Hello friend. I’m Ryan Kazanciyan, Technical Consultant for Mr. Robot and Chief Security Architect for Tanium. I’ve been working with Kor Adana — Writer, Producer, and mastermind behind the ARG — and the rest of the Mr. Robot team since the second half of Season 2. Throughout Season 3, I’ll be writing about the hacks depicted in the show, how they came together, and their basis in reality.

Spoiler Alert! This post discusses events from the season 3 finale.

As the title implies, “eps3.9_shutdown -r” marks both a conclusion and a new beginning — a reboot — for Elliot and his relationship with Mr. Robot. It’s therefore fitting that the hacks in this episode evoke scenes from season one, and were likewise among the first and last technical elements that Kor and I designed over the past year. …


Hello friend. I’m Ryan Kazanciyan, Technical Consultant for Mr. Robot and Chief Security Architect for Tanium. I’ve been working with Kor Adana — Writer, Producer, and mastermind behind the ARG — and the rest of the Mr. Robot team since the second half of Season 2. Throughout Season 3, I’ll be writing about the hacks depicted in the show, how they came together, and their basis in reality.

Spoiler Alert! This post discusses events from Season 3 Episode 9.

Welcome back! Last week’s outstanding — but hack-free — episode gave me a chance to take a hiatus, and to review the production notes that Kor and I assembled for the remainder of the season. That turned out to be a wise move, as I had lost track of the sheer amount of work that went into the technical scenes for “eps3.8_stage3.torrent”. …


Hello friend. I’m Ryan Kazanciyan, Technical Consultant for Mr. Robot and Chief Security Architect for Tanium. I’ve been working with Kor Adana — Writer, Producer, and mastermind behind the ARG — and the rest of the Mr. Robot team since the second half of Season 2. Throughout Season 3, I’ll be writing about the hacks depicted in the show, how they came together, and their basis in reality.

Spoiler Alert! This post discusses events from Season 3 Episode 7.

Kor and I are often asked whether we’ve chosen to withhold certain details on the show, in order to avoid providing too much instruction on how to perform illegal, dangerous hacks. The answer has remained “no”. We rarely have time to display more than a few brief moments of these long, complex attacks. And the same tools that malevolent hackers use for evil can likewise be used for good — it’s all about the context. …


Hello friend. I’m Ryan Kazanciyan, Technical Consultant for Mr. Robot and Chief Security Architect for Tanium. I’ve been working with Kor Adana — Writer, Producer, and mastermind behind the ARG — and the rest of the Mr. Robot team since the second half of Season 2. Throughout Season 3, I’ll be writing about the hacks depicted in the show, how they came together, and their basis in reality.

Spoiler Alert! This post discusses events from Season 3 Episode 6.

Throughout the first half of this season, Elliot and Mr. Robot have pursued their own competing agendas, with the fate of the Dark Army’s “Stage 2” against E Corp hanging in the balance. “eps3.5_kill-process.inc” …


Hello friend. I’m Ryan Kazanciyan, Technical Consultant for Mr. Robot and Chief Security Architect for Tanium. I’ve been working with Kor Adana — Writer, Producer, and mastermind behind the ARG — and the rest of the Mr. Robot team since the second half of Season 2. Throughout Season 3, I’ll be writing about the hacks depicted in the show, how they came together, and their basis in reality.

Spoiler Alert! This post discusses events from the fifth episode of Season 3.

I’ve been waiting eagerly for this episode to air — it’s my favorite of the season. As I looked through my notes, I was surprised to find that Kor and I first started working on scenes for “eps3.4_runtime-err0r.r00” as far back as January. The attacks against E Corp’s Hardware Security Modules (HSMs) are among the most complex hacks we’ve depicted on the show — and filming the entire episode as a “oner” added an additional wrinkle. …


Hello friend. I’m Ryan Kazanciyan, Technical Consultant for Mr. Robot and Chief Security Architect for Tanium. I’ve been working with Kor Adana — Writer, Producer, and mastermind behind the ARG — and the rest of the Mr. Robot team since the second half of Season 2. Throughout Season 3, I’ll be writing about the hacks depicted in the show, how they came together, and their basis in reality.

Spoiler Alert! This post discusses events from the fourth episode of Season 3.

Each season of Mr. Robot has featured at least one hack that, by sheer coincidence, ends up airing in close proximity to a similar real-world event. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Season 3 would continue that trend. This week’s episode features exploits in the same software that led to one of the most widely-publicized breaches of 2017. …


Hello friend. I’m Ryan Kazanciyan, Technical Consultant for Mr. Robot and Chief Security Architect for Tanium. I’ve been working with Kor Adana — Writer, Producer, and mastermind behind the ARG — and the rest of the Mr. Robot team since the second half of Season 2. Throughout Season 3, I’ll be writing about the hacks depicted in the show, how they came together, and their basis in reality.

Spoiler Alert! This post discusses events from the third episode of Season 3.

After last week’s breakneck pace of hacks, “eps3.2_legacy.so” offers a bit of a breather — and a chance to finally see what happened to Tyrell after Five/Nine. This episode featured several scenes with hacking tools and source code that all connect back to events from past season. As a result, Kor and I had to be particularly mindful of continuity, ensuring that every tool and line of output matched up with on-screen details in preceding episodes. …


Hello friend. I’m Ryan Kazanciyan, Technical Consultant for Mr. Robot and Chief Security Architect for Tanium. I’ve been working with Kor Adana — Writer, Producer, and mastermind behind the ARG — and the rest of the Mr. Robot team since the second half of Season 2. Throughout Season 3, I’ll be writing about the hacks depicted in the show, how they came together, and their basis in reality.

Spoiler Alert! This post discusses events from the second episode of Season 3.

The first eight minutes of “eps3.1_undo.gz” feature more shots of security and hacking tools than you’ll find in the entirety of most TV series or films. The last five minutes showcase a bleeding-edge, covert attack based on real-world research and hardware. This episode is full of easter eggs and eye-candy for technologists and infosec practitioners, and has some of my favorite sequences in the entire season. …


Hello friend. I’m Ryan Kazanciyan, Technical Consultant for Mr. Robot and Chief Security Architect for Tanium. I’ve been working with Kor Adana — Writer, Producer, and mastermind behind the ARG — and the rest of the Mr. Robot team since the second half of Season 2. Throughout Season 3, I’ll be writing about the hacks depicted in the show, how they came together, and their basis in reality.

Spoiler Alert! This post discusses events from the first episode of Season 3.

Shall we Play a Game?

The Capture the Flag (CTF) tournament at the hackerspace was the first technical scene that Kor and I designed for Season 3, and a cool opportunity to get Elliot back on keyboard. We wanted to draw from real-world CTF events and incorporate something that was realistic and credible for our infosec-savvy audience, but equally accessible for everyone else. …

About

Ryan Kazanciyan

Security Engineering @Facebook. Formerly CTO @Tanium; Mandiant & PwC alumnus. Tech consultant for @whoismrrobot S2 & S3.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store