Tech Talk with Craig Peterson Podcast: The result of CPU and Disk Shortages during Pandemic, Big Tech and Anti-Trust Legislation, Info-Sec careers and more
Release Date: 02/13/2021
Craig Peterson - America's Leading Security Coach
Welcome! I am sure that most of you know about the problems Texas experienced with its energy infrastructure well there is more bad news for our nations' infrastructure and that comes from a vulnerability in the programmable logic controllers that many of these large infrastructure providers use to control the flow of product. (i.e., water, electricity, natural gas, etc.). Also this week Google Chromebooks outsold Apple but that is not the whole story. We also dug into processors and the importance of them and how it affects what you do daily. Then we discuss Clubhouse and...info_outline AS HEARD ON: WGAN Mornings News with Matt Gagnon: Why You Should Consider A Zero Trust Security Model and Is there a Chromebook in your Future?
Craig Peterson - America's Leading Security Coach
Good morning everybody! I was on WGAN this morning with Matt Gagnon. I went into a little detail about what a Zero Trust Security Model is and how it differs from a traditional network design and why you should be considering this type of system. Then we discussed the future of computing and why Chromebooks are so popular. Here we go with Matt. And more tech tips, news, and updates visit - CraigPeterson.com. --- Automated Machine Generated Transcript: Craig Peterson: [00:00:00] Morning, Craig Peterson here. Hey, if you've ever wondered about Chromebooks and if you should get...info_outline AS HEARD ON - The Jim Polito Show - WTAG 580 AM: TikTok and Home Title Lock
Craig Peterson - America's Leading Security Coach
Good morning, everybody. I was on this morning on WTAG with Jim Polito. We discussed his newest foray into the social media platform, TikTok, and some of the problems with using TikTok. Then we got into a question from one of his callers about Home Title Lock. Here we go with Jim. For more tech tips, news, and updates, visit - . --- Automated Machine Generated Transcript: Craig Peterson: [00:00:00] Good morning, Craig on with Mr. Jim Polito this morning. He made his first TikTok videos just this week. Then he gets an email for me talking about some of the privacy issues...info_outline AS HEARD ON NH Today WGIR-AM 610: What Laptop Should You Buy
Craig Peterson - America's Leading Security Coach
Welcome, Craig Peterson here. This morning I was on with Chris Ryan on NH Today. He wanted to discuss what is the best technology to buy. We got into some details of the benefits and drawbacks of each. Here we go with Chris. These and more tech tips, news, and updates visit. - --- Automated Machine Generated Transcript: Craig Peterson: [00:00:00] Hey, have you thought about whether you should get one of these Chromebooks, maybe Android tied into it, or a Mac or a Windows, computer laptop, or surface tablet or otherwise. That's exactly what I talked with Chris Ryan...info_outline Tech Talk with Craig Peterson Podcast: What really happened in TX, New MAC malware, Apples Electric Vehicles and More
Craig Peterson - America's Leading Security Coach
Welcome! It was also another busy week on the technology front and we are going to delve into what actually caused the energy problems in Texas. There is a new type of malware that is affecting Macs and it is has a different MO. Then we are going to discuss Apple and their ventures into automated electric cars and what we can expect. Why are states having issues making appointments for vaccines? In a word, it is bureaucratic incompetence. Then we have a new type of hack out there. It is called Buy-to-Infect and there is more so be sure to Listen in. For more...info_outline AS HEARD ON: WGAN Mornings News with Matt Gagnon: Texas Energy - Asleep at the Switch and State Vaccine Scheduling Websites are a Nightmare
Craig Peterson - America's Leading Security Coach
Good morning everybody! I was on WGAN this morning with Matt Gagnon. We really got into the power distribution issues in TX and it appears that the Energy department was really "asleep at the switch." Then we talked about the nightmare that these bureaucratic states are having with their vaccine scheduling websites. We discussed why they are having a problem and what they could have done, but didn't. Here we go with Matt. And more tech tips, news, and updates visit - CraigPeterson.com. --- Automated Machine Generated Transcript: Craig Peterson: [00:00:00] Hi everybody. Craig...info_outline AS HEARD ON - The Jim Polito Show - WTAG 580 AM: Texas Energy Problems -- Could Mass be in for Something Similar? and Apple Goes All In on 6G
Craig Peterson - America's Leading Security Coach
Good morning, everybody. I was on this morning on WTAG with Jim Polito. We discussed the power situation in Texas and then brought it home to Mass and talked about whether we could be in for anything similar. We also discussed Green Energy and Nuclear Energy. Then we got into 6G -- yes that is not a typo, Apple is developing their own chips and ditching Intel and Qualcomm to run on 6G. Here we go with Jim. For more tech tips, news, and updates, visit - . --- Automated Machine Generated Transcript: Craig Peterson: [00:00:00] Good morning, Craig Peterson here. I've...info_outline AS HEARD ON NH Today WGIR-AM 610: It Wasn't Just Ice That Brought Texas Energy to A Standstill
Craig Peterson - America's Leading Security Coach
Welcome, Craig Peterson here. This morning I was on with Chris Ryan on NH Today. We talked about what is going on in Texas and Why? What did they do? What assumptions did they make? Where do they go from here? Here we go with Chris. These and more tech tips, news, and updates visit. - --- Automated Machine Generated Transcript: Justin McIssac: [00:00:00] Texas had a problem with this in 2011, just as the power company decided, it's going to cost too much to fix. With virtually no regulation, isn't that the issue, more than wind power itself, Craig Peterson:...info_outline Tech Talk with Craig Peterson Podcast: Backups versus Disaster Recovery versus Business Continuity, Apple wants Privacy - Google wants Your Info and more
Craig Peterson - America's Leading Security Coach
Welcome! We lost a Radio Icon this week and he had a big impact on me, I have a short tribute to him but it was also another busy week on the technology front. We are going to get into the differences between Backups, Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity, often these get tossed around in discussions as one in the same - they are not. Then we will discuss Bitcoin and it metoric rise and why that happened. Next we'll discuss Apple and Google and why Google is trying to play hardball but may end up getting burned. Then we are headed to Space and NASA space...info_outline AS HEARD ON - The Jim Polito Show - WTAG 580 AM: Charlie Baker's No Good Very Bad Day or Why Should Bureaucrats Not Design Websites
Craig Peterson - America's Leading Security Coach
Welcome! Good morning, everybody. I was on WTAG this morning with Jim Polito. He wanted me on to discuss the problems that Massachusetts was having with the rollout of their Vaccine Scheduling website. Here we go with Jim. For more tech tips, news, and updates, visit - . --- Automated Machine Generated Transcript: Craig Peterson: [00:00:00] Dah, dah, dah, dah, dah. He had a special command appearance this morning to answer a major question that's been bothering people in Massachusetts. Their state just yesterday came out with a COVID vaccine registration site and a million people...info_outline
It is another busy week on the technology front. We discuss Facial Recognition and some of the problems with false positives and how you can see if your pictures are included in some of these websites. Then we discuss Amy Klobachers anti-trust legislation against big tech. Then we get into Info-Sec Careers and something you might want to know before considering a career move. We also discuss Zero-Trust and why you must be thinking about that if you want to be secure and there is even more, so be sure to Listen in.
For more tech tips, news, and updates, visit - CraigPeterson.com.
Tech Articles Craig Thinks You Should Read:
Automated Machine-Generated Transcript:
Craig Peterson: [00:00:00] We're going to talk a little bit about scalpers. They're not the main reason you can't find a new gaming console. I've had a number of people ask about getting into information security. I'm going to give you some tips about what I wish I knew at the start of my career.
Hello everybody. Craig Peterson here.
I want to start out by talking a little bit about the facial recognition systems and there are a lot of concerns, legitimately, a lot of concerns because now our privacy is getting worse and worse.
I'm going to talk next week a little bit, at least it's on my schedule about what's happening with GPS and pros and cons to it because there are some very concerning things about GPS. Much of our business and private lives is based on GPS, nowadays. You're in a plane, you're in a boat, trains, I guess don't use GPS a whole lot, but we depend on them in our cars, everywhere. We'll talk a little bit about that next week.
When it comes to facial recognition, it has come to the forefront. Now we know that, for instance, London, England was probably the most surveilled city in the world. I don't think that's anywhere near true now, considering what the Chinese have been doing to their citizens. No, I probably shouldn't call them citizens. I'm not sure what the right thing would be to call them, but the people living over there in China are under a constant eye. They're even watching them over there for jaywalking and they use facial recognition systems to automatically send them a ticket. Oh, also this social credit score they have over there where if you do jaywalk or do something else, you get points taken off of your social credit score. If your score reaches a certain point, you can't even take public transportation anymore. That's how they're controlling people. One of the many ways that they're controlling people in China.
These facial recognition systems are used there. We know they've been in use in London where they're trying to track people and reverse engineer crimes, someone commits a crime.
There are sensors that listen for gunshots, for instance, and then they will just backtrack all of the people that were in the area. Okay. Watching them where they work, as you remember, it's being recorded. So you're here now, where did you come from? Some of that same type of technology was used in Washington, DC for what happened on January six, with the riot of well, 80 people. Some riot. We're also now aware of what was done in Oregon and in Washington state and New York City where they were tracking people as well now. Did they get charged? Did they go to jail? They were using facial recognition systems and they were figuring out where they were, where they had been.
They were also looking forward to the fact, because unlike China, where they want to know where everybody is and they've got this whole social credit system. What we were doing is finding people who were committing serious crimes. The police obviously don't want to go into that area because there are so many rioters and they were armed with all kinds of things, the baseball bats, but they had frozen bottles of water.
No, I don't know. I threw a bottle of water at him. You had. That thing, deep, frozen, in a deep freeze, below zero degrees, which is way cold Fahrenheit. You brought it with you and you use that liter bottle to bash someone over the head. We saw this again and again. So you find those people. You don't arrest them right away. You don't send the police in. No reason to put their lives in any more danger than they are everyday, normally. Then what you do is track them as they leave. Now when they were leaving, they were using facial recognition to figure out who was there and where did they go? That facial recognition technology then was able to track them down. Once they got into an area where there weren't a lot of rioters or no rioters about to get in their car, or however it is, they got there, they arrested them. Of course, some of these rioters, real rioters, right? Where there's hundreds of people rioting, not 80.
They were able to track them down. Some of them were arrested, some of them were charged. In a lot of these cases, the mayor said, no, don't do anything. Just let them I was going to set them riot, but that's not how they phrased it. I'm trying to remember how they phrased it.
So we are seeing. Facial recognition used in law enforcement. It's one thing to track them either. What happens over in London where a crime is committed and they now track everybody back to figure out where did they come from? What car did they get into? Did they get out of it initially? Then what was the license plate number and who owns that car? Crime-solving that way, where they don't necessarily recognize your face. They don't know it's you.
However, now we're finding more and more of that happening, where the systems recognize your face and they know it's you, and they know what your social media accounts. They know obviously where you live, it's all tied in. A lot of cases is tied in via your driver's license or now these federally mandated national ID cards that so many people are carrying around.
Apparently, I'll have to carry around to next time I get my license because my state has finally decided they are not going to issue regular driver's licenses anymore, which definitely bothers me.
I'm sure you can figure that out too. How were they identifying people? It's one thing to see a face and okay. There's the face here. Okay. There's a face there. There's okay. Here. Okay. So he just got into this car to leave. That's one thing, right? I think that's pretty legit. You don't have a particular right to privacy when you're in a public place. In fact, you have no right to privacy when you enter a public place. So I don't have a problem with that.
Now we're using artificial intelligence and we've talked about some of them before, Clearview is a great example, clearview.ai. Here's a company that some would argue illegally captured scraped. What kind of her kind of wording you want to use pictures of people all from all over the internet and the police can subscribe to their service and Clearview says, Oh no, we only let police at it, although there's evidence that would suggest otherwise. They're allowing all kinds of third parties access to the database, but you can put a person's picture into their software. Their software, by the way, includes a mobile app, so it can be done on the street and you know who they are.
Now, this is getting RoboCop-ish. If e you've ever seen the movie Robocop. Actually, there's a series of these things with the Ed two Oh nines. What happened is the police officer could go out and he'd be patrolling in the streets and he come across some people in the computer in that kind of the heads up display would figure out, okay, that's this person they've been arrested 20 times a felony, this and that, and okay that person was shoplifting with their names and addresses and things right there in the screen. That's been a theme of science fiction movies for very long time.
I interviewed probably about a decade ago, a guy out at the consumer electronic show who had a very cool device that you could wear. It was designed for policemen and it was like a pair of big goggles back in the day, right? This is before Google glass and some of these other things came out, but they were able to with this the heads-up display put anything you wanted on it. So it's coming, it's not here yet. It's going to be here even more in the future.
If you want to check if your photo is part of all of this stash and there are billions literally of photos that Clearview AI has out there, but you can check at least the basics.
So many of us use this website online that allowed us to upload our photos and share them with friends and relatives and family, and put it together, and have a really great little album that you could share with people. That was on a site called flicker. Today, many of us are uploading our photos to Amazon or to Google. Apple, of course, has many of them. What happened with flicker is they went out of business. They got sold and resold few times. What they ended up doing is selling the pictures online. There's people I talked about this a couple of years ago, this guy driving down the highway and he sees a billboard with his picture on it, not the sort of thing that he was expecting that's for sure. It's probably not something you expected when you uploaded your photos to flicker. So take a minute. Go to a website called exposing.ai.
This particular website is specifically aimed at flicker photos. It'll tell you if it has found your picture. So you can, you put in your flicker username and they'll let you know if your flicker photos have been taken and used for facial recognition by a few different companies.
Dive face, face scrub, mega phase Pippa, VGG face, and many others. You can just put in your username. You can put in a tag that you tagged that photo when you uploaded it, or the URL of a photo. If you have a photo, it is online and it's yours and you want to see if anybody else is using it somewhere on the internet.
The easy way to do this is to go to Google image search. You can upload the image, you can give it the URL of the image, and it'll tell you if it finds matching images or at least images that are close to it online.
Stick around. Visit me online Craig Peterson dot com.
During the lockdown, we've had a lot of things that have become difficult to get your hands on. Turns out that includes various types of games like your PS5's, but it extends a whole lot further than that.
Hi everybody. Craig Peterson here.
Here we go, man, another fallout from the whole lockdown thing. This is a pretty darn big deal because it's affected the entire computer industry. We've heard a lot of complaints about how difficult it's been to get a Sony PlayStation five or a Microsoft X-Box series SX. They both hit store shelves last year, but they have been almost impossible to find at any of the major retailers.
There's a great little article that was in ARS Technica, and they put together a graph based on some data obtained from E-bay. This data was looking at the availability and costs specifically of the PS five. Now, this is a fairly advanced computer, frankly, in order to play these video games, of course, it's got a lot of graphics capability built right into this silly thing. It seems that there were a certain number of consoles sold on certain days at certain prices. You can see this massive price increase. It just jumped right up in November. Pretty much stayed up there in the thousand dollars plus range. Isn't that amazing. It went down in January and is more or less flat right now. You can get them on eBay for about 380 bucks right now. Why is that? What's been going on here. We've got scalpers. Obviously, a thousand dollars is a lot higher than the $380 you can get it for right now.
It turns out that there is a huge problem and the problem we're seeing is affecting the entire computer world. There are certain chips for which there is a shortage. Why is there a shortage? Well, it had to do with the lockdown. Companies were trying to figure out, okay, how many of these devices am I going to sell when everybody's locked down? They miscalculated, frankly.
It wasn't a problem with supply. It was that these companies that had been ordering these components cut their orders back or stopped them entirely.
You've got Sony and others out there, Microsoft's console as well, trying to find the parts. They have had a very hard time. Well, what happens when it's hard to find something? Either the quality is going to go down to keep the price the same or the price is going to go up. There's only a couple of ways that it really can go.
They're estimating right now that these constraints on the supply chain are probably going to last for a few more months. We've seen it big time in the computer world, particularly in the storage space. You may not be aware of it, but there are, of course, hard disks that aren't really disks called SSD, which is a solid-state disk.
Okay. You probably know about that. I wrote up a thing, in fact, Because people were asking me about what to buy, to upgrade their computers. If you have a slower computer, putting an SSD in is usually a very good idea, but there are many grades of SSDs.
In fact, I've got a little document. If you want it to send an email to [email protected] I'll be glad to send you a copy. I wrote this for one of our clients. It drives me crazy. They need a new computer, in this case, a desktop. So they say, Hey Craig, can you guys go ahead and work us up a quote? So we look at what they're using the computer for. We look at the longevity of that computer so that they get the best bang for their buck and usefulness. How useful is it going to be? Is it going to be offline just five minutes a day, by the way, adds up to over $2,000 a year for just an average salary of a data entry worker. It adds up pretty quickly if it goes down.
We put together this proposal and this was for a customed Dell machine and we specify all of the components that go into it. That's an important thing to remember because these components all have varying levels of quality. We sent them the quote and we've done this before, right? Who's the fool here, them or us. They said no. I went to the Dell site and I got this special going on and then I can get the same computer for 300 bucks.
Not true. It's not true. Now, you guys are the best and brightest, right? This sort of stuff, you can't compare a Yugo to a beautiful Cadillac right there. There's no comparison between the two, but that's what they were doing. They needed an F150 in order to haul stuff but instead of getting the F150, they just got a little hatchback that they can maybe throw a couple of things in the back, but they needed a big bed pickup truck. That just drives me crazy.
So I wrote this probably three or four-page long, a thing explaining why you need to buy the right kind of hardware. Why the stuff that they're selling you at a discount isn't going to work for you and things need to be included, include things like the hardware encryption and SSDs.
Again, I'll send you this report if you want it. Just let me know, call [email protected]
I started this whole thing because we're talking about SSDs. SSDs are not all created equal. Some of these SSDs store one bit per little bubble, if you will. Some of them store two bits on them store three-bit bits. They're all constrained in their lifetime based on how many writes are occurring to that disc.
You've got to look at that as well to figure it out. Now, of course, I got into SSDs because we were talking about the capacity in manufacturing and the shortage that we're seeing right now. If some of these game consoles, there is a shortage in all of these types of disks, there's even a shortage of memory and certain CPUs.
The disc shortage started a few years ago when there was massive flooding in Indonesia. That's where a lot of the hard disks are made. Now, these are the things that spin, right? Now we've got new technology that lets us pack more data into the SSDs.
Whereas we were seeing the hard disk go up in size. I remember my first one was, I think it was five megabytes. It was just, Whoa, how could I have used five Meg and then 10 megabytes? Of course, hard disks, reasonably priced ones tend to 12 terabyte drives and again, multiple different types of drives.
There's the more server-oriented that if there's an error on the disk, the disc stays alive and it repairs itself in real-time in the background. Then there's the stuff you get as consumers where if the disc starts failing, the whole disc goes offline until it fits fixes itself.
Then there's real crap. The ones like these green drives from Western digital, that I do not like. I just had confirmation on that this week that are even cheaper, but all of these are hard to get right now.
We will see eventually all of these supplies back in line. The manufacturers can make them. The whole lockdown hasn't really been a problem for them. The problem has been that people aren't ordering because they're afraid during the lockdown that people wouldn't be buying computers. Of course, we found the opposite to be true. Didn't we. People were buying these consoles to play video games. Buying computers to work from home. Trying to buy network security stuff as well. That's really changed the whole thing.
When we get back, let's get into we'll get into the InfoSec career a little bit later if you miss it. If you're thinking about getting into information security. Make sure you go online to Craig peterson.com. So you can catch that.
We'll talk about that, but let's do something I think that might affect a lot of people and that's Chrome users, three security problems in the last week.
Hey, you guys are the best and brightest. You know what I think about Google and Google Chrome? Just this last week, over one 24 hour period, Chrome had three security problems. We're going to talk about that right now.
Hi, everybody. Craig Peterson here.
Google is evil. I've established that I think, before, the things they do, the things they have been doing to us.
Remember their motto used to be, don't be evil. They removed that from the website a couple of years ago. Now, no longer don't be evil. Nowadays they're doing pretty much everything they can to, maybe be evil is a little strong a word, but they're pretty much-doing everything they can to get as much information about you and sell it.
Do you remember his goal? Larry Page when they were starting it up. The goal was okay, where we are going to get all of the world's information and democratize it. Make it available for everyone, anyone out there who wants to get at it. Frankly, it's been pretty good until fairly recently. At which point I switched over to duck duck go.
Chrome is another one of their products. Microsoft frankly, jumped right onto the Chrome bandwagon. What they ended up doing over Microsoft is taking Google's open-source version of the base of Chrome. They call it chromium. It's the guts, if you will, of the Google Chrome browser and they made it available to anyone that wants to get their hands on it. So Microsoft got their hands on it and messed around with it a little bit. As Microsoft is wont to do. They came up with their Edge browser. The latest Edge is really Google Chrome in disguise.
There are others out there too. You probably know if you've been through one of my courses when I'm talking about browsers. The Epic browser is a pretty good browser. It is designed to be more or less safe. But we go into that a lot more detail. In which cases is it not et cetera.
Some people have used the Tor browser, which ties into the Onion network that provides even more anonymity. So there are options. Of course, Safaris available from Apple for almost every platform now. It is a very fast browser and it does a lot to try and keep your data secure.
The same thing's true with Firefox. In the Improving Windows Security Course, I go into the problems with each one of these, including Firefox and what you have to consider.
This past week we had a bit of an issue. If you attended my webinars last year. This would have been in 2020. I went through some of the privacy plugins that you can use for your browser. You might remember that one of them was something called the Great Suspender. Highly recommended at the time. Got to add that in there because I don't want you to just go grab it. It was recommended. I used it, extensively on a bunch of different browsers, because what the Great Suspender did is save your machine's memory CPU, frankly, even a little bit of disc I/O when you were on a tab on your web browser, your tab would just respond.
Normally everything looks good, but if you're like me, you probably opened another tab or maybe another window and then another tab or another window. You just dig deeper and deeper as you're looking into something, trying to figure something out.
You might have 20 or 30 or 40 or 50 tabs. Open each one of those tabs represents a different thread, a different process, basically on your computer. That means it's using memory, it's using CPU and it might be also hitting your disk, using your disk. The Great Suspenders said wait a minute, now you haven't used this tab in whatever you set it for, I usually had it about 15 minutes. What I'm going to do now, Yes, I'm going to take a snapshot of this page. I am going to just release all of the resources that were associated with the page. If you go back to that tab, all you have now is a snapshot, just a picture of what was on the page. You can see what was on the page and depending on how you configure the Great Suspender, I had it set up so that if I activated a tab again, it would automatically reload that page. You could have had it so that if you got to that picture and you really wanted it, you'd click on it and it would reload the page. Very. Handy. It allowed you to have hundreds of potentially of tabs open quote-unquote, when in fact they weren't open and they weren't using hardly any resources at all.
The Great suspender this last June was sold. The original person who wrote this thing, and it's a great little really great, actually a little piece of software decided that he wanted to make some money off of it. Why not? He sold it. It's unclear as to who actually owns it or controls it right now and who he sold it to because the name of the account, the developer account, is the Great Suspender. So that's not going to help you at all.
It started showing some signs of what Google and what people are calling malice, under this new ownership. There was a thread in GitHub that was published in November and GitHub is where so much of this code is stored, right. It started to show some signs of frankly, of malice under this new ownership. They said that a new version contained malicious code that tracked users and manipulated web requests.
Now the Great Suspender did normally manipulate web requests, in order to keep everything flowing and smooth. So you might go to a website and then it suspends it, and it might use a different URL and the URL is going to cause the Great Suspender inside your browser to be called. Okay.
So I'm not sure what they mean about the manipulation here, but Google removed it. It's gone like that and no warning or anything else just within the last week. They completely removed the Great Suspender, not just from the store, they removed it from your machines where you were using it.
It said this - the extension contains malware, that's the only warning they gave. That is the only background they gave. They really haven't said a whole lot. People, by the way, who were using the Great Suspender were really left in a lurch because any suspended tabs when Google went bye-bye, any suspended tabs you had were a lost. How's that for a terrible thing? Absolutely terrible.
There is a Reddit thread out there that you can see. They talk about how you can get your tabs back. So if you had followed my advice back then and put it on, good for you. However, the problem is that it turned out to ultimately be malicious. So that's a big deal.
Again, Google didn't say much about what the vulnerability was. Probably didn't want to encourage people to try and use it, but they said it was existing in the wild. That's not very good. Then sync abuse, a security researcher reported on Thursday as well. Hackers were using malware that abused the Chrome sync feature to bypass firewalls so the malware could connect to command and control servers. Not good.
If you are using, if you have Chrome, I have it because I have to, cause I have to test things out.
If you are using it, make sure it is up to date. Most of the time Chrome will update itself, but this week is one where you should double-check Chrome and make sure it really has been updated. Cause these are some pretty nasties. All right.
I'm sure you're familiar with Senator Amy Klobuchar. She ran for President, under of course the Democrat ticket, this last election cycle. She is targeting big tech, at least. That's what she says. We'll talk about the reality.
Hello everybody. Craig Peterson here. Thanks so much for joining us today. I really appreciate it. And I appreciate hearing from you as well. Any questions? I have so much information to give you guys we're starting some training courses, free email training, just everything [email protected] Any questions as well and visit me online at Craig peterson.com.
Senator Amy Klobuchar, is a Democrat from Minnesota and she has introduced a bill here in Congress and supposedly big tech is in her crosshairs. Now I think that's really funny because it's not in reality. Okay.
Here's an article from ARS Technica a very good website, by the way, on some of the tech. It says not only our major firms, such as Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Google under investigation for allegedly breaking existing antitrust law. A newly proposed bill in the Senate would make it harder for these and other firms to become so troublingly large in the first place.
If you've been listening to me for a while, I have friends that have been absolutely destroyed by some of these big tech firms. Where companies have gone ahead and then announced a product because they found, Oh, wait a minute. These guys over here, they're doing pretty darn well with that product. Let's see if we can't figure out if there's really a market forward or not end up, they're competing with us. So here's what we'll do. Let's go ahead and announce. We're going to have a product and it's going to be better than their product, and you can get it from us and you can rely on us. Don't pay attention to that small company over there. They are entirely unreliable.
All of a sudden that small company's sales plummet because people are waiting for big co to come up with their version of whatever it might be. Then they'll compare it to and maybe buy it a bit later on.
That's a way that many of these companies have grown and grown in a very big way.
Senator Klobuchar introduced this bill called Clara. Should have called it Clarice. The competition and anti-trust law enforcement reform act. This would be the largest overhaul to the US antitrust legislation in almost 50 years if it became law. It's interesting because her statement says while the United States once had some of the most effective antitrust laws in the world. Our economy today faces and massive competition problem.
I'm a little confused here. It looks like she is asking for competition. I don't know. I don't understand it. I thought she was one of these far-left ones. I remember the debates quite well. They're looking at expanding resources. In other words, give them more money at the federal trade commission, the department of justice in their antitrust division. They're looking to pursue a review of more mergers, more aggressively.
Now my knee jerk reaction is, these big companies usually we'll fail. They usually just keep getting greedier and bigger. Look at what happened to GM. They went bankrupt and unfortunately, they use tax dollars to bail them out. Chrysler has gone bankrupt twice, and they've used our tax dollars to bail them out. I don't think that's a good idea.
Remember our tax dollars mean our time. We have to put in our time, we can't spend with our families. Time, we cannot spend on vacation. Time we cannot spend relaxing. It takes our time now, where we have to work to make money, to give to the government, to bail out companies that are failures.
What the government decided to do rather than let these bigger companies fail as they ultimately always do. If you're old enough, you'll remember back in the seventies and eighties, IBM, too big to fail. They owned the business, the computer business in the sixties and seventies, and they just fell off the edge. Didn't they? That usually happens.
I'm not sure a hundred percent is going to happen with the social media companies but I suspect they are. Look at what's happening right now. If you have kids that are under 20, do they have a Facebook account? Even in their thirties, under 20-year-olds, they don't use Facebook anymore.
Facebook is likely to die off unless they change in a big way. So what's Facebook do? They buy competitors. They buy WhatsApp. We've talked about WhatsApp before and my thoughts on that. They buy Instagram. They buy competitors and they use competitors too. Change their business model a little bit and move laterally rather than vertically. That's not a bad idea in business. Frankly, most businesses expand their product line, expand their way of doing things by acquiring successful small businesses. So I get that. I think that's wonderful.
But what the Senator is proposing is that we have the government decide if a business should be allowed to acquire another business. There is a line in there where I agree with her. I'm not a hundred percent sure where that line should go.
We've had antitrust laws here in the United States since 1800s, a very long time. The Sherman act short and simple back then it made it illegal to monopolize or attempt to monopolize or conspire to monopolize the market. I liked that one.
How about if you're defining the market? There's two sides to this, one side often overlooked.
You've got the side of the supplier. You've got Facebook or GM or whoever. You say Facebook is the 800-pound gorilla. They own this market. So what should you do about Facebook?
That's what she's trying to figure out here. What should we do? They're saying we should have a government regulator decide if it's a monopoly or not. We know how well that ends up working. You end up with a revolving door, the regulators working for the corporations, and then going back to the regulators right back and forth. It's absolutely crazy. That side of it.
There is another side and this other side is frankly not that new, but it has gotten worse more recently. It's called a monopsony. What this is where you have a lot of suppliers. So you'd have a whole lot of Facebook' for instance, but only one purchaser.
You said, Craig, what are you talking about? We're the best and brightest. I'm not quite sure where you're going with this.
Here's where we're going. Monopsony is typified by Walmart. Walmart is well-known as a company that you do not want to sell to. If you're a small business, you look at it, say, Oh yeah we got Walmart. They're going to sell our product. Okay. Okay. Great for you. It's not wonderful. Walmart took out every rubber hose they had, and they beat the supplier over the head and shoulders and back until they capitulated.
Walmart was routinely criticized for this forcing vendors to lower prices until it became unsustainable. I can think of a few of these products right off the top of my head. Do you remember Rubbermaid, right? It was the. The dominant force for those rubber containers at Walmart. Then all of a sudden it wasn't there anymore. Do you remember that? Because they couldn't sell it to Walmart at the prices Walmart wanted it at. That's one way Walmart keeps the prices low.
With this monopsony problem. We're talking about a lot of companies that make competing products, but there's really one 800 pound gorilla. That's buying it. Walmart has a huge share of the US retail market. Of course, now they've been one-upped by our friends over at Amazon. Amazon is there now in that kind of the same position.
If you're going to sell something, you pretty much have to have it on Amazon. Amazon's basically going to dictate how much you can sell it for. Isn't that interesting. By the way, that word monopsony dates back almost a hundred years as well. Antitrust laws have never addressed the idea of this kind of anti-competitive behavior from the bottom-up direction. It's an interesting way.
So what do I think is the way to go on all of this stuff? First of all, we'll see if it ever becomes law. They tried something similar with a bill back in 2019, and it didn't get very far. With the Democrats controlling the white house, the house of representatives, and the Senate. The idea of reform being passed is more feasible, but there's one other side to this.
This goes back to my friends who have had their businesses effectively stolen by large companies. That is when we're looking at more regulation, which is exactly what she's proposing. More regulators, more money going to the regulators. They're making the entire marketplace harder.
If you're a small company and do you have to comply with all of these new rules, you now have to make all of these regulators happy. What are the odds? You're going to be able to do that compared to the big guys. The big guys can quite easily afford all of the attorneys, all of the regulatory compliance people, everybody that's needed. But you can't.
So the big companies love this sort of thing because the regulations make it easier for them to keep competitors out of the market. They're keeping competitors out of the market. We've already established that they're buying competitors, so they don't have to compete with them.
Now we're going to make matters worse with this Klobuchar bill. By doing what? By increasing regulation, making it harder to compete.
I propose that we'll actually have more monopolies after this. I would much rather just keep it simple and watch out for monopolies. If a company makes mistakes and is going under, let it go under. Any parts of that company that have any value will be sold. That's what bankruptcy laws all about.
If, someone who's thinking about maybe getting into an information security career. Or maybe you're looking at another career because right now there are millions of jobs open in InfoSec. We're going to talk about it. What do I wish I knew?
Hi everybody, Craig Peterson here. Thanks so much for joining me.
You probably know that I have been in information security for a very long time. It started out as I had to protect my own company. When I got nailed 30 years ago with what was called the Morris worm. If you've been on any of my webinars where I do a little background, you heard my story there. It just scared me to death. I almost lost a bunch of clients because of this worm.
The worm is a piece of software that gets onto a computer and then spreads to other computers. Nowadays, we have a lot of things that act like worms. For instance, ransomware gets in and starts to spread. We have all kinds of bad guys that are doing the same thing. They'll get onto a machine in your network. Then they'll manually start looking around and seeing what you have, what file servers you have. Oh, let's connect to the G drive or whatever you call that file server drive or shared drive. They will look through your files and just the rest of the story, right?
You guys are the best and brightest. You really are. So here's where I come down. I think there is a lot of opportunities here and I did a little presentation for a mastermind group. I'm a member of last week. I talked about a guy that became a friend of mine who is in his late fifties is right around 60 years old and decided he needed a new career. His prior career had literally disappeared. They had just been destroyed. He was in retail and he was managing a store and he had a lot of clients. Of course, that job went away and he was looking for, what do I do next? He's been listening to me for a very long time on the radio and decided that maybe he should look into an InfoSe career. So he did.
I used him as a case study with my mastermind group. What should people be looking to do and how can I help them? So I figured let's do this because I saw an article in Dark Reading. That's one of my favorite websites for all of these articles on security. They were talking about exactly that, what should I be doing now, if I want a security career? What are the things I should know and do?
The author of this is Joan Goodchild, an easy name to pronounce. What happened to her? She points out, do you know information security can be really rewarding? I absolutely agree with that. It is a thankless job, you miss one thing and something gets in. Someone brings it from home you don't quite have everything in place or everything up to date.
The biggest problem I've seen and I see with this friend of mine that I talked about in the mastermind is that we don't think we know enough. It's something called imposters syndrome. You've probably heard of it. It exists in a lot of different facets of our lives, not just in careers.
So he has imposter syndrome, as do a lot of people who are in cybersecurity because there's so much to know. That's why I've said forever businesses cannot do cybersecurity.
Antivirus isn't going to work for you. Basic firewalls are not going to work for you. Even if you have the right equipment in place if you don't know how to manage it and set it up. All of this stuff, it's just not possible to do.
Maybe you should look at a security career, cybersecurity.
Let's run through some of the things that she put in there. Of course, I'll add my little side things, but she asked a bunch of people in cybersecurity, specifically what do you wish you would have known when you first started. Here's Gregory Touhill, president of Applegate, federal Brigadier general retired in first, us CSO under president Barack Obama, CSO is the chief information security officer for the federal government.
He said. I love this quote. Cybersecurity is a full-contact team sport. There is no single person who is an expert on all of the various aspects of the area of the discipline. Once I got over myself and recognize that I couldn't do it all, I focused on building the right team of experts to solve issues before they become problems. That revelation triggered great future success. So there you go.
I think that's absolutely phenomenal to remember. You're going to have imposter syndrome if you decide to go into this, but the bottom line is to work with a team. If you can find a vendor like me, that knows what they're doing, that has people that can help you out because you cannot just be out there yourself.
Next point here. This is from Wayne Pruitt, cyber-range, technical trainer in North America. I've seen him before. He's been on one of my webinars where I was teaching about cybersecurity. To be effective in cybersecurity you need to have an understanding of all areas of information technology. Boy, is that true? If an analyst does not understand how a web application communicates with a database on the backend, how will he know if the traffic he's seen is normal or malicious? Without this understanding, analysts are just relying on security tools to make the determination. Hopefully, those tools are configured correctly.
Sometimes you have to learn the basics. Don't understand the more complex. Again, this goes into you've got to have a team. You have to have multiple people who can help out at different levels because frankly, you can't know it all. Going back to that the general Brigadier general, he had such a good point.
Next up is a chief strategist at Point 3 security. Her name is Chloe Messdaghi. I really wish I knew how little diversity and inclusion were practiced. When I first entered the industry, many of us in our current organizations are now working for to improve the situation are gaining ground. But within my first year, I felt like I had entered the 1940s. I personally think this is ridiculous.
Men are attracted to certain things and certain careers, women, the same thing. There are some careers that are dominated by women and some that are men. One of my daughters works with me and she is a cybersecurity analyst and she's just finishing some more training. In fact, our people tend to spend about a third of their time in training and she's very good and it has nothing to do with the fact that my daughter's a girl. So come on, quit seeing sex and seeing the race everywhere. It's just crazy. It's out there and she's right there aren't many women that are in this career.
Next up here, Lakshmi Hanspal. She is CSO of a company called Box whom I have used before. They've got some very good products for file sharing. I switched over to Dropbox. I like some of the stuff a little bit better having come from a traditional stuff background.
It was not until I entered higher leadership roles and began formulating hiring strategies that I realized the more diverse teams solve the toughest challenges, skills, such as critical thinking, how to manage risk trade-offs and cybersecurity not being a zero-sum game are extremely fundamental and understanding and thriving in the security industry. It is obvious she spent some time writing that and trying to put in lots of big words.
She is right. We when we're talking about diversity in this case, what she's talking about are the diversity of skills, critical thinking, managing trade-offs, and understanding that we all have to work together on a team in the cybersecurity field. I thought she had a really great point.
Next up, we have Josh Rickard security research engineer over at Swimlane. I wish I knew and understood that an organization's priorities are guide rails for information security teams, as with most starting in InfoSec. I wanted to solve all the security issues I came across, but this is impossible.
Understanding business priorities while communicating potential risks is critical. Okay. But helping the business with those priorities gives you credibility. Wow.
I'm going to save that one, frankly, because that is something that we all need to remember. I've had people on my team that was just a hundred percent focused on doing the right thing, quote unquote, on the cybersecurity front, and to them, the right thing was to make sure there are no holes. So I can see that from a certain perspective. And again, back to the diversity of thought, having someone like that on your team is a good idea, but it does have to be tempered.
Mary Writz VP product development over at ForgeRock. When I started 20 years ago as a penetration tester at IBM. I wondered how I even got the job because I did not feel qualified in hindsight. No one was truly qualified because it was such a young domain. I was hired because of my technical background, my curiosity, my interest, fast forward, 10 years, I was teaching a technical audience how to build hunt teams and I expect everyone in the audience knew more than me. A gentleman in the audience raised his hand and said, you're assuming we know what we're doing, but we don't. After we all laughed, we shared our notes and learned from each other.
Wow. So insightful here, because again, she's pointing out. The curiosity requirement. I think if you're not curious, you're not going to spend the time it takes to investigate and to learn more.
We're going to cover a few more.
You're listening to Craig Peterson and [email protected]
We're talking right now about InfoSec, information security. Have you thought about maybe taking up a bit of a new career? Well there are some estimated 2 million open jobs in this one.
Of course, this is Craig Peterson.
We were just talking about this article that appeared in dark reading. Now, dark reading is an online magazine, right? It's a website. And they had this article that I absolutely had to read because it reminded me of someone I know. One of our listeners, who decided he needed a new career. He'd lost his job. He'd been out of work for over a year and he had been managing a retail camera shop and they shut it down. He was stuck. What do I do? He'd been listening to the show for a long time. He decided he wanted to go into information security. He took some courses on it and he got himself a job. A full-time job being the chief IT security guy for this company after just a few months.
So that tells you how desperate these companies are. Kind of jerking his chain a little bit, but not right, because he just barely had any background. If you want me to connect you with him, if you are serious about thinking about one of these careers, I'll be glad to forward your request to him, just to see if he's willing to talk to you. Just email me [email protected] and make sure you mentioned what this is all about. So I know what's going on.
Ran Harel, he's a security principal and product manager over at Semperis said, when I was growing up, I was quite an introvert, by the way, that sounds like a lot of us in it. I didn't realize until much later on in my career, just how great the security and tech community are looking back. I realize how quickly I could have solved so many issues, by just asking on an IRC channel or forum.
IRC is an internet relay chat, a bit of a technical thing, but it's an online chat.
I would tell my former self, the problem you are facing now is probably been dealt with multiple times in the past year alone. Don't be afraid to ask the InfoSec community and then learn from them.
That's absolutely true. I found an online IRC channel basically, and they were set up just to talk about CMMC is this new standard that department of defense contractors are having to use.
As you probably know, we have clients that are manufacturers and make things for the Department of Defense and they have to maintain security. It's been interesting going in there answering questions for people and even asking a couple of questions. It is a great resource. This particular kind of IRC is over on discuss.
You can find them all over the place. Reddit has a bunch of subreddits. It's dealing with these things, including, by the way, getting into an InfoSec career. So keep that in mind.
There's lots of people like myself that are more than willing to help because some of the stuff can get pretty confusing.
All right. The next one. Is from Cody Cornell, chief security officer, and co-founder over at swimlane. He said, apply for jobs. You are not qualified for everyone else is.
Man. I have seen that so many times everybody from PhDs all the way on, down throughout a high school and who have sent me applications that they were not even close to qualified for.
Now, you can probably guess with me, I don't care if you have a degree. All I care about is can you do the work. Can you get along with the team are you really going to pull your weight and contribute? I have seen many times that the answer to that is no, but I've seen other times where, wow, this person's really impressive.
So again, apply for jobs you're not qualified for because everybody is. Security changes every day. New skills techniques and the needs of organizations are always shifting. And to be able to check every box from an experience and skills perspective is generally impossible. Looking back at 20 years of jobs in the security space, I don't believe that I was ever a hundred percent qualified for any of them, but felt confident that I could successfully do them.
So keep that in mind. Okay.
Again, imposter syndrome, we're all worried about it. This applies to more than just InfoSec. This applies to every job, every part of life, we all feel as though we're impostors and that we're not really qualified, but the question is, can you figure it out? Can you really do it?
Next up here is Chris Robert, a hacker in residence, he calls himself over at Semperis and he says, overall, the most important lessons that I'd tell my younger self are not tech-based. Rather they focus on the human aspect of working in the cybersecurity industry. I think cybersecurity professionals in general, tend to focus on technology and ignore the human element, which is a mistake and something we need to collectively learn from and improve.
I agree with him on that as well. However, we know humans are going to make mistakes, so make sure you got the technology in place that will help to mitigate those types of problems.
Next up, we've got Marlys Rogers. She's CISO over at the CSAA insurance group that's a lot of four-letter acronyms. You are nothing without data. Data is queen. Coming from an insurance person, right? Without hard data, you can only speak to security in more imagined ways or ways. The board and C-suite are aware of in the media cost-benefit is only achievable with related data points. Demonstrating how much we are fighting off and how the tools, processes, and people make that happen.
Next up we have Edward Frye, he's CSO over at our Aryaka. When I first started out, I was fairly impatient and wanted to get things done right away. While there are some things that need to be done right now, not everything needs to be done. Now have the ability to prioritize and focus on the items that will have the biggest impact.
I think one of the biggest lessons I've learned along the way is while we may need to move quickly, this race is a marathon, not a sprint.
Patience is essential for security pros. I can certainly see that one.
Chris Morgan, senior cyber threat intelligence analyst over at Digital Shadows, despite the way that many in media liked to portray cyber threats, not everything will bring about the end of the world.
For those getting into incident response and threats, try to have a sense of perspective and establish the facts before allowing your colleagues to push too quickly towards remediation mitigation, et cetera.
Expectation management amongst senior colleagues is also something you'll frequently have to do to avoid them breaking down over a mere phishing site. The quote, one of my former colleagues try to avoid chicken, little central.
I've seen that before as well.
The next one is things are changing daily and the last one is the perception of security is still a challenge.
So great little article by Joan Goodchild. You'll see it in my newsletter, which we're trying to get out now Sunday mornings.
You can click through on the link if you'd like to read more.
As you can see. 2 million open jobs while between one and 3 million, depending on whose numbers you're going at in cybersecurity.
You don't have to be an expert. As I said, one of our listeners went from not knowing much about it at all, he can install windows that's it, to having a job in cybersecurity in less than six months.
I'm doing a special presentation coming up next month for the New England Society of Physicians and Psychiatrists. We're going to be talking a little bit about what we will talk about right now. What can you do to keep your patient information safe? What can we do as patients to help make sure our data's safe.
You'll also find me on pretty much every podcast platform out there. Just search for my name, Craig Peterson. I have a podcast and it makes it pretty easy. I've found some of them don't understand if you try and search for Craig Peterson, tech talk, some of them do.
I've been a little inconsistent with my naming over the years, but what the heck you can find me. It's easy enough to do.
I've got this new kind of purple-ish logo that you can look for to make sure it's the right one. And then you can listen to subscribe, please subscribe. It helps all of our numbers.
You can also, of course, by listening online with one of these devices, help our numbers too. Cause it's you guys that are important. The more subscribers we have, the way these algorithms work, the more promotion we'll get. I think that's frankly, a very good thing as well.
What do you do if you need to see a doctor, that question has a different answer today than it did a year ago. I won't be able to say that in about another month, right? Because mid-March is when everything changed last year, 2020, man, what a year?
To see a doctor nowadays, we are typically going online, aren't we? You're going to talk to them. So many doctors have been using some of these platforms that are just not secure things like zoom, for instance, which we know isn't secure.
Now, the fed kind of loosen things up a little bit under the Trump administration saying, Hey. People need to see doctors. The HIPAA PCI rules were loosened up a little bit in order to make things a little bit better. Then there's the whole DSS thing with HIPAA. All of these rules are just across the board are loosened up.
That has caused us to have more of our information stolen. I'm going to be talking a little bit about this FBI, actually multi-agency warning that came out about the whole medical biz and what we need to be doing. Bottom line, Zoom is not something we should be using when we're talking to our doctors.
Now, this really bothers me too. Zoom is bad. We know that it's not secure and it should not be used for medical discussions, but Zoom has been private labeling its services so that you can go out and say, Hey, zoom, I want to use you and I'm going to call it my XYZ medical platform.
People have done that. Businesses have done that. Not really realizing how insecure Zoom is. I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt here. You go and you use the XYZ medical platform and you have no clue of Zoom. Other than man, this looks a lot like Zoom, that's the dead giveaway.
Keep an eye out for that because a lot of these platforms just aren't secure. I do use Zoom for basic webinars because everybody has it. Everybody knows how to use it. I have WebEx and the WebEx version of it is secure. In fact, all the basic versions, even of WebEx are secure and I can have a thousand people on a webinar or which is a great way to go. It's all secure end to end.
Unlike again, what Zoom had been doing, which is it might be secure from your desktop, but it gets to a server where it's no longer secure. That kind of problem that telegram has, frankly.
If you are talking to your doctor, try and use an approved platform. That's how you can keep it safer.
If you're a doctor and you have medical records be really careful. Zoom has done some just terrible things from a security standpoint. For instance, installing a complete web server on a Mac and allowing access to the Mac now via the webserver. Are you nuts? What the heck are you doing? That's just crazy. Just so insecure.
This is all part of a bigger discussion and the discussion has to do with Zero trust architectures. We're seeing this more and more. A couple of you, Danny. I know you reached out to me asking specifically about zero trust architectures. Now Danny owns a chain of. Coffee shops and his family does as well.
He says, Hey, listen, what should I do to become secure? So I helped them out. I got him a little Cisco platform, and second Cisco go that he can use as much more secure than the stuff you buy the big box retailers or your buying at Amazon, et cetera, and got it all configured for him and running.
Then he heard me talk at about zero trust and said, Hey, can I do zero trust with this Cisco go, this Muraki go, is actually what it is and the answer is, well so here's the concept that businesses should be using, not just medical businesses, but businesses in general and zero trust means that you do not trust the devices, even the ones that you own that are on your network. You don't trust them to be secure. You don't trust them to talk to other devices without explicit permission.
Instead of having a switch that allows everything to talk to everything or a wifi network where everything can talk to everything, you have very narrow, very explicit ways that devices can talk to each other. That's what zero trust is all about. That's where the businesses are moving.
There's zero trust architecture, and it doesn't refer to just a specific piece of technology. Obviously, we're talking about the idea that devices, and even on top of that, the users who are using the devices only have the bare minimum access they need in order to perform their job.
Some businesses look at this and say that's a problem. I'm going to get complaints that someone needs access to this and such. You need that because here's what can happen. You've got this data that's sitting out there might be your intellectual property. You might be a doctor in a doctor's office and you've got patient records. You might have the records from your PCI your credit card records that you have. I put on. Those are sitting there on your network that is in fact a little dangerous because now you've got something the bad guys want. It's dangerous if the bad guys find it and they take it, you could lose your business. It's that simple.
They are not allowing you to use the excuse anymore because of COVID. That excuse doesn't work anymore. The same thing's true with the credit card numbers that you have the excuse of I'm just a small business. It's not a big deal. Doesn't work anymore. They are taking away your credit card privileges.
We had an outreach from a client that became a client, that had their ability to take credit cards taken away from them because again, there was a leak.
So we have to be careful when you're talking and you have private information, or if you don't want your machine to be hacked, do not use things like Zoom. I covered this extensively in my Improving Windows Security course. So keep an eye out for that as well. If you're not on my email list, you won't find out about this stuff.
Go right now to Craig peterson.com. If you scroll down to the bottom of that homepage and sign up for that newsletter so you can get all of what I talk about here and more.
Hey, thanks to some hackers out there. Your application for unemployment benefits might've been approved and you didn't apply for it in the first place. Turns out somebody stealing our information again.
Hi everybody. Craig Peterson here.
Hey, this is a big concern of mine and I've often wondered because I have not been receiving these stimulus checks. I did not get the first round. I did not get the second round and I contacted the IRS and the IRS says depends on when you filed for 2019. Oh my gosh. Of course, I was a little late filing that year. They still haven't caught up. I guess that's good news, right? That the IRS data processing centers are terrible.
It goes back to aren't you glad we don't get the government we pay for is the bottom line here, but I've been concerned. Did somebody steal my refund?
Did somebody steal my unemployment benefits, did somebody steal my stimulus checks? It is happening more and more. There is a great little article talking about this, where someone had stolen the author's John personal information again. Now we probably all have had our personal information stolen, whether you're aware of it or not.
As usual, I recommend that you go to have I been poned.com and pwnd is spelled, pwn, D have I been poned.com and find out whether or not your data has been stolen and is out there on the dark web.
They have a really good database of a lot of these major hacks. Many of us have been hacked via these credit bureaus and one in particular Equifax who have all kinds of personal information about us, had it all stolen.
It's easy enough for people to steal our identities file fake tax returns. That's why the IRS is telling you, Hey, file your return as soon as possible. That way when the bad guy's file, we'll know it's the bad guys cause you already filed it. As opposed to you file your tax return and the IRS comes back and says, Oh, you already filed. We already sent you a refund or whatever. You already filed it.
That is a terrible thing to have to happen because now you have to fight and you have to prove it wasn't you. How do you prove a negative? It's almost impossible. At least in this case, hopefully, the check was sent to some state 50 States away, another side of the world. So you can say, Hey, listen, I never been there, then they can hopefully track where it was deposited.
Although now the bad guys are using these websites that have banks behind them, or maybe it's a bank with a website that is designed for people to get a debit card and an account just like that. That, in fact, it's what was used to hack my buddy. My 75-year-old buddy has been out delivering meals and had his paychecks stolen through one of those.
These fraudulent job claims are happening more and more. It's really a rampant scam. We've had warnings coming out from the FBI and they have really accelerated during the lockdown because now we've had these jobless benefits increased, people, making more money staying in their home than they made on the job. Disincentives for working, frankly.
He's saying here the author again, John Wasik, that a third of a million people in his state alone were victims of the scam. This is an Illinois. This is where he lives. A third of the people in the state of Illinois, including several people that he knew.
We've got some national tallies underway. I don't know if you've seen these. I've seen them on TV and read about them, California. It is crazy. People were applying for California unemployment that didn't live in the state at all, would come into the state and once you're there in the state pick up the check, right? Cause that's all they were doing. Some people have been caught with more than a million dollars worth of California unemployment money.
Of course, it wasn't a check, it was actually a debit card. The same basic deal and California is estimating that more than $11 billion was stolen. Can you imagine that tens of millions of people could have been scammed because of this?
This is the third time the author had been a victim of identity theft and fraud. He wanted to know how could they get his information.
Well, I've told you, check it out on, have I been poned. It'll tell you which breaches your information was in. It does it based on your email address. It'll also tell what type of data was stolen in those breaches. So it's important stuff. I think you should definitely have a look at it.
He is very upset and I can understand it. Data breaches last year, more than 737 million data files are ripped off according to act.com. Frankly, that was a digital pandemic, with more and more of us working at home.
I just talked about the last segment. Your doctor's office and you are talking to your doctor. How now? Cause you don't go into the office. There are so many ways they can steal it.
The FBI's recording now a 400% increase in cybercrime reports that we had this mega hack of corporate and government systems.
This whole thing we've talked about before called the SolarWinds hack, although it was really more of a Microsoft hack, and it went out via SolarWinds as well as other things. Be careful everybody out there. If you find yourself in these breach reports on, have I been poned make sure you go to the website. Set yourself up with a new password. At the very least use a password manager.
I just responded to an email before, when it went on the air today, from a listener who was talking about two-factor authentication. He's worried about what to use. I sent him my special report on two-factor authentication, but it is the bottom line, quite a problem.
Again, Use one password, use two-factor authentication with one password. Don't use SMS as that and you'll be relatively safe.
I don't know I can't say do this and you'll be safe. I don't think there's any way to be sure your safe.
Having these organizations, businesses, government agencies hacked all the time that don't seem to care about losing our data, right? Oh, it's a cost of doing business, some of these businesses, and I've talked to them, they'll look at it and say, how much will it cost us in fines if our data is stolen? Versus, how much will it cost us to keep our data relatively safe? For even a larger small company, a hundred employee company, you're talking about something that is going to be costing you about 25 grand a month. That's if it's outsourced.
If you're trying to do it yourself and a hundred person company, you can easily be spending a hundred grand a month. It's expensive to do. They'll look at it and say, okay, this is going to cost us a million dollars a year, odds are, it'll be two years, maybe three before we're hacked. That's this statistic, although you're rolling the dice, it might be tomorrow that you get hacked. $3 million versus our fines are going to be about a million dollars. We'll just take the fine.
That to me is just disgusting. How can these people live with themselves? I don't know. Maybe it's just me. I'm going crazy.
That leads us to this New York Times article I was talking about on the radio this week. The New York Times article talking about how the United States, really, we are losing control of information warfare. Our warriors have been working at the national security agency and the FBI. They leave those agencies and go to work for private contractors. The tools that we've been using to hack other people have been stolen. The tools that we're paying to be developed, we meaning the US taxpayer, the tools that we have paid to develop aren't even being used, and that mega attack I was just talking about. That's an example of one of these attacks that would have been stopped had we been using the tools that the federal government paid for. It's just crazy. What's going on?
So here's the bottom line, everybody you can't trust most of these vendors that are out there. They have a product to sell. They don't have the best solution for you, right? They really don't. If they cared about you they would not be selling you antivirus software because it does not work.
If Microsoft cared about you, they would have come out with their anti-malware stuff. Windows defender, years and years ago. They would have redesigned Microsoft Office and Microsoft Windows, as well, because those were huge security holes.
Look at Adobe. They've been the source of the most security problems of anything out on the market, bar none. Flash was terrible. Java, another example of something that's been a terrible security hole for years. These businesses are trying to get a product to market as quickly and as inexpensively as possible. Quick is usually the number one goal. It has to be inexpensive for them to develop it. That means now they go out and they sell it because they got it. They're going to sell it. It doesn't matter if it's good. It doesn't matter if it even works overall for you.
That's why I'm doing these courses, these classes, these emails, I'm recording special stuff for you each week. I've got special emails that are going out for you each week.
We've got these radio show podcasts. This stuff is all free. All of it.
Now I charge for some courses, but everything else is absolutely free. Now I hope I have some clients that come from some of this stuff and I do get them, but most of the clients I get are by referrals.
I really believe in this. I'm putting my time, my money, my energy where my mouth is. But you have to take a step. You have to go to Craig peterson.com and you have to sign up right there. Craig peterson.com. Scroll down to the bottom of this screen. You'll see a little signup thing and I will start sending you my weekly newsletter.
Some of these little micro training that only take you a few minutes and information on courses and more. Craig peterson.com.
More stories and tech updates at:
Don't miss an episode from Craig. Subscribe and give us a rating:
Follow me on Twitter for the latest in tech at:
For questions, call or text: