S1E5: Defending from Cyberpunks

(Episode 5, click above to listen)


In this episode of the CyberAware Podcast, our hosts, Raj and Sherwin, discuss the topic of cyberpunks with special guest Mubasser Kamal. Mubasser graduated from Minnesota State University, Mankato in 2018 with a master’s degree in information technology. He currently works for a penetration testing company based in Minneapolis, Minnesota as a security consultant. This podcast is all about cyberpunks, which are individuals that engage in cybertheft and other malicious criminal activities in the cyberworld.

The first major example the group discusses is phishing, including the upsurge in text message phishing and the number of victims during the COVID-19 pandemic. They provide insights into common infrastructure vulnerabilities that allow attackers to compromise accounts and systems. The group also elaborates on "penetration testing," also known as ethical hacking, which is an authorized simulated cyberattack on a computer system. This is performed to evaluate the security of systems and infrastructure, like mobile and web applications. Another topic discussed is the existence of hackers implemented and sponsored by governments and corporations around the world to conduct cyberattacks. These hackers have high-end targets and may bait and use innocent people as passive cyberpunks. Raj, Sherwin, and Mubasser also give some easy tips to stay cybersecure, including double-checking links, checking the validity of emails, texts, or calls, and securing home Wi-Fi networks by performing regular firmware updates on devices like routers. Finally, the group talks through a typical day in the life of an information security analyst and the tasks they perform.