Darknet Diaries

Darknet Diaries is an investigative podcast created by Jack Rhysider, chronicling true stories about hackers, malware, botnets, cryptography, cryptocurrency, cybercrime, and Internet privacy, all subjects falling under the umbrella of "tales from the dark side of the Internet".[1]

Darknet Diaries
Darknet Diaries podcast artwork.jpg
Presentation
Hosted by
  • Jack Rhysider
Genre
UpdatesAlternating Tuesdays
Length30–90 minutes
Production
Audio formatMP3
No. of episodes94
Publication
Websitedarknetdiaries.com
Original logo of the Podcast. Been replaced by the flaming laptop logo in 2019.

Launched in October 2017, episodes average around 30 minutes to an hour, each meticulously dissecting a singular topic through original interviews, audio footage, and Rhysider's narration. The show's journalistic style has received widespread acclaim for its ability to "speak to your inner detective" and "productively substitute the thriller novel you intend to carry".[2][3]

ProductionEdit

Each episode begins with an introduction from Rhysider, followed by the theme music consisting of stringed instruments and a crunchy synthesizer, and then a structured narrative layered with interviews and suspenseful scoring.

For the first 40 episodes, Rhysider was responsible for all of the research, writing, narrating, editing, sound design, publishing, marketing, and logistics. Later on, due to a passionate cult following, Rhysider was able to enlist the help of additional writers, researchers, editors, and graphic designers.

By December 31, 2018, Darknet Diaries had amassed more than 1.2 million downloads. In 2019 only, there were more than 8.2 million downloads.[4]

Impact and real-life influencesEdit

Some notable episodes have been praised for their deep-diving insights, such as episode 17 "Finn", where Rhysider explores a curious child's evolution into becoming a hacker, illuminating Finn's loneliness and outsider-mentality, which, when coupled with his Asperger's, ADHD, and affinity for computers, inspired Finn to hack his high school's network.[5] "Finn" was also adapted and featured on the WNYC Studios podcast Snap Judgment.[6]

More details emerged regarding the case details for Roman Seleznev's 27-year prison sentence, thanks to a Seattle computer crimes prosecutor, court documents, and reporting by Rhysider on episode 32 "The Carder", which covered the Secret Service's tracking of Seleznev's online movements in the 2000s.[7]

Rhysider has been quoted as saying "a lot of hacks go unsolved"; however, at least in Seleznev's case, selling cards was his specialty while his hacking abilities were mediocre.[7]

Episode 27 "Chartbreakers" was highlighted for its investigation into the manipulation of the Apple Podcasts Top Charts through a vast industry termed as "dark podcast marketing", the catalysts for this industry originating from Bangladesh. Rhysider received and then subsequently released photos of the promoters themselves.[8][9]

Crossovers and appearancesEdit

Rhysider has made appearances on a variety of other programs, the most notable being Snap Judgment[6] and the Lit Hub/Podglomerate Storybound, where he will be accompanied by an original score from singer-songwriter Shane Brown.[10][11]

Other podcast appearances include Smashing Security, The Many Hats Club, Brakeing Down Security, The Word From Mouth, InfoSec ICU, The Cyberwire, Podcast Business Journal Spotlight, Overnight America, Aidan Wheller Podcast and Audio Reviews, Getting into InfoSec, Grimerica, Cyber Speaks Live, and Chartable Radio.

EpisodesEdit

No. Title Subject(s) Duration[12] Release date
1 The Phreaky World of PBX Hacking 0:14:01 September 1, 2017
2 The Peculiar Case of the VTech Hacker VTech: 2015 data breach 0:23:20 September 15, 2017
3 DigiNotar, You are the Weakest Link, Good Bye! 0:25:44 October 10, 2017
4 Panic! at the TalkTalk Board Room 0:38:23 October 15, 2017
5 #ASUSGATE 0:25:07 November 1, 2017
6 The Beirut Bank Job 0:29:19 November 15, 2017
7 Manfred (Part 1) 0:23:16 December 1, 2017
8 Manfred (Part 2) 0:28:08 December 1, 2017
9 The Rise and Fall of Mt. Gox 0:28:53 December 15, 2017
10 Misadventures of a Nation State Actor 0:33:25 January 1, 2018
11 Strictly Confidential 0:19:32 January 15, 2018
12 Crypto Wars 0:28:30 February 1, 2018
13 Carna Botnet Carna botnet 0:33:18 February 15, 2018
14 #OpJustina 0:25:21 March 1, 2018
15 Ill Tills 0:33:21 April 1, 2018
16 Eijah 0:35:40 May 1, 2018
17 Finn 0:45:19 June 3, 2018
18 Jackpot 0:21:05 July 1, 2018
19 Aurora 0:30:29 August 1, 2018
20 mobman 0:46:23 August 15, 2018
21 Black Duck Eggs 0:28:19 September 1, 2018
22 Mini-Stories: Vol 1 0:39:41 September 15, 2018
23 Vladimir Levin 0:28:22 October 1, 2018
24 Operation Bayonet 0:39:12 October 15, 2018
25 Alberto 0:42:35 November 1, 2018
26 IRS Disclosure of information and theft of $50 million from the IRS 0:35:21 November 15, 2018
27 Chartbreakers 0:47:14 December 1, 2018
28 Unit 8200 0:48:35 December 15, 2018
29 Stuxnet Stuxnet 0:41:06 January 8, 2019
30 Shamoon 0:35:21 January 22, 2019
31 Hacker Giraffe 0:56:02 February 5, 2019
32 The Carder Roman Seleznev 0:39:29 February 19, 2019
33 RockYou 0:40:33 March 5, 2019
34 For Your Eyes Only 0:51:54 March 19, 2019
35 Carbanak 0:40:14 April 2, 2019
36 Jeremy from Marketing 1:01:14 April 16, 2019
37 LVS 0:28:23 April 30, 2019
38 Dark Caracal 0:54:44 May 14, 2019
39 3 Alarm Lamp Scooter 0:50:24 May 28, 2019
40 No Parking 1:00:28 June 11, 2019
41 Just Visiting 0:49:16 June 25, 2019
42 Mini-Stories: Vol 2 0:54:15 July 9, 2019
43 PPP 1:00:51 July 23, 2019
44 Zain 0:34:46 August 6, 2019
45 XBox Underground (Part 1) Xbox Underground 1:19:19 August 20, 2019
46 XBox Underground (Part 2) Xbox Underground 1:22:29 September 3, 2019
47 Project Raven 1:01:49 September 17, 2019
48 Operation Socialist 0:48:40 October 1, 2019
49 Elliot 0:47:17 October 15, 2019
50 Operation Glowing Symphony 1:11:10 October 29, 2019
51 The Indo-Pak Conflict 0:46:49 November 12, 2019
52 Magecart 0:48:05 November 26, 2019
53 Shadow Brokers The Shadow Brokers 0:50:04 December 10, 2019
54 NotPetya 0:57:01 December 24, 2019
55 Noirnet 0:17:37 December 25, 2019
56 Jordan 0:44:10 January 7, 2020
57 MS08-067 Conficker 0:58:32 January 21, 2020
58 OxyMonster 1:00:42 February 4, 2020
59 The Courthouse 1:20:52 February 18, 2020
60 dawgyg 0:43:08 March 3, 2020
61 Samy 1:01:11 March 17, 2020
62 Cam 1:01:56 March 31, 2020
63 w0rmer 0:56:55 April 14, 2020
64 The Athens Shadow Games 1:14:44 April 28, 2020
65 PSYOP 1:13:55 May 12, 2020
66 freakyclown 0:53:47 May 26, 2020
67 The Big House 0:40:54 June 9, 2020
68 Triton Triton (malware) 1:11:48 June 23, 2020
69 Human Hacker 1:04:50 July 6, 2020
70 Ghost Exodus 0:56:45 July 21, 2020
71 FDFF 1:08:16 August 2, 2020
72 Bangladesh Bank Heist Bangladesh Bank robbery 0:36:47 August 16, 2020
73 WannaCry WannaCry ransomware attack 0:44:51 September 1, 2020
74 Mikko 1:09:28 September 15, 2020
75 Compromised Comms 0:35:07 September 29, 2020
76 Knaves Out 2014 JPMorgan Chase data breach 1:25:10 October 13, 2020
77 Olympic Destroyer 0:47:02 October 27, 2020
78 Nerdcore
1:18:08 November 10, 2020
79 Dark Basin 0:56:18 November 24, 2020
80 The Whistleblower 0:50:10 December 8, 2020
81 The Vendor 1:17:59 December 22, 2020
82 Master of Pwn Pwn2Own 1:05:09 January 5, 2021
83 NSA Cryptologists 1:22:56 January 19, 2021
84 Jet-setters 1:12:20 February 2, 2021
85 Cam the Carder 1:16:34 February 16, 2021
86 The LinkedIn Incident 2012 LinkedIn Hack 0:55:00 March 2, 2021
87 Guild of the Grumpy Old Hackers 0:50:30 March 16, 2021
88 Victor 0:42:43 March 30, 2021
89 Cybereason: Molerats in the Cloud 0:57:35 April, 6, 2021
90 Jenny 1:11:29 April 13,2021
91 webjedi 0:58:57 April 27, 2021
92 The Pirate Bay 1:46:13 May 11,2021
93 Kik 1:34:18 May 25, 2021
94 Mariposa Botnet 0:44:08 June 8, 2021

ReceptionEdit

When describing the show's style and presentation, various media outlets have drawn comparisons between Reply All and This American Life, with The Irish Times writing, "Darknet Diaries is...where storytelling is mixed with investigative techniques to provide a strong narrative with real people at its core."[5] The New York Times wrote, "Though the episodes are often startlingly short, condensing stories into 30 minutes that could easily justify a full hour, Rhysider’s hypnotic narration and deep expertise creates results that are never less than gripping."[13]

The Boston Globe called Darknet Diaries "a true-crime podcast with no blood [and] no bodies...[leaving] you wondering why there aren't more hacks, breaches, and cyber-crime."[14]

Miranda Sawyer of The Observer, sister paper to The Guardian, highlighted the podcast's reported "small disasters" of online life, writing: "Neatly edited and charmingly presented by Jack Rhysider, the podcast does occasionally stray into nerdiness, but it’s chock-full of real-life examples of when our virtual lives fail."[15]

Vulture magazine listed Darknet Diaries among its list of "52 of the Best True-Crime Podcasts", following what they deemed as "the post-Serial boom", citing how "some of these [cybercrimes] may hit a little too close to home" while also advising listeners: "Cover your laptop camera, throw that iPhone in the river, and hang out in that weird no-reception corner of your home."[16]

AwardsEdit

  • Runner-up in the 2018 Discover Pods Award for Best Technology Podcast[17]
  • Winner of the 2018 Quartz Casties for Best Technology Episode[8]
  • Winner of the 2019 European Security Blogger Awards for Best New Cybersecurity Podcast[18]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Stats". Irish Times. August 28, 2018. Retrieved October 26, 2019.
  2. ^ "Top 10 Best Cyber Security Podcasts of 2019". Security Boulevard. July 9, 2019. Retrieved October 26, 2019.
  3. ^ "Cybersecurity Podcasts You Should Be Listening To". TrendinTech. January 8, 2019. Retrieved October 26, 2019.
  4. ^ "Stats". Darknet Diaries. Retrieved October 26, 2019.
  5. ^ a b "Darknet Diaries: Tales from the dark side of the web". Irish Times. August 28, 2018. Retrieved October 26, 2019.
  6. ^ a b "Respawn". WNYC Studios. July 11, 2019. Retrieved October 26, 2019.
  7. ^ a b "How a carding kingpin got caught and dealt a death blow to the Broadway Grill". Capitol Hill Seattle Times. May 8, 2019. Retrieved October 26, 2019.
  8. ^ a b "Quartz Casties: The best podcasts (and podcast episodes) of 2018". Quartzy. December 23, 2018. Retrieved October 26, 2019.
  9. ^ "EP 27: CHARTBREAKERS". Darknet Diaries. December 1, 2018. Retrieved October 26, 2019.
  10. ^ "The Return Of Radio Theater". Radio Ink. October 22, 2019. Retrieved October 26, 2019.
  11. ^ "Introducing the Storybound Podcast". Literary Hub. October 22, 2019. Retrieved October 26, 2019.
  12. ^ "Darknet Diaries". Darknet Diaries. Retrieved September 1, 2020.
  13. ^ "8 Podcasts for the Tech Curious". The New York Times. July 18, 2019. Retrieved October 26, 2019.
  14. ^ "10 podcasts that stood out in 2018". The Boston Globe. December 27, 2018. Retrieved October 26, 2019.
  15. ^ "The week in radio: Grenfell: Dust on Our Lips; Darknet Diaries; The Tip Off". The Guardian. December 17, 2017. Retrieved October 26, 2019.
  16. ^ "52 Great True-Crime Podcasts". Vulture. Retrieved October 26, 2019.
  17. ^ "The 2018 Discover Pods Award Winners". Discover Pods. December 10, 2018. Retrieved October 26, 2019.
  18. ^ "#Infosec19: Winners of European Security Blogger Awards Announced". Info Security. June 4, 2019. Retrieved October 26, 2019.

External linksEdit