6 podcasts about the dark side of the internet

Starting episode: “What did you get?”

Starting in the early days of quarantine in March 2020, this friendly show is like listening to a conversation between two internet-loving friends. One of the hosts, Ryan Broderick, once hosted a favorite Buzzfeed podcast on Internet Explorer, which delivers the same intriguing, informative energy to all forms of online content. Broderick’s relationship with his co-host, British journalist Luke Bailey, keeps the tone light and accessible even when the topic is difficult. Recent episodes have focused on major tech stories – crypto crashes, Netflix bubble bursts – but others unfold in really weird rabbit holes like Katie Couric CBD’s mysterious world on Facebook.

Home Episode: “Netflix’s Facebookification”

A vigilant hacker and a stubborn reporter teamed up to remove a huge child pornography website. This unusual and terrifying true story, as compelling as the summary suggests, is a joint production of CBC Podcasts and the Norwegian newspaper Verdens Gang. Digging deeper into the dark web, Hunting Warhead follows a month-long investigation by journalist Einar Stangwick, a hacker and Hakon Hoidal, which eventually led to the downfall of a local politician. The show’s steadfast approach allows for tough listening: in addition to talking to investigators, host Demon Fairles is interviewing the unrepentant website owner, Ben Faulkner, who is currently serving a 35-year sentence.

Episode: “Hacker vs. Hacker”

At the end of 2014, the film industry was shaken by a terribly awkward hacker. After Sony Pictures employees showed up at work one morning to find their computers unusable, the company began leaking confidential company data, including salaries, contracts, and emails, to the Internet. In a strange circumstance, Hacking was motivated by the movie “Interview” (starring Seth Rogen and James Franco), which depicts a fictional conspiracy to assassinate North Korean Kim Jong Un. This bittersweet podcast on the BBC World Service depicts every saga of the saga and its aftermath in Hollywood.

Home Episode: “Breaking Hollywood”

When this WBUR series launched, in 2017, it was a partnership with Reddit. Then the hosts, Ben Brock Johnson and Amorie Sivertson, told stories that were inspired specifically by the quixotic virtual communities that Reddit creates and the everyday secrets that keep it in the spotlight. (One classic episode focuses on Reddit about a man who stumbles upon a huge, unexplained pile of plates in rural Pennsylvania.) The partnership with Reddit ended, and Endless Thread expanded to explore Internet culture more generally last year. , Made its debut with a wonderful mini-series digging into the back stories of various memes such as Rickroll. While the tone is generally light, the show’s themes are as unpredictable and chaotic as the Internet itself.

Starting episode: “We want plates!”

Cybercrime came so fast that the world was uncertain; Last year’s ransom attack on the U.S. main pipeline underscored how vulnerable our many institutions are, not to mention our individual data. The “human hacker” does not shy away from this disturbing reality, but it is also never alarming. Instead, he needs a light and calm approach to what are, in essence, the real crime stories on the Internet. The hosts, Dave Beatner and Joe Carrigan, are cybersecurity experts who highlight decisions when they spread tales about social engineering, phishing fraud and online fraud on all fronts. Worried as you may feel about multiple episodes, you will leave with a better sense of how to protect yourself.

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