Trail of Bits has launched a podcast. The first five-episode season is now available for download. The podcast and its RSS feed are available at trailofbits.audio, and you may subscribe on all major podcast outlets, including Apple iTunes, Spotify, Gaana, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, and many others.
Listening to our podcast is like having a couple of friends—who happen to be the world’s leading cybersecurity experts—explain to you how they protect some of the world’s most precious data, in plain, straightforward English. Each episode provides entertaining, plain-language descriptions of the exciting technologies and projects that Trail of Bits engineer-consultants are working on. The podcast is designed to be simple (yet not dumbed-down), technically accurate, and really fun to listen to. And the only ads you’ll ever hear are for our free and open source software and tools.
Our audience includes tech-savvy and technically curious people who want to learn more about the trends at technology’s leading edge:
Early adopters, architects, technical professionals, and the technically fascinated who want to know more about trends that are occurring at the forward edge of the technology adoption curve
Technology executives who want a solid, high-level understanding about the trends and technologies that they face in the marketplace, without getting dragged into the weeds
Journalists and reporters who cover technology and want primers to serve as context for the stories for which they have to explain complex technical concepts to a mainstream audience
Season one, released in June of 2022, comprises five episodes:
- Zero Knowledge Proofs and ZKDocs. Using the procedures described in well-known academic papers, software developers around the world implemented certain complicated encryption schemes for banks and exchanges to protect billions of dollars. But the procedures the developers followed had a fatal flaw. Those billions of dollars were suddenly an easy target for criminal and nation-state hackers. Fortunately for all of us, there’s a guy named Jim. This episode features Trail of Bits Cryptography Team Lead Jim Miller and a guest appearance by Matthew D. Green.
- Immutable. Here’s something lots of people like about Bitcoin: Governments can’t control it. You can spend your Bitcoin the way you want to, and nobody can stop you. But here’s the bad news: That’s not true. It turns out that one of the things everybody believes and likes about cryptocurrency is actually wrong. Really wrong. About a year ago, Trail of Bits was engaged by DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, to answer a question: Are blockchains really decentralized? This is a key question for cryptocurrencies. And in this episode, we explain what the Trail of Bits team found. This episode features Trail of Bits CEO Dan Guido, Principal Engineer Evan Sultanik, and Research and Engineering Director Trent Brunson.
- Internships and Winternships. Meet the Trail of Bits interns who represent the next generation of security engineers. They’re creating new tools that will be used by software developers around the world and updating existing tools to optimize their efficiency. Trail of Bits considers building a pipeline of talented engineers to be strategic-and we start by encouraging students while they are still in high school. This episode features CEO Dan Guido, interns Suha Hussain and Sam Alws, and guest appearances by Jason An, Clarence Lam, Harikesh Kailad, and Patrick Zhang of the Montgomery Blair High School Cybersecurity Club.
- It-Depends. Most people imagine software engineers tapping keyboards in a kombucha-keg-filled room. But modern software isn’t written… It’s assembled. Developers write code, but they don’t start from scratch. They use open-source code and libraries developed by a community. Those building blocks themselves depend on other pieces of open-source software, which are built atop yet others, and so on. The dependencies of this software supply chain are, therefore, recursive-“nested,” like a Russian matryoshka doll. So when you ask whether your software is safe, the answer is, “It Depends.” This episode features Trail of Bits engineers Evan Sultanik and William Woodruff and guest appearances by Patrick Gray, Clint Bruce, Eric Olson, and Allan Friedman.
- Future. Companies that make high-assurance software—programs whose failure means catastrophic consequences like the disappearance of a billion dollars or the explosion of a rocket ship on the launch pad—are adopting technologies that are a couple of years ahead of the mainstream. When you ask a Trail of Bits engineer about what’s happening, you’re talking to someone who is already operating in the future. In this episode, Trail of Bits engineers discuss trends they are seeing now that the rest of the industry will see in the next 18 to 24 months. This episode features Trail of Bits CEO Dan Guido and engineer-consultants Opal Wright, Nat Chin, Josselin Feist, and Peter Goodman.
Producers Dan Guido and Nick Selby (who leads the Software Assurance Practice at Trail of Bits and who narrates the series) believe that the key to a great technology podcast is high production values: high-quality sound, music, and sound design that support great storytelling. They did not want this to be a “three-guys-sitting-around-a-microphone-talking” kind of podcast. To that end, Trail of Bits partnered with two world-class long-form storytellers with decades of experience in radio and podcast production:
- Chris Julin has spent years telling audio stories and helping other people tell theirs. These days, he works as a story editor and producer for news outlets like APM Reports, West Virginia Public Broadcasting, and Marketplace. He has also taught and mentored hundreds of young journalists as a professor. For the Trail of Bits podcast, he serves as a story and music editor, sound designer, and mixing and mastering engineer. He also composed our theme song.
- Emily Haavik has worked as a broadcast journalist in radio, television, and digital media for the past 10 years. She’s spent time writing, reporting, covering courts, producing investigative podcasts, and serving as an editorial manager. She previously worked for APM Reports and KARE 11 TV before becoming a freelance writer and audio producer. She also fronts an Americana band called Emily Haavik & the 35s. For the Trail of Bits podcast, she is a script-writer and interviewer who works with story concepts and an audio producer and editor.
With the exception of any copyrighted music contained in episodes, the Trail of Bits podcast is Copyright © 2022 by Trail of Bits and licensed under Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International. This license allows reuse: Reusers may copy and distribute the material in any medium or format in unadapted form and for noncommercial purposes only (noncommercial means not primarily intended for or directed toward commercial advantage or monetary compensation), provided that reusers give credit to Trail of Bits as the creator. No derivatives or adaptations of this work are permitted. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/.
Since 2012, Trail of Bits has helped secure the world’s most targeted organizations and products. We combine high-end security research with a real-world attacker mentality to reduce risk and fortify code.