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AS HEARD ON: WGAN Mornings News with Matt Gagnon: Elections, Hacking, USB Safety

Craig Peterson - Secure Your Business, Your Privacy, and Save Your Sanity

Release Date: 10/28/2020

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Good morning everybody!

I was on WGAN this morning with Matt Gagnon and started off this morning talking about Iran and the letters sent to some of US Voters. They were purported to be from the Proud Boys but were from Iran.  We also discussed a bit about Election Hacking and then got into, How safe are our USBs? Here we go with Matt.

These and more tech tips, news, and updates just visit - CraigPeterson.com

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Automated Machine Generated Transcript:

Craig Peterson: [00:00:00] Typically what's been happening is that the polling places go to the Secretary of State's website, enter in the information.  Then the Secretary of State's office now goes through all of that posted on their website. The Feds have been going to the Secretary of State's website and pulling it from there. So there is a risk of hacking.

Good Morning, everybody. Craig Peterson here. Thanks for joining me. I really appreciate it. And if you could, if you haven't already, make sure you do hit that subscribe button, it really helps get the show numbers up and helps other people find this. This morning I was on with Mr. Matthew  and we spoke this morning a little bit about the whole technology and election thing that's going on. Man, it's impossible to not know there's an election going on, isn't it? So here we go with Matt.

Matt Gagnon: [00:00:59] Seven 36 WGAN morning news on a Wednesday morning. What do we usually do at this time? Oh, I know we talk to Craig Peterson. He's with us right now. Craig. How are you, sir?

Craig Peterson: [00:01:09] Hey, good morning. I'm doing just fine. Hey, did you hear there's an election going on?

Matt Gagnon: [00:01:15] There's an election going on? That is brand new information.

Craig Peterson: [00:01:19] Bad guys are trying to do stuff.

Matt Gagnon: [00:01:21] I know.

Craig Peterson: [00:01:22] Somehow the two met its like chocolate and peanut butter.

Matt Gagnon: [00:01:26] Oh man. Now I'm hungry. Craig, speaking of. Iran and, threatening emails being sent to Democrats, I would say that would fit into the category you were just talking about here.

Tell me more about this story.

Craig Peterson: [00:01:37] This is a big deal, frankly, and things have gotten so bad, in fact. Louisiana has called out their national guard, but here's what's going on. there are emails that people have been receiving and they say something that's frankly, a little bit disturbing.

It says you will vote for Trump on election day or we will come afterward. Yeah, exactly. And supposedly they're from this group that has the, I don't know, people have been hearing a little bit about lately, but it's supposedly the proud boys that are sending this out. People have been pretty upset by this because there have been some legitimate threats to people.

Is this legitimate? Is it not legitimate? it came out just this last week from the Director of National Intelligence, John Ratcliffe. That in fact of this is election interference and it is coming from Iran. Which is a real big deal. He also said, as well as, some other us officials, that Russia is still the major threat to the election. We know that North Korea has been involved, China's been involved.  What it shows is, frankly, you don't have to hack into a computer in order to mess with an election.

Matt Gagnon: [00:02:58] The other thing that bugs me about this, and I'm sorry I'm gonna have to get on my soapbox here a little bit, Craig.  I think you know about this, as well, when you're talking about so many of the things that I've heard about election hacking this year. This is one of the things that I've heard an awful lot about which is that Iran has, or Russia has the voter list. They've got our registered voter list and they're going to use it to mess with us. They must've hacked into computers somewhere, some servers to get it. Maybe at the DNC or the RNC. They got the data and the information about voters from it. Dude, I have that information on my computer. Like seriously.

 Like you can buy voter lists. The voter list is not something that's an ultra-secure thing that needs to be broken into. It's something that is basically public information. If you'd like to get it, you have to pay for it, but you can get it. So if Russia wanted it or if Iran wanted it and they wanted to have a list of people and where they live and what their voter registration status is, their party membership, all that stuff. What they've done in the last four elections, you can just get it.

It's not hard. The reason I'm bringing it up, Craig, is because I think that it manipulates the news coverage. From people covering politics that don't understand anything about politics, frankly.  they're covering it as media outlets and it's disappointing to see that kind of thing.

Craig Peterson: [00:04:04] Well, ABC News had a report here, so we now know what's really going on. Miryousefi told them, quote, Iran has no interest in interfering in the US election and no preference for the outcome. So we now know what's going on. Obviously a different Iran. Obviously, these people were hallucinating.

But you're right. The information, if you combine the voter lists now with the information that's been stolen from companies, like Equifax out there, you can now tie all of that together. So you've got their email address. You've got their physical address, who they are. They could interfere in such big ways, right? This is just so minor.

Matt Gagnon: [00:04:46] You don't need to break into computers. Oh, let's just say, you see your Russia and you actually do want to mess with American elections and target people and stuff like that. There are zero requirements that you have to break into anything to get that information.

You can literally buy a magazine subscription information and you can basically do what the political parties do, which is layer voter registration data with a bunch of consumer information and data and come up with a model of who the voter is and what their life looks like.

They can do that themselves. I could do that if I had enough money. It's very simple and easy to do that.  It doesn't require some sort of a security violation in order to occur. So if you're worried about them, trying to manipulate the elections by, cleverly marketing to us. The security of computers is not really going to be a part of the equation. In my opinion.

I think it, is at the endpoint because you've got all the local polling places, reporting it to the Secretaries of State in all of our 50 States and territories, and then the secretaries of state have now brought it to the Feds. But how does that mechanism actually work in the various States?

And what's your whole works here in Maine, but typically what's been happening is that the polling places go to the secretary of state's website, enter in the information and then the secretary of state's office that's now going through all of that. Posts on their website. So the Fed has been going to the Secretary of State's website and pulling it from there.

So there is a risk of hacking, but I really hope that people are actually also picking up the phone and checking the polling place and saying, Hey, is it legit?

But your involvement also. With politics over the years, you know that there are people at every polling place that are double-checking the numbers, double-checking them.

Craig Peterson: [00:06:37] The secretary of state is publishing. So I agree with you. I think overall we're pretty safe and this just goes right back to phishing. Be careful about the email you get. Cause it's not necessarily legit.

Matt Gagnon: [00:06:51] Said, Craig. Before we let you go, I do want to ask you how safe your USB drive is? That's the other story that we had here that we wanted to chat about here this morning?

Craig Peterson: [00:06:58] Yeah, there are quite a few things to be concerned about, particularly in this day where we're working from home. We're taking that USB drive and we're moving it between computers, home, computers, work computers. That is how we put the Iranian nuclear program about five years behind was one little USB thumb drive.

So be very careful if we're using that as a backup for sensitive documents. We might leave it somewhere, which could be bad. They are also used very commonly for passing viruses around. So if you find a drive at your favorite coffee shop in the morning, be very careful because it may have something nasty on it. Not necessarily because they're trying to, the US and Israel trying to bring down your nuclear program.

It might've been contaminated before you even got it and now it's there on your computer. So don't use them randomly. Be very careful. There's a lot of reasons why you should not be using regular drives. There are USB thumb drives that are encrypted. So if you accidentally leave it somewhere, it doesn't really matter.

If you're using a Mac or you're using a Windows PC in both cases, there are options for encrypting them. So they're very careful, only use fresh ones, right out of a package that is probably safe.

I'm not going to tell you probably, yeah, there have been USB drives that were shipped with malware. Pre-installed accidentally because of the machine they used to format them. Hadn't been infected. Dangerous.

Matt Gagnon: [00:08:42] These are the very things you're going to hear. Craig Peters on talking about on Saturday. Of course, he has to show there, you can hear it at one o'clock at this very station.

Appreciate it, Craig, as always. Thanks so much for joining us and we'll talk to you again very soon.

Craig Peterson: [00:08:52] Hey, take care of Matt. Bye-bye.

All right. So that's it from my radio hits most likely this week and I will be back this weekend. Thanks, everybody. And thanks to those people who sent me an email yesterday, letting me know what's going on. How they listen? How you consume? If you haven't had a chance or if you wanted a copy of that Hunter Biden email that I put together, talking about what to do with your computer when you take it in for repairs. Just drop me a note. Drop me a line. Me at Craig Peterson. dot com take care. Bye-bye.

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