Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Dark Reading Radio

The Coolest Hacks of 2016
Date / Time: Wednesday, December 14, 2016, 1:00 p.m. New York / 10:00 a.m. San Francisco
In past years, security researchers have discovered ways to hack cars, medical devices, automated teller machines, and many other targets. Dark Reading Executive Editor Kelly Jackson Higgins hosts researcher Samy Kamkar and Levi Gundert, vice president of threat intelligence at Recorded Future, to discuss some of 2016's most unusual and creative hacks by white hats, and what these new vulnerabilities might mean for the coming year.

The audio player will load automatically when the radio show audio begins. Some corporate networks block the sort of streaming audio content used by this player. Please make sure you have the latest version of Adobe Flash for your Internet browser via Adobe's web site. If the player loads but you are not able to hear the live audio, you may still be able to hear the archived audio after the live program begins by returning to this page. Please try refreshing your browser a few times if you still cannot hear the audio. More Troubleshooting
Live Chat
You must login to participate in this chat. Please login.

Thanks Kelly and Samy! That was a lot of fun!

We are at the top of the hour, so I want to thank Levi Gundert and Samy Kamkar for joining me today and providing their insight and expertise. This was one of the most fun and interesting shows I've hosted, and that is because of them.

Thank you to our audience as well. Happy Holidays from Dark Reading!

Completely agree with @Samy, it's a re-occuring nightmare. 

@Kelly advice: be intentional about reading, listening, learning and pursue a professional role that allows you to do those things at least part time. 

@Levi makes a great point. I'm terrified I may wake up one day and my gmail may just be gone due to a bug or error, or worse, malicious attack. Like when Mat Honan (writer) from Wired woke up to find all of his devices had been compromised and erased.

(@samykamkar, I'm guessing you might have some war stories with your myspace experience)

@levigundert @samykamkar What advice would you guys give to aspiring researchers/white hats? 

@KellyJacksonHiggins, hmm, not doing enough...backdoors in silicon is something that comes up over the years but I don't know of much research around.


@Kelly We as an industry spend a lot of time identifying and documenting threats, and I think we need to spend more time discussing creative solutions for protecting our personal/private information when so many third parties hold/maintain it. It's an enormous issue with no real solutions.

(BTW, I think @Samy has the best names for hacks)

Question for both @Levi and @Samy: Are there any areas where you think white-hats are not doing enough research? 

@KellyJacksonHiggins Samy essentially determined that Masterlock combination locks can be quickly brute forced. In addition to walking through the math, he builds and explains a "do it yourself" motorized solution to unlock any Masterlock within seconds. Great physical world application of longstanding INFOSEC principles.

Kelly, probably RollJam, a tool that can essentially unlock any vehicle and indiscriminately capture and replay rolling codes. It's my favorite because it works across every single vehicle with a keyfob and is very difficult to stop. I didn't release the code to prevent abuse, but the attack itself isn't too difficult to pull off, and discussed it in a defcon 2015 talk.


Well although that kicked off with a downed server at our radio provider, I'm glad we only missed a minute or so, because Kelly, Samy, and Levi gave us a fun show to end the year with! 


@Levigundert, for those who aren't familiar with the 2015 research by Samy you mentioned, tell us a bit about why it's on your radar screen.

I'd love the opportunity to work with him!


You've also done your own car hacking projects, @samykamkar. What was your favorite one? 

I'm not quite sure what the next thing will be, but I've been having fun with some RF attacks lately so I may have a project around that. It's been awesome learning more about radio but I still have a ton to learn!


I was wondering what Samy's next project/research will be... Samy, can you share with us?


Today's show offers some of the most interesting hacks of 2016 -- this is consistently one of the most popular stories of Dark Reading's year, and Kelly Jackson Higgins has done a great job pulling these together for almost a decade now.


I'm really looking forward to today's show! Here's a link to our Coolest Hacks of 2016 article, btw: 


I Smell a RAT! New Cybersecurity Threats for the Crypto Industry
David Trepp, Partner, IT Assurance with accounting and advisory firm BPM LLP,  7/9/2021
Attacks on Kaseya Servers Led to Ransomware in Less Than 2 Hours
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  7/7/2021
It's in the Game (but It Shouldn't Be)
Tal Memran, Cybersecurity Expert, CYE,  7/9/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Black Hat USA 2022 Attendee Report
Black Hat attendees are not sleeping well. Between concerns about attacks against cloud services, ransomware, and the growing risks to the global supply chain, these security pros have a lot to be worried about. Read our 2022 report to hear what they're concerned about now.
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
PUBLISHED: 2022-08-12
A use-after-free vulnerability when parsing a specially crafted file in Esri ArcReader 10.8.1 (and earlier) allows an unauthenticated attacker to achieve arbitrary code execution in the context of the current user.
PUBLISHED: 2022-08-12
An out-of-bounds read vulnerability exists when parsing a specially crafted file in Esri ArcReader 10.8.1 (and earlier) which allow an unauthenticated attacker to induce an information disclosure issue in the context of the current user.
PUBLISHED: 2022-08-12
A vulnerability classified as critical was found in SourceCodester Student Information System. Affected by this vulnerability is an unknown functionality of the file /admin/students/view_student.php. The manipulation of the argument id leads to sql injection. The attack can be launched remotely. The...
PUBLISHED: 2022-08-12
An out-of-bounds read vulnerability exists when parsing a specially crafted file in Esri ArcReader 10.8.1 (and earlier) which allow an unauthenticated attacker to induce an information disclosure issue in the context of the current user.
PUBLISHED: 2022-08-12
OpenSearch Security is a plugin for OpenSearch that offers encryption, authentication and authorization. Versions and of the security plugin are affected by an information disclosure vulnerability. Requests to an OpenSearch cluster configured with advanced access control features doc...