Fake Vaccines, Government Hacks & More 'Stuff They Don’t Want You To Know'

Ben Bowlin, Noel Brown, and Matt Frederick get into all the Stuff They Don’t Want You To Know about black market Covid tests, an attempted coup in Haiti, and the widespread, troubling breach of several government agencies by a foreign hacking group. Most people get their Covid test results by text message and email, making them incredibly easy to duplicate to give people fake negative results so they can travel or work. How soon can we expect stolen or falsified vaccine doses to start being available for purchase on the black market, and how will that disrupt the vaccination process? They also get into the legitimate concerns around vaccines, whether or not essential workers really will get early access or if they’ll be circumvented by more wealthy citizens, and the various “Covid passports” under discussion, and the privacy worries that surround them. “I think they’re needed for Covid, but at the same time, what warms you can burn you,” Ben says.

In 2018, a former U.S. Marine sergeant named Jacques Yves Sebastien Duroseau went to Haiti posing as a lieutenant colonel and smuggled in a bunch of weapons with the intention of overthrowing the government and installing himself as president; he was just recently found guilty in 2020. This story caught Ben’s eye because coups happen more frequently than we may think; he lays out some details about a failed attempt in Venezuela in 2020 and in Mogadishu in 1993. That gets them discussing child soldiers around the world, the differences between a coup and a revolution, and whether any of them would overthrow a country: “Seems like too much trouble for not a lot of payoff,” Noel muses. 

Finally, they talk about the “broad espionage campaign” that happened in December, a hacking campaign that resulted in the breach of several government agencies. The problem with this hack is that they stole data that would enable them to steal more data, the guys explain. A company called Fire Eye, which worked to secure Equifax and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce after previous hacks, was breached; a software update was sent out to their 300,000 clients with malware, and 18,000 of them installed it. So it’s a little scary the level of data that could have been grabbed before Fire Eye realized what was going on. “They have their fingers in a lot of digital pies, and somebody just hacked their hand,” Ben sums up. Hear all this strange news and more on this episode of Stuff They Don’t Want You To Know.

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