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The Zero Day Initiative runs a hacker contest called Pwn2Own. The contest calls the best hackers in the world to demonstrate they can hack into software that should be secure. Like browsers, phones, and even cars. A lot of vulnerabilities are discovered from this event which means vendors must fix them. Whoever can demonstrate the most vulnerabilities will be crowned the “Master of Pwn”.

Thanks to Dustin Childs and Brian Gorenc from ZDI to hear all about Pwn2Own.

Thanks to Radek and Pedro for sharing their experiences of becoming the Masters of Pwn.


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Darknet Diaries is created by Jack Rhysider.

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, a cloudlifter, Motu M2, Sony MDR7506 headphones, and Hindenburg audio editor.



JACK: Alright, pop quiz. Who is the best hacker in the world? Well, I think I’ve found him. Oh, it’s two guys, actually; Pedro and Radek. They won the 2020 Masters of Pwn Award which for now means they’re the best.

PEDRO: Oh, wow. As much – we really appreciate that and as much as we would like to think we are, that would be unfair, you know? It’s quite a nice title to have and we’re quite happy with it. But the fact is there’s a lot of good hackers that stay in the shadows and I know for a fact a lot of them are better than us.

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