /

Malicious Life Podcast: The WANK Worm Part 2

After the Challenger Disaster of 1986, NASA had a hard time convincing the public that the Galileo spacecraft, was safe to launch. The WANK worm was a message aim at NASA from the two most powerful attackers in the world...

May 9, 2019 /

Malicious Life Podcast: The WANK Worm Part 1

On Oct 16th, 1989, NASA's scientists were preparing a launch. But were met with an unexpected greeting on their computers: “Your system has been officially WANKed. You talk of times of peace for all, and then prepare for war...”

April 24, 2019 /

Malicious Life Podcast: Equifax Data Breach Part 2 - The Bits Hit the Fan

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...

April 11, 2019 /

Malicious Life Podcast: The Equifax Data Breach PartI - A Big Data Bubble

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, 1000 times larger than the Library of Congress, got hacked...

March 27, 2019 /

Malicious Life Podcast: DeCSS - Hackers vs. Hollywood

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...

March 13, 2019 /

Malicious Life Podcast: Marconi and the Maskelyne Affair

Guglielmo Marconi - the beloved, hated, disputed inventor of radio - gets trolled by a mustachioed magician in the world’s first ever wireless grey-hat hack, the Maskelyne Affair...

February 21, 2019 /

Malicious Life Podcast: The Fall Of Mt. Gox Part 2

What does a Russian man vacationing in Greece in 2017 have to do with the hacking of a crypto-currency company in Tokyo, in 2014? Find out...

February 6, 2019 /

Malicious Life Podcast: The Fall Of Mt. Gox Part 1

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...

January 22, 2019 /

Malicious Life Podcast: Dave Kennedy on the Psychological Principles of Social Engineering

Dave Kennedy, author of The Social Engineering Tool Kit, discusses the psychological principles behind Social Engineering, as well as Dave's work on the hit TV show Mr. Robot...

December 25, 2018 /

Malicious Life Podcast: The Ethereum DAO Hack

Tens of thousands of people get robbed, then a community gets together to ask: should we take our money back, or let the attacker walk with it?

December 13, 2018 /

Malicious Life Podcast: The Jerusalem Virus Part 2

How did the Jerusalem virus trigger the birth of the entire Antivirus industry in Israel? A high-stakes wager on Live TV, and more...

November 26, 2018 /

Malicious Life Podcast: The Jerusalem Virus Part 1

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?

November 15, 2018 /

Malicious Life Podcast: Gene Spafford on the Morris Worm and Cybersecurity in the 1980's

Eugene Spafford was the first researcher to publish a detailed analysis of the infamous Morris Worm. Gene talks about this incident and about security in the '80s...

October 31, 2018 /