TRANSCRIPT

00:00:00This episode is brought to you by merrill lynch at merrill It all starts with you The you who works from home the you who's working on that dream home Start investing for the life you want with a dedicated advisor self directed investing or a merrill lynch professionally managed
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00:01:17is reply all i'm alex goldman and i'm pj vogt And this week we have a super tech support Super tech support is the same in on our show where someone writes into us with a problem that is bigger than they can solve And i try to solve it
00:01:41because in your former life because in my former life i was a tech support man a tec supporter So so what What do you have this week We got an email from a woman named lizzie Hi this is lizzie Hey lizzie this is alex goldman How you doing
00:01:56I'm good harry Oh lizzie's in her twenties She works with teens at a nonprofit And she told me that when she was on vacation over labor day share this very weird thing happened with her Snapchat where were you when you realize that something was wrong I was a
00:02:12national north carolina for labor day Weekend vacation I think I think i was in the car and i wanted teo snapchat something I'm pretty sure that i wanted to snapchat a brewery that i was passing and send it to my brother because we had been there before So
00:02:30she tries to open snapchat and she lacked out of it What you mean locked out of it She can't get into it but it's like the abb isn't working or it's like you've been banned from your accounts not working It's the app is working fine which you can
00:02:43use it ok and she's like i'm on vacation I'm going to deal with this when i get home It's not a big deal Just send the password reset right Yeah So then i get home that night back from asheville like eight hours in the car I'm exhausted and
00:02:58then i see three emails come in from snapchat One email says your account has been logged in by a user on an iphone A The next email says the password to your account has been changed The next e mail says the phone number associated with your account has
00:03:19been changed So how are you feeling when you see these three e mails Well so i'm wasn't like oh man something has happened I was sort of like oh well i guess i just gotta like reset my password But then at that very moment that i'm sort of
00:03:35starting to like process that i get text messages Lucy gets these text messages not through snapchat but through her phone And the first one says yo if you try to touch snapchat lizard or do anything you're fucked I'm just warning you i've got your nudes and i rails
00:03:53just don't do anything will be fine Smiley face You understood Jesus Also what's in ireland I assume that means like her Like her information should realize details Yeah well i mean did were there nudes in your snapchat account that could have been accessed by this person I wish
00:04:13i could answer that definitively Um but i'm not certain Snatcher has a feature called memories where it saves some of the photos that you send right on I'm not going to pretend that i have never sent a sensitive photo So lizzy reports to snapchat that her account's been
00:04:36hacked She's getting threats from the person who took it and they actually get the account back to her pretty quickly The problem is that when she gets it back all of her contacts or deleted and her archive photos are gone which means she can't tell whether or not
00:04:51the hackers have their sensitive photos that they claim they d'oh almost as soon as she gets the account Back she gets another message from the hacker which says give it back else i'm a smoke you not here And then she got one final message which just said bitch
00:05:09i like pretty scared I've been on vacation on dh so i like hadn't been alone in like five days And then i'm like alone for the first time And i'm just kind of freaked out at this point Did you think like this hacker knew everything about you Um
00:05:28i definitely was like feeling weird And i like remember like maybe two days later i like go to this yoga studio that's like two blocks from my house And i just remember feeling like so nervous walking back from yoga Um what Why I think just because i was
00:05:47like alone and it was just it was like very early in the morning So this like consumed you You just felt exposed everywhere Yeah and actually i also made my roommate sleep in my bed with me so i told lizzie i'd try and figure out who's behind this
00:06:02whole thing just like help her get some peace of mind Okay so i i have a lot of work to do I'm anxious to hear what you learned All right Thanks a lot Okay Thank you Bye All right So what you got Well what i wanted to figure
00:06:41out was who it was who actually hacked leases account whether they actually had compromising photos of her And just generally like get them to leave her alone Okay so what So what happened So first of all i got in touch with snapchat to see if the hackers really
00:06:58did have some kind of compromising photos of lizzie or if they were just bluffing And based on the information that we gave them that lizzie has a memories folder on her phone that doesn't have any any explicit photos or anything on it They said it's extremely unlikely that
00:07:13actors have anything that's great Yeah according to snapchat if you'd saved any explicit photos they would have been in there It would be in that folder So pretty sure he was just bullshitting you Un riel love to see it That's great news So lizzie was happy but she
00:07:33had the same questions that i had which was like who had done this Why would they take her account How did they get it And like if they're capable of getting her account what else are they capable of What else of hers can they take How much of
00:07:46a threat are they Yeah because it's just like jimmy who she's dealing with actually Right And so i started to look into these questions and i ended up in a very strange world that i got very deep into So just at the very start the first clue that
00:08:03i had was that the threats that levi was getting were over my message But they weren't from a phone number They're actually from an email address and that email address wass oh at zan dot x like oh at xanax Okay Okay So i was like all right well
00:08:22this is a team This is some i'm just no i'm just saying right now this is a teen is a teen who likes listening to soundcloud rap What makes you so sure of that I don't know I just feel like i feel like associate xanax with like teen
00:08:34sounds loud rap and well lots of people take xanax I've really only a team would make their username san axe you know i mean like x a n dot axe Did you try emailing them I did but by the time that i e mailed them the account had
00:08:48been deleted like it just bounced back Okay so i went to the websites and daddy x And if you go there this is what you see Um okay so it's like a bad tag of the word zana tarzan dot axe Actually that looks like it was done in
00:09:06pain because like that it looks like drawing graffiti But when you look at the lines or straight like emma spain and then it says quote in like normal fun maxine And then there's like a link for twitter instagram steam discord Contact those persons like here's how to reach
00:09:23me now they've done something illegal and creepy to you right So i go to the twitter of this specific person and the twitter account is twitter dot com slash haiti's like hell Yeah their instagram is instagram dot com slash fuck Interesting steam a countess steam community dot com
00:09:43slash i'd slash satan and so at this point i'm thinking this is a person who goes by the name maxxim who just has like a bunch of boutique e user names on different social media platforms that are probably really hard to get And i think that's why he
00:10:00would have targeted lizzie because her snapchat handle is lizard l i z a r d She was a very early snapchat adopter And so she got a cool handle So so basically like maxine was excited because her account name would just be like one more cool account name
00:10:17He would have like a noun that didn't have numbers after it Exactly so at this point Okay maxine seems like a hacker Hackers in my experience love to leave little easter eggs in the source code of their websites So that's the thing Yeah Oh yeah So i used
00:10:35the developer mode and chrome toe look at the source code for the website and in it i find right at the top It says zan dot ex maxine slash evan slash seb in the code Yes So evan slash seven I guess those air his friends eso it's like
00:10:53maybe like a hacking crew Yeah it's like a hacking team Very cool So i don't think that's cool Evan has i think this is like the day that i turned into it was my birthday on sunday Yeah You aged out I really feel like i would carry much
00:11:08weight Skateboarding teammate does all those other s o the next thing i do is i follow the link that says discord and discord is just a chat room app where you can meet up with your friends right I don't really use it I have like one discord that
00:11:23i don't check very much You have to discourse that don't check very much You have to discords for what Ones with my fortnight buddies They're both so nerdy ones with the people i play for a night with steve Anyone on a given saturday wants to game It's pretty
00:11:38lame Yeah Ah and then the other one is like another one that's different Fuel that play video games or just like hey did anyone try the new spider man Is it good i am in a discord about good horror movies I don't really have a place to think
00:11:53like these loser teenagers groping the loser Adults who judge loser teenagers have exact same interests Um so i joined max Seems discord and there are enough people there that like they don't notice me show up Oh there's a lot of people there's probably between fifty and one hundred
00:12:12And is maxxim active on the discord Yeah he's in there all the time Basically all he talks about are like the new forsa driving video game Okay which he got a special like steering wheel shaped controller for all right buying fancy clothes like gucci And he has an
00:12:34oh tamar pj Which is like what Which one Oh dima p she what is that They make wristwatches Okay um and he also talks about doing drugs a lot And like ninety five percent of the conversation on the server It's just it's like they're all trying to be
00:12:52edge lords by like posting shocking photos and like swearing all the time that i sound like an old man saying they swear all the time They cuss flagrantly but they're just kids Really trying to impress each other with their miscreant badness Yeah they're they're like really mean to
00:13:09one another and always calling each other names And this is how everyone on it behaves It's like bad kid internet high school Yeah basically So i'm hanging out in this chat room trying teo get as much information as i can But half of the stuff they're saying doesn't
00:13:24even make any sense to me It's like they speak a dialect so that i don't totally understand lots of youth culture I mean beyond just normal youth culture like this is the first time i'd ever heard and seen anybody say weird flex but okay what's weird Flaxman Okay
00:13:38whenever someone does something where they're like bragging about something the best like offhanded responses Weird flex but okay that applies to a lot of things to brag about Me Yeah You'd be like oh i got the first Ah what Every year But when you said you watched all
00:13:54the horror movies on some like streaming or platform that wasn't a flex That was more like i don't have anything left a watch And it was amazon and i didn't watch all of them I just watched all the good ones So all that was left was the ones
00:14:07that were like definitely homemade and just uploaded by weirdo weird flags but okay I'm just so mad because i set myself up I said that i was like oh i just like i just like wound that up and then i just let it go if you like Hey
00:14:27they invented this new kind of thing You could folk people with its like metal and as a handle just old teo for e But there are other things with these guys Get it out Let me know when you're done I hate this Okay Um the other thing they
00:14:55were saying all the time is do you guys want to h p h i was like what could this possibly be h gh And what it is is they like to go play counterstrike and they like to turn on every single hack you can put on on h
00:15:10vhs Hacker versus hacker That's how they play counterstrike I don't know whether i'm impressed or annoyed by that ii was legally i can't tell There's like i sound in my head and i don't know which one it is What what is the sound sound like So okay so
00:15:27i'm watching this discord and i think maxine is sort of the leader of this gang that hack chloe's account And i wanted to find out who he really wass And if he's actually the person that threatened lizzie and i didn't want to just send him a message on
00:15:41the discord because i was fairly certain that he'd banned me I saw him banned people in the discord all the time Any time i tried to join their voice chat because they voiced they would use the voice chat function because they didn't know my handle They would just
00:15:54kick me out or just banned me from the server entirely and i'd have to start over got it But you feel like if you could find out who he really was and you like sentiment email or whenever there's a way higher chance he's going to talk to you
00:16:04right And so i'm just watching these guys talk to one another I'm hoping that he will drop some information that helps me identify him in any way and he doesn't But i start watching his instagram and like i start getting a little bit of an idea of who
00:16:20he is as a person What does it look like He posts a picture of himself pretty early on Really I guess that's what people do on instagram It just feels like a security failure right The thing is that he posts a picture of himself that is obscured in
00:16:33such a way where you only see about two thirds of his face I see Yeah he's using like the snapchat filter where you have like cute dog years and a cute dog knows And he's like he's like a really young looking like boy like he's got a round
00:16:50face and like pinkish cheeks and like like like he looks like he's really older than this but looks like sixteen or seventeen I guess that he's probably more like twenty two and then also in his instagram I find this little video that has a clue in it okay
00:17:12Interesting I wanna watch it again Okay so just like zooming in and out his camera into what looks like it looks like two ice cream scoops It's like looks like twice from sue throws like they're made out of like wrapping paper Those air Two gigantic piles of xanax
00:17:30Oh i am an older man now and there's an american passport There's a french passport Ah an old man who's never left his own country Okay so he's basically just bragging about all his antics He has right So based on the information i have i'm pretty sure that
00:17:48maxine's in his early twenties I think he lives in france He seems to really like drugs He's really into sad soundcloud rap and he's actually a musician himself Hold on just a second Ah here Here's one of the songs why make me a fight Don't even matter I
00:18:09don't feel a thing It's like never I know that father turns You feel a lot better because they don't look back any time that i pass it on with a round with doors That's exactly why i can't forget you anymore If you came to my house such fucking
00:18:23door leave me outside of the range So mad kind of mean the music's mean no u The music's totally hateful and mean It's like i'm going to prove my vote advised by just being like a really weird sad misogynous It's like feel bad for me I hate women
00:18:40are the two messages that that music just communicating totally like the partially obscured the image of him The sad soundcloud song like that's basically all the information i have on maxine at this point And as for seven evan i know subs in stockholm evans in the uk i
00:18:55have a couple of social media accounts and e mail addresses for them but that's about it So i'm in the discord for a couple of days and as i'm watching these guys i realized like they're talking about user names in a quantity where they would never keep them
00:19:08just for themselves like they're getting way more twitter accounts instagram accounts than they could ever possibly use And a couple days into my steak out of their discord i figure out why when one of them drops a link to a website called org users dot com o d
00:19:25users that calm yeah so here it looks like every hacker message you have ever seen like it's a black and gray background and then like garish orange like message board chapter heading things But just like they're always kind of unpleasant to look at and you have to squint
00:19:39at them and full of incomprehensible computer words So oh gee users is like an online marketplace where these guys buy sell and trade valuable social media accounts and what they're looking for specifically or what they go Oh g handles which are like cool handles That would be hard
00:19:57to get like lizard for example And on this site you can get oh gee user names for pretty much any social media site So like instagram twitter snapchat whatever And if you get the right account you can sell it for like a ton of money So how much
00:20:15money you give me Like a valuable name in the amount of money i saw anti christ on instagram cell for four thousand dollars Okay maxine's Hold it interesting I wonder what is there must be the mark It can't just be hackers selling the hackers Like i wonder who
00:20:34is going to this place You know I mean it's actually kind of hard to know for sure I've heard stories about actual non hackers just wanting a really attractive account and buying it from this place but i haven't seen it I did hear a story about a representative
00:20:51of chris brown contacting someone for an instagram handle Really Yeah So people are nog user's cell specific high value accounts but then they also sell accounts in bulk Like they'll get a bunch of sort of low value accounts bundle them together and sell those You'll see people actually
00:21:09selling the techniques they use to get the accounts Oh they'll just literally sell their methods Yeah as a matter of fact that's exactly what they call them And you see users saying i would really like x or y account like they're people who want specific account really putting
00:21:23up bounties Basically yeah So i still couldn't figure out much about maxine but i wanted to know how he might have hacked lizzie And thanks to joseph cox who's a reporter motherboard who does a lot of stories about cyber security i was able to get in touch with
00:21:37a guy who's a lot like maxine He hacks accounts and sells them energy users In fact he actually fronts a gang that pretty similar to xanax Hello Hello Thanks so much for taking the time to talk I really appreciate it Uh he goes by worthy and i recorded
00:22:00a very long phone call with him He was happy to just talk about it Oh yeah Very happy to talk about it And to be clear worthy made a bunch of claims that i had no way of checking Like he said that he is extremely rich from this
00:22:14line of work you know way run A very very high ring on the deep web Pretty pretty big I'm talking about like eight point seven million dollars we make a year and he claims to have sold tons of ogi handles including one instagram handle Ah the instagram handle
00:22:32car for seventy thousand dollars Okay so take everything he says with a grain of salt But he told me that he and his fellow hackers actually have a pretty reliable method for how they usually get accounts And it's called sim swapping Okay so here's how seems whopping works
00:22:50U p j have a phone number I'm not going to say it on the radio even though that would be such a control to write my number memorize six one zero Okay i think we're done here So so what they do is that they find out that you
00:23:09have a valuable account and they find out your number and they call the phone company and pretend to be you and say i've got a new phone that you need to transfer my phone number too So the phone company transfers your phone number to the hacker's phone and
00:23:24then they have loggins on all your aps They don't have loggins on all your raps But since everybody uses two factor authentication on their phones and they go to instagram they're like i forgot my password Exactly And then instagram sense of password reset text to the phone number
00:23:38which there now in control of and just like that they have your account You know what Oh gee users is right Do i ever Yeah So basically oh jeez Like that o g handles those air easy because it's normal People like me and you As long as i
00:23:55got the number done all i got to do is call t mobile any phone companies and you'll have it for about twenty four hours before they notice You know it was obviously a fraud but by the time you know that happens You've already swapped that ogi handle You've
00:24:10got it It's yours It's done I mean i don't know if this is true but there's probably a lot of people at t mobile who are trusted to port a number Yeah like my experience at every phone store i've ever been to is that the people there are
00:24:23moving phone numbers from one phone to another all day every day like any time you buy a new phone that's what they're doing And what they don't think is like oh somebody who comes in for this job might be illegally conspiring with a global ring of teen jerk
00:24:40wads who are like plundering our customer accounts because they want like funky shits at instagram or whatever right So i mean they sent the the same swapping community is getting It's getting larger because it's getting easier like it It's not challenging at all where they told me that
00:25:01he has this weird little ritual to destroy the evidence where after he seems to have someone he takes the sim card that he used out of the phone he tosses it in the microwave and he blows it up How many sim cards there you microwaving a week Ah
00:25:17a lot Uh i probably went through like eleven microwaves and probably a month I mean i assume you use a different microwave for your sim cards that you do for your food Yes Yeah So i mean if you came in my front door you know i should be
00:25:35a whole lot better than this But as all hackers we all get fucking lazy And it's just um you know i got him I got piles and piles of sim cards laying on the desk laying on the kitchen table I've got it even on the stove Can i
00:25:51also just say that worthy made me very uncomfortable What do you mean It just felt like he's like like an agent of chaos Like not only does he seem swap for ogi handles he'll go after bitcoin bank accounts and he'll go after anyone just for the hell of
00:26:07it Sometimes we target random people like me and you We're targeting target them just to see what they got Because we got the phone number We can go We can go on the deep web or any website Really um you know and buy a list of phone numbers
00:26:22and sometimes we do that We'll swap him take him and see what they got So it's more of a kind of just pick your target just pick You see a phone number online taking That's basically how it is We go after everything anything that can make us a
00:26:41dollar We take over the course of this interview where he told me a lot of crazy stuff like he told me that he got in people's houses sold out from under them He told me that he'd gotten people's cars repossessed like you just said that he ruins people's
00:26:54lives And for all i know everything he was saying was a lie But it still freaked me out because it got me thinking about the xanax crew like they have the same tools They can wreak the same kind of havoc they can do a lot more than just
00:27:07take user names Does he like is he somebody who would like no these guys or just like he's in the same world I actually asked him that and he told me that he'd heard the name xanax Before but he didn't know any of my guys But also after
00:27:21talking to where the i'm pretty confident that lizzie wasn't sim swapped Why Because when someone is sim swap it's not just like oh suddenly your account's gone It's like you look at your phone and you have zero bars It says no sim right is like your phone before
00:27:37you set it up right So this kind of leaves me where i started Like i don't know how lizzie's account got hacked I don't know who this annex guys really are but then this very small window opens up for me So i've been watching maxxim and the xanax
00:27:53crew for a couple of weeks on this annex discord and they are voiced chatting But remember every time they go into voice chat and i tried to join the voice chat it shows that there's another person in it and they just they just boot me out because they
00:28:06like don't know who i am right And then one of their friends decides to um hack logan paul's twitter What and one of the tweets he sends out while he's in that twitter is hey joined the xanax discord with a link to the zen x discord that's crazy
00:28:28So all these like logan paul is like extremely you too famous and has a ba jillion millions of fans And so logan paul's fans flood the xanax the xanax discord And at first i was like oh this is much worse for me because they're getting all this attention
00:28:47they're going to hide out But in fact it like was much better for me It allowed me to like hide in the crowd and they were kind of strutting around being so proud of how cool they are for being friends with the person who hacked logan paul So
00:29:00they started They started having conversations in the public voice chat Oh and just a bunch of people started joining it and like so i just started recording it Can i hear them Sure So the first person you're going to hear in this is max seems friend seb on
00:29:16dh Then the second guy with a british accent That's his friend evan Don't you remember when we played a teacher I thought like a hundred bucks wasa lot How much you pay for what like one point two k steel I pay like two k for at looser though
00:29:35Yeah If it matches ever you'll lose a little No i need a few more pair of louboutins don't like No you don't They heard they hurt like fucking bitch This is maxine This is maxine Tiring now Yeah here I'll play it again No you don't They heard they
00:29:57hurt like fucking bitches Did i have one pair I'm never buying them again They hurt so fucking but you know you used to wear i ah the the fact through chief here's like old And then like everyone in paris started getting pairs because they're like like it's not
00:30:17me that anymore Like everyone is a fucking pair It's crazy actually Just get to hear his voice I know he sounds like a french nihilist I got so mad I just like don't worry Thes e stuff Making me be good chases are like my favorite fucking person ashes
00:30:33I mean they're really lies so when they talk to each other it's the exact same as when they're talking in the cab Yeah basically I mean they spend a ton of time talking about buying expensive designer clothes and a lot of time just humiliating each other and like
00:30:47really unpleasant ways And i feel like i got a better sense of who these guys were By listening to these conversations For example i caught this one little moment of conversation where they were talking about how a couple of years ago maxine had told them that he was
00:31:02going to commit suicide a bunch of times Really Yeah And honestly i find the way that they talk to maxine about this pretty upsetting like maxine was talking to said at one point and said is like well i remember when we all bullied like maxine like one on
00:31:16like that Really We're just joke about all the time when you were like retarded you know that she actually made me sad because like you guys were like best friends at the time And now we're like no we don't believe so much because you don't do it Yeah
00:31:36like then like i know what i did was fucking retarded And i read it You faked suicide twelve times If that's not dumb enough r i know sometimes i actually like tried but i i know what i did was retired And i know it was a huge retard
00:31:55Yeah Yes i regret it on the button now It's fine Yeah I'm being on this for sure Just like that's the past now on care about adam We went from being like poor fucking nature creator Toe reach Fucking retards Yeah pretty much that's where is that That's sad
00:32:21Yeah and that's all i learned Because shortly after that they kicked me out of voice chat And at this point i still don't know if maxine is the person who hacked and threatened lizzie or who he really is beyond like a few details But i found someone who
00:32:36said they could help me figure it out After the break i find out just how huge a massive stumbled into hey Oh Hello Hello This is michael Hey michael this is alex goldman How you doing alex So i got in touch with this guy named michael bizzell who's
00:33:28actually a listener who wrote in at one point to offer his services because he's a cybersecurity expert getting a level on your voice Could you do me a favor and tell me what you had for breakfast I had nothing for breakfast because i gave the key note and
00:33:40i never eat before a keeper Ah because of nerves No i think it's just better on an empty stomach I think i can speak clearer and i'm not holding back of bourbon I just choked on a little bit of trail mix ate earlier So that's what he used
00:34:03to work on the fbi cyber crime task force Now he's a security consultant He actually consulted on the first season of mr robot cool And he told me basically like i want a nerdy reaction that piece of information Um and what michael said is that he has a
00:34:21bunch of databases on his computer and he can do searches that are way more advanced than i could dio And so if i can give him the social media accounts and e mails that i have for maxie minutes pals he'll look for them So how do we go
00:34:34about doing this Like should i just give you the information right now over the phone She let you mail it Like shouldn't you mail it to you I've got one of my machines pulled up If you have an email address i'll take a quick look and just see
00:34:43if the person's even exposed or not Oh let's see here Um the one that i have that i'm kind of most interested in at the moment is maxim m a x I m e at zen dot x Okay so he runs maxine zannex email through the database so
00:35:07i'm getting nothing back on that won it all That one's pretty much which tells me it's just not used publicly It's probably used for this thing Nothing comes up Okay then we try with sebastian and evan also nothing So michael told me he's going to try a bunch
00:35:23of other ways to identify these guys But he thought it might take a few days because they are very good at covering their tracks And so i said him like look at this point i'm starting to get really nervous because i'm trying to expose a group of hackers
00:35:36who do not want to be exposed eyes their official position And i'm actually starting to feel really afraid because i don't have any idea what this particular gang of kids are capable of But what i do know is that maxine is credited with a hack where one hundred
00:35:51thirty five thousand accounts were stolen And so at this point i'm like i'm poking a hornet's nest I want to know how badly i am going to be stunned Well i'm glad you're least thinking of that Because if this comes out and you uncover one of these they're
00:36:07going to unleash this fury on you They're going to doc's you and they're going to probably try to post a home address or something like that which maybe has happened to you before So i would just prepare and accept that all that's going to happen and then identify
00:36:20which of those things body the most and do something to maybe help you know remedy that So i asked michael to do the exact same kind of search that he's going to do on the xanax boys on me just to get a sense of like how vulnerable i
00:36:34would be My assumption is like you'll find my address he'll find my phone number and that won't be grade But that's what he'll find And what did he find Am i clear to say anything that i find Yeah Yeah go ahead Does the password gold go thirteen mean
00:36:50anything is an old password Gol Okay so that's an old one That's good to know oh this is good gold Go thirteen exclamation point Come on You just added an exclamation point to your password That's that That's still my old password Okay so he finds my old password
00:37:11and then things take a turn He pops up my address in no time and it just gets worse from there Your social does that sound right Yes Okay Did you have a driver's license in texas Yes Okay Uh you have a brother named dylan Is that you're right
00:37:33Family line That's my brother Okay And i found sarah's data birth and her social indian father mark Mother mary says hundred Yep It is like getting punched in the stomach over and over again huh It felt so bad What else was able to say Like i don't know
00:37:55if you know this but i have a second middle name You d'oh ideo Really Yeah Michael Alex Terra bello No you dope I d'oh really but i don't really use you messing with me No i'm not terrible Oh yeah You're not messing with me I'm not messing with
00:38:17you Why that is like that is really really the feeling of like oh i thought i didn't realize that like my clothes don't cover my body in the back And i wear the same clothes every single day where i would have went from here which i did not
00:38:32do because i did not have your consent I would've went to annual credit report dot com said I was you and requested your credit report because i have everything they need to give that to me online Cool How long did all of this take you In total phase
00:38:53one eleven minutes Face to twenty minutes Phase three eighteen twenty minutes So that's roughly an hour and i'm not that good at this So the people coming after you they will do better So at this point i am very worried and not just for myself but for my
00:39:11wife and my kids Because like all my information's out there anything that anyone would need to swap my house which is something that i've seen people from oji users do before Anything that people would need to sim swap me and get into my bank account Yeah and so
00:39:26i asked michael like ok what do i have to do to keep this from happening And so he told me what i needed to dio And it is so much more involved than i ever could have imagined Like just for starters i have to change my phone number
00:39:40get a new phone number and never use it for anything Don't even call your friends with it Because let's say that you call me with that new number and i put you in my contact list and i download some rogue android caller i d app that shares my
00:39:52contact list with the world Well now i have to do is search You threw that app and i get your cell phone number Michael can i just say this fucking sucks I've had I've had that phone number for thirteen years I've had my e mail address for eighteen
00:40:08years Probably I think i got it in two thousand three when i was in college Two thousand two It's time to let it go man Now let me offer something you could do to make it less painful You can take your current cellphone number imported over to google
00:40:24voice and still own the number Still get your messages Still get your phone calls You can still use that number but it's no longer tied right to your sim card That's smart That's a that's a good idea You see you have a new phone number Have a new
00:40:40phone Number of my old phone number is on google voice That's why you've been texting me when you texting out Comes from an email address yet like the basic problem with this whole system is that we treat a phone number The thing we give every single person like
00:40:54it's a really good password Kind of The tech companies air like your password has to have seven upper and lower case things and be completely unique And bob bob But if you forget it we'll just use your phone number right So your phone numbers like your social security
00:41:08number now right And we should be protecting it not giving it out Okay so you put your phone number into oblivion and that was actually just the first step He wanted me to have a password manager He told me to get a separate email account for every account
00:41:20i created on any website He told me tio freeze my credit with all the credit report cos he told me to get a you beaky which is basically like instead of two factor authentication where they send anything to your photo thing you put in your computer It's just
00:41:34a little thing you put in your computer I have a uk you d'oh a w became actually wow on dh Then i got this program called pseudo which gives me nine burner phone numbers that i can use to call people whenever i want And you live in a
00:41:48bunker underground Now that is a crazy amount of stuff though That is a really excessive This is something that these kids are using this level of security hygiene yes and that's not all that i did He gave me a list of like eighty websites like in tellus and
00:42:04white pages places that have my personal information on them and how to remove my personal information from them Hi My name's alex goldman on dh I'm calling because my tax records heir listed on a website called nj tax records dot net actually call one of the websites One
00:42:21person in particular had to go through old who is records to find a person who had posted my tax info on their website And you're like hey could you knock that off just for may Yeah And he was like yeah sure I hate the internet Okay And then
00:42:34the last thing he told me was to go to my local police and tell them that i might get swatted Did you do that It did So it took me about two weeks to do all this stuff I told lizzie everything she needed to do And then i
00:42:48called her just to check in I've changed my life timing man I mean now on my password manager two factor authentication All these i'm i've changed my ways But while we're on the phone lizzie tells me that even though she got her snapchat account back it's totally sullied
00:43:09for her now Like a lot of the new contacts that were added when the account was hacked they've been sending her stuff I can't use it It feels like violated in my phone I don't like to go into the app What do you mean Like i had to
00:43:24actually block someone for sending me a lot A lot a lot of pictures of their penis I mean it was like really actually became very vile And like many many times a day i'm sorry that's really gross So i was hopeful that michael would get me good info
00:43:42on these annex guys and tell me who had taken lizzie's account in the first place But michael gets back to me and says he's tried a ton of different tactics but he can't really find much attacks Yeah if he michael worked on this for weeks he brought in
00:43:56like a co investigator But you know these hacker kids they're pros So i was really disappointed and i was at a loss for what to do next like i felt like we were at a dead end But then this little thing happened that threw everything up in the
00:44:11air That's after the break What What Welcome back to the show So here's what happened We found a thread on an o G Users copycat website called ogi flip And it was a posting buy Maxine's friend said that said hey if anybody wants a one character's an ex
00:45:07email address you can have it for fifty bucks Eso like they have a side hustle of selling email addresses just at xanax Sanda axe Right So there's a chance that oh at xander today x the original e mail account that originally threatened lizzie was not maxxim or evan
00:45:27or sebastian It could have been just somebody from one of these message boards who bought an e mail Right And then one day this user who's constantly changing his username so i'll call him charlie is trying to impress a girl by buying her the snapshot hedgehog And out
00:45:44of nowhere he tapes ella Well lizard i pulled that I couldn't believe it Wow Just like out of nowhere Confession from charlie Yeah it was amazing You're such a delight What What What You're literally just saying they're watching the discord So i just wanted to confirm that he
00:46:05was actually the person who did it Right So ah i go to his oj users account It says that he has the snapchat wild and lizzie had sent me a screenshot Of all the new people that have been friended in the account since it had been stolen and
00:46:18wild was one of them seems good And then not long after that he posted a screenshot from within the lizard account We have lizzie's name on it That feels very conclusive So i start looking through his conversations and i notice that around ten a M Every morning he
00:46:35starts talking about having to go to school So i start to think like oh he's on the west coast and he's in high school right So on the discord charlie's like obnoxious and blustery He totally blends in with his annex guys But he also describes himself as like
00:46:49this shy kind of lonely kid who doesn't really talk to many people He honestly it seems kind of harmless So i talked to lisi and i'm like hey we've really narrowed it down We think we know who he is like what do you want at this point And
00:47:01she was like well you know who he is I want an apology huh So i guess that is that is kind of outside of the colonel justice system It's like the highest punishment you can extract on high schoolers Like you're going to sit down and write an apology
00:47:15and you're gonna read it one hundred times Yeah So she wants an apology In what form Well in the in the intervening weeks i've been sort of giving her progress updates on this and i told her about the discord the xanax discord the user's discord And she started
00:47:28hanging out there and just watching people So she's in there herself She knows what's up with with discord So i was like why don't we hop on discord in see if we can get him on voice chat So lizzie and i meet up at eleven P M Eastern
00:47:42on discord a p m Pacific time Hello Can you hear me Hello Came here Yeah Excellent All right here we go I said you know you pull lizard on snapchat Oh nice He wrote back l m a o and i said is that a yes And he said
00:48:05that's an l m a o So i post a screenshot of him saying i pulled the lizard account Great You send it Yeah he says Obviously a joke All those snaps were cracked if you owned lizard you're a big dumb Your boy told me you didn't even put
00:48:22two faa on She just reverted with the river link He thinks you're an angry contraband customer Thinks i'm an unhappy customer Okay And so i started asking if he can hop on voice chat and he's just like i don't know i wrote So my name's alex i'm a
00:48:39journalist and the owner of lizard is on is on discord too And i was wondering if you'd be willing to talk to her because she's curious about what happened School All right bombs away guys Oh he says Sure what You there Yeah Hey how's it going man Good
00:49:16lizzie if you just want to take it away you have questions Won't you go and ask him Ah yet why do you want my account Ah your username was o g like you know what that means Yeah i know That means so Thank you very much Why do
00:49:34you why do you want all these Oh gee handles I don't know It's kind of like a person buying designer clothes but on the internet it's like a flex But my friend he pretty much cracked your snapchat He doesn't like active snapchat so he sold me the log
00:49:55in for like on it like a hundred dollars and i resold it for like one point five k What Yeah So charlie tells us that he's just the middleman Like a friend of hiss steel Snapchat accounts in bulk Then he sold charlie like seven or eight of them
00:50:13for relatively cheap lizard was one of them And then charlie flipped the lizard account to another guy for much more money Got it Okay So he's basically like i didn't do anything wrong If you don't mind me asking how long have you been in tow Gee accounts How
00:50:28did you get into this He's gone Oh my god And i'm like that's it That's all i get with this guy I am definitely not getting lizzie's apology Yeah and then he sent me a message that said my dad just walked in elementary Oh i i can talk
00:50:49again in five or ten minutes We're just waiting for him It felt like a real compliment when he told me the light hit It was urgent I can't believe he said yes Hey you there Yeah So then lizzie asked him about the threatening messages Were you the one
00:51:07i was texting me Someone was texting you Yeah that wasn't me That was probably the person i sold it to like really messed up stuff What did they say Did they do anything No they were just threatening Yeah that was probably the person i sold it to So
00:51:28i was like okay so you're saying you're not the person who threatened lisi who threatened lizzie and what he said was like i don't want to tell you who i sold that account too He is a bad guy and he was like something Something bad is gonna happen
00:51:41to me like i'm going to get doc's ste ah if i get doc so i could get swatted like that's just bad Did you believe him He seemed very It was the most nervous This relatively laid back and kind of quiet guy got interesting And we have like
00:51:59a very long very circular conversation with this kid where we're just like lizzie's asking them questions I'm asking them questions were like why do you do this And he's just like money you know He's like just really kind of blase about it Even though you're not doing it
00:52:14Even though you say you're not doing anything illegal you're still part of an ecosystem that's doing illegal shit Like does it bug you at all that you do that stuff Well i mean like she got it back so but that's not the point dude i don't feel as
00:52:29bad but i do feel bad that people texted you Like i wouldn't have done that That's pretty messed up and that they deleted all your friends and pictures like i don't really like that Have you ever thought about the people whose accounts are being hacked Well no not
00:52:50really Why did you agree to talk to us Uh i'm bored and he was like why don't i get the guy who actually stole the account and sold it to me on the line Whoa was it just him talking a higher voice He brought this guy on the
00:53:07on the call who told me to call him Kevin is your is your friend on Yeah he's on but he's muted Hi Hello Yeah I don't know who's talking high Hey this is alex goldman I'm a reporter Yeah I told kevin what happened and he was like i
00:53:24didn't mean for that to happen My deal is that me and two of my friends wrote a script that crack snapchats We set it up to look for handles that were among the most common words in the english language because those would be more valuable to sell And
00:53:37then i just used the top five hundred password Liston just happened pop up but i didn't sell your account in the beginning because it was active But then after like a month i re signed in and it still worked with the same password So i just assumed you
00:53:51didn't care or you didn't use it So then i sold the account And what she did she like It was her password One two three four And had she not used it for a month she she hadn't used it for a month And her password where she hasn't
00:54:04told me what her password is but it was definitely among the thousand most common Okay s o the thing he's saying could actually be true Yeah totally Well so what Can i add you on snapchat or is that like a big no No um actually not also i
00:54:20don't really use that violated snatch at anymore So what You can't you don't even use things like removed all our friends Imagine Imagine that someone broke into your house rifled through all your stuff Yeah and it it And like afterward you just like i don't want to go
00:54:37into that house anymore Because wait So you're comparing a snapchat account to a house I'm comparing it to a violation of a person's personal security Uh huh It sucks It's a shitty feeling to have someone break into your your account It's terrible I don't I understand how that
00:55:00you're making it way more serious than it actually is The social media account I felt like he was just ignoring how scary these threats were to lizzie Like he was focusing on the wrong thing Right So the four of us ended up talking for a long time And
00:55:15lizzie she just started asking kevin about himself We don't want your job tempe My job worked as a cashier at a grocery store no i'm not a hype east or any of that crap I would rather save my money and spend it on some shoes or say tomorrow
00:55:31So you don't have eazy e's No dude you know much They are They're like i don't even know how much they are like five hundred plus Right Like a thousand It's crazy Imagine that You know i gotta pay less Post your shoes man Poster shoes Okay hold up
00:55:48I got a i got to take a photo of you Yeah i'm uploading mind now We out here ball in You're looking like look at that Oh there's only sixteen dollars on huh There's a six now They're champion How much were they I think like i think they're
00:56:06like on sale for fourteen or fifteen bucks right now Well you know i got two pairs There was one moment where kevin had just just gone to do his laundry He's like hold on i'll be right back I have to go do my laundry And then charlie launched
00:56:19into this thing where he was like yeah you know i feel i feel like this And he was like the first moment rise Like he seems kind of vulnerable Yeah How do you feel about talking to lizzie for a knauer doesn't make you feel any different about whatyou
00:56:29d'oh I mean yeah like i kind of stopped the loogie thing Like after i sold the snap The only back kind of gives me another reason washer So i quit high Say again That's so like after i saw those snapshots we kind of stopped like selling a lot
00:56:47of bogey's your names on dh like i feel like this kind of give me another perspective of like why Kind of stop like it's more than just money like you're affecting real people And you don't really think about that when you take people's accounts I'm glad to hear
00:57:06you say that even if you don't mean it Toward the end of the call i asked them both to apologize to lizzy but we basically just got mealy mouth I'm sorrys that they clearly didn't mean like arms or that sort of teenage monotone apology Yeah exactly So it
00:57:20was kind of a bummer All right stop Stop breaking into people's accounts Okay Yeah Okay Okay Yes sir All right all right Wait Can i like plug my bitcoin address Fuck no Bye I mean i'm glad that we got to talk to them and figure out what actually
00:57:39happened with lisa's account but it just sort of felt like that's it like that's all we get And then the next morning i wake up I open up discord which is what i always do Because i wanted to basically i wanted to see like if they had named
00:57:52me and if they were going to be people harassing me yeah and i had a message from kevin which was like hey ah i wanted teo get in touch I think lisi might have blacked me I want to talk to her again huh So i was like ok
00:58:07cool What time And he was like let's talk it Eleven Thirty That's when i get off my shift to the grocery store huh There you are Hey how's it going Great So lazy And i get back on the phone with him Hey can you hear me Hello Hey
00:58:26How's it going Hey are you guys doing okay And he was like he was like a completely different person Yeah Last night after the call i feel i don't know It felt weird I didn't i didn't like how i introduced myself and how i how i talk to
00:58:42you guys So i just wanted to come back and apologize for what i did in how everything turned out If if i knew you were going to get harassed or threatened or whatever happened i obviously wouldn't have taken your user name And he was like he was like
00:58:57getting hacked sucks I know I didn't think that anybody was using the account being threatened is awful Not too long though I got doc's tw they contacted my big sister and my little sister and everyone And i was just yeah scared Can i ask you what is it
00:59:11What did it feel like that day that you got doc's Like what What did it feel like Just like walking around in the world I was doing my grocery store job and i don't know i just i was really paranoid Yeah it is Like i mean it's weird
00:59:26to like hear you say that i just like remember looking around like not knowing where in the world this person was and like if like they could have figured out like where i live and like it's just it was like hard not to get paranoid It's just like
00:59:41creepy like violation They figured out everything about me I actually just recently moved because we want not because of it but i kind of pushed my mom into moving into a new apartment because of it Because they found out where i lived in my old phone number and
00:59:55everything And yeah i know It was terrifying They told me they were going to swap my high school and so on So yeah it was it was not fun at all I guess i'm one I guess i'm wondering if this is change If this is going to change
01:00:07the way that you behave in the future Like yeah i don't know Honestly i don't want to sit here and lie to you and say that it's changed me but i don't think i'll be cracking accounts anymore because i just don't think it's it's worth all the drama
01:00:25or not drama but all the backlash if anything does happen i don't know how to phrase it I don't i don't mind exploiting like a big company like snapchat but i wouldn't like sim swap someone or ah harasser threaten her doc someone for or extort them for money
01:00:41or anything like that And then he was like look you have a bit clinic out She was like yeah i sold the snapchat for one hundred soldiers Send that directly back to you so you can do whatever you want with that since it is rightfully yours Lizzie do
01:00:59you have your bitcoin account number handy Yeah Do you want to drop it into Yeah i mean it's it's super long right host Yeah it starts It's usually with the three you have coined based right Yeah Yeah Let me boot up my ledger okay All right I sent
01:01:22it Yep Got it Yeah Thank you Yeah of course Yeah You cannot do whatever you want with that If you wanted to donate it and go for it If you want to keep it and buy groceries go for it Awesome Hey uh thanks for letting me mean letting
01:01:40me talk again Yeah i knew i didn't deserve it after last night because i was a complete jackass but yeah Thank you I just i just had to say sorry again Yeah Have a good night guys Take care Oh my god lizzie That was so nice And and
01:02:02he liked lives with his mom and he does the dishes And he like he's like yeah i just like tryingto i don't care about like exploiting large companies I don't know why that part is sweet but it's like i don't really take issue with that Well this has
01:02:22been like a really adventure on I'm really appreciate you letting me go on it Yeah it was wild Thanks for your persistence All right take care Bye No Oh Reply Always hosted by pj vogt and me alex goldman Our show is produced by shoot ipanema nanny fia benen
01:03:24donnie on a marquee and a foley and jessica young but she was edited by tim howard Our intern is heather sharing We were mixed by rick juan Back checking by michelle harris Special thanks this week to tim rogers juliet milton talia gilbert elizabeth patterson chris messina gene huang
01:03:44feeny flanagan and lorenzo francesca Peaky era of motherboard lorenzo and joseph cox who i mentioned in the story are actually starting their own podcast called cyber The first episodes out next week and it is about sims swapping You should check it out You can download it wherever you
01:04:00get podcasts Michael brazil also has a podcast called the complete privacy and security podcast I will put a link to that in the show notes as well as all the things i did to protect myself in this episode Matt lieber is a video that you find so funny
01:04:15that you force your coworkers to watch it over and over and over again until they start enjoying one last thing Lizzie donated one hundred dollars she got from kevin to an organization called bite back which provides computer training and career preparation Toe underserved washington d C metro area
01:04:30residents There will be a link to their website In our show you can find more episodes of the show on itunes spotify or wherever you get your podcasts Thanks for listening Well sees you Hey hey Did you see those boulders disappearing off the cliff The air here is
01:05:05riddled with were moved the rock slide into one and come out another Yeah it's probably been the same landslide for decades doomed to repeat itself true No i'm not named after the tickler cylinder or the hyper cylinders Why do you ask Because of the warm holes right Yeah
01:05:33well it's difficult to picture a four dimensional cylinder Okay that whole thing raises the grandfather paradox that doesn't it Well that is interesting Yeah I got your back A fly in the rocks and herds They also fly backwards Yeah somebody trunk Flynn maybe i should sit down Can
01:06:46i help Yeah Choir my drinks and awful They're getting worse for the world Why do i sound like this

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