Hacking Humans

By the CyberWire

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Each week the CyberWire’s Hacking Humans Podcast looks behind the social engineering scams, phishing schemes, and criminal exploits that are making headlines and taking a heavy toll on organizations around the world. We talk to social engineering experts, security pros, cognitive scientists, and those practiced in the arts of deception (perhaps even a magician or two). We also hear from people targeted by social engineering attacks and learn from their experiences.

Episode Date
Focus, technology, and training fight phishing

Dave describes a phishing attempt to infiltrate U.S. election systems. Joe shares a story of government agencies receiving malicious CDs in the mail. University employees are lured by greed. And David Baggett from Inky joins us to describe phishing techniques they are seeing and offers ways to best protect yourself and your organization.

Links to stories mentioned in this week's show:




Thanks to our show sponsor KnowBe4.


Aug 09, 2018
Luring unsuspecting money mules.

Joe describes clever gift card scams. Dave follows up on last week's proposal to waste phone scammer's time. A more plausible phishing scheme comes through. Guest David Shear from Flashpoint describes methods scammers use to lure people into being money mules.




Thanks to our show sponsor KnowBe4.


Aug 02, 2018
Nothing up my sleeve.

Dave shares a story of deception right out of Hollywood.


Joe proposes changing the financial incentives for scammers.

A porn-shaming catch of the day courtesy of Johannes Ulrich.

An interview with atomic physicist and close-up magician Adam West.

Thanks to our show sponsor KnowBe4.


Jul 26, 2018
Think like an attacker.

Joe describes a con law enforcement agencies use to lure crooks. Dave shares a tech support scan spreading in chat forums. A listener from Dublin has a fake email from Apple. We welcome Rachel Tobac, CEO of SocialProof Security.

Thanks to our show sponsor KnowBe4.

Jul 19, 2018
Presidential prank, pensioner pilfered.

Dave recounts the news that US President Trump likely fell for a prank phone call. Joe outlines the sad story of a woman robbed of her retirement savings. Twitter account recovery scams. Charles Arthur, author of Cyber Wars - Hacks that Shocked the Business World, joins us for an interview. 

Thanks to our show sponsor KnowBe4.

Jul 12, 2018
Phone scams, phantom employees and sitting Ducks.

Joe warns of a harrowing phone scam technique, Dave reveals an alternate persona, a listener tries to sell a truck, and Carole Theriault from the Smashing Security Podcast interviews Sophos' Paul Ducklin.

Thanks to our show sponsor KnowBe4.

Jul 05, 2018
Separating fools from money.

Dave shares a story of airport penetration testing with high degree of yuck-factor. Joe explores research on protecting passwords from social engineering. The catch-of-the-day comes courtesy of Graham Cluley's email spam box. Dave interviews Wired's Security Staff Writer Lily Hay Newman on her article tracking Nigerian email scammers. 

Thanks to our show sponsor KnowBe4.

Jun 28, 2018
Playing on kindness.

Joe explains the Ben Franklin effect. Dave describes job applicants tricked unto money laundering. A listener tells a tale of being fooled by an appeal to greed. Joe interviews Stacey Cameron from DirectDefense about her physical penetration testing work.

Thanks to our show sponsor KnowBe4.

Jun 21, 2018
Gaming pro athletes online.

Joe warns of scammers taking advantage of natural disasters, Dave explores romance scams, and gets a strange voice mail. 
Stephen Frank from the National Hockey League Players Association joins us to share how professional athletes protect themselves from online scams. 

Thanks to our show sponsor KnowBe4.

Jun 14, 2018
A flood of misinformation and fake news.

In this episode, Joe examines the anatomy of a phishing attack, Dave explores pretexting, and a scammer targets real estate agents. 
Professor Stephen Lewandowsky from the University of Bristol joins us to share his research on misinformation, fake news, and inoculating people against them. 

Thanks to our show sponsor KnowBe4.

Jun 07, 2018
Social Engineering works because we're human.

In this premier episode of the Hacking Humans podcast, cohosts Dave Bittner from the CyberWire and Joe Carrigan from the Johns Hopkins University Information Security Institute discuss noteworthy social engineering schemes and ways to detect them. 

Author Christopher Hadnagy discusses his book The Art of Human Hacking. 

Thanks to our show sponsor KnowBe4.


May 30, 2018