Sick Laptop? Uber and Lyft out of Self Driving, DC Police Department Ransomed
Sick Laptop? Uber and Lyft out of Self Driving, DC Police Department Ransomed
Thanks for downloading Podcast 1111 - May 1, 2021. Uber and Lyft have both sold their self-driving car divisions. Washington DC Police are in a lot of trouble due to Ransomware. The latest trend in Cloud Computing is hazardous. How to tell if your laptop is sick and how to fix it. Costs of Ransomware have doubled in 12 months. Why I think China is threatening Taiwan. Finally, Emotet has been taken down. SpaceX is winning the Satellite-Internet war. For more tech tips, news, and updates, visit - CraigPeterson.com. Articles for this week: --- Automated Machine-Generated Transcript: Podcast 1111 - May 01, 2021 Craig Peterson: Self-driving cars have been all the rage. Well, at least talking about them for what are the last four or five years. Well, Lyft and Uber both had big projects when it came to self-driving cars, and both of them have changed their minds. We're going to talk about that. [00:00:21] Good afternoon, everybody. Craig Peterson, here I've been out for the last couple of weeks. Sorry. I've been here on the weekend, and I'm here again today. We're going to talk about a lot of very interesting stuff that's going on. Hopefully, I can explain to you a little bit about the why that helps you understand the how of what's going on. It's just become so crazy complex. [00:00:48]That also gets into Lyft, this whole self-driving car thing. Uber, you've got every major player kind of in the world getting into this whole game, including, of course, Apple and Google. They both have big projects going on. GM, Ford, and every major manufacturer, Fiat, has an electric car, and of course, they've got aspirations. Hey, by the way, if you really want to cause some problems with Fiat-Chrysler's finances, buy one of their little electric cars, a little E 500. I don't know if you've seen these little Fiats driving around. They're cool little cars, the type of thing you'd expect in a big city or maybe in Europe somewhere. Just these tiny things. Like the smart cars only slightly bigger. Fiat loses $20,000 for every one of these $33,000 little cars you buy. Electric cars. It only goes 87 miles on a charge. That's the killer, right? 87 miles. Are you kidding me? [00:01:52] We'll talk more about this later on because there's some study information out now that talks about people that bought electric cars. How many went back to gas engines, and why? It's interesting when you get into the numbers, the people that are switching back, by the way. Tend to be women more than men, but anyway, so we'll get into that in a few minutes here. [00:02:16] Lyft and Uber, both saw themselves as companies that should be in the self-driving car business. I have learned over the years that you have to focus your business on your business. So what is it? Make your business very narrow don't run after every little opportunity that comes up, don't take every potential customer that comes your way because you probably can't deal with it. It requires a focus, a real focus, in order to be very successful. Otherwise, you can't make your business grow. So because of every customer's different, if everything about the customer's different, you're going to have true experts. [00:03:01] That's the problem I've had over the years because I've always enjoyed a little bit of a change, a little bit of a difference. So, we've helped all kinds of companies from multinationals with their cybersecurity all the way on, down through little guys. [00:03:15] Now, when you think about that, I've been crazy. For all of these years, to quote Paul Simon and my craziness has to do with the fact that they're entirely different beasts. [00:03:26]So, now we're putting together some standardized packages based on what we've been using and selling for more than 20 years now, just to make my life a little bit simpler so, we can handle more clients cause there's more and more them that need it. [00:03:40] So, when we're looking at Uber and Lyft, how does it fit? What is Uber doing? What is Lyft doing? Really? What's the bottom line here. They're getting you from point A to point B. It's really that simple. Isn't it? You want to get to a place. Now, they've added some of these other features like the Uber eats, where you can get Uber to go to a restaurant, pick up a meal, deliver the meal for you. Then you're off and running. That's not bad, but it's still effectively the same business. [00:04:15] When we're talking about autonomous vehicles, it's a completely different business. You're talking about major software development. Lyft looks like it's been spending about a hundred million dollars a year in order to try and develop self-driving cars. [00:04:35] That's expensive. It sure is a lot different than managing people coming from point A to point B. I was out of state. I was down in Florida. Down in Florida, it's difficult to find a Lyft or an Uber driver because so many people are staying home. Why would I bother working when I'm making so much money on unemployment right now? Why would they? [00:05:00]I'm not sure I could particularly blame them for not wanting to work. So Uber and Lyft are now saying, wait a minute. I got go find drivers. I'm going to have people that are going to deliver food that is going to take passengers from point A to point B. That's what they should be focusing on. Isn't it. Making sure the drivers safe. Making sure the passenger safe. I'm not talking about these lockdown-type restrictions. I'm talking about physically safe because we've seen people attacked before. What happens if they're in a car accident? Do we have contact information for the passenger? Do we know they're in a car accident? Can we reasonably get an ambulance there, get treatment, get the police, whatever needs to happen. There's a lot of things you have to worry about—background checks for the drivers. Maybe background checks for the passengers. You've got to collect the money. Maybe you want to put in an override system where people who refer another Lyft driver are going to be able to get a bit of an override on them, make a few extra bucks, make it worth their while to refer driver. [00:06:04]Then you've got all of the streets, the street maps in every city, in every town. How far should you be going as a business like Uber or Lyft? Is your business mapping. Is your business autonomous vehicles? No, of course not. So I think they're smart in getting out of this business, but I want to mention a couple of things about why I think they got in the business in the first place. [00:06:31] GM and Ford probably Chryslers have said that they are thinking the vehicle of the future isn't going to be something you buy. You're not going to go out and buy a car because they're looking at it and saying, let me see, what do you want? I want to get to the train station in the morning, or I want to get to work in the morning, or I might want to have some food delivered to me, or I might want to run to the grocery store. First of all, grocery stores and food delivery can both be done by Uber or Lyft, but getting you from A to B. [00:07:08] They're looking and saying we make the cars, we make the autonomous systems. Why don't we provide vehicles when people need them? So it can take your kid to school in the morning. It can go in five different directions. Cause you're going to have five different cars. Maybe you need five cars this morning cause you've got four kids, and you and your wife and you're all going different places. Here come the cars. They're all scheduled the day before, the week before. However you do it. On Tuesday, all of the cars show up. They take you to where you want to go. That's the business model that the major car manufacturers are looking at. I think it makes a lot of sense. [00:07:51] You don't necessarily need a pickup truck all the time, but I sure need one when I gotta get those sheets of plywood and go here, go there, do things. Frankly, Home Depot and Lowe's are both looking at it, saying we have rental trucks. Maybe they will have some of these in their fleet. Maybe autonomous, maybe not autonomous, but that's how they're looking at it. They don't think you're going to buy a car. [00:08:15] I don't know if you saw the test Cadillac did down in New York City, of course, this was before the lockdown as well. Cadillac had put together this plan, where for now, what was it? $1,500 a month. I think give or take. You could drive a brand new Cadillac, and you'd have that Cadillac for a month. You could, of course keep it for longer, or you could just pay them more. But the idea was why Cadillac buy? Why even go through all of the trouble leasing. Effectively, what you're doing is renting it like you might rent a car from Hertz. [00:08:51]In the future, they don't even think you're going to do that. It's Hey, I want a black car to pick me up from one, two, three wall street and take me to park Avenue, that I think makes a lot of sense. [00:09:03] So Uber and Lyft are both looking at this plan and saying, Whoa, Wait a minute here. What's going to happen when GM and Ford both decide that they are actually in the getting people from point A to point B business. Now, they are stepping on Lyft and Uber's toes in a very big way. I think that's why they decided to get into the autonomous vehicle business. Both of them have gotten. Out of it now. [00:09:37] Lyft sold as a self-driving division to a subsidiary of Toyota called Woven Planet for half a billion dollars. Part of the reason for that, I'm sure, is it takes a lot of money to compete in the self-driving area. [00:09:53]Frankly, if Uber and Lyft can really focus on their core business, not mess around with all this other stuff. They might be able to beat GM Ford, Chrysler, et cetera at this game. [00:10:07] Uber, who was Lyft's main competitor, sold its self-driving business to a startup called Aurora back in December last year. Both of them had been working on these projects for four or five, six years; obviously things are going to change. [00:10:28] The self-driving vehicles are going to be on the roads starting next year. Ish. Ford's made some announcements, so has GM. We'll see ultimately what happens. Waymo, which is Google, of course, alphabet has a small taxi service in the Phoenix area. Nobody else is operating full driverless taxi services in the US yet. [00:10:54]Congratulations to Lyft and Uber for getting out of the self-driving business that not their business. [00:11:01] We see that more and more ransomware, not only is it way up but some police departments have gotten hit with it. [00:11:09] So, we'll tell you what's happening there. You're listening to Craig Peterson. It has been going up and up and hurting more and more people. In this case, we're going to talk about a police department. There's a briefing that the Boston field office of the FBI's giving on ransomware. If you are an infra guard member, FBI Infragard, I ran their training for a couple of years. [00:11:34] They've got another training. Coming up on ransomware and what's been happening out of the Boston field office, which covers all of New England. And I discovered and disclosed a huge hack. And it was the biggest one that the Boston field office said that they'd seen it. It was just absolutely incredible. [00:11:57] What had happened and businesses are just not. Paying attention. They're not paying attention; it isn't just businesses. It's also municipalities. It's counties, its state government, and it's the federal government of all of those. I got to say the federal government is trying the hardest, I think, to pay attention to the problem besides cybersecurity; of course, they take more money from us. [00:12:22] So they and Lee should have a better budget to do it with right. But there's a great little article this week in the newsletter. We usually get that on hold on Sunday morning, but this is by Dan Gordon. Over at ARS Technica. They will always have some great stuff, but some ransomware, bad guys have sand What they're calling stunning ultimatum to Washington. [00:12:50] DC's Metro Politan police department. The police department that handled the massive insurrection on January 6th. He said with his tongue firmly in his cheek, the guys that really know what they're doing down there, Washington DC. Ah, boy. So here's the ultimatum. Pay these ransomware guys $50 million, or they'll leak the identities of confidential informants to street gangs though, this group is called Bulk Locker, at least that's what they call themselves. [00:13:29] And they said on Monday that it had obtained 250 gigabytes worth of sensitive data after hacking. The metropolitan police department. Yeah, Washington DCS, metropolitan police department network. And this Babych site over on the dark web. When you go, there has dozens of images of what appeared to be legitimate, sensitive MPD. [00:13:58] Documents now these have been slightly blocked out so that people don't know what's going on. Exactly. So they've been It's anonymized. Let me put it that way, but it looks like these legit. I'm looking at some of them right now on the ARS Technica site. One screenshot shows a windows directory called disciplinary files. [00:14:24] Each of the 28 files shown lists a name and a check of four of the name shows. They all belong to Washington DC, metropolitan police department, officer's disciplinary actions, and looking at the dates on these files, they are from, they've all been modified anyways, within less well about the last year. [00:14:50] Give or take a little bit less. So that was just the first page of them, by the way. It looks like kids, the officers whose names start with a through E and a few apps, other images that are on, again, this Babych ransomware group's website on the dark web seemed to show persons of interests, names, and photos. [00:15:16] So they, these bad guys put up a screenshot of a folder named gang database, another chief's report lists of arrest and a document listing the name and address of at least one confidential informant. So it's got the date. It was entered, closed. The persons name, position, sex raised. Date of birth, social security number, mailing address, email phone number. [00:15:46] Yeah, the informant. Okay. So they said we advise now there's spelling errors in this. There are grammatical errors in this, which is expected. We advise you to contact us as soon as possible to prevent leakage. This is again on their dark web website. Quote, if no response is received within three days, we will start to contact gangs in order to drain the informant. [00:16:16] In other words, still let the gangs know who the squealers are. Her the informant within the gangs. Now this is classic. This next one. Just absolutely classic Washington. DC's. Public. This is again, metropolitan police departments, public information. Officer Hugh Carreyrou wrote in an email. We are aware of unauthorized access on our server while we determine the full impact and continue to review activity. [00:16:51] We have engaged the FBI to fully investigate this matter. So he didn't answer specific questions about what details, but here's the classic part of this. I bet you dollars per four donuts that they don't have the proper security in place. If you are a city or a County, you have rules which are called CJIS, which is the criminal justice. [00:17:18] I think information system rules for your securing. Of data and it has to do with the networks, how were they cannot be connected and can only be connected in certain ways and what you have to do. And you have to included in all of this log, everything. What do you want to bet they didn't log everything. [00:17:40] So they're calling in the FBI and we've done that too. We've done that when, again, we're not mandated reporters. If we see something suspicious, we call up the client, whether it's a city, a County, a state, a business, a DOD contractor or dentist's office. And we say, we found an indication or multiple usually indications of compromise, which means. [00:18:04] These things make it look like someone got into your systems. We then say this is not what we do here. This is a law enforcement issue, and we think that you should bring in the FBI and then they can talk to the FBI. We can work with the FBI to really figure things out. So the FBI can do the forensic work and make sure they capture everything needed to capture and how needed to be captured, et cetera, et cetera. [00:18:31]It's amazing. What's happening. But they are looking into this. I'm sure the FBI is involved most recently when we've had. Reports where we brought in law enforcement. We worked directly with the FBI, with their data security information, security team, James, and it's just amazing. People were not maintaining good cyber hygiene in this case, Washington DC, metropolitan police department. [00:19:03] Almost certainly. Was hacked by these hackers. They admit the MPD that they, something happened. I bet you, they don't know what happened. They probably broke these CJIS rules that every city, state and town and County has to comply with. It's absolutely amazing. And of course you remember now they've got this dual revenue model when it comes to ransomware. [00:19:32] Pay up now or pay up later, we will extort money from you either way. It's a, it's amazing. Amazing. Apparently this is a Russian group who knows who exactly it is. It's sponsored by the Russian government or not. We really don't know. [00:19:50]Cloud is a sensitive topic with me and it always has been it's hold, it holds a lot. Of promise. And the biggest promise to most businesses was, Hey, use cloud services, it'll save you money. And of course they have used cloud services and in some cases it's saved the money, frankly. [00:20:14] It's rare that it saves them money. It really depends on a lot of things, but if you using a service like Amazon's cloud services, and I'm speaking in generalities here, but it's probably going to cost you more than running your own server. Why do a lot of companies use cloud services? When it comes to general computing. [00:20:35] Now I understand. Why would you use Microsoft's? What does calls Microsoft three 60? It's because Microsoft is going to maintain it. They're going to patch it. I don't have to run a server. I don't have to worry about any of that stuff. Okay. I get that one. How about salesforce.com? I don't use Salesforce. [00:20:54] I use an alternative, but I can see why you'd want to use that. Unfortunately. In both cases, those services have been hacked and the company's data has been stolen. And you got to remember too, that you still bear responsibility for that lost or stolen data, even though you didn't lose or steal it. So keep that in mind, if you are a business now, when you are moving on to what are called containers, the whole world shifts. [00:21:25] Here's what's happening and been happening in computers over the last few years. There's something called containers. When I first heard about containers. I was thinking about these data centers that they put into shipping containers. And so you get a 20 foot or 40 foot shipping container, and all you do is plug in power and internet, and it's often running. [00:21:50] It has racks of computers inside that has all the cooling systems, all the power regulation systems, like while UPS's et cetera, it's got that fans in there to keep the air moving. It's got the tape drives to do the backups, all of this stuff. It's right there. So I that's how I always thought of containers. [00:22:11] That's not the case so much anymore. Those containers still exist. Some of them are used by Microsoft and Amazon still they'll throw containers into different areas, depending on usage. For instance, with the Olympics coming up, you can bet that there will be shipping containers. With huge data centers in them in order to...