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AS HEARD ON NH Today WGIR-AM 610: Understanding the Microsoft Exchange Hack

Craig Peterson - America's Leading CyberSecurity Coach

Release Date: 03/08/2021

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Welcome,

Craig Peterson here.  This morning I was on with Chris Ryan on NH Today. I jumped right into a conversation that he and Justin were having about the Royal Family and because I am from Canada, I had a bit of a different perspective.  Then we hopped up on one of my soapbox topics - Microsoft. Here we go with Chris. 

These and more tech tips, news, and updates visit.

CraigPeterson.com

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Automated Machine Generated Transcript:

Craig Peterson: [00:00:00] Installing the patches will not get them out. It will not even remove the back door that they've installed on your server. If you can believe this right. Its incompetence is running rampant yet again.

Hi everybody. Craig Peterson here. We started out by talking about the Royal family because Chris Ryan over on NH today has been talking a lot about that.  What's going on with the Royal family? I have a little experience with that. Well, we talked about it.

Then we got into a soapbox for Craig, which was Microsoft exchange server. I could not be more upset with Microsoft. I have not liked them for decades, now. They are incompetent, if you ask me, in so many ways. 

I'm sitting here pounding on the table. I don't know if you can hear it, but anyhow, We get right into it.  I mean the down and dirty of it, because once again, we have had our data stolen this time by the Chinese.

Chris Ryan: [00:01:07] The queen does not have any power, Justin. These are all ceremonial positions. She has to sign off on the laws. She just does it. She's supposed to sign it.

Justin McIssac: [00:01:17] If she decided she felt like having some power.

Chris Ryan: [00:01:20] You can't. The prime minister controls all of the key roles of government. Going to war. Things of that nature. All of her roles at this point are ceremonial. For over the last number hundreds of years the monarchy has diminished and power based upon their incompetence.

Justin McIssac: [00:01:38] It's time to take the power back.

Chris Ryan: [00:01:39] The power has been taken back. But maybe she shouldn't sign it. Maybe she shouldn't ceremonial signing things anymore. Is that what you're saying?

Justin McIssac: [00:01:45] No, just declare war on somebody.

Chris Ryan: [00:01:47] You can't do that.

Justin McIssac: [00:01:47] No, I think she can.

Chris Ryan: [00:01:48] She can't declare war.

Justin McIssac: [00:01:49] As I understand that she can.

Chris Ryan: [00:01:51] You don't understand it.

Justin McIssac: [00:01:53] That may be the case, but as I understand it she declared war.

Chris Ryan: [00:01:56] She can not declare war, she holds no real power in the British government, none zero.

Justin McIssac: [00:02:02] You're just trying to minimize her. That's what you're doing. You're hitting on the Royals and I won't stand for it.

Chris Ryan: [00:02:06] Right now in the program. Is Craig Peterson. Craig, how are you?

Craig Peterson: [00:02:10] Hey, I'm doing well.

You know, power in the Commonwealth.

Chris Ryan: [00:02:14] You have as much power in the United Kingdom as the queen does.

Craig Peterson: [00:02:19] The queen, she appoints the governor-general in all of the Commonwealth countries.

The governor-general has the power in the Commonwealth countries like Canada, New Zealand, Australia, et cetera. The governor-general has the power to dissolve parliament effectively firing the prime minister.

She has quite a bit of power outside of the UK itself. The governor-general is a post that's above all of the elected officials in every Commonwealth country.

Chris Ryan: [00:02:52] Australia, Canada

Yes, that is true. In the United Kingdom itself, she does not have the power to declare war, to change the laws that are signed, she is a ceremonial figurehead. However, she maintains that position and influence outside of.

Craig Peterson: [00:03:06] Yeah, she does. She gets a stipend too from the government.

Chris Ryan: [00:03:09] It's good to be The Queen

Justin McIssac: [00:03:10] Sun never sets the British empire, Chris.

Chris Ryan: [00:03:12] You wonder though, we are going to continue on this Craig since you've indulged me. Which may be the biggest mistake that you make today.  The question though is as we start to hear more and more about things that are taking place. Whether it's with Prince Albert and I don't understand why that continues to get brushed under the carpet, while the circumstances with Harry and Megan received this type of attention.

But appropriately so. Now we're hearing claims that there was racism, within the crown and there were questions about how dark the complexion of their child was going to be, to Harry.  That was relayed to Megan. As an individual interested in this,  do you see anything changing in regards to less ceremonial roles? The crown diminishing even more with the questions, around Charles, as well and his ability to lead?

How do you see this affecting the crown as they seem to decrease in terms of what their actual power is but their influence increases? The intrigue in them increases on a continual basis.

Craig Peterson: [00:04:14] Well, parliament's never particularly liked them because they don't like the budget money going to them.

But I can tell you that throughout the Commonwealth and the UK, the Royal family is like the center of the conversation. I have an aunt who has passed now, Anna Hanna was her name and she lived for the Royal family. Everything about them. She knew all of the details.

Chris Ryan: [00:04:38] Right? It's insane.

Craig Peterson: [00:04:41] I think it's a little crazy, but we got the same thing here.

People talk every day about these stupid artists that can't even sing. These actors and actresses can act. Follow everything they do. Look at the people that are famous for being famous.  The Kardashians, what did they ever do? Well, they built some big empires that's for sure.

It's the same type of mentality.

Chris Ryan: [00:05:06] It's true, but I have a lot more respect for it. I have a lot more respect for any actor, musician, or influencer than I have for the crown. Basically, all that you did was be born into a circumstance. That is no reason for me to be interested in you other than the fact that you have a tremendous lineage. That is what upsets me more than anything else about those particular individuals.

Now, certainly, there has been the benefit of nepotism for some folks in acting and sports and music and all that. Those folks have interest-based upon talent. Whether that's the talent of just drawing attention. Then, therefore, monetizing it, the Kardashians, as an example, there. I have a lot more respect for Kim Kardashian than for the queen of England. I'll just put that right out there.

Well, let's transition here before we get into more trouble, right?

We'll get you into trouble.

Tens of thousands of US organizations hit in an ongoing Microsoft exchange hack. At least 30,000 compromised US organizations as a result of this hack. What took place? What concerns should average Americans have about that?

Craig Peterson: [00:06:17] This is an extremely big deal. I did a video on this. Everybody who was on my email list, you should have gotten a little copy of this last week when it happened.

If you are a business, Chris, you have to have email. That's kind of the lifeblood of a business is email. Many companies have made the mistake. I've called it a mistake for decades, of using Microsoft exchange server.

Microsoft is a company that happens to sell software and usually, it's not particularly good software.  I've got a little bit of an opinion on that. For years, I helped develop windows NT early on in Microsoft history. I've used it all. I've developed on it all.  I'm talking about the operating systems here.

Here's what happened recently. Businesses have been using Microsoft exchange server, as have government agencies, as have retail, our educational institutions. No one gets fired for buying Microsoft.

That just drives me crazy cause they got some really bad stuff. The bottom line and I have a friend who loves the Microsoft stuff because he'll always have a job trying to fix it. That's beside the point.

Right now, there was such a huge hole that freight trains are driven through. Anyone could easily gain control as the server over any sessions in any data. So last week, Microsoft issued an emergency patch for all of its exchange servers, that kinda sorta fixes the problem.

The problem is they've gotten into, probably over a hundred thousand computers at this point, and they have put back doors into the computers. They're using the computers now to attack other computers, to grab all of your passwords, all of your history, all of your files and you have no idea.

Because people are not doing the right stuff, which is blocking outbound connections from things like their exchange server. They're exposing it directly to the internet which you have to do, cause it is your main email gateway. This is just incredible.

The federal government has jumped on this. Expect congressional investigations, which will solve nothing. By the way, if you install this patch, Chris, you may close the door.

The problem is the horses are already out of the barn and you may already be infected. The odds are really good. If you're running an exchange server that you have been attacked, that they are inside your network.

Installing the patches will not get them out and it will not even remove the back door that they've installed on your server. If you can believe this, right.

Incompetence is running rampant, yet again, and we're losing all of our critical data.

This is probably China, by the looks of it, and it just a scary, scary thing. Patch right now if you're a business, if you're a school, if you're a nonprofit, right. Patch. You've made the mistake of running a Microsoft exchange server, patch it and look at alternatives.

Chris Ryan: [00:09:37] I think that there's always a cause for concern and diligence in regards to our information. Let's be honest, we're being a little bit more open with that than we have in past time periods.

Evolution over, not just the last couple of decades, but over the last few years has been pretty significant. In how frequently we use our credit card information or personal information. You think about the explosion in delivery services and ordering things online with that each time you are putting your personal information there.

What should it be people's concerns on that?

Craig Peterson: [00:10:11] Well, things like credit cards, aren't too bad. If you have a visa or MasterCard check with your bank or the issuing company. What I do, if I have to give a credit card online is I have an individual unique credit card number for every website. That's absolutely a free service from all of these credit card companies. Every one of them has it. So check it out, find out more about it. You can install it on your browser. You probably want to use a secure browser. At any rate that's a whole other topic for discussion.

You've got to give your information nowadays, especially with us being locked in for the last year. Use unique credit card numbers, and you can get those for free from your credit card company. It's just a little plugin for your web browser.

Businesses, you've got to pull up your socks. Cannot let these people's personal information gets stolen. Remember this includes doctor's offices with your personal health information. Hospitals. It goes on and on. The C levels, Chris, I think are the biggest problem here in all of these companies. You give you a credit card number to a quote to secure server. It's not really a secure server. It's just that your data is encrypted, going to the server. Once that company has your data, is it being stolen?

Is the CEO looking at this, like Equifax apparently did, from some of the articles I read and said, Oh, well, let's see, it's going to cost us, 10-20 million if we get hacked? It's gonna cost us 30-40 million to fix the problems. We're not going to bother fixing them. We're going to cross our fingers. We can no longer do that.

Chris Ryan: [00:11:54] All right, Craig. Appreciate your time and look forward to talking again next week.

Craig Peterson: [00:11:58] Take care.

Chris Ryan: [00:11:58] All right. That is Craig Peterson with tech talk here on Newsradio 610 and 96.7, Saturdays at 11:30 AM.

I am Chris Ryan. We shall return with more after this.

Craig Peterson: [00:12:09] Woo mama. Keep your eyes on your email, because Improving Windows Security is about to launch.  I think what I'm going to end up doing is we're going to do a couple of classes live and available for anybody for free before we get into the paid course.

Keep an eye on your email. Also, I'm going to let you know people who've already signed up for the Improving Windows Security course, I'm going to give you a massive discount. You'll get a coupon for that.

We'll be back Craig Peterson.com, of course. If you're not on the list better sign up soon because this course is starting.

Take care, everybody. Bye-bye.

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