FBI Using a “Honeypot” for a Massive Sting Operation
& Olympic Cybersecurity
This time, the FBI didn’t just set up a sting, they set up a honeypot. And I talked about it with Mr. Matt Gagnon coming right up. Along with a couple of other major points this week, including what has been happening with the Olympics and cybersecurity. So here we go.
[00:00:22] Matt Gagnon: Craig. Let’s get into some of these topics, if you can.
I had an interesting conversation yesterday with some folks about tech policy what’s been going on censorship, et cetera. It’s obviously a pretty common topic when you talk to especially conservative minded folk they’re pretty upset about what’s going on there there. And one of the, one of the people I was talking to who said to me that that’s, somebody must have dimed them out that they had a Facebook post that was blocked because Facebook.
[00:00:48] Was maybe notified that they did something and it was pulled down here that does that brings to mind this story about the, do you know an extremist prompt at Facebook? Are they testing something like that where you basically are diming out your neighbors and seeing stuff. And then all of a sudden you’re reporting to the authorities at Facebook, that somebody has a opinion that is just not okay.
[00:01:08] Craig Peterson: [00:01:08] Yeah, this, where could this possibly lead? This is a crazy, they are doing that. Facebook has admitted it and you know what shocked me the most about this isn’t that? Hey, the two known extremist, or are you an extremist? And the Alicia. People C N until you reported on this, which just shocked talk to me, frankly, but they say this is part of a, what they’re calling a redirect initiative.
[00:01:35] So if you’re looking at for something, they’ll send you somewhere else. If they don’t think what you’re looking for is appropriate. And then they’re asking you, are you an extreme Mister? True. Oh my gosh. People don’t you read history? Where is this going to take us? I don’t
[00:01:54] Matt Gagnon: [00:01:54] know. It’s a good question, Craig.
[00:01:56]Clearly this is part of the evolving narrative here of exactly how social media companies are trying to moderate content and deal with their perception of what extremism is and whatnot. I, to me though, I have this question, maybe you can answer it. Is a market, just not at play here. With Facebook, continuing to do things like this and alienating like half the country, ha and beyond our country, right?
[00:02:21] I This is happening all over the world, right? Is there not a market for a company that doesn’t do things like this, that doesn’t moderate it’s its content like that? Can we not have something out there? That clearly, takes out violent content and real threats and just like sick, disgusting racism or whatever, but more or less is a free speech zone.
[00:02:39] Otherwise you’re telling me that couldn’t survive. In today’s world. What’s wrong with that? Why can’t it happen? Where’s the market.
[00:02:46] Craig Peterson: [00:02:46] If you’re going to survive something like that as a startup, you need, first of all, the seed information, you need people to start signing up and you need money coming in.
[00:02:56] And Facebook is doing everything that can anybody that’s a startup that looks promising, whether it’s WhatsApp or Instagram, they will be purchased. They’ll be bought out. Now, these guys might be saying I’m going to have a free speech platform. It’s going to be absolutely fantastic. We know what’s happened with a couple of those already, but what Facebook does is they come along and say your company is worth about $50 million.
[00:03:23] How about, I give you a billion for it and wildly over overvalued. Then Microsoft does much the same thing with potential competitors and drives them out of business or buys them out of business. So the Facebook is in a very interesting spot. Plus then there’s the whole section two 10. And w you can shoo newspaper out of existence, but if a newspaper publishes a story and that story is not factually accurate, they go out of business.
[00:03:55] So newspaper takes some time, tries to do some investigation, gets multiple sources to confirm, and then publishes in story. Facebook doesn’t have to worry about any of that stuff. So why are they doing this in the first place? And they are wildly profitable to the terms of hundreds of billions of dollars.
[00:04:14] And they just don’t care. They have what they have morals, is what they called. And they’re saying we cannot allow this to happen. And they are leading the country down the Primrose path. Although the numbers seem to be showing a lot of people ditching Facebook, and there are some other platforms that are trying to get charted, trying to go.
[00:04:39] But it just isn’t happening there. This is not a free market system and we don’t have one in this country. We haven’t had full free markets for over a hundred years now, entirely regulated. They pick the winners and specifically the government has picked Facebook and Google is to have those winners by providing them with legal cover.
[00:05:02] I think we’ve got to pull back the kimono and looked at what’s really happening.
[00:05:07] Matt Gagnon: [00:05:07] Greg Peters on joining us as he always does on Wednesdays at this time, talking over tech topics, Craig, one of the other things that’s happening in the world soon here is the Olympics. I’ve been watching a lot of Olympic trials, a lot of things on TV as we prepare for this, I’m an Olympics nerd.
[00:05:22] So I love this stuff and there’s obviously a lot of competition at the Olympics, but there’s a different darker background of competition out there. And it’s the cybersecurity experts trying to protect the infrastructure at the Olympics. Again. The bad guys, as you might say. And how does that play out?
[00:05:36] Because this is, nobody’s really reporting on it. Nobody talks about this much, but this is a really big part of this gigantic event.
[00:05:42]Craig Peterson: [00:05:42] Think about what’s happening in Japan right now. They are having these Olympic kind of, trials things. If you will, where we’re losing. Four out of five of the basketball games.
[00:05:53] I can’t believe that part, but here’s the bottom line. No rule be no spectators. Everyone in the world. That’s interested in seeing the Olympics have to watch it online. Somehow all of the major news networks are getting their feeds and a lot of that going over the internet. There’s a lot of exposure. We have all of the people who are competing, who are using special apps who have special electronic controls.
[00:06:22] We had a huge problem last time around in 2018 with the Olympic winter Olympics, because there were some cybercriminals that managed to bring the whole thing down. So we are really on our toes worldwide. Now, including here in the U S what a target. It’s a beautiful place for the bad guys to go make a name for themselves, ransom, et cetera, et cetera.
[00:06:46] So there are whole teams. I’ve got a little bit of insight information here, but there’s whole teams of people around the world that are monitoring. What’s going on, are looking into everything that looks like they’re being probed. Everyone. So 10 show hat. They are really staying on top of it. And these teams, Matt are some of the best in the world or teams I’ve worked with before.
[00:07:11] So knock on wood. It’ll be okay. But the Olympics, they are a huge hacking targets.
[00:07:16]Matt Gagnon: [00:07:16] Finally, I want to also ask you about speaking of the bad guys and trying to take them on here. There’s ways of trapping them and the FBI created an interesting one here. Google pixel is involved in this very interesting story here.
[00:07:26]Did they use a honeypot to basically entice some of these people in and then trap them and then get them out of this work?
[00:07:36] Craig Peterson: [00:07:36] It’s Winnie the Pooh is such his head in there. He got the stock. The FBI came up with a real interesting concept that is a bad guys. Want to be able to communicate privately?
[00:07:47] So they modified some pixels now and they did it in such a way that they turn off the cellular. They turn off, they remove cellular, they remove the GPS trackers, they removed a bunch of things. And then they sold these phones on the black market or out on the dark web saying, no, these phones are going to keep you safe because of this, that, and the other thing.
[00:08:12] And we’ve got a special operating system. They called these devices and arm and the bad guys started using, and they didn’t really do any research talking to them and they were recommending it to each other. These hacker groups, these criminal organizations that were smuggling people, right? Kidnapping people was selling arms on the dark web, et cetera.
[00:08:35] They started using it for Nona miscommunications. What they didn’t know. Is everything that was sent on these devices, everything that was done with them was sent to the FBI. So what some of us went to Interpol and others. So the concept is great. Let’s turn off the cell. Let’s turn off the GPS that’s to remove them from the device.
[00:08:58] The problem was they didn’t know good law enforcement. Was in fact monitoring everything that was being said there more than 12,000 smartphones like this that were out in circulation and heavy use by the bad guys. And now you can buy one of your very own FBI monitored phones on eBay. People started to buy them because they are based on a Google pixel foray.
[00:09:22] Custom firmware in them, which is a bit of a problem. And they do have arcane OOS as well, but people are trying to figure out why can’t I get my phone to work? I just bought on eBay, but they have been shutting down major criminal organizations worldwide. Because of this honey pot, they really got stuck.
[00:09:44] They got
[00:09:44] Matt Gagnon: [00:09:44] them. It makes it basically, it’s a way of, it’s a way of trying to learn from it and it works ultimately. So Craig Peterson, our tech guru joins us on Wednesdays at this time. Unfortunately, Greg we’re out of time, so we have to stop here, but again, you can hear them on Saturdays. Thanks a lot, Craig.
[00:09:57] And we will talk to you again. Next
[00:09:59] Craig Peterson: [00:09:59] week. All right. Take care. There’s nothing that helps this show get out better than having you subscribe to the podcast. I appreciate you guys listening. I can’t tell you how much, because it does help get the word out. And that’s what I’m trying to do is help everybody understand what’s going on.
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[00:11:01] Take care everybody. Bye bye.