Craig Peterson here. I was on with Chris Ryan on NH Today. We talked about some of the misguided legislation being pushed by Amy Klobacher regarding big tech with her regulatory solution to anti-trust.  Then we got into Facial recognition and expose.ai. Here we go with Chris. 

These and more tech tips, news, and updates visit.

– CraigPeterson.com


Automated Machine Generated Transcript:

Craig Peterson: [00:00:00] We would be tossed back to 1800 with no electricity, no computers for months and years in some locations. 

Hey, another week, another dollar. Hi everybody.  We got in this morning to this problem Ford, another car manufacturers’ are having it isn’t just these video game manufacturers. Like I talked about over the weekend on my show and we also got into the security of our infrastructure and all of that with Mr. Chris, Ryan. So here we go.

Chris Ryan: [00:00:35] I mean, he is Craig Peterson, Craig, how are you? 

Craig Peterson: [00:00:38] Hey, good morning. Doing well, 

Chris Ryan: [00:00:40] A couple of things we want to get to with you today.  I want to talk a little about our grid and the security of our grid and how technology plays into that because this has been one of my major concerns for a period of time. Whether it’s the breach, a breach water plant which took place recently in Florida had their computer system potentially exposed to a hazardous breach last week. Whether it’s our overall technology infrastructure, our lights, our emergency response,  our electricity all tied into the grid. What is your general sense about the safety of our infrastructure? 

Craig Peterson: [00:01:19] Well, I’m not very happy with it, frankly, all the way across the board. You might know that I ran for the FBI, their InfraGard program which is for protecting our infrastructure, I ran webinars for about two years. Trying to help businesses, government and organizations, NGOs, et cetera understand the risks involved here. 

One of the really big risks we’re seeing with some of this infrastructure, including in this case as water plant is that we have these computer-controlled systems are called SCADA systems and they are designed to allow you in the plant to open this valve close, close that valve, spin up the centrifuge,  which is how we destroyed a third of the Iranian centrifuges.

These type’s of systems security is an afterthought. They’ve been in now for a few decades. You look at this breached water plant down in Florida, that you mentioned, this was a simple mistake that should never have been made. 

What they did is they were using team viewer, because everybody has to work from home now and they did not set everything up properly at all. Nobody really thought it through. There were no security experts because security expertise is a very narrow field that really a regular IT person is not qualified for. They set it up incorrectly. They shared passwords.  A third party got onto the control computer, which had again the screen-sharing software so you can work from home and increased the amount of lye going into the system by about a hundredfold. 

Okay. Now the good news is. Somebody else at home who was working at the plant, who was also attached to this computer, noticed the change before anyone got sick or died because of what happened to the water treatment plant.

These sorts of things are happening, not just in a smaller city, like what happened in this particular case but our electrical grid. There’s a lot of studies out that show that’s why we lost power back in 2004 in the Northeast. It was a probe that was being conducted by most likely the Russians. It could have been the Chinese. Chris the bottom line is I’m not happy with the state of cybersecurity with our infrastructure. 

We could be in serious trouble. I don’t know how far I should go with this, but we look at our electrical grid. We have these super transformers. If you will. There’s only about half a dozen of them countrywide. We lose one of those. They have to be manufactured from scratch. Right? Overseas. We can’t even make them here anymore. 

If we had an electromagnetic pulse or even a massive solar storm like we have had before. We had the Carrington event, about 150 years ago, we would be tossed back to 1800 with no electricity, no computers for months and years in some locations.

Chris Ryan: [00:04:26] Yeah. If you’d asked me five or 10 years ago, what our biggest security concerns were. One would be a pandemic. The second would be our overall grid and technology infrastructure. It was getting built up without the appropriate safeguards. We continue to pile dollars, upon dollars, upon dollars into traditional defense mechanisms and that infrastructure, i.e., aircraft carriers, planes, missile defense, and those types of things. The proportional threat from cyber and from a pandemic has been significant for a period of time and really goes on. We continue to focus dollar after dollar after dollar on a traditional military defense. It’s really maddening. 

Craig Peterson: [00:05:14] Yeah, I have to agree with that. It’s very upsetting. This is not that hard to do but our businesses aren’t doing it.

Of course, the government isn’t doing it.  It has to be done because if you get right down to it, it’s simple enough to bring our economy to its knees. If they’re able to infiltrate.  Look at what happened with Rep. Swallwell out of California. Look at what happened with both of their senior senators. Over the years, in all three cases, they had Chinese plants that were either their body people working with them, maybe doing some other things with the body. Now they had access to information. 

What would happen if somebody was involved with, let’s say wall street, maybe they had access to some of these things inside of wall street. They got in just like with, this water plant, and they had access to a computer they were able to take it over, bring down just destroy wall street, even if they only knock it out for a few days, it would be a huge impact on our economy. 

Chris Ryan: [00:06:20] One more thing, before we let you go. The Biden administration has pledged to take immediate action to address a global shortage of semiconductors that has forced the closure of several us car plants. This is due to a global chip shortage. 

They have said, they’re gonna take immediate action, but they have made it unclear as to what exactly that action is, other than engaging in conversation about what to do, in regards to the shortage of chips as a result of the amount of demand that there has been for the for these chips. 

We are now behind. In being able to address it and be able to provide the chips for these car makers. What’s your take on that and how does it get solved? 

 It goes back to China.  It’s being reported that as a result of the US sanctions on China that we are unable to get the chips. That kind of also, brokes the question of, do we want to have Chinese chips in all of our vehicles and electronics, et cetera. 

Craig Peterson: [00:07:17] That’s a big deal.  We’ve got all of the major manufacturers, Ford cutting production at Chicago’s facility from three shifts down to one. Cause they can’t get the chips.  They, of course, blaming it on the Trump administration, makes sense, right. It’s the predecessor’s fault. Always is. Doesn’t matter who you are. 

 In reality, what happened here is there was a complete miscomputation of our need for chips based on the lockdown worldwide so they stopped making them. There are of course companies out of China that is no longer able to provide chips.  To answer your last question there, Chris, I’m really concerned about these Chinese chips. 

We had chips delivered to us, for our fighters, for our jet fighters, and we were able to get into those have closer look at the very last minute we found the Chinese had modified those chips they had sold to us.

They looked on the outside like they were the right chip. They ran like they were the right chip, but they had certain vulnerabilities built into them by the Chinese. Our jet fighters. 

They’re doing this all of the time. Supermicro. Huge, huge story here about a year and a half ago, where one of the major manufacturers of server components found a little chip about the size of a grain of rice hidden on the motherboard. Apparently, it was calling home to China to get instructions and it was installed in thousands of places, including Google, including Apple, many, many regular businesses. 

We can’t trust it. We need to get more and manufacturing here in the US. I have to say the highest-end manufacturing of chips, Chris is done here in the US and not in China. 

We’ve got a bit of a leg up here going forward. 

Chris Ryan: [00:09:13] Well, Craig I always appreciate you joining us here in New Hampshire today. 

We encourage folks to check out Craig Peterson’s at tech talk, which is on Saturdays from 1130 to noon. Also airs on Sundays as well from 1230 to one. Craig, appreciate your time.

Craig Peterson: [00:09:27] Take care 

Who knew that putting together one of these courses would be as much work as it’s turned out to be. Oh my gosh, but we want it to be right. We want it to just work for you guys. So we’ve got 22, short modules as part of this Improving Windows Security course. They are now. All edited already.

We are putting it up on a new site that has some learning management software on it. So it makes it easier for you guys. Then over time, we’re going to be continuing to release training, kind of long-tail ones. This one’s Improving Windows Security, which covers a lot of topics. But. , do things on VPNs, and other stuff.

We’ll see how this all goes. Man. Is this take taking just so much longer than I had hoped initially I’d hoped it would be out in January and now we’re looking to hopefully have it out by the beginning of March. Oh my gosh. Once we got it set up the first time, you know how that goes, it’s going to be easier for a future time. 

So all you guys who asked to be notified about when the Improving Windows Security course is coming out, keep your ears to the ground because it is coming. 

I haven’t given up and I think it’s really quite a good little course. 

All right. Take care, everybody. We’ll be back tomorrow.

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