The Extortion Economy podcast

The Extortion Economy

MIT Technology Review & ProPublica

Ransomware is proliferating across the country, disabling computer systems and harming critical infrastructure — hospitals, city governments, schools, even an oil pipeline. The technology that enables ransomware may be new, but extortion and ransom are not. So why is this happening now? And can it be stopped? In this 5-part series from MIT Technology Review and ProPublica we look at the money, people and technology behind the explosion of ransomware that is delivering hundreds of millions of dollars to cybercriminals around the world. Hosted by Meg Marco.

6 Episodes

  • The Extortion Economy podcast

    Part 5: File Not Found

    15:36

    The problem of ransomware has many causes but no clear solution. What's coming next? This is part five. We Meet: Fabian Wosar, CTO, Emsisoft  Jake Johnson, North Carolina State Representative Abishur Prakash, Geopolitical Futurist Paul Rosenberg, Mayor, Village of Rye Brook, New York Kimberly W. LaGrue, CIO, City of New Orleans, Louisiana Allan Liska, Principal Research Scientist, Recorded Future Sounds From:  Video: Governor declares state of emergency after ransomware attack on Louisiana, Source: WWLTV, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pT1mAILZVVg  Video: City Hall set to open Monday following cyber attack, Source: WDSU News, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jEDW3ETTDkg  Video: Cyber attack cripples New Orleans for days, Source: Fox News,  https://video.foxnews.com/v/6116822204001#sp=show-clips  Video: City Hall adapting to life without computers after New Orleans cyberattack, Source: WWLTV, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwnwG63K-Jc  Video: New Orleans government targeted in cyberattack; no ransom demanded, Source:  WWLTV, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5A0ANiQ3_Q Credits:  This series is hosted by Meg Marco and produced by Emma Cillekens, Tate Ryan-Mosley, and Anthony Green. It’s inspired by reporting by Renee Dudley and Daniel Golden from ProPublica. We're edited by Bobbie Johnson, Michael Reilly, Mat Honan, and Robin Fields. Our mix engineer is Erick Gomez and theme music by Jacob Gorski. Art is from Lisa Larson-Walker and Eric Mongeon. Emma Cillekens is our voice coach. The executive producers of The Extortion Economy podcast are Meg Marco and Jennifer Strong.
  • The Extortion Economy podcast

    Part 4: The Extortion Industry

    18:05

    We look at the reasons ransomware is so hard to solve and ask hard questions about who is really helping the victims. This is part four. We Meet: Fabian Wosar, CTO, Emsisoft.  Bob Wice, Head of Underwriting Management. Cyber and Tech, Beazley. Bill Siegel, CEO and cofounder, Coveware. Sounds From:  Video: CDOT employees dealing with yet another SamSam ransomware attack, Source: Denver7, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lubGaiNT1IU Video: Ransomware Hits CDOT Computers, Source: CBS Denver, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FbuEXUUvD-A  Video: Ransomware Recovery Service by Proven Data, Source: Proven Data, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hyeaBxE4JGQ  Credits:  This series is hosted by Meg Marco and produced by Emma Cillekens, Tate Ryan-Mosley and Anthony Green. It’s inspired by reporting by Renee Dudley, Jeff Kao, and Daniel Golden from ProPublica. We're edited by Bobbie Johnson, Michael Reilly, Mat Honan and Robin Fields. Our mix engineer is Erick Gomez and theme music by Jacob Gorski. Art is from Lisa Larson-Walker and Eric Mongeon. Emma Cillekens is our voice coach. The executive producers of The Extortion Economy podcast are Meg Marco and Jennifer Strong.
  • The Extortion Economy podcast

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  • The Extortion Economy podcast

    Part 1: The Problem

    21:18

    A new-age iteration of the old-age extortion problem. A ransomware vigilante, a piracy (as in actual boats) expert, a school administrator, and a kidnapping victim share their experiences. This is part one. We Meet: Fabian Wosar, CTO, Emsisoft  Doug Russell, Director of Technology, Haverhill Public Schools Lisa Forte, Co-founder, Red Goat Cyber Security Credits:  This series is hosted by Meg Marco and produced by Emma Cillekens, Tate Ryan-Mosley and Anthony Green. It’s inspired by reporting from Renee Dudley and Daniel Golden from ProPublica. We're edited by Bobbie Johnson, Michael Reilly, Mat Honan and Robin Fields. Our mix engineer is Erick Gomez with help from Rebekah Wineman. Our theme music is by Jacob Gorski. Art is from Lisa Larson-Walker and Eric Mongeon. Emma Cillekens is our voice coach. The executive producers of The Extortion Economy podcast are Meg Marco and Jennifer Strong. Sounds From:  Video: Colonial Pipeline CEO Joseph Blount testifies at the Senate Homeland Security Committee, Source: CNBC Television, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DcYePKjI_mc Video: Roving Report Italy, Source: AP, http://www.aparchive.com/metadata/youtube/8b08bfc68a0b203d238aa8e0c4316e61  Video: CBS Evening News 1989-12-14, Source: CBS, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHsbZEX5pQw
  • The Extortion Economy podcast

    Part 2: The Bad Actors

    22:16

    In an absurd contract, look into the criminal world where the stakes are high, but the methods are increasingly business-like and meet the people who interact with the ransomware hackers. This is part two. We Meet: Chester Wisniewski, Principal Research Scientist, Sophos Allan Liska, Principal Research Scientist, Recorded Future Fabian Wosar, CTO, Emsisoft  Kurtis Minder, CEO, GroupSense Lisa Forte, Co-founder, Red Goat Cyber Security Credits: This series is hosted by Meg Marco and produced by Emma Cillekens, Tate Ryan-Mosley and Anthony Green. It’s inspired by reporting from Renee Dudley and Daniel Golden from ProPublica. We're edited by Bobbie Johnson, Michael Reilly, Mat Honan and Robin Fields. Our mix engineer is Erick Gomez with help from Rebekah Wineman. Our theme music is by Jacob Gorski. Art is from Lisa Larson-Walker and Eric Mongeon. Emma Cillekens is our voice coach. The executive producers of The Extortion Economy podcast are Meg Marco and Jennifer Strong. Sounds From:  Video: Cyber Attack Forces Major Gas And Diesel Pipeline Shutdown, Source: NBC Nightly News, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aGbSy82aZBo  Video: Here’s the hacking group responsible for the Colonial Pipeline shutdown, Source: CNBC https://www.cnbc.com/2021/05/10/hacking-group-darkside-reportedly-responsible-for-colonial-pipeline-shutdown.html  Video: Cyberattack of Colonial Pipeline drives panic buying in Tampa Bay, Source: WFLA News Channel 8, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DgDyz31sIhI  Video: Colonial Pipeline paid $5 million ransom to hackers. Source: CNBC, https://www.cnbc.com/2021/05/13/colonial-pipeline-paid-ransom-to-hackers-source-says.html  Video: Colonial Pipeline CEO Joseph Blount testifies on ransomware attack before Congress, Source: CNBC, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DcYePKjI_mc   Credits: This series is hosted by Meg Marco and produced by Emma Cillekens, Tate Ryan-Mosley and Anthony Green. It’s inspired by reporting by Renee Dudley and Daniel Golden from ProPublica. We're edited by Bobbie Johnson, Michael Reilly, Mat Honan and Robin Fields. Our mix engineer is Erick Gomez with help from Rebeckah Wineman and theme music by Jacob Gorski. Emma Cillekens is our voice coach. The executive producers of The Extortion Economy podcast are Meg Marco and Jennifer Strong.
  • The Extortion Economy podcast

    Part 3: All Cats, No Mice

    18:55

    After the Colonial Pipeline payment, the FBI followed the money and cybersecurity researchers followed the ransomware group. We followed both. This is part three. We Meet:  Fabian Wosar, CTO, Emsisoft Elvis Chan, Assistant Special Agent in Charge, FBI San Francisco Credits: This series is hosted by Meg Marco and produced by Emma Cillekens, Tate Ryan-Mosley and Anthony Green. It’s inspired by reporting from Renee Dudley and Daniel Golden from ProPublica. We're edited by Bobbie Johnson, Michael Reilly, Mat Honan and Robin Fields. Our mix engineer is Erick Gomez. Our theme music is by Jacob Gorski. Art is from Lisa Larson-Walker and Eric Mongeon. Emma Cillekens is our voice coach. The executive producers of The Extortion Economy podcast are Meg Marco and Jennifer Strong. Sounds From:  Video: Colonial Pipeline hack leads to gas shortage Source: ABC News, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Be3gpaTQJlA  Video: Cyberattack of Colonial Pipeline drives panic buying in Tampa Bay Source: WFLA News Channel 8, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DgDyz31sIhI  Video: Fuel starts flowing after Colonial Pipeline restarts operations Source: ABC News, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EgWSgQf_dSc  Video: Department of Justice officials discuss Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack Souce: PBS News Hour, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iwjDMJi8hOQ
  • The Extortion Economy podcast

    Welcome to The Extortion Economy

    2:00

    A five part series about the money, technology and people behind the ransomware epidemic from MIT Technology Review and ProPublica.

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