image of breaking badness
Breaking Badness
Breaking Badness

100. The Big One Pundred

Episode 100 of Breaking Badness

Two and a half years and over 4,400 minutes since we began, I am in disbelief that I am preparing the 100th episode of Breaking Badness. And let me tell you, it has been blissfully nostalgic. Listening back through audio, re-reading our ridiculous episode names and article titles, and giggling emphatically as I aggregate every host’s introduction, I’m reminded of how much fun it is to produce this podcast. In fact, my poor wife dealt with my incessant cackling for weeks as I sifted through hours of memories. So in celebration of this landmark episode, I’m eager to bring you into the Breaking Badness experience to tell you about the impetus of the podcast, joyful memories, proudest moments, and give thanks to all involved with this project.

About the Podcast

This podcast was the brainchild of myself, Emily Hacker, and Tim Helming. Tim (who has the voice of an NPR radio host engulfed in honey and cybersecurity prowess) and I (lover of puns and yelling into the void) were gunning for a podcast for an extended period of time. I’ll never forget the moment we realized our recent hire and security researcher, Emily Hacker, confessed her love for podcasts. The rest is pretty much history. The three of us collaborated and built Breaking Badness.

There are a few memories I’d love to share with you all from the early days. Bear in mind, this was back in early 2019, pre-pandemic, and Emily’s desk was located on the opposite end of our office. I spent a significant amount of time racing over to share an idea with Emily (which typically resulted in lots of laughter, and was probably quite distracting for other members sitting nearby). For the first episode, we were still working through ways to share key takeaways from the show, so we figured why not attempt to auto-transcribe the episode? This went about as well as you might expect, and ended with Emily and I in stitches. Here are a few nuggets from the transcript:

  • Co-Host Family Hacker (rather than Emily)
  • There was no reports of the thing exploded in the wild (a much more interesting story)
  • Privileges and 7287 enable to attacker to execute arbitrary code with royal purple (I don’t know what royal purple is, but it sounds dangerous!)
  • Before you click on a link in an email hover over the link with your mouth and see what it says (LOL)
  • The Howdy Doody Scale (meant to be the Hoodie Rating Scale)

As our little podcast that could continued to build momentum, we brought on special guests to join us on our series “voices from infosec”. We also started a new game, Two Truths and a Lie, and introduced our mini-series centered around large events (Black Hat 2019, RSA 2020). These are especially fun to listen back to in the midst of a global pandemic (remember when we went to conferences and were surrounded by thousands of people!?!?). Throughout this process, as our dedicated listeners are well aware, we have had a few iterations of co-host over the past 100 episodes including:

  • Tim, Emily, Kelsey
  • Tarik, Emily, Kelsey
  • Tarik, Chad, Kelsey
  • Tim, Chad, Kelsey

I want to pause for a moment and thank each and every one of you. Every iteration of co-hosts has brought unique perspectives, senses of humor, and dynamics. It has, and continues to be, a highlight of my week to sit (now virtually) alongside you and deliver painful puns as we summarize critical security stories from the previous week. Allan Liska of Recorded Future once said, “I feel like I am listening to three friends talk about security,” this was not only a HUGE compliment from the great Ransomware Sommelier, but honestly, it is how I truly feel collaborating with Breaking Badness co-hosts. We are friends that sit around, give each other a hard time, and talk security. It made my year to hear that this comes through in our podcast. This is something I’m very proud of when it comes to Breaking Badness, and as I’ve reflected preparing for the 100th episode, here are a few more things that I’m proud of:

  1. We have remained completely vendor agnostic. The goal and premise for this podcast has always been to provide useful and relevant information to defenders. I believe we have kept this promise.
  2. We have had over 30 guests on our podcast (wowza!).
  3. The creation of our Black Hat and RSA Mini-Series. These were a lot of fun to record, and it was even more fun meeting such incredible people.
  4. Discussing important topics like diversity in security, burnout, and imposter syndrome.
  5. The quantity of puns has all but intensified (muahaha!).

Appreciation on Behalf of the Breaking Badness Team

Before I wrap this up, I have some folks I’d like to thank. The reality is, without their support, we wouldn’t be celebrating our 100th episode, let alone 1 episode of Breaking Badness:

  • Thank you to my mentor, Ariella Robison, for entrusting myself and the whole Breaking Badness team to embark on this punny adventure. You went out of your way to ensure we had the resources we needed to set up the podcast for success, and always empowered us to bring our full selves into this project.
  • John Roderick, thank you for producing our killer music bed and sharing your equipment recommendations to improve the audio quality.
  • Thanks to Cebron Hansen who came in and did some audio engineering magic to fine-tune our sound. You gave us a crash course in production that dramatically improved our podcast’s caliber.
  • Here is a big one. Thank you to all of our special guests (whose names I’ll list at the bottom of the show notes). I am always blown away by how kind and supportive you all are. Thank you for meeting up with a stranger at a large show/online to share your experiences. I am still in great touch with many of you, so I also want to thank you for your continued friendship and support.
  • But most importantly, I want to thank you, our audience, for tuning in every week and supporting us. You’re the reason we take on the weekly grind of producing Breaking Badness. You are the reason we continue to challenge each other to create the best podcast possible.

I hope you cherish this episode, it means a lot to me to share our experiences behind the scenes of Breaking Badness. Hours and hours of blood, sweat, and threats (oops, I meant tears), go into this podcast. And although it is a TON of work, I feel like I won the lottery by partnering with the most humble, informed, patient, and downright hilarious co-hosts. Here’s to one hundred more episodes and a million more puns!

Breaking Badness Guests:

  • Adam Levin
  • Allan Liska
  • Allie Mellen
  • Alyssa Miller
  • Andrew Hay
  • Ayesha Prakash
  • Beau Friedlander
  • Brianne Hughes
  • Charity Wright
  • Chloe Messdaghi
  • Chris Triolo
  • Gabriel Gumbs
  • Graham Cluely
  • Irfan Asrar
  • Jackie Abrams
  • Jeff Horne
  • Jennifer Leggio
  • Jerry Gambilin
  • Joe Slowik
  • Jon Oltsik
  • Jonathan Sander
  • Kat Sweet
  • Katie Nickels
  • Kyle Wilhoit
  • Liz
  • Matthew Pahl
  • Niamh Muldoon
  • NullCookies
  • Olga Jilani
  • Paul Vixie
  • Ryan Kovar
  • Sean McNee
  • Sherrod DeGrippo
  • Taylor Wilkes-Pierce
  • Turbo Conwell
  • Xena Olsen
  • Zoe Rose

That’s about all we have for this week, you can find us on Twitter @domaintools, all of the articles mentioned in our podcast will always be included on our podcast recap. Catch us Wednesdays at 9 AM Pacific time when we publish our next podcast and blog.

*A special thanks to John Roderick for our incredible podcast music!