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Podcast Episode 7: The Tyler Lau Interview, Assange, Thought Experiments, AirBnB Scams and More

This entry was posted in Podcasts on April 17, 2019 by Mark Maunder   7 Replies

This week we look at the Assange arrest, an irresponsible security researcher affecting the WordPress community and do a bit of a thought experiment. We also look at Google’s Sensorvault and how it’s being used by law enforcement, the fascinating rise and fall of the Bayrob malware gang, and some tips for avoiding a new AirBnB scam. I also talked to Tyler Lau at WordCamp Phoenix last month, and we share that interview with you today. Tyler is the Social Community Manager at Sandhills Development. Sandhills makes some very popular plugins including Easy Digital Downloads, AffiliateWP. We talked about the WordPress community, WordPress in general and some of the cool things that Sandhills is involved in. Enjoy!

Here are approximate timestamps in case you want to jump around:
0:51 Assange taken into custody
20:27 Irresponsible security researcher
30:50 Google Sensorvault
35:14 Bayrob malware gang
43:07 Land Lordz service powering AirBnB scams
49:57 Tyler Lau interview

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This week in the news we cover:

  • Julian Assange is taken into custody after seven years in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. The US Department of Justice is charging him with conspiracy to commit computer intrusion for agreeing to break a password to a classified U.S. government computer.
  • Ars Technica publishes details about the rogue security researcher with a grudge dropping 0days on innocent WordPress users. We’ve covered this irresponsible researchers on past episodes. Mark had a bit of a Tweet storm about this over the weekend. Here’s the link to the WordPress HackerOne bug bounty program.
  • Google’s sensorvault, a database of location records from hundreds of millions of devices, is being used by law enforcement.
  • A fascinating story about the Bayrob malware gang from Romania gives an detailed look at who makes money from malware, their expertise, and ultimately how they were caught.
  • Scammers use a new tool called Land Lordz to automate fake AirBnB scams, but there are ways to detect this scam and stay safe.

You can find me on Twitter as @mmaunder, Kathy as @kathyzant, and Tyler Lau as @tylermaximuslau. Please don’t hesitate to post your feedback in the comments below.

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7 Comments on "Podcast Episode 7: The Tyler Lau Interview, Assange, Thought Experiments, AirBnB Scams and More"

carrelage sur Evreux April 17, 2019 at 10:19 am

Thank you great interview ..nice and instructive

mediaappsKRH April 17, 2019 at 5:50 pm

What is the timestamp for the AirBnB scam that you mentioned in the heading?

Dan Moen April 18, 2019 at 8:18 am


Andy Gee April 17, 2019 at 8:38 pm

Surveillance "or" conceilment are the only possible futures?
Surveillance and conceilment are not exactly mutually exclusive. I'm fairly certain that surveillance is here to stay for some time and has the potential to expand with almost every technological breakthrough made. Conceilment will inevitably grow alongside surveillance, either leading surveillance or by being lead by surveillance.

As I'm sure any security expert will attest the conceilment of technological advancement capable of inflicting harm serves as nothing more than a time buffer. Just as the tools of NSA surveilance have been leaked into and are routinely exploited in the wild, every secret will find its way out eventually.
One has to ask one's self: is there really no other way than the downward spiral of deceit, exposure, reinforcement and retaliation?
It's my belief that surveilance will eventually fail with the future decentralization of the internet and alongside that, frenzied secrecy will wane with it. The two will find a balance that we can adapt to, and we might even learn how to improve our leadership to make less enemies who wish to do us harm. We are all just people after all.

Kathy Zant April 23, 2019 at 4:37 pm

I like the idea of a more decentralized internet, but we definitely have a way to go in order to get to the place where surveillance isn't as widespread. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Andy, and thanks for tuning into the podcast.

Emma April 22, 2019 at 6:46 am

What fun it would be to buy an island, make up some laws and then demand extradition for anyone who breaks them... effectively that is what the Americans are doing to Assange. Normally a crime is something that causes loss harm or damage. What loss, harm or damage did Assange do?

Kathy Zant April 23, 2019 at 4:34 pm

That point could be argued about our intelligence information being compromised. Manning was charged under similar justification. Journalists often go to great lengths in protecting sources and taking a stand in protecting those sources. It is interesting he's being charged under hacking laws. Definitely a case to watch. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Emma.

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