AS HEARD ON: WGAN – Major iPhone Vulnerability – Business iPhone Cracks – Bill Gates Bitcoin Kills – Billion IDs Stolen: AS HEARD ON – The WGAN Morning News [03-07-18]
On This Episode…
Are you familiar with the term Bootstrap Loader? Listen in as Craig and Matt discuss the significance of it and what it means to anyone who has an iPhone.
Can cryptocurrency kill? Craig, John, and Matt have some fun discussing why Bill Gates thinks just that.
Did Equifax hide the true number of identities compromised? Matt and Craig look into just how many identities were compromised.
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Below is a rush transcript of this segment, it might contain errors.
Airing date: 03/07/2018
Major iPhone Vulnerability – Business iPhone Cracks – Bill Gates Bitcoin Kills – Billion IDs Stolen
Matt Gagnon: [00:00:00] It’s Wednesday. And Wednesdays at 7:38. We are honored to talk to Craig Peterson our tech guru who joins us at this time every Wednesday. How are you Craig?
Craig Peterson: [00:00:08] Hey. Good. Something very strange is happening in the universe right now. I’m in Buffalo, New York and back home in Maine. We’re getting more snow than I’m going to get here at Buffalo at the client site. So it’s kind of nice to not get nailed with snow. I’m going to miss the storm of the century.
Matt: [00:00:26] You’re going to miss the storm of the century? Well, I will not. I will not miss the storm of the century. I will be here. John Richardson is trying to fly out right at the tail end of the storm of the century so I don’t think he’ll miss it either so.
John Richardson: [00:00:37] Thursday. 5 o’clock.
Matt: [00:00:39] Thursday 5 o’clock. Should be a good time.
Craig: [00:00:42] Cutting it close. I don’t know.
Matt: [00:00:43] Yeah. I think that’s enough time, right?
John: [00:00:46] I think I’ll be OK.
Matt: [00:00:47] The morning would be I think impossible for you. But yeah the afternoon or evening I think it better. So Craig, tell me. Can the federal government unlock my phone that I just bought Saturday?
Craig: [00:00:57] Now what did you buy? You didn’t get another Android didn’t you?
Matt: [00:01:00] I did. I did. I got I got the Galaxy Note 8 and I love it. It’s fabulous. Now I’m not in the cult, Craig. You’re not going to make me a cult member. I have my Apple laptop because it justifies that. But yeah. I’m a devotee of Samsung.
Craig: [00:01:17] Yeah. I get it. I get it. But here’s the big problem now. You asked about unlocking your phone. If you have an android phone the answer is almost absolutely almost anyone in the known universe can unlock it. So how’s that, Matt?
Matt: [00:01:30] It’s fine. I’m cool with that. It’s fine.
Craig: [00:01:31] If you have an iPhone here’s the problem.
John: [00:01:34] Is that including his wife too?
Craig: [00:01:35] I don’t know. I don’t know.
Matt: [00:01:37] This has facial recognition of man. I’m looking at my phone and it unlocks.
Craig: [00:01:42] Well it’s scared. What do you expect? That’s why you’re on radio Matt.
Matt: [00:01:47] I got a face for radio. It’s always true.
Craig: [00:01:50] So here’s the trick. We had, just a few weeks ago, a problem and, well we didn’t. Apple did. And one of their engineers had posted the source code for basically the bootstrap loader. If you’re familiar with computers you know when you first turn it on the BIOS started booting, remember back in the day? That’s kind of the bootstrap loader. That’s the first stage of the boot and then that loads the operating system and we all get too complicated here. But the code for the iPhone that does that initial boot, that initial load was released. The software. The source code. Now this is something that Apple has encrypted on your phone to make it very hard for people to figure out because once you know exactly how all the hardware is initialized, and how all the hardware works, you have a much better opportunity to hack the device. So now we have an Israeli company that our friends in the federal government have been using as well as businesses for quite a while to hack into pretty much every device that’s ever been made. They sent out an e-mail to their customers saying they can now crack and hack into pretty much any iPhone that’s ever been made. So those two instances, the hey, we can crack anything, and the fact that Apple’s bootstrap loader code was released probably mean that not only can the Fed get into iPhones now but probably almost anyone can.
And if you’re an employer for instance, and I’ve had a couple of clients with this problem, an employer who has issued iPhones to their workers. And then the worker leaves and says forget it. I’m not telling you the code. And it was under the control of that end user. But the employer wants to get data out of it. You can get that data out to this same company for about fifteen hundred dollars. We’ll go ahead and crack into business iPhones as well. But now it’s kind of bad news because Apple’s been so well known for trying to keep all of the data safe for all of its users. But this is really kind of a big deal now frankly. It’s kind of scary. Because not only you know the feds are one thing right. Hopefully they get a legitimate warrant but how about the bad guys? How about the Putins of the world? How about the Chinese that are known for stealing laptops for business people to go over to China cracking into them in order to get an intellectual property secrets? That’s where I really start to get worried. And frankly Matt, your wife right. She’s going to get right in that Samsung Galaxy 8 of yours.
Matt: [00:04:27] I know. That’s the worst possible scenario that can happen.
John: [00:04:31] It is very, very, very scary.
Matt: [00:04:32] We are talking to Craig Peterson. He’s our tech guru. Joins us at Wednesdays at 7:38. And has my bitcoin that I bought for a penny and is now worth sixteen thousand dollars or whatever is worth these days, is that murdering people that I don’t know?
John: [00:04:49] Bill Gates seems to think so.
Matt: [00:04:51] I mean my bitcoin killed someone?
Craig: [00:04:51] Well it’s kind of like guns. They jump off of tables and kill people.
Matt: [00:04:55] I’ve heard that.
Craig: [00:04:59] Yeah. But here’s what’s going on. This Bill Gates thing is really kind of interesting because once again he seems to be kind of misinformed but he’s not entirely wrong. Bill Gates came out on Reddit which is a big kind of a bulletin board online. And he said that the main features of crypto currencies such as your bitcoin is their anonymity. Now basically he’s saying listen you use these things because no one can find out who you are. And you can launder money, you can avoid taxes, you can fund terrorists. You can do all these things with the cryptocurrency. So first off Bill is wrong. They are not anonymous. They do offer a certain level of anonymity and I’ve attended FBI briefings on cases where the FBI has gone after people and has lied about who they are even though they were exclusively using bitcoin these crypto currencies. So they’re not anonymous but the other part that’s an interesting part is that in fact there have been deaths linked to crypto currencies. But it is somewhat indirect. It’s bad guys buying Fentanyl using Bitcoin or other crypto currencies. And if you think about the bad guys. And again another really interesting briefing. How can they trust each other? Right. What’s the saying? There’s no honor among thieves. You guys heard that before.
Matt: [00:06:29] I’ve heard that before. Yes.
Craig: [00:06:31] And so since there’s no honor among thieves. How do they know that, first of all, that they’re not going to get robbed as they carry cash to buy the drugs? If they decide to exchange diamonds for instance for drugs, how do they know that those diamonds are mixed in with cubic zirconia? Or it goes on and on. They don’t trust each other it’s very difficult. But when you’re using crypto currencies there is a known value and that value is something that they can exchange across borders. You don’t have to turn U.S. dollars into rubles or anything like that. So what Bill Gates is saying here is you know this particular method of exchanging value the crypto currencies is something that makes it far easier for criminals to do their dirty deeds. And because of that deeds people are dying. What was that?
Matt: [00:07:25] I said deeds done sheep.
Craig: [00:07:28] Yeah exactly. There’s no way around it. Bad guys have always been able to pay for bad things right.
Matt: [00:07:34] No kidding. I mean if you’re in a criminal enterprise I think that’s the least of your concerns right now. So let’s turn our attention to everybody getting their identities stolen. You know if I was, if I had my identity stolen in the last year or so apparently I have good company with about a billion other people. Is that true?
Craig: [00:07:52] It kind of turns out that way. Yeah. Who cares right? Yeah. We just found out we have good company. We just found out that the big Equifax hack was bigger than we thought as a few hundred million people’s identities being stolen throughout North America and Europe isn’t the bigger deal. It’s happening. But yeah we’re talking about billions of people worldwide. Over a billion identities stolen. This is really sad because it meant your identity is worth somewhere between five dollars and twenty dollars on the black market and that price keeps going down because of availability.
Matt: [00:08:38] I’m only worth 20 dollars? That’s all? Come on.
Craig: [00:08:39] At most, Matt. Well if you only have the Galaxy.
Matt: [00:08:41] I know. So I guess that puts down the price for sure.
Craig: [00:08:43] It does. But for you to recover your good credit rating to get your money back in the bank et cetera, et cetera, is going to cost you hundreds of hours and potentially thousands of dollars tied up. So you can’t pay your rent. You can’t make your car payment. You can’t pay for your phone bill. Et cetera. Et cetera. Because the money’s been stolen from your account. Now you have to fight to get it back. So checks start bouncing and all that sort of stuff. I know millennials don’t know what cheques are but it’s just ancient, old timey instrument for paying things
Matt: [00:09:21] Matey, we had cheques.
Craig: [00:09:22] Exactly. So it’s you know this is a real problem. Businesses have to pull up their socks. Consumers have to take responsibility for their identity for keeping track of it. For seeing if it’s been stolen and make this all work. You know government’s been trying to figure out what rules, regulations, laws can be passed. And Europe has some huge regulations going into effect here in the next month or so that are going to make a big deal difference. If you’re an American company and you sell anything in Europe even if it’s online somebody buying it from you online you will have incredible civil liability. Fines are going to start flying this year so everybody pull up your socks. Just because you made some good company doesn’t mean that in the very near future you as a business person aren’t going to have some extreme liability for having your data stolen.
Matt: [00:10:21] All right. Craig Peterson our tech guru as always joins us on Wednesdays at 7:38. Appreciate you joining us once again. Craig we’ll talk to you next week.
Craig : [00:10:28] Hey take care guys. Bye- bye.
Matt: [00:10:08] Thanks a lot. Appreciate it.
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