[03-08-17] The WGAN Morning News
Joined Ken and Matt today to discuss what’s new with WikiLeaks, and could the CIA and NSA be spying on everyone. As tech giants such as Apple and Samsung keep user’s devices up to date with timely security patches, could this be enough to keep us safe? Or are we the target in the first place?
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Below is a rush transcript of this segment, it might contain errors.
Airing date: 03/08/2017
CIA Spy Tools on Wikileaks – Samsung TV Compromise
Ken Altshuler: And I believe Craig Peterson would join us and say how much we appreciate the CIA in case they’re listening.
Matt Gagnon: Just throwing that out.
Ken: Do you agree with that?
Matt: Are they not the best Americans among us?
Ken: Can you think of anybody who’d be more efficient or better than the CIA Craig? I mean really.
Craig Peterson: Or that cares more.
Craig: Obviously they care. Yeah, this whole I have to look at the treasure trove that came out of Wikileaks. And I went through some of the different pieces of software real quickly. The commentary about it. Descriptions about it. This is really, really a very big deal. I think you’re right to wanna talk about it.
Matt: Well let’s talk about it. I mean I got myself a, and I think you know, a Samsung Smart TV a month ago. Or two months ago. And little did I know that the CIA was going to be using that machine to spy on me and collect information on everything I am doing.
Craig: Yeah. It’s kind of scary here. You know, first of all, there’s no reason for us to think that the CIA is using these types of hacking tools that they have for your Samsung TV, that they have for your android device. You it’s been mentioned, the Apple iPads. There’s no reason to think that they are turning those on in every home in America. There’s ways to stop that data from getting out and back to the CIA if you’ve got your networks set up right. But they also have stuff in place to help prevent that. These tools that they’ve been using are primarily being used to go against people that are being actively monitored. Do you guys, did either of you watch The Good Wife? The TV show?
Matt: I actually have not watched it, but a lot of people recommended it to me.
Craig: Yeah. It was a good show. It’s off the air now. But there’s a follow on. One of their episodes, because they try to be very timely, one of their episodes went and talked a little bit about what the NSA was doing. What the CIA was doing. And it was interesting because they showed how what the monitoring people are doing is going 3 or sometimes even 4 people further. Kinda like Kevin Bacon, right? Everyone in Hollywood is within 5 degrees of Kevin Bacon. And pretty much everyone in the world is within 8 degrees of anyone else in the world. And the CIA monitors people actively within 3 degrees of someone that’s of interest. So, it’s interesting the NSA’s tools has already been released. You know, talking about security, right? The CIA’s tools now looks like they’re being released. Someone was asking about $800,000 just 3 weeks ago, for a copy of this types of tools here that our government’s using to spy on people. And they had them up on the dark web. I don’t know if it’s the same set of tools or not. But it’s really interesting. I think it’s gonna hurt us in a few ways.
First of all, people don’t patch their devices, right? I’m sure Ken and both of you guys with your Macs right? You install the patches all the time.
Matt: Of course. Absolutely. Every day.
Craig: Unless your phones have much the same things too. So, first off, when these types of tools are revealed, most vendors go right out and issue patches to make it so those tools just aren’t gonna work anymore. Because once they’re in the wild. Once they are released like this, the bad guys all have them, Iran, North Korea, all of those types of guys will have them. ISIS will have them. So you’ve got to patch and you got to patch quickly. Now, one of the big problems of android and my major complaint with android over the years is there is no one android. There’s over a thousand versions of it. Every device has a slightly different version of android coz of the device drivers that are in it. And android devices are not getting patched. They are incredibly vulnerable. I am much less worried about my iPad because I know now that these tools are exposed, Apple is going to fix those vulnerabilities in them and the bad guys aren’t gonna be using them as well as our government. So that’s one side.
The other side is what’s our government gonna use now to spy on people? Because it’s been exposed. You know our enemies are gonna be out there using these types of tools against us and against our government. So it goes right back to are these guys patriots? You know, Woodward and Bernstein way back Watergate days? They wouldn’t reveal sources. They published information that was private and secret. It was about a break in and the subsequent cover up, etc., etc. How about these guys? How about Snowden? Is he a hero for letting us know that the government was doing something that most people would consider an upfront to their sensitivities? Maybe. Many people I know consider it unconstitutional. Other people consider it illegal. Where’s the line here that maybe Wikileaks has crossed? I know our government’s very upset about Snowden. Upset about Wikileaks and what they’ve been doing over the years. This is a huge issue.
Ken: We’re talking to Craig Peterson. Our tech guru. By the way, you can Google http://CraigPeterson.com. Get his newsletter. Get his information on a regular basis. But I also heard that cars have been recording our conversations for years. Might he has been recording my phone calls?
Craig: Well you’re probably a little safer in your Kia. But yeah these tools that the NSA and the CIA has are being used to hack cars. But more than that, it’s been over 15 years now. Many of the devices in our cars such as GM has been using for years, right? You get in your GM car, you hit that OnStar button, and it connects you to an operator who can upload directions for you. They can connect you to a phone call. You can do a whole bunch of things. Voice commands and things now. Well, the police have been using, including by the way, again, NSA, CIA, have been using some of these interfaces now to go into the cars and they can turn on the microphone without you even knowing it’s on and listen in to a conversation. And so many of these cars have actually been recording the information to a black box. So that if there is an accident, they can recover what was being said and what’s going on inside the car.
So it’s incredible now to think about our privacy or the lack of it. And then, on top of that, I don’t know if you’re aware of it but with many of these new systems in cars, again, for more than 10 years, the police can stop your car while you’re driving it. They can track your car.
Matt: If I’m not mistaken, some of the CIA leak stuff had something about controlling cars remotely also. I mean…
Craig: Yes. Yeah.
Matt: I mean, how are they not assassinating people left and right by just, oh the brakes went out, you know.
Craig: Sure, drive them off the road.
Craig: Well you saw the journalist with the Jeep, right? About 4 or 5 months ago.
Craig: Where the hackers literally drove it off the road. Now we don’t know exactly what they’re doing with these tools, right? Maybe they are driving them off the road. You know. They’re definitely being tracked. I remember when OnStar came out, it was during the Bush Administration. And the Secret Service had it completely ripped out of the vehicles because they didn’t want GM being able to track where the president was and where his entourage was. And so, you know driving your Kia that has that kind of stuff in there, Ken. You might be a little concerned. Give a call to the Secret Service, they can probably help you out.
Ken: Time for me to get a Porsche I think.
Craig: That will solve a lot of problems.
Matt: Let’s turn our attention briefly with the minutes we have left with Craig to something a little bit less disturbing and things that definitely won’t frighten me as I go to sleep tonight. Robocop.
Craig: Ah yes.
Matt: Robocop is going to exist.
Matt: It’s going to be shooting indiscriminately around the city of Detroit, right? Murdering people in the name of justice, right?
Craig: With the ED 209 exactly. Yeah, Officer Murphy, now this is interesting because Taser, you know Taser?
Matt: Oh I know Taser.
Craig: Have you ever had training to get hit by a taser before?
Matt: I have not volunteered for such training, no.
Craig: Ok. I’ve been hit by taser. But the Taser Company has moved from these non-lethal weapons for police officers to body cams. In fact, they’re the number 1 provider of body cams to police organizations. So they bought 2 artificial intelligence companies. They’re integrating that technology into these body cams now. So that it will automatically identify people, vehicles, other structures so it can be used later on by police for review. And they’re moving towards, remember Google Glass?
Matt: Yes sir.
Craig: Where you could watch right? Well think of Officer Murphy in Robocop with his heads up display that ultimately where this leads is you’ll be able to identify threats with just the technology from the artificial intelligence that’s sitting right there on his chest or maybe helmet. You know, lapels, or where ever it might be. And again. Think of a heads up display of Robocop. That sort of technology identifying people by their faces, identifying aggressive behavior, identifying vehicles, all of that information flowing in being processed and being available for the police officers.
Ken: Craig Peterson, our tech guru, joins us every Wednesdays at 7:38. Thank you for joining us. Thank you for joining us in thanking the CIA for their long years of service. Fine Americans. And we’ll talk to you next week Craig.
Craig: Take care guys. Thanks. Bye-bye.