6 Podcasts About the Dark Side of the Internet

Starter episode: “What Did You Take?”

Begun throughout the early days of quarantine in March 2020, this affable present appears like eavesdropping on a dialog between two internet-savvy pals. One of many hosts, Ryan Broderick, used to co-host the beloved Buzzfeed podcast “Web Explorer,” and brings the identical inquisitive, informative vitality to this sequence about on-line content material in all its types. Broderick’s rapport together with his co-host, the British journalist Luke Bailey, retains the tone gentle and accessible even when the subject material is advanced. Latest episodes have targeted on mainstream tech tales — the crypto crash, the Netflix bubble bursting — however others go down really bizarre rabbit holes, just like the mysterious world of Katie Couric CBD scams on Fb.

Starter episode: “The Facebookification of Netflix”

A vigilante hacker and a dogged reporter crew as much as take down an unlimited youngster pornography web site. This extraordinary and horrifying true story, which is simply as gripping because the abstract suggests, is a coproduction from CBC Podcasts and the Norwegian newspaper Verdens Gang. Delving into the deepest recesses of the darkish net, “Searching Warhead” follows a monthslong investigation by Einar Stangvik, the hacker, and Hakon Hoydal, the journalist, that finally led to the downfall of a neighborhood politician. The present’s unflinching strategy makes for powerful listening: Along with speaking to the investigators, the host, Daemon Fairless, interviews the web site’s unrepentant proprietor, Ben Faulkner, who’s at the moment serving a 35-year jail sentence.

Starter episode: “Hacker vs. Hacker”

In late 2014, the movie trade was roiled by a wildly embarrassing hack. After Sony Footage staff confirmed as much as work one morning to seek out their computer systems unusable, reams of confidential firm information started leaking on-line, together with salaries, contracts and unflattering e-mail exchanges amongst executives. In a weird twist, the hack turned out to be motivated by the upcoming launch of a film named “The Interview,” (starring Seth Rogen and James Franco), which depicted a fictional plot to assassinate Kim Jong-un of North Korea. This wry, richly reported podcast from the BBC World Service chronicles each twist and switch of the saga and its implications far past Hollywood.

Starter episode: “Hacking Hollywood”

When this WBUR sequence began, in 2017, it was a partnership with Reddit. Again then, the hosts, Ben Brock Johnson and Amory Sivertson, advised tales impressed particularly by the quixotic digital communities Reddit creates and the on a regular basis mysteries it spotlights. (One traditional episode focuses on a Reddit thread a couple of man who came across an enormous, inexplicable pile of plates in rural Pennsylvania.) The partnership with Reddit has ended, and “Limitless Thread” has expanded to discover web tradition extra typically — final 12 months, it debuted a pleasant mini-series digging into the again tales behind varied memes just like the rickroll. Although the tone is mostly lighthearted, the present’s subjects are as unpredictable and chaotic because the web itself.

Starter episode: “We Need Plates!”

Cybercrime has snowballed so quickly that the world has been caught off guard; final 12 months’s ransomware assault on a significant U.S. pipeline highlighted simply how weak lots of our establishments are, to not point out our particular person information. “Hacking People” doesn’t shrink back from that disturbing actuality, however it’s additionally by no means alarmist. As an alternative, it takes a lighthearted and calm strategy to what are, primarily, true crime tales concerning the web. The hosts, Dave Bittner and Joe Carrigan, are cybersecurity specialists who emphasize options as they unfurl tales of social engineering, phishing scams and on-line con artists of each stripe. Alarmed as chances are you’ll really feel by many episodes, you’ll go away with a greater sense of easy methods to defend your self.