110 episodes

Lock and Code tells the human stories within cybersecurity, privacy, and technology. Rogue robot vacuums, hacked farm tractors, and catastrophic software vulnerabilities—it’s all here.

Lock and Code Malwarebytes

    • Technology
    • 4.8 • 34 Ratings

Lock and Code tells the human stories within cybersecurity, privacy, and technology. Rogue robot vacuums, hacked farm tractors, and catastrophic software vulnerabilities—it’s all here.

    (Almost) everything you always wanted to know about cybersecurity, but were too afraid to ask, with Tjitske de Vries

    (Almost) everything you always wanted to know about cybersecurity, but were too afraid to ask, with Tjitske de Vries

    🎶 Ready to know what Malwarebytes knows?
    Ask us your questions and get some answers.
    What is a passphrase and what makes it—what’s the word?
    Strong? 🎶
    Every day, countless readers, listeners, posters, and users ask us questions about some of the most commonly cited topics and terminology in cybersecurity. What are passkeys? Is it safer to use a website or an app? How can I stay safe from a ransomware attack? What is the dark web? And why can’t cybercriminals simply be caught and stopped?
    For some cybersecurity experts, these questions may sound too “basic”—easily researched online and not worth the time or patience to answer. But those experts would be wrong.
    In cybersecurity, so much of the work involves helping people take personal actions to stay safe online. That means it’s on cybersecurity companies and practitioners to provide clarity when the public is asking for it. it’s on us to provide clarity. Without this type of guidance, people are less secure, scammers are more successful, and clumsy, fixable mistakes are rarely addressed.
    This is why, this summer, Malwarebytes is working harder on meeting people where they are. For weeks, we’ve been collecting questions from our users about WiFi security, data privacy, app settings, device passcodes, and identity protection.
    All of these questions—no matter their level of understanding—are appreciated, as they help the team at Malwarebytes understand where to improve its communication. In cybersecurity, it is critical to create an environment where, for every single person seeking help, it’s safe to ask. It’s safe to ask what’s on their mind, safe to ask what confuses them, and safe to ask what they might even find embarrassing.
    Today, on the Lock and Code podcast with host David Ruiz, we speak with Malwarebytes Product Marketing Manager Tjitske de Vries about the modern rules around passwords, the difficulties of stopping criminals on the dark web, and why online scams hurt people far beyond their financial repercussions.
    “We had [an] 83-year-old man who was afraid to talk to his wife for three days because he had received… a sextortion scam… This is how they get people, and it’s horrible.”Tune in today
    You can also find us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts, plus whatever preferred podcast platform you use.
    For all our cybersecurity coverage, visit Malwarebytes Labs at malwarebytes.com/blog.
    Show notes and credits:
    Intro Music: “Spellbound” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
    Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
    Outro Music: “Good God” by Wowa (unminus.com)
    Listen up—Malwarebytes doesn't just talk cybersecurity, we provide it.
    Protect yourself from online attacks that threaten your identity, your files, your system, and your financial well-being with our exclusive offer for Malwarebytes Premium for Lock and Code listeners.

    • 39 min
    800 arrests, 40 tons of drugs, and one backdoor, or what a phone startup gave the FBI, with Joseph Cox

    800 arrests, 40 tons of drugs, and one backdoor, or what a phone startup gave the FBI, with Joseph Cox

    This is a story about how the FBI got everything it wanted.
    For decades, law enforcement and intelligence agencies across the world have lamented the availability of modern technology that allows suspected criminals to hide their communications from legal scrutiny. This long-standing debate has sometimes spilled into the public view, as it did in 2016, when the FBI demanded that Apple unlock an iPhone used during a terrorist attack in the California city of San Bernardino. Apple pushed back on the FBI’s request, arguing that the company could only retrieve data from the iPhone in question by writing new software with global consequences for security and privacy.
    “The only way to get information—at least currently, the only way we know,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook, “would be to write a piece of software that we view as sort of the equivalent of cancer.”
    The standoff held the public’s attention for months, until the FBI relied on a third party to crack into the device.
    But just a couple of years later, the FBI had obtained an even bigger backdoor into the communication channels of underground crime networks around the world, and they did it almost entirely off the radar.
    It all happened with the help of Anom, a budding company behind an allegedly “secure” phone that promised users a bevvy of secretive technological features, like end-to-end encrypted messaging, remote data wiping, secure storage vaults, and even voice scrambling. But, unbeknownst to Anom’s users, the entire company was a front for law enforcement. On Anom phones, every message, every photo, every piece of incriminating evidence, and every order to kill someone, was collected and delivered, in full view, to the FBI.
    Today, on the Lock and Code podcast with host David Ruiz, we speak with 404 Media cofounder and investigative reporter Joseph Cox about the wild, true story of Anom. How did it work, was it “legal,” where did the FBI learn to run a tech startup, and why, amidst decades of debate, are some people ignoring the one real-life example of global forces successfully installing a backdoor into a company?
    The public…and law enforcement, as well, [have] had to speculate about what a backdoor in a tech product would actually look like. Well, here’s the answer. This is literally what happens when there is a backdoor, and I find it crazy that not more people are paying attention to it.Joseph Cox, author, Dark Wire, and 404 Media cofounderTune in today.
    Cox’s investigation into Anom, presented in his book titled Dark Wire, publishes June 4.
    You can also find us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts, plus whatever preferred podcast platform you use.
    For all our cybersecurity coverage, visit Malwarebytes Labs at malwarebytes.com/blog.
    Show notes and credits:
    Intro Music: “Spellbound” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
    Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
    Outro Music:...

    • 51 min
    Your vacation, reservations, and online dates, now chosen by AI

    Your vacation, reservations, and online dates, now chosen by AI

    The irrigation of the internet is coming.
    For decades, we’ve accessed the internet much like how we, so long ago, accessed water—by traveling to it. We connected (quite literally), we logged on, and we zipped to addresses and sites to read, learn, shop, and scroll. 
    Over the years, the internet was accessible from increasingly more devices, like smartphones, smartwatches, and even smart fridges. But still, it had to be accessed, like a well dug into the ground to pull up the water below.
    Moving forward, that could all change.
    This year, several companies debuted their vision of a future that incorporates Artificial Intelligence to deliver the internet directly to you, with less searching, less typing, and less decision fatigue. 
    For the startup Humane, that vision includes the use of the company’s AI-powered, voice-operated wearable pin that clips to your clothes. By simply speaking to the AI pin, users can text a friend, discover the nutritional facts about food that sits directly in front of them, and even compare the prices of an item found in stores with the price online.
    For a separate startup, Rabbit, that vision similarly relies on a small, attractive smart-concierge gadget, the R1. With the bright-orange slab designed in coordination by the company Teenage Engineering, users can hail an Uber to take them to the airport, play an album on Spotify, and put in a delivery order for dinner.
    Away from physical devices, The Browser Company of New York is also experimenting with AI in its own web browser, Arc. In February, the company debuted its endeavor to create a “browser that browses for you” with a snazzy video that showed off Arc’s AI capabilities to create unique, individualized web pages in response to questions about recipes, dinner reservations, and more.
    But all these small-scale projects, announced in the first month or so of 2024, had to make room a few months later for big-money interest from the first ever internet conglomerate of the world—Google. At the company’s annual Google I/O conference on May 14, VP and Head of Google Search Liz Reid pitched the audience on an AI-powered version of search in which “Google will do the Googling for you.”
    Now, Reid said, even complex, multi-part questions can be answered directly within Google, with no need to click a website, evaluate its accuracy, or flip through its many pages to find the relevant information within.
    This, it appears, could be the next phase of the internet… and our host David Ruiz has a lot to say about it.
    Today, on the Lock and Code podcast, we bring back Director of Content Anna Brading and Cybersecurity Evangelist Mark Stockley to discuss AI-powered concierges, the value of human choice when so many small decisions could be taken away by AI, and, as explained by Stockley, whether the appeal of AI is not in finding the “best” vacation, recipe, or dinner reservation, but rather the best of anything for its user.
    “It’s not there to tell you what the best chocolate chip cookie in the world is for everyone. It’s there to help you figure out what the best chocolate chip cookie is for you, on a Monday evening, when the weather’s hot, and you’re hungry.”Tune in today.
    You can also find us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts, plus whatever preferred podcast platform you use.
    For all our cybersecurity coverage, visit Malwarebytes Labs at a href="https://www.malwarebytes.com/blog" rel="noopener...

    • 47 min
    "No social media 'til 16," and other fixes for a teen mental health crisis, with Dr. Jean Twenge

    "No social media 'til 16," and other fixes for a teen mental health crisis, with Dr. Jean Twenge

    You’ve likely felt it: The dull pull downwards of a smartphone scroll. The “five more minutes” just before bed. The sleep still there after waking. The edges of your calm slowly fraying.
    After more than a decade of our most recent technological experiment, in turns out that having the entirety of the internet in the palm of your hands could be … not so great. Obviously, the effects of this are compounded by the fact that the internet that was built after the invention of the smartphone is a very different internet than the one before—supercharged with algorithms that get you to click more, watch more, buy more, and rest so much less.
    But for one group, in particular, across the world, the impact of smartphones and constant social media may be causing an unprecedented mental health crisis: Young people.
    According to the American College Health Association, the percentage of undergraduates in the US—so, mainly young adults in college—who were diagnosed with anxiety increased 134% since 2010. In the same time period for the same group, there was in increase in diagnoses of depression by 106%, ADHD by 72%, bipolar by 57%, and anorexia by 100%.
    That’s not all. According to a US National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the prevalence of anxiety in America increased for every age group except those over 50, again, since 2010. Those aged 35 – 49 experienced a 52% increase, those aged 26 – 34 experienced a 103% increase, and those aged 18 – 25 experienced a 139% increase.
    This data, and much more, was cited by the social psychologist and author Jonathan Haidt, in debuting his latest book, “The Anxious Generation: How the Great Rewiring of Childhood Is Causing an Epidemic of Mental Illness.” In the book, Haidt examines what he believes is a mental health crisis unique amongst today’s youth, and he proposes that much of the crisis has been brought about by a change in childhood—away from a “play-based” childhood and into a “phone-based” one.
    This shift, Haidt argues, is largely to blame for the increased rates of anxiety, depression, suicidality, and more.
    And rather than just naming the problem, Haidt also proposes five solutions to turn things around:
    Give children far more time playing with other children. Look for more ways to embed children in stable real-world communities.  Don’t give a smartphone as the first phone.Don’t give a smartphone until high school.  Delay the opening of accounts on nearly all social media platforms until the beginning of high school (at least).
    But while Haidt’s proposals may feel right—his book has spent five weeks on the New York Times Best Seller list—some psychologists disagree.
    Writing for the outlet Platformer, reporter Zoe Schiffer spoke with multiple behavioral psychologists who alleged that Haidt’s book cherry-picks survey data, ignores mental health crises amongst adults, and over-simplifies a complex problem with a blunt solution.  
    Today, on the Lock and Code podcast with host David Ruiz, we speak with Dr. Jean Twenge to get more clarity on the situation: Is there a mental health crisis amongst today’s teens? Is it unique to their generation? And can it really be traced to the use of smartphones and social media?
    According to Dr. Twenge, the answer to all those questions is, pretty much, “Yes.” But, she said, there’s still some hope to be found.
    “This is where the argument around smartphones and social media being behind the adolescent mental health crisis actually has, kind of paradoxically, some optimism to it. Because if that’s the cause, that means we...

    • 45 min
    Picking fights and gaining rights, with Justin Brookman

    Picking fights and gaining rights, with Justin Brookman

    Our Lock and Code host, David Ruiz, has a bit of an apology to make:
    “Sorry for all the depressing episodes.”
    When the Lock and Code podcast explored online harassment and abuse this year, our guest provided several guidelines and tips for individuals to lock down their accounts and remove their sensitive information from the internet, but larger problems remained. Content moderation is failing nearly everywhere, and data protection laws are unequal across the world.
    When we told the true tale of a virtual kidnapping scam in Utah, though the teenaged victim at the center of the scam was eventually found, his family still lost nearly $80,000.
    And when we asked Mozilla’s Privacy Not Included team about what types of information modern cars can collect about their owners, we were entirely blindsided by the policies from Nissan and Kia, which claimed the companies can collect data about their customers’ “sexual activity” and “sex life.”
    (Let’s also not forget about that Roomba that took a photo of someone on a toilet and how that photo ended up on Facebook.)
    In looking at these stories collectively, it can feel like the everyday consumer is hopelessly outmatched against modern companies. What good does it do to utilize personal cybersecurity best practices, when the companies we rely on can still leak our most sensitive information and suffer few consequences? What’s the point of using a privacy-forward browser to better obscure my online behavior from advertisers when the machinery that powers the internet finds new ways to surveil our every move?
    These are entirely relatable, if fatalistic, feelings. But we are here to tell you that nihilism is not the answer.
    Today, on the Lock and Code podcast, we speak with Justin Brookman, director of technology policy at Consumer Reports, about some of the most recent, major consumer wins in the tech world, what it took to achieve those wins, and what levers consumers can pull on today to have their voices heard.
    Brookman also speaks candidly about the shifting priorities in today's legislative landscape.
    “One thing we did make the decision about is to focus less on Congress because, man, I’ll meet with those folks so we can work on bills, [and] there’ll be a big hearing, but they’ve just failed to do so much.”
    Tune in today.
    You can also find us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts, plus whatever preferred podcast platform you use.
    For all our cybersecurity coverage, visit Malwarebytes Labs at malwarebytes.com/blog.
    Show notes and...

    • 46 min
    Porn panic imperils privacy online, with Alec Muffett (re-air)

    Porn panic imperils privacy online, with Alec Muffett (re-air)

    A digital form of protest could become the go-to response for the world’s largest porn website as it faces increased regulations: Not letting people access the site.
    In March, PornHub blocked access to visitors connecting to its website from Texas. It marked the second time in the past 12 months that the porn giant shut off its website to protest new requirements in online age verification.
    The Texas law, which was signed in June 2023, requires several types of adult websites to verify the age of their visitors by either collecting visitors’ information from a government ID or relying on a third party to verify age through the collection of multiple streams of data, such as education and employment status.
    PornHub has long argued that these age verification methods do not keep minors safer and that they place undue onus on websites to collect and secure sensitive information.
    The fact remains, however, that these types of laws are growing in popularity.
    Today, Lock and Code revisits a prior episode from 2023 with guest Alec Muffett, discussing online age verification proposals, how they could weaken security and privacy on the internet, and whether these efforts are oafishly trying to solve a societal problem with a technological solution.
    “The battle cry of these people have has always been—either directly or mocked as being—’Could somebody think of the children?’” Muffett said. “And I’m thinking about the children because I want my daughter to grow up with an untracked, secure private internet when she’s an adult. I want her to be able to have a private conversation. I want her to be able to browse sites without giving over any information or linking it to her identity.”
    Muffett continued:
    “I’m trying to protect that for her. I’d like to see more people grasping for that.”Alec MuffettTune in today.
    You can also find us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts, plus whatever preferred podcast platform you use.
    For all our cybersecurity coverage, visit Malwarebytes Labs at malwarebytes.com/blog.
    Show notes and credits:
    Intro Music: “Spellbound” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
    Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
    Outro Music: “Good God” by Wowa (unminus.com)
    Listen up—Malwarebytes doesn't just talk cybersecurity, we provide it.
    Protect yourself from online attacks that threaten your identity, your files, your system, and your financial well-being with our exclusive offer for Malwarebytes Premium for Lock and Code listeners.

    • 47 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
34 Ratings

34 Ratings

Ghost of Samuel Eells ,

Podcast host? More like Dreamycast host.

I have personally seen David Ruiz without a shirt on and you don’t need to be an astronaut to know it is out of this world. Just like this podcast series, it is firm, informative, and only gets better in low lighting.

nicholasname ,

Interview with gen Z teen was frustrating

I was really intrigued by the questions that David introduced in the recent re-aired episode intro on the interview with Nitya. For context, I’m in my mid-twenties (cusp of gen Z and millennial) so I find the generational difference in online awareness really interesting. Thus, I found the interview with Nitya to be frustrating and boring. Her answers felt quite judgmental of others’ experiences with social media. No context was given on who she is - i understand her parents may want privacy but her answers were presented like a breakthrough understanding about gen Z as a whole, as opposed to acknowledging that she’s just an individual. Ex: “since Nitya is a minor, we won’t be sharing about her personal info, but she first used a computer in year X, and is not a frequent social media user, which our listeners may be surprised by…”. I’m a loyal Malwarebytes customer and really wanted to like this episode. But I guess I’ll have to try again or give up.

ahughes42 ,

Excellent history and overview of Macs and Malware

I was using UNIX in 1978 and continued for over 40 years. People who ran the computer network in Electrical Engineering at Purdue were very interested in malware, worms as I recall, as they first appeared on the scene and popped up on occasion. I was at a electronics show in Huston, TX in the early 80s and went with the head of our computer network to Xerox and saw/used the first mouse, so I was impressed when I saw the Macs and had to have one. I too thought the Mac was virus proof, assuming the propriety nature of the of the software and difficulty sharing software kept it safe, but when OS X came and the internet blossomed I knew that the UNIX based OS was vulnerable. I loved being able to get to the command line and continue using it even today, though not nearly as often. I still imagine that the popularity of Windows and its vulnerabilities makes it a bigger target, but in reality with the complexity of todays software I see how important it is to use Malwarebytes to protect the Apple devices our family has.

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