How was Root able to understand that the Machine exists in the first place in Person of Interest?
I can't remember that it was revealed in any episode.
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Remember how good Root was as a hacker. It was when she hacked into Team Finch's private network through a honeypot network in episode 13 of season 1: Root Cause
"Wait, something's wrong. We didn't hack in, we were let in. It's a honeypot! Incredibly sophisticated... they're using a worm to infect any devices connected to our private network, including our phones. They're listening to us right now, destroy your phone. You know how to find me." (Finch)
....Root briefly hacks into Finch's network by creating a honeypot, presumably learning about Finch and The Machine in the process.