To Catch a Hacker: A Podcast Series
In every crime there are two main protagonists: the criminal and the victim. And yet in our storytelling about cybercrime, these two important roles are largely absent from the conversation as we focus on the technical deficiency over the human threat. All too often in conversations amongst the cybersecurity community, we focus solely on technological defense: building walls, setting up filters, and/or blocking spam. As a result, our cybersecurity conversations are technical, rather than personal, and we can lose sight of the very real people behind these very real crimes.
We believe that if we are to be effective with enacting real policy solutions, we must shift the focus onto the human — and we must do it in an accessible and compelling way.
In season one of “To Catch A Hacker,” Mieke Eoyang—former Senior Vice President for Third Way’s National Security Program—talked to the US Secret Service, reporters, and experts to dive deep into the story of the 2017 hack of the DC police camera system just days before Donald Trump’s inauguration. The season covers how law enforcement regained control of the system, tracked the hackers in real-time, and finally arrested them overseas. And it highlights how catching hackers, while extremely difficult, is not impossible.
Part One: Ransom
On Sunday, January 12, 2017, an officer of the Metropolitan Police Department, the law enforcement agency of Washington, DC, made an urgent phone call to the U.S. Secret Service. The MPD officer had discovered that some of the public surveillance cameras used by MPD had been compromised and were no longer feeding surveillance video to the Command Center. This is the story of the hack of Donald Trump's Inauguration.
Part Two: Attribution
Just a few blocks from the U.S. Capitol, the Metropolitan Police Department’s own headquarters has been turned into a crime scene. The 2017 presidential inauguration was just hacked and is being held for ransom. It has all markings of a nation state actor attempting a decapitation strike. But was it?
Part Three: The Arrest
The true culprits behind the hacking of the 2017 presidential inauguration have been identified by authorities, but they won’t know that until nearly a year later. For years, these criminals allegedly stole money here and there from people who never noticed, cared, or reported it. Now, they've poked the bear that's going to strike back. In 2018, they arrive at the international airport in Bucharest, Romania to catch a flight to London...but they never make it onto the plane.