We scroll and swipe away all the time, blissfully unaware that we are leaving our footprints all over the virtual world.
But dangers are lurking around corners – hackers, phishers, fraudsters, and more. You likely know that already, as pop culture has fed us stories about these tech frauds and we have gulped them down with a side of fries. But how do they play out in real life?
Darknet Diaries, a documentary-style podcast about hackers and cybercrime, is hosted by Jack Rhysider. Its tagline is true stories from the dark side of the internet.
What fascinated us about this podcast is that information is conveyed on many levels. You learn about technology which is an eclectic mix of the familiar and the unknown. For example, the very first episode about PBX hacking was something we were clueless about.
But it’s also about true crimes and their offshoots which are gripping accounts accompanied by cautionary tales.
Don’t get us wrong. This podcast is not just a series of lessons in online safety, though. It is also slice-of-life, as there are interviews with people associated with this sub-culture – hackers, victims of these online frauds, as well as experts. The discussion does tend to get a bit technical in some parts but it remains interesting enough for both laymen and pros.
Darknet Diaries lays bare the often dismal security measures people and corporations take. But it also makes you marvel at how multiple layers of security are often breached, masterfully. It could happen to anyone, and that’s the selling point – listen to the accounts of victims so you don’t become one.
There are also some pertinent questions raised about ethics – like in episode 13 which is about the Carna Botnet. Carna was a bot programmed to measure the extent of the Internet. A survey if you will, designed around weak security of connected devices. But the anonymous hacker who designed Carna discovered Aidra, another botnet which was using the same exploit but with malicious intent. Carna Bot was then programmed to disable any of the Aidra bots that it found. Bot vs. Bot!
Rhysider is a great host. He simplifies intense, complex narratives and adds explanations.
All in all, this is a must-listen, for all true-crime enthusiasts and for all those who are looking to be informed about real stories from the digital era. Listen