On This Episode…

Joining Ken and Matt on another WGAN feature, to learn more about why you are getting so much spam emails. 

More tech news and updates over at CraigPeterson.com.


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Below is a rush transcript of this segment, it might contain errors.


Airing date: 09/06/2017

This is why you’re getting so much Spam – Imran Awan Still had Access to Classified Information – Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation



Matt Gagnon: 7:38 in the WGAN Morning News with Ken and Matt. And we are joined as we are at this time every Wednesday by Craig Peterson, our tech guru. He joins us to talk about all things technology. How are you doing, Craig?


Craig Peterson: Hey good morning. Doing really well.

Ken Altshuler: I would normally ask you a question about politics but since your preview of issues talks about why I’m getting so much spam, can you tell me why am I getting so much spam all of a sudden?


Craig: Oh it’s politics with the Democrats.


Matt: Well, I mean, it kind of goes without saying. Doesn’t it?


Craig: Yeah. Wow. Spam has been really bad. You know, we talked a couple of weeks ago about the problem we’ve been having with our phones and getting some of these nasty calls. And there are some ways to deal with those we talked about, of course, in the show. But when we’re talking about spam, it’s a problem we’ve had for years. You know, I’ve been on the internet myself since about 1981. And of course it wasn’t called the internet back then. But I remember the very first piece of spam and what was happening back then. And it was to enforce this unwritten rules on the internet. So, for instance, you never ever advertise anything or promoted anything on the internet because that was actually illegal back at the time. And if you went and said, in fact, I think the very first spam was because a guy had sent out an invite to people on the internet that said hey, come to my forum. And people got upset. So what did they do? They sent the script for that Monty Python routine. Spam. Spam and eggs. Spam and ham. Spam and… And so you would get, of you did something that people didn’t like, you would get hundreds of copies of the Monty Python gag script in your mailbox. So you knew that you’d been spammed. Ok. People didn’t like what I did. That’s back in the day. And it was pretty rare. I think that I got spammed once or twice because people didn’t like what I was saying and the internet was a much different place.


Today, we’re getting spammed. And I mean crazy amounts of spam. There was just this week in Paris. A security researcher who came across 711 million email addresses. Millions of hacked passwords. And this is all on what’s called the dark web. So they’ve been sharing all of these things. In fact, right now, there are more email addresses on the dark web that are available for spammers to use than there are people in the world. Many of those addresses obviously are not working anymore. Some of them were fake addresses. For years, I’ve been putting out fake addresses so I know if something comes to that account it is spam. And then I use software to match against that.


But those types of sites and places, these caches, have been the problem. And some of them now have been shut down. Now there’s a way to go ahead and find out if your email address, if your password are out there on the dark web. And this is a very, very big thing. I, just this week, ran some of my customers’ email addresses through the dark web to see if they had been breached. Because remember, the TGX hack, the Home Depot hack, it kind of goes on and on, all of these different hacks ended up somewhere. And I found that everyone of my customers, and some of my employees’ email addresses and even passwords were out in the dark web. So if anybody wants to find out, they can contact me about their email addresses, I’ll do this for free, I’m not going to charge anything, to see if your email addresses are on the dark web. If your passwords might be out there. How they were breached? When they were breached?


But this treasure trove of 711 million email addresses, many of which had passwords, was exposed. I don’t know what the right answer is other than make your passwords are changed. This is going to continue. It’s only going to get worse. I hate saying that, right? But these breaches occur and ends up out there. It’s crazy.


Matt: We are talking to Craig Peterson, our tech guru, who joins us every Wednesday at this time to give us an eye on technology. And Craig, I got to ask you. Since Ken did not ask you about politics, I will. So Debbie Wasserman Schultz, this IT thing and her IT staffer that was banned from the House network, is still, it’s like there’s more stuff coming out about this all the time. Tell us what the latest is.


Craig: Yeah. It’s crazy. This former aide to, of course, the head of the DNC, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, congresswoman from Florida. This aide, Imran Awan is his name, he still as of this week had access to House accounts. Now this is of course Congress, the House. He was responsible for 30 different congress people’s email accounts and computers and data and servers and files. Now, earlier this year, in February. In fact, right in the beginning of February, his main account was shut down. Of course, as you know, Debbie Wasserman Schultz continued to pay him triple the going rate in Washington, DC. But now we found is that there was a second account that this guy had. And it was 123@mail.house.gov. Now he had access through his accounts to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. He had access to the Homeland Security Committees. The list goes on and on here. It’s crazy. And the fact that he did not have his second account removed tells you a lot about what’s going on here. The first thing you should do as a business when someone leaves is get rid of all of their accounts. That means you have to have a list of their accounts. Obviously, the House Democrats did not have that list. And I suspect it’s kind of the House in general here. But you know, first thing we do when we come in to a business is make sure everything’s backed up. Make sure those backups are good. Make sure the systems are patched up. And then the very next thing is have, all of your former employees, are their accounts gone? Because you have to delete them. And it looks like Imran’s accounts were not deleted. So February 2nd, he lost access to all the House computers. Just this last month when he was arrested while fleeing the country, he, finally, was fired by Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Now we found out apparently, he still had an account out there.


Ken: We’re talking with Craig Peterson, our tech guru. He joins us every Wednesday at 7:38. You know, Craig, my wife is a therapist and she tells me that, you know, we talk a lot about her clients who say their children or, you know, their lives have been changed by technology. And you know, she says that the way kids communicate now is not like we communicated when we were growing up. I used to call my friends on the phone. Now, kids really stay in the room and live on their iPhones. That’s really kind of changing that old generation.


Matt: And not for the better.


Craig: Yeah. You’re right. Not for the better. You know when we were kids, our parents said Ken, our parents said, kids these days. Right? And I’m sure Matt, same thing with you. So, I know a lot of people would think, well, it just it’s always been this way, right? Kids graduating from school, they always wanted to start out at $80,000 a year in a job when they have no practical experience, right? And they’ve always been that way. No. No. Things are really bad. And Ken, your wife is pointing out something that I’ve spoken to a number of therapists, psychiatrists, psychologists on my radio show, talking about. These smartphones, these devices they’re using give the impression that they’re communicating. They give the impression that people using them are part of a bigger social circle. In reality, they’re not. And they don’t know it. But it’s been creeping up in age too. It’s not just the kids that can’t communicate, that can’t have a disagreement. Look at some of the violence that’s happening today. You and I can have a disagreement. We can talk about it. We can maybe end up saying we’ll agree to disagree. They can’t do that. They’re getting more polarized. Less able to communicate with human beings. They’re less able to hold down jobs. Now this isn’t everyone, but this is the majority of them. There are some amazing millennials out there. And the generation behind them looks absolutely outstanding. But we’ve got to watch the technology. We can’t be giving it to the young kids. You can still buy those flip phones parents, those phones that were popular 15, 20 years ago. That style is still available. You don’t have to get them a smartphone to be able to have them reach out to you when they’re done at school. Reach out to you when they’re at a friend’s house. I got a little watch-type phone for my granddaughter that allows us to track where she’s at. She can press a button to call her mom or her grandparents. No one can call her except our family members. And she uses it to stay in touch when she has to stay in touch, because we don’t want her getting into that trap. It’s a very dangerous trap.


Matt: Alright. Craig Peterson, our tech guru, joins us at this time every Wednesday. Thanks a lot Craig. We really appreciate you joining us. And we will talk to you next week.


Craig: Hey, gentlemen, take care. Have a great day.


Ken: Thanks Craig. Appreciate it.


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