Episodes

  • So, the Ticketmaster hack got a lot, lot worse. Jason breaks down why in the first half of the show. After the break, we talk more Ticketmaster, and how scalpers have teamed up with hackers to liberate "non-transferable" tickets. In the subscribers-only section, Joseph explains the latest with sales of netflow data to the U.S. government.

    Ticketmaster Confirms Hack in SEC Filing

    The Ticketmaster Hack Is Becoming a Logistical Nightmare for Fans and Brokers

    Scalpers Work With Hackers to Liberate Ticketmaster's ‘Non-Transferable’ Tickets

    U.S. Nuke Agency Buys Internet Backbone Data

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  • We start this episode talking about some exciting updates for the podcast! For the first story, Joseph explains how an ID verification service for TikTok, Uber, and X exposed driver licenses, in a sign of what may be come as more sites demand to know our real identities. After the break, Jason breaks down what the FBI found when it investigated a specific Zoom Bombing ring. In the subscribers-only section, Emanuel and Joseph talk all about TLO, a powerful data tool that is being advertised on Fiverr to dox anyone for $30.

    ID Verification Service for TikTok, Uber, X Exposed Driver Licenses

    'Local Residents' Terrorizing City Council Meetings Were Actually Overseas, Feds Allege

    Fiverr Freelancers Offer to Dox Anyone With Powerful U.S. Data Tool

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  • Here's a fun one: Emanuel made his own ChatGPT-powered news site that ripped off our work and that of WIRED, The Verge, and others to show just how easy spinning up one of these AI click farms really is. After the break, we listen to some of the AI-generated music that has major record labels suing some startups. In the subscribers-only section, Sam tells us all about how a bunch of chatbots suddenly changed personality overnight.

    I Paid $365.63 to Replace 404 Media With AI

    Listen to the AI-Generated Ripoff Songs That Got Udio and Suno Sued


    ‘No Bot is Themselves Anymore:’ Character.ai Users Report Sudden Personality Changes to Chatbots


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  • Joseph is out this week, so the leftover crew considers what it means for Google image search to be taken over by AI images, talks about #finance, and discusses how an already sensationalist NY Times article about internet in the Amazon rainforest got further sensationalized.

    Articles discussed:

    AI Images in Google Search Results Have Opened a Portal to Hell
    You Probably Unwittingly Voted to Give Elon Musk a Huge Raise
    First Google Search Result for Tiananmen Square “Tank Man” Is AI Generated Selfie
    ‘Remote’ Amazonian Tribes Have Been Using the Internet for a Long Time
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  • It feels way longer than a week since our last episode, weird. Anyway this week we start with a wild story with Emanuel, about how people in the US are paying a company, which in turn hires people in the Philippines to then call around U.S. pharmacies to check whether certain drugs are in stock. It shows just how bad the Adderall shortage in the U.S. has gotten. After the break, Sam tells us about a particularly alarming AirTags stalking case, and how the FBI flipped the script on the suspect. In the subscribers-only section, Jason breaks down a bunch of new information regarding the (alleged?) bankruptcy of media organization the Gateway Pundit.

    Americans Are Hiring People in the Philippines to Help Them Find Adderall

    A Suspected Human Smuggler Used AirTags to Track and Control The Woman He Brought Into the U.S.

    Gateway Pundit Bankruptcy Is a 'Delay Tactic,' Election Workers Suing the Company Say

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  • A something extra for our listeners this week. Joseph went on an episode of Whale Hunting to talk about his new book DARK WIRE, in which the FBI secretly ran its own encrypted messaging app to wiretap the world. Whale Hunting is a great podcast that has journalists go behind-the-scenes on their own stories. It is absolutely worth listening to if you don't already!

    Whale Hunting Podcast

    DARK WIRE


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  • We start this week with a massive leak from inside Google. We obtained a copy of an internal Google database the company uses to track potential privacy and security issues. It's incredibly rare to get this sort of insight into a big tech company, and we explain what's inside the data itself. After the break, Sam tells us who deepfake legislation may leave behind. In the subscribers-only section, Jason explains how he tracked down the earliest known source of the All Eyes on Rafah image: a Facebook group dedicated to the AI industry.

    Inside the Biggest FBI Sting Operation in History

    Google Leak Reveals Thousands of Privacy Incidents

    Google Contractor Used Admin Access to Leak Info From Private Nintendo YouTube Video

    Laws About Deepfakes Can’t Leave Sex Workers Behind

    Viral ‘All Eyes on Rafah’ Image Came From Facebook Group to Make ‘AI Industry Prosper’


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  • We revisit our Why Google Is Shit Now episode with something of an update: Google got worse! Of course we're talking about the embarrassing rollout of Google's AI-powered answers. Jason explains the supply chain of data, and especially how it comes from Reddit posts. After the break, Emanuel continues the Google theme with a Google researcher written study which shows that AI is now a leading disinformation vector. In the subscribers-only section, we talk about Sam's and Emaunel's piece on AI-generated CSAM not being a victimless crime.

    Google Is Paying Reddit $60 Million for Fucksmith to Tell Its Users to Eat Glue

    Google Researchers Say AI Now Leading Disinformation Vector (and Are Severely Undercounting the Problem)

    AI-Generated Child Sexual Abuse Material Is Not a ‘Victimless Crime’

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  • Really excited about this one. We spend the entire episode talking about SS7, the fundamental network and protocol which is both at the heart of the world's telecommunications infrastructure, and crucial for governments, spy firms, and criminals to monitor people or intercept texts. In the first half we break ton what SS7 is, why it's an issue, and our nearly 10 years of experience covering it. Then, we talk about the news we revealed about a U.S. cybersecurity official breaking rank with his agency to expose SS7 attacks in the U.S. In the subscribers-only section, we talk about Axon's new ChatGPT-like tool which automatically creates narratives from police bodycam audio, and all the implications that might have.

    Cyber Official Speaks Out, Reveals Mobile Network Attacks in U.S.

    Here Is What Axon’s Bodycam Report Writing AI Looks Like

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  • We've got something of a John Deere special episode this week. We start with Jason's piece on how the recent solar storm knocked out GPS for John Deere tractors, having a direct impact on farming across the country. After the break, Jason breaks down his deep dive into the various walls closing around John Deere's right to repair monopoly. In the subscribers-only section, we've got two wild Amazon stories: one on the bots used by Amazon workers to book time off, and another on "Swag Bucks," Amazon's internal employee cash system.

    Solar Storm Knocks Out Farmers' Tractor GPS Systems During Peak Planting Season

    The Walls Are Closing in on John Deere’s Tractor Repair Monopoly

    Amazon Workers Use Bots to Claim Limited Supply of Time Off

    Amazon’s Swag Store Sells Neck Fans to Prevent Workers from Overheating

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  • Apologies for some audio issues this week, they'll be fixed next time, but for now we have a super packed episode! We start with Jason's months-long deep dive into what Facebook has become with all of that AI-generated garbage on the site. It's not the dead internet, it's something much worse. After the break, Emanuel explains how Pokemon Go players are manipulating mapping technology to cheat at the game. Then in the subscribers-only section, Jason breaks down the latest cat and mouse game between ticket sellers and brokers.

    Facebook’s AI Spam Isn’t the ‘Dead Internet’: It’s the Zombie Internet

    Pokémon Go Players Invent Fake Beaches on Real Maps to Catch Rare Wigletts

    How Resellers Are Transferring Billie Eilish's 'Untransferable' Tickets

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  • We start this week's episode with a mystery: where did a 17-second music snippet that has puzzled online sleuths for years really come from? Sam breaks it down. After the break, Joseph explains how an online service was scraping and selling Discord server messages for as little as $5. Then in the subscribers-only section, Jason takes us into the world of influencers who are using AI livestream apps, complete with fake audiences, and how they're being used to target women.

    Long Lost Song Hunted By Thousands Found in 80s Porno

    Discord Shuts Down ‘Spy Pet’ Bots That Scraped, Sold User Messages

    Men Use Fake Livestream Apps With AI Audiences to Hit on Women

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  • This is a long one! First Joseph previews his upcoming book, DARK WIRE. Go to the link below and enter "DW20" for 20% off! Also make sure to redeem your preorder behind-the-scenes bonus content. As for this week's stories, we start off with Jason explaining why we can, we must, dunk on the Humane Ai Pin, a piece of hardware that is AI's Juicero moment. After the break, Emanuel shows that Instagram is advertising deepfake nudify apps, the sort that are being abused right now in schools. In the subscribers-only section, we talk a bunch about Reddit, and especially how a tool has been made to sprinkle AI-generated product placements into popular Reddit threads.

    Preorder DARK WIRE for bonus content and 20% off with code "DW20"

    We Can, and We Must, Clown on the Humane AI Pin Forever

    Instagram Advertises Nonconsensual AI Nude Apps

    AI Is Poisoning Reddit to Promote Products and Game Google With 'Parasite SEO'

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  • We start this episode with Joseph's latest fly-on-the-wall investigation into the Com, the nebulous online entity and culture that is linked to some of the most high profile and brazen data breaches in recent history. Joseph sat in their chatrooms while rival hackers and criminals doxed and physically robbed one another. A true melding of digital and physical crime. After the break, Jason breaks down why some researchers are calling out Google on some of its AI science research. In the subscribers-only section, Sam explains why a guy made an AI-powered (kinda) sex box.

    Inside the ‘Com World War’: Robberies, Brickings, and ‘Drama’

    Is Google's AI Actually Discovering 'Millions of New Materials?'

    This Man Wants to ‘Save the World’ By Letting You Jerk Off Into a Computer

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  • We start the episode with an announcement: we've brought on our first 404 Media fellow Jules Roscoe! They did amazing work at Motherboard, and we're stoked to have them on board to cover labor for us and getting our work to audiences wherever they are. As for this week's stories, we start with Jason's wild one about grifters who are taking influencer's videos, deepfaking an AI face onto them, and then driving people to OnlyFans-style accounts. After the break, Sam talks about the couple who have finally got porn onto the Apple Vision Pro. In the subscribers-only section, Jules tells us what they saw when visiting a particular, Zoom-powered chicken shop in NYC.

    ‘AI Instagram Influencers’ Are Deepfaking Their Faces Onto Real Women’s Bodies

    How Amateur Performers Are Making Porn in the Apple Vision Pro

    NYC Chicken Shop Replaces Cashier With Woman in Philippines On Zoom


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  • This is a super fun episode with a lot of labor themes throughout. Jason starts off by describing the totally wild Xz backdoor which, in a way, was an open source labor issue. Then Emanuel takes us through how AI might be sneaking into the peer-review process. Then in the subscribers-only section, Sam explains why a major journal has decided to stop the use of an infamous image in its papers.

    The Xz Backdoor Highlights the Vulnerability of Open Source Software—and Its Strengths

    ChatGPT Looms Over the Peer-Review Crisis

    Scientific Journal Bans Images of ‘Lena,’ Researchers’ Favorite Centerfold

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  • A jam packed episode this week. First, Jason explains how a 'study' that says surveillance company Flock is “instrumental in solving 10 percent of reported crime in the US” is heavily flawed. He got a bunch of internal emails and spoke to those involved. After the break, Sam and Emanuel tell us how people are being pushed to far sketchier parts of the web after Pornhub pulled out of Texas. Then in the subscribers-only section, Jason and Joseph detail how they dug into the new owners of Deadspin, and what that all means for the wider media industry.

    Let’s Talk About the Flock Study That Says It Solves Crime

    Age Verification Laws Drag Us Back to the Dark Ages of the Internet

    Deadspin Is Becoming a Gambling Referral Site

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  • Shrimp Jesus. Shrimp Jesus. Shrimp Jesus. That is what the first story is about! We now have robust academic research into the mass of AI-generated garbage flooding Facebook. Jason takes us through what this era of Facebook means. After the break, Sam explains why Pornhub pulled out of Texas. In the subscribers-only section, Joseph shows how two of the biggest safe lock manufacturers in the world have put backdoors into their products.

    Facebook’s Algorithm Is Boosting AI Spam That Links to AI-Generated, Ad-Laden Click Farms

    Pornhub Pulls Out of Texas

    Massively Popular Safe Locks Have Secret Backdoor Codes

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  • Somehow we filled a whole hour and it felt like five minutes! First Joseph explains his deep story on how hackers and fraudsters are injecting themselves into the electronic prescription system to order mountains of drugs. Then Emanuel breaks down how 404 Media, bizarrely, is included in a fake Netflix trailer that was probably made for the benefit of the Russian state. Then in the subscribers-only section, the group chats about ElevenLabs, and how Emanuel bypassed the company's "no-go voice" policy.

    How Hackers Dox Doctors to Order Mountains of Oxy and Adderall

    Why Is 404 Media Included in a Fake Netflix Trailer Made by Russia?

    ElevenLabs Block on Cloning Biden's Voice Easily Bypassed

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  • We go long (and play some bonus audio) for Jason's story inside the wild world of TikTok and Instagram hustlers who are using AI to swarm platforms with automatically generated garbage content. Some of them are making a killing in the process. After the break, we talk about Sam's story on Etsy sellers stealing fan fiction writers' work. Then in the subscriber-only section, Jason breaks down why a right to repair victory in Oregon is a massive deal for Apple globally.

    Inside the World of TikTok Spammers and the AI Tools That Enable Them

    Fanfiction Community Rocked By Etsy Sellers Turning Their Work Into Bound Books

    Oregon Passes Bill That Would Make iPhones More Repairable Everywhere

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