In this very busy segment, Craig addresses a number of tech issues that are in the news right now. First off BEC scams.  Business Email Compromises are also commonly known as Spear Phishing scams and target executives.  In the past, many came from outside the US but this has changed.  Next, he discusses what happened with Excel and the loss of some Covid data.  Then he explains why the IRS is looking at Cryptocurrency on people’s tax returns. So let’s get into it!

For more tech tips, news, and updates, visit –

FBI, DHS says hackers have gained access to election systems

The IRS Is Being Investigated for Using Location Data Without a Warrant

Clear Conquered U.S. Airports. Now It Wants to Own Your Entire Digital Identity.

5G in the US averages 51Mbps while other countries hit hundreds of megabits

IRS may put cryptocurrency question at the top of 1040 to catch cheaters

Publishers worry as ebooks fly off libraries’ virtual shelves

25% of BEC Cybercriminals Based in the US

What’s Really Happening in Infosec Hiring Now?

Automated Machine-Generated Transcript:

Craig Peterson (2): [00:00:00] We’re talking about the misuse of our data by these data aggregators. What’s it being used for? What can you do in order to maybe not stop it, at least slow some of it down? What government’s doing to us, frankly.

Hey, welcome back everybody. Craig Peterson here.

So we were talking about these data aggregators and what they’re collecting on us. Well, the most recent stuff that they started collecting is information from the apps we’re using. Typically we’re talking about apps that are free apps as opposed to paid apps. While we’re using them we’re giving away information about our location. This became such a problem that really came to the attention of Apple and Google both now.

 Google has had very kind of fine-tuned stuff for many years in Android that tells you the app wants this, wants that, wants the other thing, and frankly, that’s pretty darn handy. Isn’t it?

What Apple has done is, Apple has tried to make it very, very simple for you. Far fewer options.  When it comes to the granularity of what an app is asking for. Apple forces these app developers to only get or ask for the absolute minimum that they need. The more recent versions of Apple’s iOS and Android have built into them now, a request so that when an app is asking for access to, for instance, your location, this GPS data, it will pop up a little warning.

Apple in the latest release of its operating system it did a really nice thing. In fact, I think it was late in iOS 13, they added this, but it started reminding you every once in a while that this app is using your GPS. For instance, in the background, you want it to still be able to use it. They added it a while ago. Hey, by the way, You can just restrict it to having access while you’re using the app.

So when you’re looking at those little popups, come up on your Android device or your iOS device, keep in mind. Okay. What is this app for? Why do I have this app? Oh, because I want to Tetris. Why would an app that is playing Tetris need access to your contacts? Why would it need access to your location? Why would it need access to any of these things?  I like the way that Microsoft has gone with Windows and Apple with its operating systems and Android, where it is giving you definitive have warnings now about what apps want.

Many of these apps still sell the information. Remember Google is in the business of selling information about you and selling your information as well. So if you have Google maps on your phone, even if it’s an iOS phone, you may well be leaking your personal information to Google, and then it goes to the data aggregators.

Apparently what the Senators are worried about here is that the IRS had gone out and got data that we didn’t receive under a warrant. A letter here from the Inspector General says we are going to conduct a review of this matter, and we are in the process of contacting the criminal investigation division about this review signed by Jay Russell George, who is the Inspector General. That was his response back to the Senators Warren and Wyden. So I like this, right. I like what she’s trying to do here. I don’t think that they should be able to get this data without a warrant of some sort. But it’s happening every day and it isn’t just the IRS.

It is many other agencies out there that are getting this data and that’s what kind of concerns me.

So let’s move on to another real problem here and this is our personal identities. Remember I mentioned at the top of the hour. This whole airport thing, right. Where we’ve got TSA out there and they are chartered with, let me put it that way, trying to keep us safe. I think that’s a wonderful thing. We used to have airlines and airports that are paying for security. They can still do that. And in some cases they do, but most airports have TSA agents there now.

Have you noticed that there are two programs that are being actively used? You’ve got one, which is the prescreening. So you go, they take your fingerprints, they take all of your identity and they look you up. Okay. And they are checking public records by the way. They’re checking to make sure that you buy oil for your home to heat it. If you’re in the Northeast or you have an electric bill in your name and that all of the address rest all add up to gather. They check, of course, criminal records as well, but again goes back to the data aggregators and then they say this person no criminal record. And they are pretty much who they say they are. It looks like they’re a decent, upstanding citizen. So we are going to l, have them this little pass.

Now that lets them be pre-screened. It’s a little easier at the airport it’s a little faster get through. Although now so many people are pre-screened that line is slowed down a lot.

So now there’s another program that you might’ve noticed?

Well, there’s a couple of others as NexUS and things, but another one you might have noticed, which is called CLEAR. I have a friend who swears by CLEAR because he just goes into the airport Bam he’s through TSA. What clear does is it is taking your biometric information and is doing the background check that we talked about before. A real problem for getting through TSA. Right? Is it a real problem? Has it been a real problem for you? Because what CLEAR is doing is making it so that it just takes seconds to pass through TSA.

 But here’s what you’re doing. They’ve got all of your personal information. They’ve got your driver’s license. They now have your biometrics. They have your Iris information from your eye. So they know who you are. They can recognize that eye.

Think about biometric information here for a minute. If you are on locking a door, using your fingerprint, that fingerprint scanner has to have that biometric information. Many businesses, many buildings now will unlock doors based on your face. Again, biometric information. There are more advanced systems that listen to your voice. There are systems that watch your cadence as you’re walking because those are all unique to individuals. That’s what they’re doing in China right now, too. You’re wearing a face mask, but they can still identify you.

There is a problem with having this type of biometric information.  I think it’s a very big problem. Hey, if you go to “Have I Been” and you find that your password and your username were leaked in a hack of a website, let’s say. What do you do? Well, of course, first thing, first, you change your password and you make sure you’re not using it anywhere else.

What do you do if your biometric information is stolen?

 We’ll be talking more about that when we get back, you are listening to Craig Peterson right here.

 Stick around. Cause we’ll be right back.

Of course, we’re always online, Craig

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