[03-15-17] The WGAN Morning News
How much more for consumer-level, and home users who are migrating their appliances to smart devices, now that even your microwaves can be a way to hack into your private lives.
- CIA Leaks Unsurprisingly Show The Internet Of Broken Things Is A Spy’s Best Friend
- The CIA Didn’t Break Signal or WhatsApp, Despite What You’ve Heard
- CIA Leak Shows Mobile Phones Vulnerable, Not Encryption
- Apple says it’s working to fix security holes revealed by the WikiLeaks release of CIA documents
- Google says it fixed a lot of the security holes the CIA exploited
- More stories and tech updates
- Don’t miss an episode from Craig. Subscribe and give us a rating
- Follow me on Twitter for the latest in tech
Below is a rush transcript of this segment, it might contain errors.
Airing date: 03/15/2017
How the CIA Dump is Affecting Normal People – Even Their Microwaves
Craig Peterson: Craig Peterson here. I was heard throughout the state of Maine this morning on TuneIn Radio, also Portland Radio Group of course. And I spoke with Matt and Jeremy about the personal impact that the CIA document dump is having on them. So we’re gonna talk about that here and how it might actually be affecting you too. Here we go.
Matt Gagnon: We have Jeremy Fisher here filling in for Ken this morning. How are you doing this morning sir?
Jeremy Fisher: I’m doing great. Can’t wait to talk to Craig Peterson.
Matt: Well, good segue because we have Craig Peterson on the phone now as he is every Wednesday at 7:38 to give us an eye on technology. Craig, how are you this morning?
Craig: Hey, I’m doing great? How about you guys?
Matt: Oh we’re alright. We made it out of the snowstorm so… we’re alive.
Craig: Out of the snowstorm is a good thing. I managed too. We got, in my house, we probably got about 18 inches I think. Maybe a little bit more. So it’s not so bad. I thought this is supposed to be a world-ending snowstorm.
Matt: Every snowstorm is a world-ending snowstorm when you watch the news.
Jeremy: It’s all armageddon. Storm of the century.
Matt: So let’s talk about things non-storm related. Coz we have hit that topic a few times this morning. Technology and technology-related things. The first thing I wanna talk about, and I know Jeremy has a question burning in his mind so I’m gonna step on it.
Jeremy: I’m on fire over here.
Matt: He’s on fire, en fuego as they say. But I do wanna talk about the FBI director saying that there’s no such thing as absolute privacy in America. Is there anything? Any such thing as absolute privacy in America? Is the Unabomber living in the woods somewhere?
Craig: Well, you kinda have a right if that’s what you really want. If you really want privacy. Yeah, I’ve been saying this for years. And now we found out, for instance, televisions. You guys, do you have smart TVs at your house?
Matt: I do.
Jeremy: I don’t because I’m a cheapskate unlike Matt.
Matt: They’re not expensive.
Jeremy: They are expensive. Go ahead Craig.
Craig: Yeah. They’re not expensive anymore.
Matt: They’re not.
Craig: No. You can get a smart TV for a couple hundred bucks but you heard what happened with the Vizio TVs right? What they were doing?
Matt: I guess I did not hear that one. Now go ahead and clue me in on that one Craig. I knew the CIA was spying on my Samsung TV.
Craig: Yeah. Well Vizio was spying on everyone. You see, they’re using techniques now and technology for marketing. So what happened? Vizio ended up paying a fine. And most people didn’t really hear about it. They didn’t cover it and I don’t know if it’s because it’s happening so much nobody cares anymore, right? But they have a camera on the TV, just like you were talking about the Samsung. They have a microphone on the TV. And so marketers really want to know who’s watching TV? What are they paying attention to? So, why not? What some of these companies are doing is they’re using that TV now, to look at all the faces that are in the room. Identify the people, now not like this is Jeremy Fisher type identified, but this male is in the room again. And when are they paying attention? You know, what part of the 3rd Rock from the Sun did they turn their face away from?
Matt: 3rd Rock from the Sun is the most recent TV show that you can come up with?
Craig: An older show…
Jeremy: He’s watching that last night.
Matt: And Joseph Gordon-Levitt when he was like ten?
Craig: That was after Elf, right? 3rd Rock?
Jeremy: I have never heard of Elf.
Matt: Yes, Elf is great.
Craig: So, that’s a marketer’s dream. Well what was happening with Vizio is they were taking all of the information that the TV could gather and were sending it back to Korea so that they could use it. And then they were selling it to marketers. So, when did you change the channel? How long were you on this channel? They weren’t doing the face analysis thing. But that’s the sort of thing that has been happening already. So to find out that our friends at the CIA have been out there trying to get…
Matt: Our good friends who we have a lot of respect for.
Jeremy: And we would never say anything bad about.
Craig: Well, yeah. It makes it interesting. Now I got to tell you, there’s a huge difference here, between what we found out so far. And remember, we’re only seeing less than 1% of apparently what’s going to be released by Wikileaks on the CIA. But the difference between the CIA and the NSA is the size of the net. The NSA is out there capturing everything, recording everything. Keeping it forever. And here’s what we can tell right? And that’s based on the Snowden information that was also leaked. But the CIA’s tools appear to be for going after an individual person. So we really want to keep tabs on Ken while he’s on vacation, right? So what we do, we now go and we hack his Samsung TV, we hack his phone, etcetera, etcetera.
So the CIA is kinda like for spear phishing, which is another term we use in security, whereas the NSA is just some really broad net. Although they seem to be making the holes in that net smaller and smaller and catching everything that’s out there. So, yes.
Jeremy: What about on the NSA Side? On the NSA side they’re doing bulk data collection. So they’re collecting all the data. But then they’re filtering it away so that they are looking for something specific linkages between information that they see. I think that’s what you mean. I think what concerns me, the CIA stuff and you know, the private companies spying. I mean, I have just as big of a problem.
Matt: You know your pho e does it, right?
Jeremy: Correct. And my phone can be a microphone. It can be a camera. It can record what I’m doing. That’s what really gets me. I mean, I don’t want the government collecting things about me either but I especially don’t want people who I buy things from, who I paid money to to get that device being able to get information about me and spy on me.
Craig: Well if you look at this from the big picture, what I get concerned about is what’s generically called big data. And the government’s been using it for a long time. Jeremy You just mentioned, for instance, the CIA historically has been approached by the FBI for instance, saying, hey listen. We’ve got an interest in this case. Give us everything you have about this person and their associates. What they’ve been doing? Who they’ve been calling? Etcetera. And so they’ll go through the various mechanisms and get that information for them. The CIA will give it to the FBI to help with their investigation. Big data is really what the CIA is doing. They’ve got information from all of these disparate sources. They put them together in a big pot, and they’ve been able to cook up exactly what the FBI asked for. Well the bad guys are now into big data as well. So you mentioned all of these private companies keeping information about you. And putting it all together, that’s big data. And the bad guys are going after it now. And they’re doing all kinds of attacks to try and get your personal information. They’d love to know Jeremy, when you’re going on vacation. When Ken’s leaving town? So they can then sell it to someone who’s gonna then break into your home. But even more so, what they’re after that information, let’s say that one of you guys has personnel that are there in the office. There is a hack that was done through social engineering, through big data where they were able to go just using the information that was available publicly on Facebook etcetera. And takes a little too long to explain, but they were able to steal $43 million from one company in about a week. And the money was out of the United States in 90 seconds.
So that’s a real big deal too. So yeah. You’re right. We’ve got, you know, problems, right, left and center today. And I’ve taken to calling this the internet of broken things. You know, ultimately, do you know, you guys have Levi’s right? You must have Levi’s Jeans, right?
Matt: They’re not technically Levi’s, they’re another form of jeans but…
Craig: Sure. Sure, ok.
Matt: I have a pair of jeans that I wear. That’s about the limit of my knowledge. I bought a pair of jeans.
Craig: My wife lays out. It’s what we wear, right? So, Levi’s this fall is coming with a new jacket. And you’ve seen of course their trucker jackets before. And this jacket has built into it, into the fabric of the jacket, it has Bluetooth built into it. And it has special threads on the sleeves. So depending on the direction and how you touch the sleeves, the jacket will tell you the weather, the time, or just a whole bunch of information. Well since when does Levi’s have people who are working on security, on network security, right? When was the last time you upgraded the firmware in your lightbulb that’s connected to your network for remote control? When was the last time you upgraded the firmware in your Samsung TV, right? We just don’t do those things. And the companies that are designing these products just don’t have the expertise.
So the CIA, the NSA, the Russians, the Iranians, you name it, have been having a field day because all of these stuff is badly broken. It’s all hackable. So that’s what we’ve been finding out from the CIA, from this leak, we’re gonna find out obviously a lot more in the weeks ahead. But Apple, Google both have said they’ve fixed some of these security holes already, and they’re working to fix them all. So, gentlemen, if I have one thing to tell everybody, it’s make sure you patch your devices, your computers, your smartphones, etcetera. Take the security updates. Make sure they’re applied. Go through all of that pain because as Jeremy was saying, companies are getting this information. It is being stolen. It is being used by the bad guys. And one of the reasons I don’t like the NSA catching everything is it’s such a huge target for the bad guys to go after. What happens when they get their hands on all of these data? It’s not like we’ve had data that’s leaked out of the CIA or the NSA or the FBI, right? Oh wait a minute. They’ve all been hacked.
Jeremy: We’re talking with Craig Peterson, our tech guru who joins us Wednesdays at this time to talk technology here. Matt, I know you have a question about…
Jeremy: Microwaves. Coz I mean…
Matt: This is our last question so I’ll let you ask it sir.
Jeremy: I mean it’s the same thing though. It’s just I don’t know if any of these things are true or not. Matt obviously believes that they are. But Craig, I mean, you know, the ability to spy through crazy things. Like I get TVs, smart TVs or phones coz they have a camera on them. What’s the story about, you know, the Obama Administration spying on people through their microwaves?
Craig: Well there ovens out there that are internet connected. And they…
Jeremy: A tweeting microwave?
Craig: Tweeting, exactly. Well your refrigerator does that too.
Jeremy: You have eaten too many burritos today.
Craig: Yeah. And out at CES, I saw some of these kitchen appliances that are hooked up to the internet. And again, infinitely hackable. We have an internet of broken things. Somehow, we’ve got to fix these. I don’t know how we’re gonna fix it. Because if it’s got a wire on it, it ultimately it can be hacked. And if it’s connected to the internet via your Wi-Fi or otherwise, you really have serious problems. We had a major problem just right next door, Manchester, New Hampshire last fall. Because security cameras were being used to hack a company that provided backbone, if you will, services for much of the internet. And the internet went down for about a day, right? We got to get this under control gentlemen, and it all starts with us. If you’re business person and you have something, a product you’re designing that you’re getting out to the internet, make sure it’s reasonably secure. Make sure it’s easy for people to update. Even better, have it set up so it can self-update. But yeah, your microwave, you’re absolutely right Jeremy, can spy on you. Depending on what it is, right?
Matt: Craig Peterson our tech guru joining us as he does every Wednesday at this time. Thanks so much sir for joining us and giving us this update. We will talk to you again next week.
Craig: Gentlemen, take care.
Craig: And of course, if you like even more, go to my website, http://CraigPeterson.com. You’ll find podcasts there. All kinds of articles. Of course, everything we have mentioned today, I have posted out there. http://CraigPeterson.com. Take care. Talk to you later.