cyber

27 Jan. 2023

In 2016, Americans working in Cuba began to experience something strange. Something that is, to this day, unexplained. They felt a pressure in the brain, a ringing in their ear, and in the aftermath … a distressing sense of fatigue. This is Havana Syndrome, a mysterious ailment that felled spies and diplomats.


It remains a mystery to this day, one U.S. government officials have a hard time talking about let alone understanding. Sometimes it sounds like a frightening new weapon, other times like a classic moral panic. But what was it really? Will we ever know?


This is all the subject of a new podcast from VICE World News called Havana Syndrome. Over the course of the show’s nine episodes it unpacks not just the mysterious syndrome, but a history of spy and counterspy, the CIA, and America’s complicated relationship with Cuba.


With me here today to talk about it all is series producer Jesse Alejandro Cottrell.


Go here to check out ‘Havana Syndrome’ from VICE World News.


We’re recording CYBER live on Twitch and YouTube. Watch live during the week. Follow us there to get alerts when we go live. We take questions from the audience and yours might just end up on the show.


Subscribe to CYBER on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to your podcasts.



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24 Jan. 2023

We've all heard about how Facebook is destroying democracy. How Twitter enables the loudest, dumbest voices to have the most influence. How Instagram has ruined an entire generation's self esteem. But what if there is a social media network even more important than those?


Every day, people are gathering online in this space to organize powerful political movements. They’re sharing details of what’s going on, locally, getting organized, and fighting each other in an online cage match of American politics.


It’s time to talk about Nextdoor.


On today’s episode of Cyber, Motherboard Senior Writer Aaron Gordon comes on to talk about the wild world of Nextdoor.


Stories discussed in this episode:


How Nextdoor Put Neighbors In a Housing Policy 'Cage Match'


We’re recording CYBER live on Twitch and YouTube. Watch live during the week. Follow us there to get alerts when we go live. We take questions from the audience and yours might just end up on the show.


Subscribe to CYBER on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to your podcasts.



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18 Jan. 2023

Replika is a chatbot that you can find on the App Store. It bills itself as a companion that can, if you pay, become something more. The ads on the internet offer a repertoire of sexually suggestive services including kinky roleplay and on-demand sexy photographs.


But what if you just want to talk? People in the Replika community are complaining that the chatbot has taken a turn recently, making unwanted comments and sending unsolicited lewds. Some users think it’s all about money.


On this episode of Cyber, Motherboard Senior Editor Samantha Cole stops by to help us unravel the mystery of the AI that got too horny.


Stories discussed in this episode:


‘My AI Is Sexually Harassing Me’: Replika Users Say the Chatbot Has Gotten Way Too Horny


We’re recording CYBER live on Twitch and YouTube. Watch live during the week. Follow us there to get alerts when we go live. We take questions from the audience and yours might just end up on the show.


Subscribe to CYBER on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to your podcasts.



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12 Jan. 2023

Recent remarks from Richard Trumka Jr., one of the three commissioners with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), sparked outrage in some circles. As it turns out, gas stoves aren’t great for you, and the CPSC has considered regulating them. Pretty soon politicians were sharing images of gas ranges above the words “Come and Take It.”


Why does it feel lately like the only war America is any good at fighting is the culture war? What is the actual science behind gas stoves? And why, while we’re asking national questions, does C-SPAN look so good lately?


On this episode of Cyber, Motherboard Senior Writer Aaron Gordon stops by to explain it all.


Stories discussed in this episode:


Here Come the Gas Stove Culture Wars


Why C-SPAN’s Camera Work Is Suddenly So Interesting


C-SPAN Is Once Again Asking the House to Relax Filming Rules So It Can Document Its Dysfunction


We’re recording CYBER live on Twitch and YouTube. Watch live during the week. Follow us there to get alerts when we go live. We take questions from the audience and yours might just end up on the show.


Subscribe to CYBER on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to your podcasts.



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10 Jan. 2023

Encrypted app for criminals Cipher is rebranding to go above-board, California has got new digital license plates with strange security implications, a researcher made deepfaked demands for a refund to Wells Fargo, and the American military is trying to ply Gen Z gamers with sweet sweet streams.


On today’s Cyber, we’re playing catch up with Motherboard reporter Joseph Cox.


Stories discussed in this episode:


Researchers Could Track the GPS Location of All of California’s New Digital License Plates


Ciphr, Encrypted App That Served Organized Crime, Rebrands as Enterprise Software


Researcher Deepfakes His Voice, Uses AI to Demand Refund From Wells Fargo


U.S. Army Planned to Pay Streamers Millions to Reach Gen-Z Through Call of Duty


We’re recording CYBER live on Twitch and YouTube. Watch live during the week. Follow us there to get alerts when we go live. We take questions from the audience and yours might just end up on the show.


Subscribe to CYBER on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to your podcasts.



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5 Jan. 2023

Facial recognition technology is here. Whether we like it or not, cameras all across the world are scanning faces and building databases. 


There’s a popular misconception that technology is objective and unbiased. But that’s not true. All systems carry the biases of the people who created them, and nowhere is that more evident than in facial recognition systems.


Today’s show is about how those biases come to bear, and the dangers of running recklessly forward without considering the consequences. All the way back in 2013, the University of North Carolina, Wilmington published a dataset meant for facial recognition systems. It contained more than 1 million images of trans people, pulled from YouTube, showing them at various stages of their transition.


This was done without the permission of the original posters. Why? Because terrorists might take hormones to alter their face and beat border control systems.


It gets weirder from there.


Here to help us tell the story is Os Keyes. Keyes is a researcher and PhD candidate at the University of Washington’s Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering. They’re also the co-author of Feeling fixes: Mess and emotion in algorithmic audits, which is a scientific audit of the dataset we’re going to be talking about today.


Stories discussed in this episode:


Facial Recognition Researcher Left a Trans Database Exposed for Years After Using Images Without Permission


We’re recording CYBER live on Twitch and YouTube. Watch live during the week. Follow us there to get alerts when we go live. We take questions from the audience and yours might just end up on the show.


Subscribe to CYBER on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to your podcasts.



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14 Dec. 2022

Apple has democratized stalking for the modern world. With the Airtag you can keep track of your luggage and your estranged spouse.


There’s been an uptick in stalking cases with Apple Airtags at the center and the legal system doesn’t quite know what to do. Often, the cops and the prosecutors don’t even know what an Airtag is. So what do you do when there’s technology at the center of your legal battle, technology that the authorities do not understand.


Today on Cyber, Motherboard Senior Editor Samantha Cole comes on to walk us through it.


Stories discussed in this episode:


The Legal System Is Completely Unprepared for Apple AirTag Stalking


How ‘Porn Addiction’ Took Hold of the Internet


Republicans Are Panicking Because They Somehow Just Found Out You Can Buy Vibrators at CVS


We’re recording CYBER live on Twitch and YouTube. Watch live during the week. Follow us there to get alerts when we go live. We take questions from the audience and yours might just end up on the show.


Subscribe to CYBER on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to your podcasts.



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9 Dec. 2022

We all love a good chatbot, some nice AI art, and a pleasant automated system. Artificial intelligence is here and these fancy decision trees are supposed to make our lives easier everyday without a human ever having to lift a finger.


Except that’s not exactly true. AIs require an incredible amount of human input to train; AI art doesn’t make nightmares reality without scanning over millions of human-made images; and Meta’s content didn’t learn how to moderate itself with a human first telling it what to look for.


So who are these people who teach AI and why do we never hear about them?


On today’s episode of Cyber, Motherboard writer Chloe Xiang will help us answer that question.


Stories discussed in this episode:


AI Isn’t Artificial or Intelligent


ISIS Executions and Non-Consensual Porn Are Powering AI Art


We’re recording CYBER live on Twitch and YouTube. Watch live during the week. Follow us there to get alerts when we go live. We take questions from the audience and yours might just end up on the show.


Subscribe to CYBER on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to your podcasts.



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6 Dec. 2022

An online prophet that claims to be god. A murder in the Alabama woods. A child holding a shotgun in the middle of a camp. Reptilians. Urine therapy. The American South. Police violence. Conspiracy. Robot birds. The uniquely American black esoteric tradition. 


This episode of Cyber is a big and surreal story about a New Age movement that’s spread through livestreams. Its followers are decentralized, driven by belief rather than any organizing principle, but at the center of it all is a prophet who claims to be god and is sitting in jail on some pretty serious charges.


Here to talk about the story is Motherboard Senior Staff Writer Anna Merlan and Editorial Director Tim Marchman.


Stories discussed in this episode:


An Online Prophet Claims to Be a God. His Followers Keep Getting Arrested.


Followers of Charismatic New Age Influencer Accused of Two Different Murders in Alabama


Suspects in Bizarre ‘Off-Grid’ Alabama Shooting Posted About New Age Conspiracy Theories, Followed a Controversial Content Creator


We’re recording CYBER live on Twitch and YouTube. Watch live during the week. Follow us there to get alerts when we go live. We take questions from the audience and yours might just end up on the show.


Subscribe to CYBER on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to your podcasts.



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2 Dec. 2022

This episode of Cyber is an action packed double feature that feels like it’s been pulled directly from a Cyberpunk novel. That’s right, today is all about railway strikes and killer robots. It’s hard to be a railway worker in America. The schedules are a nightmare, the kind of working conditions that can make someone sick. Just don’t try to use your sick days. Facing a railway strike, Congress passed legislation to prevent it. All at the behest of the White House. We’ll get into that. 


Then we’ll talk about San Francisco. The City by the Bay has written the rules of killer robots. SF won’t have the first police department that’s killed someone with a drone, just the first with rules.


With me today to talk about it is Motherboard Senior Writer Aaron Gordon. He’s been following both stories. You may remember he was on the show more at the start of the year talking about the horrifying conditions of America’s rail workers.


Stories discussed in this episode:


The Most Complicated Labor Negotiation in the Country Just Got More Complicated


Once Again, Rail Workers Lose


More than 500 Labor Historians Condemn Biden’s Intervention in Freight Rail Dispute


San Francisco Police Want to Be Allowed to Kill People With Robots


San Francisco Police Can Now Kill People With Robots


We’re recording CYBER live on Twitch and YouTube. Watch live during the week. Follow us there to get alerts when we go live. We take questions from the audience and yours might just end up on the show.


Subscribe to CYBER on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to your podcasts.



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29 Nov. 2022

Landlords. Most of us have to deal with them. They can be nosy, weird, invasive, and lazy. The best kind of landlord tends to be one that’s hands off. Well what if I told you that you can look forward to a bright future of automated landlords. Robot landlords tending their rental properties with a cool and calloused algorithmic hand. That impersonal future is here. Now.


This week on Cyber, Nick Keppler stops by to talk about the rise of automated landlords. Keppler is a freelance journalist whose work has appeared in The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, and—of course—VICE. His latest at Motherboard is Robot Landlords Are Buying Up Houses.


Stories discussed in this episode:


Robot Landlords Are Buying Up Houses


Among the Landlords


We’re recording CYBER live on Twitch and YouTube. Watch live during the week. Follow us there to get alerts when we go live. We take questions from the audience and yours might just end up on the show.


Subscribe to CYBER on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to your podcasts.



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22 Nov. 2022

We have to talk about Elon Musk. It’s fun to make fun of him, and whatever he’s doing at Twitter certainly looks like the weird flailing of a man who doesn’t know how to run a company. But let’s take Musk seriously for an hour or so. He is the richest man in the world. He has big dreams and some of the resources to achieve them. The Pentagon is paying him for rocket launches. Starlink works and has been instrumental in the war in Ukraine.


So who is Elon Musk and why do we care so much? His detractors see only a shitposter who made some great business bets. His fans see him as a messianic figure, a superhero who will lead us into a new golden age of technology.


But what’s the truth? Is it somewhere in between? The answer isn’t that simple.


On this episode of Cyber, Motherboard managing editor Jordan Pearson sits down to help us think through the bizarre geopolitical importance of Twitter’s new CEO.


Stories discussed in this episode:


Twitter Employees Call Elon Musk’s Bluff


Twitter Employees on Visas Can’t Just Quit


Elon Musk Is Creating His Own Reality


SpaceX Was Born Because Elon Musk Wanted to Grow Plants on Mars


Elon Musk's Tech Has Geopolitical Clout. Things Are Going to Get Weird


We’re recording CYBER live on Twitch and YouTube. Watch live during the week. Follow us there to get alerts when we go live. We take questions from the audience and yours might just end up on the show.


Subscribe to CYBER on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to your podcasts.



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16 Nov. 2022

We’ve all seen the videos. Those viral townhall meetings where the community gathers to give its feedback to city managers on this or that subject. Too often a crank with a microphone stands before a panel of local political operators and talks at length about something bizarre and hyper specific. Sometimes they get abusive. There’s yelling, tears, grandstanding, and often nothing changes.


It wasn’t always this way and there might be a better way to do it. On this episode of CYBER, Motherboard Senior Writer Aaron Gordon takes us through the history of “community feedback” and why it has to change.


Stories discussed in this episode:


Thank You For Your Feedback


We’re recording CYBER live on Twitch and YouTube. Watch live during the week. Follow us there to get alerts when we go live. We take questions from the audience and yours might just end up on the show.


Subscribe to CYBER on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to your podcasts.



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15 Nov. 2022

Have you heard about Sam Bankman-Fried and FTX? FTX was the second largest crypto currency exchange in the world and Bankman-Fried was the guy who ran it. He was a young genius, people said. He practiced something called “effective altruism,” gave away money to people on the street, played video games, and was predicted to be the world’s first trillionaire.


Now he’s bankrupt, FTX is in ruins and large amounts of crypto seem to keep shifting around with no explanation. So who was Bankman-Fried? Why did everyone think he was a genius? And how did FTX seemingly make billions of dollars in wealth evaporate overnight.


On this episode of Cyber, Motherboard staff writer Edward Ongweso Jr. tries to answers those questions.


Stories discussed in this episode:


Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX Crypto Empire Is Officially Bankrupt


Sam Bankman-Fried Was Supposed to Be Different. He Wasn't.


FTX Founder: ‘I Fucked Up’


We’re recording CYBER live on Twitch and YouTube. Watch live during the week. Follow us there to get alerts when we go live. We take questions from the audience and yours might just end up on the show. 


Subscribe to CYBER on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to your podcasts.



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10 Nov. 2022

Without sex there would be no internet. From the moment the servers spun up, users were trying to figure out how to use instant connection to pleasures themselves and each other. The history of sex and the internet are intertwined. And what feels like new problems in the space: banking woes, hate speech, harassment, and moral panics about children are all much much older than you think.


That’s the subject of the new book How Sex Changed the Internet. It’s out on November 15 and it’s by Motherboard Senior Editor Samantha Cole. She’s here with us today to talk about breasts, BBS’, boy’s clubs, and the broad strokes of the culture war.


Buy Sam’s Book Here


We’re recording CYBER live on Twitch and YouTube. Watch live during the week. Follow us there to get alerts when we go live. We take questions from the audience and yours might just end up on the show. 


Subscribe to CYBER on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to your podcasts.



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8 Nov. 2022

We’re living through the end of something. Facebook is the site where your older family shares racist memes, Twitter seems only capable of talking about itself, and Instagram can’t compete with TikTok. What started with Friendster and MySpace, social media, once felt like a totalizing on the internet. Now it’s dying.


According to Motherboard writer Edward Ongweso Jr, social media isn’t dying. It’s already dead. So what monsters struggle now to be born?


Stories discussed in this episode:


Social Media Is Dead


At SXSW, A Pathetic Tech Future Struggles to Be Born


We’re recording CYBER live on Twitch and YouTube. Watch live during the week. Follow us there to get alerts when we go live. We take questions from the audience and yours might just end up on the show. 


Subscribe to CYBER on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to your podcasts.




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3 Nov. 2022

Have you tried going to a concert recently? What about a stadium show for a popular comedian? What did it cost? How was the Ticketmaster experience? Like everything else, the price of live event tickets is on the rise.


But the reasons why aren’t as simple as inflation and the economy. Outrageous ticket prices are all about a business monopoly using an algorithm to outflank the secondary market.


It’s a surreal story and here to tell it is Motherboard editor-in-chief Jason Koebler. 


Stories discussed in this episode:


Blink-182 Tickets Are So Expensive Because Ticketmaster Is a Disastrous Monopoly and Now Everyone Pays Ticket Broker Prices


The Man Who Broke Ticketmaster


We’re recording CYBER live on Twitch and YouTube. Watch live during the week. Follow us there to get alerts when we go live. We take questions from the audience and yours might just end up on the show. 


Subscribe to CYBER on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to your podcasts.


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1 Nov. 2022

For almost two decades, Facebook has dominated headlines and the lives of its users. It’s been blamed for genocides, pointed to as a vector of disinformation, and depressed you as you scrolled past high school acquaintances that seem to be doing so much better than you. 


But now its founder Mark Zuckerberg is obsessed with a virtual world no one wants, the company’s stock is down 70 percent of its peak and it has lost $800 billion of its market capitalization.


Are we finally witnessing the end of Facebook?


On this episode of Cyber, Motherboard staff writer Edward Ongweso Jr. stops by to try to answer the question. 


Stories discussed in this episode:


Facebook’s Monopoly Is Imploding Before Our Eyes


Elon Musk’s First Days as Twitter Owner: Conspiracies, Chaos, and Desperation


For Much of the World, Facebook Going Down Is a Disaster, Not a Joke


We’re recording CYBER live on Twitch and YouTube. Watch live during the week. Follow us there to get alerts when we go live. We take questions from the audience and yours might just end up on the show. 


Subscribe to CYBER on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to your podcasts.


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28 Oct. 2022

The killer robots are here and they’re not going away. 


We’ve all seen footage of the cute robot dogs stumbling around with weapons strapped to their back, and loitering munitions (or so-called “suicide drones”) have become a fixture on the battlefield in Ukraine.


There’s a general fear in the air that the near future will be populated by semi-autonomous killing machines. But killer robots have been here a long time. Did you know one of the first aerial drones was deployed more than 100 years ago? Did you know cops have already used a robot to kill a suspect? Did you know the Netherlands has already deployed robots on the ground equipped with machine guns?


Kelsey Atherton knows, and he’s here to tell us all about it. Atherton is a military tech writer specializing in robots, nukes, and other terrible futures. He’s written for Motherboard before and his substack is Wars of Future Past.


Stories discussed in this episode:


Robot Dog Maker Boston Dynamics Pledges Not to Let Its Robots Kill You


Robot Dog With RPG Strapped to Its Back Demoed at Russian Arms Fair


Police Outsourcing Human Interaction With Homeless People to Boston Dynamics’ Robot Dog


The Netherlands Has Deployed NATO’s First Killer Robot Ground Vehicles


Robot Dog Not So Cute With Submachine Gun Strapped to Its Back


Hacker Finds Kill Switch for Submachine Gun–Wielding Robot Dog


​It's Going to Be Okay


We’re recording CYBER live on Twitch and YouTube. Watch live during the week. Follow us there to get alerts when we go live. We take questions from the audience and yours might just end up on the show. 

Subscribe to CYBER on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to your podcasts.

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26 Oct. 2022

America and political violence go together like George Lincoln Rockwell and a corncob pipe. There is a growing movement in the U.S., one that’s spreading online and probably in some of your neighborhoods. Far right extremist movements have a deepy history in America and there’s a new podcast from VICE that explores that history.


It’s called American Terror and it’s hosted by a familiar voice: VICE news correspondent and founding host of Cyber Ben Makuch. He stopped by Cyber to talk about the show, UFOs, and Dan Carlin.


Listen to American Terror now on Spotify.


We’re recording CYBER live on Twitch and YouTube. Watch live during the week. Follow us there to get alerts when we go live. We take questions from the audience and yours might just end up on the show. 


Subscribe to CYBER on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to your podcasts.



Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

20 Oct. 2022

We’ve all gotten a little too involved in a video game. I’ve talked repeatedly about how I’ve gotten lost in trying to complete maps in open world games like Assassin’s Creed. And there’s a million stories out there about kids who spent all their parents' money on upgrades in Farmville. But when I say the words State of Survival or Game of Thrones: Conquest, what comes to mind? Crappy ads on Facebook? Weird looking games that are obvious money pits? Yes, but there’s something a little more insidious going on. It’s an evolution of the old addictive mobile game formula. One that’s generated a new lawsuit.


On this episode of Cyber, Motherboard Senior Editor Maxwell Strachan comes on to talk about the new era of mobile games, the price of addiction, and the people suing for false advertising.


Stories discussed in this episode:


‘Game of Thrones: Conquest’ and ‘State of Survival’ Players Say They Felt Addicted and Pressured To Spend


CYBER: How Corporations and Governments Use Games to Control Us


Confessions of a Semi-Reformed Video Game Completionist


B.F. Skinner on his beef with Noam Chomsky


On Chomsky's Appraisal of Skinner's Verbal Behavior: A Half Century of Misunderstanding


We’re recording CYBER live on Twitch and YouTube. Watch live during the week. Follow us there to get alerts when we go live. We take questions from the audience and yours might just end up on the show. 


Subscribe to CYBER on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to your podcasts.



Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

13 Oct. 2022

On this episode of Cyber we talk about an old technology that suddenly feels very new. The bomb. That’s right, this episode is all about nuclear weapons. Thanks to Moscow’s war in Ukraine and Putin’s implicit and explicit threats to use them should Russian territory be threatened, everyone is afraid of nuclear weapons once again. Able Archer? Passé. Cuban Missile Crisis? Old news. These days it’s all about hypersonics, tactical nukes, and even cruise missiles powered by a nuclear engine.


At least that’s the claim.


On this episode of Cyber, the Arms Control Wonk himself, Jeffrey Lewis, comes on to answer all your burning questions about nuclear weapons. Lewis is a professor at the Middlebury Institute, a member of the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, and the host of the Arms Control Wonk podcast.


Stories discussed in this episode:


Is There a Threat of Nuclear War with Russia? Experts Weigh In.


Putin Puts Russia’s Nuclear Deterrent Forces on High Alert


Putin Demonstrates New Missiles With Visualization of Nukes Hitting Mar-a-Lago


Nuclear War Anxiety Is Back. Here’s How to Manage It.


We’re recording CYBER live on Twitch and YouTube. Watch live during the week. Follow us there to get alerts when we go live. We take questions from the audience and yours might just end up on the show. 


Subscribe to CYBER on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to your podcasts.


Sign up for Motherboard’s daily newsletter for a regular dose of our original reporting, plus behind-the-scenes content about our biggest stories.



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11 Oct. 2022

Apps have made our life so convenient haven’t they? With the push of a button you can order Postmates, book an Airbnb, or even call an Uber. But what happens when the apps stop taking your calls? What happens when they shut you out completely?


It’s happening more and more. In a bid to increase user safety, companies like Airbnb and Uber are turning to third parties to run background checks for them. A lot of it is automated and the background checkers make a lot of mistakes. So what happens if you’ve been a five star guest on Airbnb but a decades old run in with the cops suddenly makes you a pariah?


Not much, it turns out.


On this episode of Cyber, Motherboard senior editor Samantha Cole comes on to talk about Inflection, the company running background checks for Uber, Airbnb and DraftKings.


Stories discussed in this episode:


Banished for an Unleashed Dog: Airbnb Bans Bewilder Guests and Hosts


‘Consumers Get Screwed’: Airbnb’s and Uber’s Background-Check Company Keeps Getting Sued


We’re recording CYBER live on Twitch and YouTube. Watch live during the week. Follow us there to get alerts when we go live. We take questions from the audience and yours might just end up on the show. 


Subscribe to CYBER on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to your podcasts.



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4 Oct. 2022

Do you ever feel like you’re being played? Like the people who run the world have got you on a treadmill that’s feeding you just enough rewards to keep going. Gold stars on your attendance sheet at elementary school. Apps that encourage you to run by pretending you’re fleeing zombies. Bosses that keep track of everyone’s progress in a public spreadsheet, pitting employees against each other.


As video games have gotten more popular, the world of flesh and blood has adopted some of its aspects. Not all of them are good. Gamification is here, all around us, and the powers that be are using it to keep us in line.


On this episode of Cyber ex-neuroscientist, current game developer, and best-selling author Adrian Hon talks about gamification with us. His newest book is You’ve Been Played: How Corporations, Governments, and Schools Use Games to Control Us All.


Stories discussed in this episode:


What Alternate Reality Games Teach Us About the Dangerous Appeal of QAnon


We’re recording CYBER live on Twitch and YouTube. Watch live during the week. Follow us there to get alerts when we go live. We take questions from the audience and yours might just end up on the show. 


Subscribe to CYBER on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to your podcasts.


Sign up for Motherboard’s daily newsletter for a regular dose of our original reporting, plus behind-the-scenes content about our biggest stories.



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29 Sep. 2022

Hacks are increasing but the hackers are not necessarily getting more sophisticated. What do Twitter, Twilio, and Uber all have in common? They were all hacked by, in part, a conversation. In all three cases, the hack was helped along by social engineering. Someone contacted an employee of the company and tricked them into giving up the keys to the company. It doesn’t matter how fancy your 2FA system is if an employee is just gonna give up their SMS codes to some rando on the phone.


But worry not. There are ways to protect yourself and your company against such attacks. With me today to work through it all is Rachel Tobac. Tobac is a hacker and the CEO of SocialProof Security, a company that aims to get your organization politely paranoid.


She also, coincidentally, just published a really amazing video that dramatizes a lot about what we’re going to talk about today. You can find it on Twitter @racheltobac.


Stories discussed in this episode:


The Uber Hack Shows Push Notification 2FA Has a Downside: It’s Too Annoying


How a Third-Party SMS Service Was Used to Take Over Signal Accounts


Hackers Convinced Twitter Employee to Help Them Hijack Accounts


We’re recording CYBER live on Twitch. Watch live during the week. Follow us there to get alerts when we go live. We take questions from the audience and yours might just end up on the show. 


Subscribe to CYBER on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to your podcasts.


Sign up for Motherboard’s daily newsletter for a regular dose of our original reporting, plus behind-the-scenes content about our biggest stories.



Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

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