This episode is a wide-ranging interview with Andy Greenberg, author of Sandworm: A New Era of Cyberwar and the Hunt for the Kremlin’s Most Dangerous Hackers. The book contains plenty of original reporting, served up with journalistic flair. It digs deep into some of the most startling and destructive cyberattacks of recent years, from two dangerous attacks on Ukraine’s power grid, to the multibillion-dollar NotPetya, and then to a sophisticated but largely failed effort to bring down the Seoul Olympics and pin the blame on North Korea. Apart from sophisticated coding and irresponsibly indiscriminate targeting, all these episodes have one thing in common. They are all the work of Russia’s GRU.

Andy persuasively sets out the attribution and then asks what kind of corporate culture supports such adventurism – and whether there is a strategic vision behind the GRU’s attacks. The interview convinced me at least that the GRU is pursuing a strategy of muscular nihilism – “our system doesn’t work, but yours too is based on fragile illusions.” It’s a kind of global cyber intifada, with all the dangers and all the self-defeating tactics of the original intifadas. Don’t disagree until you’ve listened!


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Episode 205: Scandularity

Today’s news roundup begins with Maury Shenk and Brian Egan offering their views about the Supreme Court oral argument in the Microsoft Ireland case. We highlight some of the questions that may tip the Justices’ hand.

Brian and I dig into the Dems’ reply memo on the Carter Page FISA application. 

Episode 192: Discussion with Michael Sulmeyer and Nicholas Weaver

With the Texas church shooting having put encryption back on the front burner, I claim that Apple is becoming the FBI’s crazy ex-girlfriend in Silicon Valley — and offer the tapes to prove it. When Nick Weaver rises to Apple’s defense, I point out that Apple

Episode 190: Interview with United States Senator Sheldon Whitehouse

In our 190th episode Stewart Baker has a chance to interview United States Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) has a long history of engagement with technology and security issues.  In this episode, we spend a remarkably detailed half-hour with him, covering the cybersecurity waterfront, from the

Episode 173:  Interview with Richard Ledgett

Today we deliver the second half of our bifurcated holiday podcast with an interview of Richard Ledgett, recently retired from his tour as NSA’s deputy director. We cover much recent history, from Putin’s election adventurism to questions about whether NSA can keep control of the cyberweapons it develops. 

172:  The Self-Referential Episode

In this news-only episode, we cover the irresistible story of the week: Trump, Russia, and the Media.  It’s especially irresistible for us because we’ve had two of the protagonists on as guests.  I make the bold prediction that Shane Harris’s stories on Russia collusion and the Trump campaign will be seen

Episode 171.  Implants in the Kremlin’s Snack Machines?

Our guest, Ellen Nakashima, was coauthor of a Washington Post article that truly is a first draft of history, though not a chapter the Obama administration is likely to be proud of.  She and Greg Miller and Adam Entous chronicle the story of Russia’s information operations