One of the podcasts I enjoy is Code Breakers, specifically because of their approach to reporting on technology. They don’t shy away from the good or the bad, and frame the stories and conversations in interesting ways. Another really fun aspect of the show is that the entire season is already online and can downloaded if you can crack the codes in each episode.
Or if you can figure it the naming convention of the files on the server.
After cracking a few of the codes this season I noticed that the names given to the uploaded audio files seemed like they had a pattern to them. After getting the first 3 episodes I could definitely see a pattern. The files were all uploaded the same day to their WordPress website and the URL for each file seemed like it could be generated using a simple script.
So I wrote one.
After 20 minutes I had created a simple python script that gave me the URL for each episode for season 2.
This was great but I didn’t download the files or listen to the episodes. Getting valid years for the files was enough to confirm my assumption.
Like I said, I really like the show and have fun trying to crack the codes to get the next episode early. What I did isn’t something i considered cheating since I used my knowledge to crack a different type of code to get the episodes. I just like working through the different crypto problems left in an episode too much to get them early.
I sent the hosts an email sharing my finding during the season and a warning that they may want to be more aware in the future seasons. I earned episodes early when I was clever enough and still want to have the fun of playing along. Sharing the code would spoil the fun for everyone. My blog posting is also intentionally happening after the season has ended just so others are not tipped off and would ruin the game, though I could probably score reputation points on Reddit.
Besides, isn’t it much more satisfying to beat someone at their own game and have a clean victory?