Will Be Wild; Truthers: Tiffany Dover Is Dead; Signals
Well, first week at a new job + speaking at an in-person conference for the first time in ~3 years + multiple tragic events/news in the U.S. this past week really disrupted the M-F cadence, and I suspect that said cadence will continue to be hit-and-miss until I get settled in my new role. Thus, rather than try to make up for an entire week, the newsletter will be "best effort" M-F for a bit.
Today, we have some resources to dig into over the long weekend (in the U.S.).
Will Be Wild
I listen to a fair number of podcasts ranging from news, science, and fiction. I caught wind of "Will Be Wild" early in April, listened to a teaser episode, then paid for more timely access to episodes because the storytelling is great as is the technical crafting of each pod.
This is an 8-part series that takes a look at the forces that led to the January 6th insurrection in the U.S. and what comes next. They interview one young man who ended up reporting his father to the FBI, talk to others who were involved in the attack, interview police who tried to stop the attack, and former officials who discuss what was happening in the halls of power before and during the violent riot, as well as members of previous administrations that posit some dire warnings.
The summary in their own podcast description is worth repeating here:
Andrea Bernstein and Ilya Marritz explore the ongoing effort to bring autocracy to America, the lasting damage that effort is doing to our democracy, and the fate of our attempts to combat those anti-democratic forces. Because January 6th wasn't the end of the story, January 6th was just a practice run.
Truthers: Tiffany Dover Is Dead*
I've been a big fan of NBC News' Brandy Zadrozny for quite a while, especially when she gets to host On The Media (we'll sneak an embed for that one, too).
The title for this first Truthers season was insanely well-chosen.
The internet is awash in conspiracy theories and other oddball obsessions. This one is super odd.
Back in December of 2020, a nurse named Tiffany Dover fainted on camera while she was talking to reporters after getting her first COVID shot. She got right back up and gave another interview, but it was too late. A conspiracy theory was already racing around the world: Dover had died. She’d been replaced by a body double. And an ever-expanding list of conspirators was in on the cover-up, including the drug companies, the hospital, the media, and maybe even the Pope.
Brandy sets out to show what’s true and what isn't — and how one person's life became a weapon in a global information war.
My new job at GreyNoise Intelligence involves "listening" to the internet. We have thousands of really clever honeypots spread across the globe and try to find signal in the background noise, especially signals from those with ill intent.
We're not the only ones with our digital ears to the ground.
DataPlane is a non-profit project run by John Kristoff, Matthew Kemp, and Bill Eaheart that is also listening to the internet in very specific ways. They publish their signals data and even provide access to the source of their various listening servers for you to experiment with.
For example, this SSH connections signal contains timestamped records of source IP addresses that have been identified as performing SSH client protocol negotiations (i.e. someone trying to connect to the command-line interface of a server).
This data is free to use in a non-commercial context, and can be used to help protect your organization from malicious activity. It’ll also give you a small glimpse into the kinds of work I do each day.
NOTE: If you want to conduct long-term analyses, you'll need to grab the data regularly, as only the previous week's worth of signals are available.
As prefixed, this has been a fairly terrible news week. The horrible event in Texas dwarfed many other terrible things that likely impacted you directly or indirectly. Please take time for some self-care, check-in with others, and — if you have kids — make sure to give them a few extra hugs. ☮