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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.

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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: 


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