Despite its inherent awesomeness, Mr. Robot episodes are notoriously painful to reference. Instead of opting for conventional episode titles and sequences, Mr. Robot uses a unique title pattern. The numbering starts with zero – which means episode 8 for them is actually episode 9 (I even had to triple check if I got this sentence right) and are fashioned after leet speak file names with a different file extension.
The titles are very easy to crack since it’s usually related to the episode – “br4ve-trave1er” obviously reads as “Brave Traveler”, the meaning of Fernando Vera’s name, while “d3bug” stands for “debug” in an episode dealing with squashing bugs both figuratively and literally.
The filename extensions, for the most part, are fairly basic too. Anyone who has a background downloading (or torrenting) shit are most likely familiar with the earlier episode file extensions that were all related to video files such as *.mov, *.mpeg, *.mkv, and *.mp4. Fortunately, the show didn’t go so far with the realism by implementing PublicHD, JYK, and Sparks as well.
Season Two however, gets a little confusing for many as it uses disk encryption extensions – something that isn’t exactly a mainstream practice, and a genius move as well given the unpredictable and confusing season.
But in keeping with our moniker, Mr. Robot Hacks, we’re here to help you out by serving as a lexicon of sorts for each of the second season’s episode file extensions!
eps2.0_unm4sk-pt1.tc and eps2.0_unm4sk-pt2.tc
The season opener is a double header that makes use of virtually the same episode titles and share the same file extension – *.tc. While it stands for at least three types of files, given Mr. Robot’s hacking theme, it is undoubtedly a reference to the TrueCrypt Foundation’s now extinct TrueCrypt” volume encryption system.
If this were Season One, we’d probably chalk this file name to its audio software counterpart, but since encryption is the key (pun intended) theme, *.ksd, is obviously the KeepSafe extension used for encrypting videos and pictures and has an Android and iOS app to decrypt said files.
And yet we have another mobile encryption system, *.asec, this time from Google themselves and something you’re using already by default and you just don’t know it yet – it encrypts Android applications on your SD card so that only the phone (or Android device) would be able to run it.
Similar to the *.tc extension mentioned earlier, *.hc is an offshoot created by VeraCrypt of that now-defunct encryption system and can be used in almost all of the big operating systems including Linux.
For Mr. Robot’s infamous episode, the filename *.aes is used – an open source file encryption system by AES Crypt available for a wide number of operating systems including mobile as well as programming languages like java and PHP.
Mr. Robot loves their Android, don’t they? The *.sme file extension is a proprietary encryption used by Samsung for archiving text messages on their Android devices and can be viewed using their Samsung Kies application.
The only “Elliot-free” episode in the show so far and strangely, despite having a pro-Android (and anti-iOS) exchange early on, opts for *.p12, an encryption system that compiles server (and other) certificates into one secure file that makes use of a digital signature.
In a bit of an unusual choice, *.fve is Microsoft’s very own encryption system used with hard drives in conjunction with their BitLocker tool that comes standard with all Windows after Windows 7.
It’s only fitting that arguably the best episode in the series uses the file extension for what is considered to be the best encryption tool in the market – and that’s AxCrypt which uses the *.axx extension. It’s a free, file-based software that uses algorithms that are industry-standard and is malware-free, and – most importantly – does the encryption thing well.
eps2.9_pyth0n-pt1.p7z and eps2.9_pyth0n-pt2.p7z
And last, but certainly not the least, and kind of a throwback to the first two episodes – the final two eps of Season Two concludes with the same file extension. In this case, it’s the *.p7z, also known as the encryption used by email messages. Ironically, this is the episode where E Corp finally takes a tumble as Phase Two is put into action.