Meet “the hacker next door” in this fascinating behind-the-scenes look at who hackers really are and how hacking really works.

The Hacker Next Door features intimate conversations with a diverse array of real-world hackers for “good,” including a ransomware negotiator, an NSA recruit, a lock picker, a missionary, a hactivist, a hacker couple raising hacker kids, and many more.

Hosted by Jeremy N. Smith, author of Breaking and Entering: The Extraordinary Story of a Hacker Called “Alien.”

The Hacker Next Door trailer

About the show

Jeremy N. Smith is a journalist, podcaster, and the author of Breaking and Entering, the true story of a female hacker called “Alien” and the birth of our information insecurity age.

When Jeremy was writing the book, he got to talk to lots of hackers who opened his eyes to worlds that ranged far beyond the cartoon intruder hunched over a computer, but he could only follow one story—Alien’s—in depth.

The Hacker Next Door is a 10-episode spinoff series where he interviews a diverse array of hackers about their surprising origin stories, exploits, and everyday lives.

About Jeremy

Jeremy is a freelance journalist (New York Times, The Atlantic, Discover, etc.) and the author of three narrative non-fiction books about local food, global health, and hacking. He and his work have been featured by CNN, NPR, The Today Show, and Wired. He speaks frequently before diverse national audiences, including Apple, Google, the  National Academy of Sciences, and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

In addition to The Hacker Next Door, he cohosts the podcasts Stimulus & Response with high performance coach Damon Valentino and You Must Know Everything with his daughter Rasa.

Learn more and make contact at his website.

The Hacker Next Door show notes

1. Lock Picker Deviant Ollam

Legendary lock picker Deviant Ollam explains the thought process of physically breaking into a building, the two golden rules of lock picking, and why 20,000+ hackers hanging out and hacking together (in Las Vegas!) improve security for us all.

2. Ransomware Negotiator Karen Sprenger

LMG Security COO Karen Springer discusses digital hostage negotiations, the top two qualities to look for in hiring a hacker, and a typical day in a hacker office.

3. Black Hat Hacker Skylar Rampersaud

Black hat hacker Skylar Rampersaud discusses digital warfare, the mindset of an attacker, and being recruited (as a 15-year-old!) by the NSA.

4. Hacker for Charity Johnny Long

Hackers for Charity founder Johnny Long discusses Google hacking, finding God, and bringing the hacker spirit to philanthropy.

5. Hacker Parents Caroline Hardin and Grant Dobbe

Hacker couple and parents Caroline Hardin and Grant Dobbe discuss hackathons, makerspaces, and raising the next generation of hacker kids.

6. Hardware Hacker Joe Grand

Hardware hacker extraordinaire Joe Grand on testifying before Congress as a 22-year-old, helping launch the autonomous vehicle industry, and turning badges into...flamethrowers.

7. Bug Bounty Hunter Casey Ellis

Bugcrowd founder Casey Ellis on employing hundreds of thousands of hackers, the big business of bug bounty programs, and how to save teenage hackers from a life of crime.

8. Hacker Anthropologist Gabriella Coleman

Hacker anthropologist Gabriella Coleman on embedding for six years with a global hacktivist group, celebrating the surprising virtues of anonymity, and trying to avoid being tracked in the digital age.

9. Revenge Porn Hacktivist Katelyn Bowden

BADASS Army CEO Katelyn Bowden on fighting revenge porn, organizing a hacktivist army, and changing the culture of consent, online and off.

10. Roof and Tunnel Hacker, Industrial Fire and Light Artist, and Bioengineer Liana Lareau

Hacker/artist/scientist Liana Lareau on hacking's origins at MIT, art status at Burning Man, and applications to investigating the human genome.