Counterfeit Cash And Cryptocurrency – Lowes Shuts Down Smarthome Iris on TTWCP Radio Show: [02-02-2019]
Cryptocurrency is in the news, again. I am sure you all know by now what I think of cryptocurrency as an investment. Listen in and you’ll learn more of why I came to that opinion.
Browsers — which one is your favorite? For me, it’s Epic which is a more secure browser based on the Google Chrome platform. Today, I am going to talk about some plug-ins that you can use to help keep you more secure!
The FBI seized a lot of counterfeit bills this week. But there is an interesting twist to the story so Listen in.
Utilities are under attack. Listen to hear about all the “unique” ways that Hackers use to break in.
Have you heard of Iris? That is a Lowes brand smart home brand, well they are shutting it down. Listen in for more information if you are a customer with these devices.
- Lowe’s Smart Home Device Platform Shuts Down March 31st
- Hackers Hijacked A Family’s Smart Home, Spammed Nuclear Missile Alerts
- Chrome Can Tell You If Your Passwords Have Been Compromised
- Crypto Exchange Says It Can’t Repay $190 Million To Clients After Founder Dies With the Only Password
- Glowing Reviews Tout Counterfeit Cash On The Dark Web
- Report Highlights The Crazy Lengths Hackers Took To Infiltrate Us Utilities
- How Hackers And Scammers Break Into Icloud-Locked iPhones
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Below is a rush transcript of this segment, it might contain errors.
Airing date: 02/09/2019
Counterfeit Cash And Cryptocurrency – Lowe’s Shuts Down Smarthome Iris
Craig Peterson: 0:00
Hey, another Saturday, another radio show. Craig Peterson here, enjoying our new intro music. Hopefully, you like it too. Kind of lively gets the blood flowing at least for me. Well, today we’re going to be talking about a few interesting things. Have you heard one of these warnings come on your phones? They have a number of them now. For instance, they have warnings about you know, big storms coming your way. You probably heard about what happened in Hawaii with their nuclear warning. Wow. Hijackers are involved now. So we’ll talk about that. What these hackers are doing.
Hey, have you invested in cryptocurrency? Do you know when I say invest? I’m just joking, right? Because cryptocurrency is just one of the silliest investments ever. Not that I give investment advice on my show/ But wow do we have some news for you. Yeah.
Chrome, this is fantastic if you use the Chrome browser and I do use it but I use Epic which is based on Chrome. You can run some of the Chrome plugins and is much safer doesn’t doesn’t monitor you like regular Chrome does. I gotta tell you about this wonderful tool now that you can plug right into Chrome and it’s going to help you with your passwords and tell you they’ve been compromised. I love this one. Our friends at the FBI. This is an LA Times article and they seized a whole, I’m looking at it right now, a ton of fake $100 bills. I’ll tell you about that and how they found out what was going on. And yes, they were using Bitcoin to buy them and sell them but Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are not untraceable and proven again by our FBI and hackers and scammers how they’re breaking into iCloud locked phones. And a very interesting report that is in the Daily Caller and up on my website as well about the crazy links that hackers have taken to infiltrate US utilities. And Lowe’s, if you bought their Iris stuff. You got to hear what’s happening with Lowe’s. Now, all of this, of course, is up on my website. I did not send out the regular email of this morning. This morning’s email was all about what I’m doing this coming week. I had hoped to get it done last week, just too many things came up. You know how that goes. Right? You have to take care of your customers, you have to take care of your family. And that’s what I had to do last week.
So this week is the training course. You are going to love this, okay. It really is going to change your life. I’m giving away some of my best stuff for free. I’m going to teach you some things you can do yourself. And it’s aimed at small businesses, medium businesses. Even larger businesses can take this information and run with it. But hopefully, they have the right people in place that are security people that know what they’re doing. But if you heard me this weekend, heard my podcasts you heard about this huge shortage. 3 million cybersecurity workers short. That’s guaranteed now to get a lot of people saying that they are cybersecurity experts hanging up their shingles. And they don’t know what they’re doing. Guaranteed. It’s going to happen. Happens every time. I hated it back in the 90s when people said, Hey, I’m an internet expert. I can build your website and they had no idea what they were doing. And they hurt the whole industry. They gave us all a bad name. And I’m afraid that’s exactly what’s going to happen with cybersecurity.
Anyhow, DIY, you can do it yourself, you’ll see a sign up on my homepage at http://CraigPeterson.com. I’m going to walk through this with you, you are going to love it if you’ve already been hacked. If you’re concerned about getting hacked if you are already wearing 100 hats at work. And this is a security thing is just one more hats you have to wear. You have to attend this training this week. It’s free. Like so much stuff that I do. Obviously, I have to pay bills, right? So hey, if you want to hire me, that’s one thing. But this is the free training with my best stuff, you are absolutely going to love it. So if you did not get these articles in your email this morning. And for that, I apologize. Because I wanted to focus in on the training. And it is so so important to you. But you can find all of these articles up on my website, there’s always at http://CraigPeterson.com.
So if you scroll down below the sign-up, because today, there’s a sign up on my site, and it’ll be up for a few more days, and I’m taking this stuff all down, right, this is not going to be up forever. If you miss it. This week, you are going to miss this training. All right. But if you scroll down on that homepage, you’ll see today’s articles. Because I can guarantee you with only about 20 minutes left. In today’s show, I’m not going to be able to get into a whole lot of detail. So if you want to find out more, that’s where you go. If you want to find out about these pieces of training because I’m going to have different trainings coming up. The odds are almost 100% that this training I’m about to do will never be done again. Okay. Because it’s always different. There’s always more things to know and learn. But make sure you’re on my email list. http://CraigPeterson.com/subscribe or you can just text me right now get out a piece of paper and a pencil if you want to write down that number. Because this text number is my number. And you can always ask me questions. I’m always available to help we do so much stuff for free for small businesses and home users. That it’s, you know, it’s open to you anytime you wanted. So write it down right now. Hopefully, you got that pencil and paper in hand write down 855-385-5553 or you can text to it right now. And that way you can remember this, go back in your texting history. 855-385-5553. If you text my name to it, just text Craig, I will sign you up for my text alert. And those come out to remind you that my show is live on the Air. I also will text you when there’s something big happening in the security round that you need to know about. Because the regular news sources sometimes take a week or two to catch up with the stuff you need to know.
So it’s pretty rare. I do this maybe every couple of months or might be a text on that. But I’ll let you know when something critical is happening. But I only let you know if you reach out to me. And the easiest way to do that is to just text me 855-385 5553 and text my name Craig and I will be more than glad to answer any questions or help you with any problems that you might be having okay? You don’t have to be my customer. We will help you with you know, we’re not going to spend a week with you. But we’re going to help you we’re going to send you on the right track.
So let’s talk about some of these articles for today. Well, we’re going to start with Lowe’s because this is something we’re going to see more and more of in the future. And you know, just like any industry, any business that’s been started historically, you have a lot of people in it. And then it kind of settles down to a few big players and they buy out the smaller players. Well, we’re seeing that shakeout now in the smart home business. If you’ve been into Lowe’s or Home Depot, you’ve seen Smart Home stuff. In fact, in the Lowe’s store, it’s usually right by the Service Desk by that little counter where you return things are asked questions. And right there they have a whole bunch of different smart home devices that you can use. Lowe’s also had their own stuff, and I’ve seen this on the end cap of over by the electric section where you have the wires and the switches and the cables and all the stuff that you might need to use in your house. You got to replace a socket or you know, whatever it might be. It’s right there. And it’s called Iris. I-R-I-S and you might have seen it there before. I certainly have. I poked at a little bit. But I never bought any of their stuff because I knew there’d be a shakeout and I wasn’t sure that Lowe’s is going to win it. And I never ever saw anyone else looking at that display.
Now the stuff up front where they’ve got some of the Amazon Home stuff in the Google Home stuff. Yes, I’ve seen people up there, but never looking at the Iris stuff. Well, Lowe’s tried to become kind of the main player in smart home technology. And that’s what I was all about. It was all integrated. It was all designed to do all of the things you’d normally want to do in your home. But it did not make Lowe’s enough money. It just really wasn’t successful. And Lowe’s last November said, Hey, we’re going to get out of this category, at least with our own product. And it has now announced that it is completely shutting down Iris, your app is not going to work as of March 31, 2019.
So if you bought this Iris stuff, the app’s going to go away. But I’ve got a little bit of good news for you. Make sure you upgrade the firmware in your devices and in the app because it looks like what they’ve done is they have partnered with Samsung and Samsung is going to be working with them to help take over those Iris products that you already have. So it stopped charging paying customers as a January 31. So should not have received any more bills from Iris for monitoring or other things and is issuing visa prepaid cards to customers to help them migrate to other smart home platforms. So keep an eye out. The good news is you’re going to get a few bucks out of Lowe’s most likely if you’ve registered. And they also have some other gadgets that are using Zigbee. And I’ve had the founders of Zigbee on my show before. So if there are Zigbee compatible Z-wave compatible, or you can switch to the Samsung ecosystem. So you have some options if you’re interested in doing that.
But again, the big players right now it looks like Amazon’s winning this game. Google with the Google Home has some nice stuff they’re not winning. Philips is now using and tying into the Amazon Echo and all the whole Amazon infrastructure as are a number of other vendors. We saw that at the Consumer Electronics Show this year where really Amazon is starting to appear almost everywhere. So that’s really really good news. I think for all of us. Finally, the big shakeout might be happening and that makes you feel a lot more comfortable when it’s time to buy things.
Speaking of buying things. Let’s talk about this counterfeit ring and
interesting how do you promote yourself if you’re a counterfeiter? Well, some of you know that I run the webinars for the FBI is Infragard program and I get different guests and, you know, I in pre-interview them, I talk with them, I have them do presentations. I do q&a with them. Right? I’m kind of in the middle of all of that stuff with the FBI Infragard program anyways, right. A little bit of an FBI insider thing, I guess. But obviously, they don’t tell me anything right there. Well, they don’t tell me anything that’s like a secret or underway. But I do get a little bit more information the general public does. And I attended a briefing. And this was with the secret service where they were talking about shutting down a nefarious dark webring. And this ring was selling drugs online, it was selling just all kinds of things. You can find prostitution, and find everything out there on the dark web if you look for it. And they were using Bitcoin, the bad guys, in order to be untrackable, untraceable. And guess what? Of course, you’re not. Yeah, there is certain degree of anonymity in cryptocurrencies. And I’m going to talk about the negative side of n Just a minute. But there is also a way to really track people and make sure that, you know, you can kind of police it. And in fact, that’s what they did. The Secret Service was policing it and they did find this ring and they did get convictions on it a very interesting how they did it, and what was involved with it.
Now, we have a story that’s coming out of the LA Times about a secret service agent, his name is Matthew Britsch, I guess. B-R-I-T-S-C-H. And he went online and started looking for major counterfeiters. And in case you didn’t know the Secret Service, besides protecting the president handles counterfeiting cases as well.
So he was online looking for counterfeiters trying to figure out what was going on. And so he went out into the dark web and was out there trolling and there are a lot of police organizations even down to local police departments that spend a fair amount of time looking for bad guys on the dark web. They look for and catch pedophiles and counterfeiters and other things and this story is about a counterfeiter. Now he found this counterfeiter who went by the name of Billmaker, not very original I guess but that was his online persona and he promised high quality hundred dollar bills and he had a money back guarantee. He even had thought of eBay here or Etsy he even had reviews out there from fans that said his work was excellent That was really good and so apparently this the Secret Service agent said well let’s give this a shot right. Here’s a guy one of the reviews said very good quality and got here quick. Then other one said all passed with no issue whatsoever fresh clean bills. Billmaker’s, a five-star guys the Secret Service agent he wanted those five-star reviews to help them sell more bills that were clearly his goal. So the Secret Service agent bought the bills and in September 2017 he purchased the four fake hundred dollar bills for $120 in Bitcoin which is this online cryptocurrency. Of course, the idea is, hey, bitcoins anonymous, and I’ll be able to do it and everything’s going to be just fine, right? So he’d been carrying on as it turns out for quite a while because these counterfeit bills arrive right on time. They were as good as promised. And when the Secret Service got their hands on them, they examined them and they found these bills were a match for about $4.1 million dollars worth of other $100 counterfeit bills that the Secret Service had found.
So, this guy named Billmaker, the nation’s most prolific domestic counterfeiter. Isn’t that amazing. So that September 2017 purchase sparked this nine-month investigation where they poked around more in the dark web they found more cyber-savvy criminals are using online bazaars to buy and sell more these goods from illegal firearms and illegal drugs, illegal identification. Stolen cars even they poked around but it’s really interesting because I love this quote these guys were right out there quote right in the open it’s all there for sale. But while it provides some anonymity to criminals, it provides anonymity to law enforcement. They can’t tell who they’re selling to and so we went fishing. Isn’t that interesting?
So the Secret Service has made more than 15, 15 actually almost 1600 counterfeiting related arrests last year seizing 204 million and phony bills. Banks and retailers collected in addition 100 and $7 million and fake bills. It used to be these artisans who made carefully forged bills on large offset printing presses kind of like the way the federal government does it. Nowadays these counterfeiters are relying on computers scanners laser printers and they use the dark web to sell it. So it’s interesting there’s a lot of detail and how it happened and it’s good to know this if your a security professional. In fact I there’s open jobs I wanted was a Thursday I guess it was I do a podcast in case you don’t know you can sign up at http://CraigPeterson.com/iTunes and you’ll find them right there. http://CraigPeterson.com/iTunes. But I do a podcast called It’s a Security Thing. And it’s a brand new podcast. And I talked about specific security interests. You know, if you’re a security guy if that’s what you do as part of your job, and I was talking about these cyber crimes that are now advertising online paying $700,000 to a million dollars a year to hackers, some very serious money so they’re really going after it.
And in this case, Billmaker was caught and they’re using the US mail, which made it very easy for the Secret Service to find who he was. And they said they were, by the way, very impressed with the quality of the work that he had done. They had a pretty good fake security strip on them. They even felt like they were real. There’s pictures in this article up on my website http://CraigPeterson.com of these bills. And the picture of the guy who was making them as a young guy would guess his early 30s based on the picture, but very interesting, interesting stuff at Oklahoma City.
Wow, we are running out of time I got to talk about this whole thing around the cryptocurrencies as well because I know some of you have bought them because you’ve told me. Now You already know I don’t give investment advice on this show. There’s other shows on the stations, another podcast, they give lots of investment advice, most of which I take with a grain of salt especially when it involves technology. But when we’re talking about cryptocurrencies, yes, it’s
the future there’s no question it’s the future. That’s how things are going to shake out. But we are so early on now that I have refused to put any money into cryptocurrencies. I think it’s absolutely insane to do. They are so volatile. Look at the money people have lost just this year. It’s really, really nuts.
So when I saw this article this week from Gizmodo, it was a week ago, it was Sunday. So as of tomorrow, it’s been a week a company in Canada is one of these crypto exchange companies. And there’s lots of them, these are the places you go you give them good old American currency that you can wire in from PayPal or from your bank or on your credit card and they then turn it into the cryptocurrency of your choice. And that might be Bitcoin. There are many other cryptocurrencies out there and they then send you the cryptocurrency. Now it’s kind of complicated. You have to have a wallet, these crypto exchange companies can hold your currency for you. Some of it’s in hot stored some of it’s in cold storage. There are passwords involved. There are big keys involved. That’s what it’s all about. Right? And that’s part of the reason I don’t trust it. Well
This crypto exchange called QuadrigaCX and if you had money in there. Listen up. QuadrigaCX has about $200 million of people’s cryptocurrencies that they are holding. Its founder’s is a 30-year-old guy who went to India and died in India. Okay, so that’s bad, right? The CEO of any company dying it’s a bad thing because all the company goes through a bit of a slump. Oh, no, CEO died CFO died, whatever it was, but in this case, the founder and CEO died and you know the slump you kind of expect but it’ll be back on its feet, right? Well, in this case, Mr. 30 years, smarty pants held the keys himself and did not have anyone else with any access to the keys. So this exchange was holding roughly 92 million US dollars in Bitcoin. 1.3 million of Bitcoin cash, almost a million in Bitcoin cash SV. It had Bitcoin gold that had Litecoin and had Ether, you’ve heard of that, I’m sure if you’re really into this. So totaling about 150 million, according to the affidavit and apparently, more as well, that brings it up to close to $200 million.
So there was a filing in Canadian courts last week about this saying bankruptcy. No one else has the passwords for it. So basically, we’re talking about at least 140 million dollars lost. Now the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, according to the CBC froze 26 million worth of QuadrigaCX’s assets in January this year after finding irregularities for the payment processing and the documents in the Ontario Superior Court Justice concluded that 67 million worth of transactions ended up and properly transferred into the personal account of Custodian Inc the payment processor. That’s part of the reason I don’t buy any of these cryptocurrencies and although I don’t give investment advice, I would advise you not to either. This Bitcoin is lost. Now, if you have good old greenbacks, cold hard cash, and the money burns in the fire, hey, if you can get the ashes to the Secret Service, you can get your money back. If it’s torn up. If it’s shredded by your dog, you can get your money back. If a crypto exchange goes out of business or loses your money. And it’s happened many times, we’re talking about many hundreds of millions of dollars so far that have been lost or stolen in these, you are in deep trouble.
Okay, so this week you guys have to attend. I’m going to be explaining why you need to secure your Wi-Fi network and how to do it step by step. I’m going to be explaining how to use the firewall that’s on your Mac, that’s on your Windows machine and how to use it. So you can still conduct business, but you can keep yourself safer. And then the lesson in the third video this week is how to do backups properly, the 3-2-1 rule of backups and how you can do it inexpensively. I’m going to show you the free tools you have. I’m going to show you some of the best companies out there to use to do some of these other things, inexpensively. Companies that I’ve used personally that I’ve advised people to use that are doing an amazing job. Right? That’s what we’re going to be talking about this week. And you have to sign up I’m going to put these videos up these are going to be some training videos. We’re going to do a live webinar where I’m going to take your questions on Thursday and answer your questions that you can email me during the week. As you watch the videos, new ones, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. This week, I may do one on Thursday. But Thursday’s the day I’m going to be doing the live webinars. So on Thursday, it’s going to be a little bit of a busy day. So I don’t know I’m going to get a video out. But this is step by step like you’ve never seen it before. Really.
You know, if you’ve been frustrated going online, trying to search on YouTube or on Google to try and find the best stuff and you hope that what comes up first is right. But you know what is not going to work properly. If you do this other thing. This is an integrated approach to make it all work. I’m even going to be showing you how to automate the whole thing so that you get the upgrade. How to use this stack of security tools so that you are not only resistant to viruses, but also to Trojans, to malware, to crypto mining, to all of the major problems that people have. So that’s what I’m going to be doing and none of it costs you a dime. I’m given away my best stuff for free because I want businesses to be safe.
That’s the goal. That’s the goal of the Saturday show and personal as well. But this is about businesses. Businesses have lost tens of billions of dollars accorded the FBI over the last 12 months. So I want to stop that. Make sure you sign up. Visit http://CraigPeterson.com. Or check this morning’s email. If you get my weekly email. There’s a sign up in that as well. Make sure you follow along because this is for this week. Only. I am taking it down because this stuff changes so frequently. I don’t want to leave it up and then have you get confused if someone finds it later on. I want you to stay up to date. http://CraigPeterson.com. Anyways, have a great week. I got a busy one ahead of me. Take care and be safe out there. Bye-bye.