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Two players fighting in a video game.

Some video game players buy cheats to win. Let’s take a look at this game cheating industry to see who the players are.


Support for this show comes from Axonius. Securing assets — whether managed, unmanaged, ephemeral, or in the cloud — is a tricky task. The Axonius Cybersecurity Asset Management Platform correlates asset data from existing solutions to provide an always up-to-date inventory, uncover gaps, and automate action. Axonius gives IT and security teams the confidence to control complexity by mitigating threats, navigating risk, decreasing incidents, and informing business-level strategy — all while eliminating manual, repetitive tasks. Visit axonius.com/darknet to learn more and try it free.

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Darknet Diaries is created by Jack Rhysider.

Sound design by Garrett Tiedemann.

Episode artwork by odibagas.

Audio cleanup by Proximity Sound.

Theme music created by Breakmaster Cylinder. Theme song available for listen and download at bandcamp. Or listen to it on Spotify.


Recording equipment used this episode was the Shure SM7B, Zoom Podtrak P4, Sony MDR7506 headphones, and Hindenburg audio editor.



JACK: One year, I went to Defcon, the annual hacker conference, and at Defcon, there’s something called r00tz. It’s basically Defcon kids, where it’s a whole village set up just for kids to learn how to hack. I ducked my head in there to check out the scene. Kids were learning how to solder, how to pick locks, how to hack voting machines, and how to hack websites. There are talks in this r00tz Village, too, and there was a girl on stage, probably ten years old, and she was talking about how she hacked a video game on her phone. The game was some kind of farming game where you have to plant your seeds and then wait a certain amount of actual, real days for the crops to grow. Well, she didn’t like having to wait, so she turned the clock forward on her phone and then got back in the game to see if the crops had grown at all, but they didn’t. There was some kind of check that the game was using to see if people were doing this, but she didn’t stop there. She tried again. This time, she tried turning the Wi-Fi off on her phone and then changing the clock. When she opened the game back up, boom, all her crops had fully grown. She figured it out; a ten-year-old figured out how to hack this farming game, which was one of the coolest talks I’ve ever seen at Defcon.

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