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InSecurity Podcast: Hacking in the Movies – Sneakers Edition

“The world isn't run by weapons anymore, or energy or money. It's run by ones and zeroes, little bits of data - it's all just electrons. There's a war out there, old friend, a world war, and it's not about who's got the most bullets. It's about who controls the information, what we see and hear, how we work, what we think. It's all about the information…” ~ Cosmo - Sneakers, 1992

We are stepping way out of the box for a technical deep-dive examination of one of the great Hacker movies of all time: Sneakers. Perhaps the last great techno-thriller before the emergence of the commercial Internet, Sneakers features everything you want from a Hacker movie: wiretapping, social engineering, a little black book and tech that looks/feels familiar enough that you recognize it, but aren’t quite sure what it actually does.

On this week’s episode of the InSecurity Podcast, we take a technical look at the 1992 classic hacker film Sneakers with people who - in real life - do what the heroes of Sneakers do onscreen. Dr. Jessica Barker, Freaky Clown and Death’s Pirate (or just Dave) have broken into banks, kidnapped executives and, sometimes, just straight up hacked networks (all while wearing White Hats of course). Let’s sit down with the real life experts to see if Sneakers got it right!


About Dr. Jessica Barker

Dr. Jessica Barker (@drjessicabarker) is a leader in the human nature of cybersecurity. She has been named one of the top 20 most influential women in cybersecurity in the UK, and awarded as one of the UK’s Tech Women 50. She is Co-Founder and Co-Chief Executive Officer of Cygenta, where she positively influences cybersecurity awareness, behaviors and culture in organizations around the world.

Dr. Barker is a popular keynote speaker and shares her expertise in the media, for example on BBC News, Sky News, Channel 4 News and in Grazia magazine and the Sunday Times. She is Chair of ClubCISO, a peer-based members forum of over 300 information security leaders. In the last year, Dr. Barker has given cybersecurity outreach sessions to over 5,000 school students. Her new book Confident Cyber Security is coming in 2020, published by Kogan Page.

About Freaky Clown

Freaky Clown (@_Freakyclown_) or ‘FC’ is a well-known ethical hacker and social engineer. He has been working in the infosec field for over 20 years and excels at circumventing access controls. He has held positions in his career such as Senior Penetration Tester as well as Head of Social Engineering and Physical Assessments for renowned penetration companies. As Head of Cyber Research for Raytheon Missile Systems, and having worked closely alongside intelligence agencies, he has cemented both his skillset and knowledge as well as helped steer governments to take correct courses of action against national threats.

As an ethical hacker and social engineer, FC ‘breaks into’ hundreds of banks, offices and government facilities in the UK and continental Europe. His work demonstrating weaknesses in physical, personnel and digital controls assists organizations to improve their security. He is motivated by a drive to make individuals, organizations and countries more secure and better-able to defend themselves from malicious attack. Now Co-Founder and Head of Ethical Hacking at Cygenta Ltd, he continues to perform valuable research into vulnerabilities. His client list involves major high-street banks in the UK and Europe, FTSE100 companies and multiple government agencies and security forces.

About Death’s Pirate (Okay.... it’s Dave Mound)

Dave Mound (@DeathsPirate) is an experienced cybersecurity Researcher with a demonstrated history of working in the computer and network security industry as well as in Threat Intelligence.

Dave’s done a lot of work in Penetration Testing, Reverse Engineering, Agile Methodologies, Computer Forensics, Red Teaming and Threat Intelligence – and he looks good in a white suit and turtleneck.



About Matt Stephenson

InSecurity host Matt Stephenson (@packmatt73) leads the broadcast media team at BlackBerry, which puts him in front of crowds, cameras, and microphones all over the world. He is the regular host of the InSecurity Podcast and video series at events around the globe.

Twenty years of work with the world’s largest security, storage, and recovery companies has introduced Stephenson to some of the most fascinating people in the industry. He wants to get those stories told so that others can learn from what has come before.


InSecurity Podcasts

About InSecurity Podcasts

The Latest Cybersecurity News and Views with Host Matt Stephenson

Every week on the InSecurity Podcast, Matt interviews leading authorities in the security industry to gain an expert perspective on topics including risk management, security control friction, compliance issues, and building a culture of security.

Each episode provides relevant insights for security practitioners and business leaders working to improve their organization’s security posture and bottom line.

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