The Hacker Mind
EP 46: Reverse Engineering Smart Meters

EP 46: Reverse Engineering Smart Meters

May 10, 2022

After hearing a talk, a Dallas-based hacker set out to find out what was going on inside the smart meter attached to his home, and what he found was surprising.

Since then Hash started a reverse engineering wiki site called Recessim and created dozens of YouTube videos in a channel of that same name to chronicle his adventures. He joins The Hacker Mind to talk about his journey, about mesh networks, and even glitching. Like any true hacker, this isn’t his day job; this is his passion.

EP 45: Hacking Industrial Control Systems

EP 45: Hacking Industrial Control Systems

April 26, 2022

Can criminal hackers shut down a city’s electrical grid? Well, nothing’s impossible. But how might it actually happen? And how might we defend ourselves?

Tom Van Norman, co-founder of the ICS Village, joins The Hacker Mind to share the group’s upcoming plans for RSAC and DEF CON, where they will again present present virtual scenarios and hands on physical models of industrial control systems in order to expose hackers to their inner workings and to provide them with best practices to prevent potential threats to health, life, and safety.

EP 44: Hackers Wanted: Filling the Cybersecurity Skills Gap

EP 44: Hackers Wanted: Filling the Cybersecurity Skills Gap

April 12, 2022

Should infosec now be considered vocational training just like becoming an electrician or a plumber? How else should we address the skills gap in infosec?

In this episode, Sonny Sandelius, Assistant Director of the SANS workforce programs, talks about programs that recruit people from outside computer sciences, encouraging those from diverse backgrounds who share the curiosity and the basic aptitude necessary to become hired cybersecurity professionals in as little as six months. 

EP 43: Follow The Rabbit

EP 43: Follow The Rabbit

March 29, 2022

Hackers often make it look easy when in fact they started with no plan and were just following their curiosity, going down paths erratically just like a rabbit.

Researchers Nir Ohfeld and Sagi Tzadik join The Hacker Mind to talk about their presentation at Black Hat Europe 2021 on the ChaosDB vulnerability. It’s about how they started with a deliberately misconfigured version of CosmosDB and ended up with complete unrestricted access to the accounts and the databases of thousands of Microsoft Azure customers.

EP 42: Hacking Aerospace

EP 42: Hacking Aerospace

March 15, 2022

Can you hack an airplane? A satellite in orbit? Turns out you can. And the fact that hackers are thinking about this now, that’s actually a good thing.    

Steve Luczynski and Matt Mayes join The Hacker Mind to talk about the importance of having hackers, vendors, and the government get together and work through problems. That’s why the Aerospace Village at DEF CON exists. Mayes said “there are a lot of companies that are skeptical of hackers. And both sides are looking at each other, you know, a little bit in an uneasy fashion. So we want to show that neither side is scary.” 

EP 41: Hacking The Art of Inivisibility

EP 41: Hacking The Art of Inivisibility

March 1, 2022

In the book The Art of Invisibility, I challenged my co author Kevin Mitnick to document the steps needed to become invisible online. There are a lot.

In this episode, I'm going to discuss how hard it is to be absolutely invisible online. How there are always breadcrumbs and fingerprints left behind that could potentially identify you. That said, there are some steps that you can take to obfuscate your online presence and to eliminate those breadcrumbs in the first place. And as for staying invisible, well, at some point, it's only human that we sometimes fail.

EP 40: Hacking Ethereum Smart Contracts

EP 40: Hacking Ethereum Smart Contracts

February 15, 2022

How do you stop a half billion dollars in cryptocurrency from being stolen? You perform software testing and responsibly disclose it first, of course.

Yannis Smaragdakis, a researcher with Dedaub, found a major vulnerability in Ethereum smart contracts, arguably within the billion-dollar range, that would have made it one of the largest hacks ever—given that it was a theoretically unbounded threat -- had it not been mostly mitigated by the time it went public.  In this episode he steps us though how he discovered the Phantom Function and other vulnerabilities within Ethereum. 

EP 39: Fuzzing Crypto

EP 39: Fuzzing Crypto

February 1, 2022

For some people, crypto means cryptography. For others, it means cryptocurrency. Fortunately, in this episode, we’re discussing vulnerabilities in both.

Guido Vranken returns to The Hacker Mind to discuss his CryptoFuzz tool on GitHub, as well as his experience fuzzing and finding vulnerabilities in cryptographic libraries and also within cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum.

EP 38: Going Passwordless

EP 38: Going Passwordless

January 18, 2022

Passwords are everywhere, but they probably weren't intended to be used as much as they are today. Is there something more secure? Something better? Yes.

Simon Moffatt from The Cyber Hut joins The Hacker Mind to discuss how identity and access management (IAM) is fundamental to everything we do online today, and why even multi factor access, while an improvement, needs to yield to more effortless and more secure passwordless technology that’s coming soon.

EP 37: A Hacker From Hollywood

EP 37: A Hacker From Hollywood

January 4, 2022

This is the story of a film star who connected the simple concept behind a player piano to complex communication technology in use in our devices today.

Hedy Lamarr is perhaps best known for the dozen or so motion pictures she made -- and as the most beautiful woman in the world -- but did you know that she also co-patented the frequency hopping spread spectrum technology that is the foundation for cellular, Wi-Fi, and even Bluetooth communications?

Podbean App

Play this podcast on Podbean App