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Live from Long Island: Northport radio station rolls out round-the-clock coverage on cyber crime 

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Steven C. Morgan debuted his radio station covering round-the-clock cybercriminals and digital defenders on Thursday in Northport.  Credit: Danielle Silverman

WCYB, an online radio station covering cybercriminals and digital defenders worldwide, debuted Thursday from Long Island.

The Northport station, a unit of 6-year-old Cybersecurity Ventures, is the first to offer round-the-clock coverage of online breaches 365 days a year, said founder Steven C. Morgan.

"There are dozens, if not hundreds, of cybersecurity podcasts," he said. "But launching and operating a full-blown radio station is entirely different. It's a heavy lift to get up and running and staff."

The station, dubbed Cybercrime Radio, at https://cybersecurityventures.com/radio/, began webcasting at 11 a.m. Thursday.

The station's first broadcast day included a recorded interview with Kevin Mitnick, whose exploits as a hacker were chronicled in books and movies.

Mitnick, now chief hacking officer at KnowBe4 Inc., a Clearwater, Florida, computer security company, eluded an FBI dragnet until his arrest and 1999 guilty plea on wire fraud and computer fraud charges.

In the interview, Mitnick described a hack as a 16-year-old, when he commandeered the drive-up communications system at a McDonald’s, lampooning customers and managers.

Paul Trapani, president of the Long Island Software & Technology Network (LISTnet), said threats posed by hackers are creating "a huge demand" for the kind of content offered by WCYB.

Cybersecurity is "starting to evolve as its own industry," he said, with many companies adding the position of chief information security officer.

Morgan said that damages from cyberintrusions will cost $6 trillion worldwide in 2021, double the 2015 figure.

The radio station's studio sits across the hall from another Cybersecurity Ventures unit, Cybercrime Magazine, founded in April 2018.

The magazine began generating podcasts about 18 months ago, attracting a large audience, he said. "People can't get enough."

The radio format will include news on cyberattacks and data breaches, advice shows, live coverage of industry conferences and interviews with celebrities and cybersecurity experts and victims.

Morgan said interest in cybersecurity has been stoked by a succession of major attacks.

"A couple of weeks can't go by where there isn't another ransomware incident," he said. "Cybercrime is headline news."

Scheduled guests include: Robert Herjavec, a cybersecurity expert and a panelist on "Shark Tank"; Frank Abagnale, whose exploits as an impostor were chronicled in the movie "Catch Me If You Can"; Craig Newmark, philanthropist and founder of Craigslist, and Tiller Russell, director of the 2021 movie "Silk Road," about the marketplace on the dark web.

Reporters will cover upcoming cybersecurity events, including the Black Hat USA 2021 and Def Con 29 conferences in Las Vegas.

The station will be staffed by a combination of the 10 employees at Cybersecurity Ventures plus new hires and freelancers.

The station will be supported by advertising and sponsored content, Morgan said, including a "six-figure sponsorship" from Deloitte Cyber, a unit of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited.

Morgan said Cybercrime Magazine's audience is roughly half domestic and half international and that he expects strong international interest in the radio station.

"A lot of our programming is non-technical," he said. "We want to reach everyone."

Recent cyberattacks

—Software vendor Kaseya suffered an attack in July attributed to REvil, a Russian cybercrime organization. The attack affected hundreds of customers of Kaseya.

—Operations at JBS, the world's largest beef processor, were disrupted by a ransomware attack in May.

—DarkSide hackers penetrated the Colonial Pipeline, a key fuel distribution conduit, in April and demanded that the pipeline operator pay for a software key to restore operations.

—Sophisticated hackers found their way into the systems of SolarWinds and used that company's software updates to distribute malware. The attack, which affected thousands of customers, including the U.S. Treasury, Commerce and Homeland Security departments, was detected by cybersecurity company FireEye in December.

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