Craig Peterson here. I was on with Chris Ryan on NH Today. We talked about the Lockdown and the effects it is having on our kids and the amount of time they are spending online. I shared some tips about staying safe online, for kids, yourself, and our senior parents. Here we go with Chris.
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Craig Peterson: [00:00:00] Were into SolarWinds and our federal government network since 2019.
Good morning, everybody. Craig Peterson here. I was on with Mr. Chris Ryan. He’s the new host of New Hampshire today, which is heard throughout the entire state and large parts actually of Maine and Vermont. We had a chance this morning to talk a little more about the SolarWinds hack.
We went at it a different angle. It’s interesting with the different hosts, right? It’s just like when I hold a live webinar, the different hosts have different questions, different opinions, and it drives me in a different direction. That’s exactly what happened this morning.
We talked about why is it happening? Not why is Russia or China or any of these other countries attacking us? That’s not the question, but why can they? Why aren’t we doing enough? That’s what we talked about. I think that of course, I think I was right there. It was really, it was a lot of fun. So stick around, you’re going to find out a little bit more about why I say this hack happened and how it actually ties in with COVID. So here we go with Mr. Chris Ryan.
Chris Ryan: [00:01:19] Craig, how are you?
Craig Peterson: [00:01:21] Tis I. Doing well this morning.
Chris Ryan: [00:01:24] Good. Appreciate you joining us for the show. So I have a couple of topics I want to get to with you today. As we address the issue of cybersecurity, there was this huge story about Russia and what they’re able to do in terms of infiltrating our government’s websites and entities and so forth.
Then that story went away. To me, it is an incredibly significant story and one that’s, I think that we need to be cognizant of. What were your big takeaways from that and the message that it sends in regards to our overall cybersecurity as entities and individuals?
Craig Peterson: [00:01:59] Yeah. Boy, this is really a big deal.
I think the reason a lot of people stopped covering it is that, frankly, it’s a very scary thing and a little hard for most people to understand, so I’m glad you brought it up. But I’m looking at this as an absolute wake up call. How many of these we had, Chris? Three years ago, we had Equifax was, do you remember that? It was huge. Basically, everybody in North America’s information was stolen.
We decided, okay, we got to lock things down a little bit. In this case, SolarWinds, these guys had made multiple huge mistakes. Now SolarWinds software, this Orion software that we’re talking about is used by businesses and government agencies to basically command and control their own network computers internally. They are used for security. SolarWinds says it’s probably 18,000 of our clients that ended up getting hacked.
Delving into this a little bit more because in the biz we have been paying attention, right? It looks like the Russians, whoever was, were into SolarWinds and our federal government networks since 2019.
Now, for far more than one year. Those 18,000 organizations that were affected by this hack, weren’t just government agencies. They were what are called managed services providers. Chris, these are businesses that provide IT, outsourced information technology support for businesses all over the country, basically small businesses. So take that 18,000 and multiply it by a minimum of 100 and you start to get an idea of what the impact of this thing is.
The fact they were in our federal agencies just is absolutely incredible. I’m putting out a little video this week for anyone who’s interested in seeing it, I’ll send out a link to my email list and we’ve got a few thousand people on that. I’m going to explain the basics here.
How you as a tiny business could have protected yourself from this kind of a hack. For our federal agencies to not do the very, very basics here is absolutely astounding. It proves a point I’ve been saying for decades, which is bottom-line people in every industry just aren’t paying attention to security at all. Incompetence runs rampant in every industry, including IT.
We have to pull up our socks. We have to tighten our firewalls, just the basic stuff.
To pull these tricks like GoDaddy pulled on their employees here about a week and a half ago is absolutely wrong.
What GoDaddy did. Once they said, okay we’re going to make sure our employees don’t open emails that might be phishing attacks that are really emails that are trying to attack us. GoDaddy sent out an internal email saying a $650 employee bonus. So if you want the $650 employee bonus click here and fill out this form.
They sent it to 500 employees. They did click. They did fill out that form. I can’t imagine anything crueler than what they did.
Now the GoDaddy employees aren’t going to be opening an email. Their businesses aren’t going to be able to be conducted the way it always has been because they’re afraid of opening the email.
There are much better ways to do this. Chris, my brain is exploding. I got to find the duct tape before my headaches.
Great. Craig Peterson, joining us here on, New Hampshire today.
Chris Ryan: [00:06:03] The final thing. You mentioned the deficiencies and we have heard about them. We have known about them in regards to our federal infrastructure. It has been discussed for years, but seemingly little has been done about it.
Senator Shaheen talked about Kaspersky. I believe is the name of it. Which is a Russian firm, which does some cybersecurity. She had concerns about that being used by government entities and private citizens and it has. What is the concern that you have in regards to this deficiency? If it’s continually discussed, why is it not substantively addressed?
Craig Peterson: [00:06:38] She is absolutely right about Kaspersky. There’ve been a lot of concerns. They have been a leader in certain parts of cybersecurity,
But, there was an order that the Trump administration put out that it had to be removed from all of our federal networks. So she’s absolutely right about that. We’ve got to pull our socks.
These orders again by the Trump administration to pull out some of this Chinese equipment that is embedded into some of our networks is absolutely right. Businesses are just playing fast and loose with this.
I’ve been trying to figure out the mentality behind that. What is it? Why are they not really paying attention?
I think the bottom line is even with federal contractors, because I’m not sure if you know it or not, but I’ve been running training for two years for the Federal Bureau of investigation, for FBI, I’m the guy that ran all of this InfraGard training. I worked with government agencies. I worked with NGOs, private organizations, and I think it’s pretty simple from a business standpoint.
If I’m going to remove Kaspersky, some of this Chinese equipment. If I’m going to comply with the federal regulations that are already in place that come with a 10-year prison sentence. If I don’t comply and I get hacked and come with tens of millions of dollars in fines. If I’m going to spend half a million dollars on that and my competitors are not going to spend a dime on it. How could I stay in business?
So until we’ve got, just like the inoculations, right? Where until everybody is basically immune or we have herd immunity, we’re not going to get past this COVID infection. Much the same in cybersecurity until most businesses are doing it or building it into their business costs and can compete with other businesses because they’re all on equal footing. This is just going to continue going on.
Chris Ryan: [00:08:40] I appreciate your time.
Craig Peterson: [00:08:42] Thanks
Craig Peterson with tech talk joining us here on – New Hampshire today. I am Chris Ryan, along with Justin McIsaac. Chuck Zada joins us up next from the financial exchange still to come, governor Sununu as well as Senator Hassan, Jacoby Meyers from the Patriots.
This is New Hampshire today on news radio six, 10, and 96 seven.
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