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An infected computer.

Nicole Beckwith wears a lot of hats. She’s a programmer, incident responder, but also a cop and a task force officer with the Secret Service. In this episode she tells a story which involves all of these roles.



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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, Zoom Podtrak P4, Sony MDR7506 headphones, and Hindenburg audio editor.



JACK: Whenever we have a computer problem that we need to troubleshoot, we often want to know why that was a problem. How did it break? You know what? Sometimes you never get a good answer. One time when I was at work, a router suddenly crashed. The internet was down for that office and my teammate jumped on the problem to try to figure out what was going on. A few minutes later, the router was back up and online and was working fine all on its own. This router crashed and rebooted, but why? My teammate wanted to know, so he began a forensic analysis. [MUSIC] He looked at the environmental data before the crash. It was not showing high CPU or out of memory. It did not have a heavy amount of traffic going over it either, so this wasn’t an over-utilization issue. Next, he grabbed core dumps, memory snapshots of what was present at the time of the crash, and he sent that to the manufacturer of the router to see if they could figure it out. A few days later, the manufacturer told us they analyzed the core dumps and said the reason for the crash was spurious emissions from space. Spurious emissions from space.

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