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Mar 31, 2021

Good morning everybody! 

I was on WGAN this morning with Matt Gagnon. I talked about the Suez Canal blockage by the M/V Ever Given and what really runs the Suez Canal.  Then we got into Scams that people fall for and the conviction of the Celebrity Twitter Hacker.  Then we talked about Bitcoin and its meteoric rise in price and who now will take Bitcoin as payment in a commercial transaction. Here we go with Matt.

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Automated Machine Generated Transcript:

Craig Peterson: [00:00:00] Fun with Mr. Matt Gagnon this morning is we talked a little bit about Tesla. Again. I had to bring up this whole thing with the Suez canal and of course, wedging that cargo ship. We also talked a little bit about this teen who hacked some blue check Twitter accounts and is now serving time.

So here we go. 

Matt Gagnon: [00:00:24] We are back again, at seven 36 on Wednesday morning, which is a great time to talk to Craig Peterson, our tech guru. He joins us at this time every week, Craig, how are you? 

Good morning, sir. 

Craig Peterson: [00:00:34] It is a great time. I'm doing well. 

Matt Gagnon: [00:00:37] Well, Craig, let's be honest. Is it ever a bad time to talk to Craig Peterson?

Craig Peterson: [00:00:43] Probably not. You know, I have three kids in the maritime industry and you probably heard about the Suez cargo ship and what is going on. 

Matt Gagnon: [00:00:52] I don't know. I must've missed it. Didn't I don't know. I do know that I ordered something from Amazon, which was delayed and I'm guessing maybe it was on the boat.

Craig Peterson: [00:01:00] Maybe it's fascinating too, to talk to my kids about this because one of my daughters was in fact, commanding a ship going through the Suez canal five years ago on the very day that ship managed to get stuck. Interesting conversations with her not just about the whole idea of saving all of that money from fuel. The way it works is they charge a million-plus bucks to go through a canal, either the one here in America or the one over there. It costs more than that in fuel to go around the Horn or the Cape, depending on which you're in. These ships go through and just like any Harbor in the world, they have pilots.

 These pilots are well-trained. We got a lot of them, Mariners, here in Maine, listening to the show. I got an email from one this week. 

In fact, my daughter and I were talking, to her and her friends and they were saying, I'm not sure that any of these pilots that run the ships through the Suez canal could actually get a Maine boating license. 

 It doesn't matter what you're hauling. There's two things you have to haul on your ship if you want to make it through the Suez canal. And that is cartons of Marlboro Reds and bags of M&Ms because you have to bribe these guys in order to take you through the canal.  I was not surprised. When I saw this massive ship having run aground right there in the canal. 

Matt Gagnon: [00:02:29] See, I was making lots of jokes about teenagers, parallel parking. To me, that's what it kind of looked like, right? Like, Oh no, I gotta get outta here. Oh no, now I'm stuck right here. 

Craig Peterson: [00:02:38] Exactly. 

Matt Gagnon: [00:02:40] Well, Craig Peterson can be heard on this very station on Saturdays at one o'clock. If you want to hear any of this stuff in more depth and detail, and we have a few things to get to Craig, so let's move on.

Look. Not that this was ever something that I thought was a good idea, but I think we now have ample evidence that hacking into famous people's Twitter accounts is probably not going to give you a good time, right?  Some prison for the hackers that got into a couple of really prominent accounts.

Tell me about the story. 

Craig Peterson: [00:03:05] Yeah, this was a big deal. What happened is this guy managed to get into president Obama's account, Elon Musk's account, Joe Biden's account back when, and he said that he listened to everybody we're just so excited about everything and how well things are going. If you send me Bitcoin, I'll send you back triple. What it is that you sent me. 

So send me 10 Bitcoin. I'll send you back 300. Amazingly, this guy collected more than a hundred grand worth of Bitcoin. People were sending him fractional Bitcoin too. Turns out it was a teenager. The kid was about 17 years old. He hacked these accounts using the good old-fashioned way.

In other words, they had terrible passwords. 

Matt Gagnon: [00:03:57] Yeah. 

Craig Peterson: [00:03:57] He got into these things and was able to just con people out of money. It's totally amazing. We still apparently fall for this Nigerian scam. It basically what it is. Who is going to do that Matt?

Matt Gagnon: [00:04:12] Don't know, but people clearly do because this is continually a problem and so they definitely do. 

Craig Peterson: [00:04:18] Yeah, it is.  Now we've got a new version that they've started up. You were talking about what happened a year ago. We only have them lockdown for about two weeks. So the rest of this is just all our imagination. But because of that all of this personal protective equipment and stuff, there were scams going on, hospitals, the federal government buying hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of personal protective equipment. That was completely not up to spec. It was trash. California spent millions of dollars on stuff that wasn't even delivered. 

Scammers are out there. Everybody we've got to be careful and they're going after us to another way. That is many of us are lonely. So we're looking for friends online. We're finding friends online and they're scamming us another way by saying, Oh my, you know, my mother she's been really ill, of course, they build-up to this right over the course of weeks.  So you say, Oh, how is she? It's not really a joke, but says, okay, well she needs this surgery and it's going to cost $5,000. They con people now particularly our more seasoned citizens into sending them money. 

The FBI has been warning about that one again, too. So we've gotta be really careful. Look at everything. Inspect that email pay close attention to them. Phishing training needs to happen for employees because of business email compromises.

But this kid is going to serve time as a juvenile. Cause he was 17 at the time he reached a plea deal and there was a minimum 10-year mandatory sentence for what he did. Apparently, he's going to serve about three years in the juvenile facility. 

Matt Gagnon: [00:06:05] Craig Peterson joins us at this time every Wednesday to go over what's happening in the world to technology. You mentioned Bitcoin, quite a bit in that little story you just told me here.

I can't resist asking about Elon Musk. And the fact that they're going to be apparently accepting Bitcoin and he's not going to convert it. He's going to keep the Bitcoin itself. Is he's going to use it as currency more than just an investment?  I had a really interesting conversation with somebody about this recently about whether or not someday in the future, there might be a possibility that a Bitcoin or other cryptocurrency type of thing could actually serve as true currency and not just an investment. 

Which a lot of people are doing it right now. This is, to me, this is the thing that's required for that to work, right? Is that people are using it as a mechanism of trade on its own,  as its own thing, rather than using it as a sort of an intermediary.

What do you think about this decision by Musk? 

Craig Peterson: [00:06:56] Currency our government issues only has value because you can spend it places like you were saying. Right? Correct. Where can you spend Bitcoin? Well, the number one thing Bitcoin has been spent on is paying ransoms. Elon Musk recently bought a billion and a half dollars worth of Bitcoin, but that's not uncommon.

We're finding more and more companies, particularly over the last year where ransomware payments have tripled in 2020, companies are buying Bitcoin as insurance in case they get ransomware. 

So rather than cleaning up their technical act. Yes. Let's just get some money to set aside for paying a ransom when that time comes because we're incompetent.

I don't know it's part of their planning, right? So he bought some. Hard to say why Bitcoin and a lot of people are saying it's going to go much higher than it is. Other people are saying it's going to fall. I'm certainly not an investment advisor. 

By having Musk now say we will accept Bitcoin as a means of trade as you said, I think it gets it a lot closer. You know, we started out, with the pizza story. You might remember the Bitcoin's very first purchase, 10,000 Bitcoins for two Papa John's pizzas. Now it's one Bitcoin for an electric car from Elon Musk. We've got this whole new genre of people buying digital artwork for millions of dollars that can be replicated duplicated like that perfectly. It's not like the Mona Lisa. This whole world's going crazy. 

Governments are very big into trying to come up with a cryptocurrency. The part I don't like is that it obviously all trade, if it was forced onto one of these cryptocurrencies is more readily tracked, which is what the government's after. So that they can tax it and they can track transactions. They can track everything, including what might be an illegal transaction for drugs or things. Although, drugs are getting more and more legal every time you turned around. We'll see what happens. Governments really want this, but they haven't figured out how to master yet. 

Elon obviously thinks it's worthwhile to take Bitcoin. Maybe he figures a Bitcoin at 50,000 today is going to be a hundred thousand next year and it's a great investment for Tesla. It's hard to say he hasn't announced it. 

Matt Gagnon: [00:09:27] Indeed. All right. Well, Craig Peterson joins us on Wednesdays to talk about all these ends. So many more stories, Craig, good luck on Saturday talking about these very things.

We'll talk to you again next week.

Craig Peterson: [00:09:38] Take care, Matt Thanks a lot. 

The drama continues. I, and Karen worked all day, Monday, Tuesday to do what we thought would just take an hour or two in getting everything ready for this course, the final stuff, getting it up in a membership site, and everything.

 It is now 99% ready. I have a couple more things to do. You'll be getting emails about the Improving Windows Security course.  I'm going to throw in a couple more bonuses, we will schedule a couple of phone calls, to answer any questions you guys might have, or maybe webinars, probably the better way to do it so I can show you stuff if we need to.

 We're thinking we might want to include a couple more little things too. So we'll see how that all goes. You might actually get the email about the course before you listen to this podcast if everything goes okay.

Take care, everybody. We'll be back this weekend. 


Oh, and I should probably tell you, in case you're just a podcast listener and you're not on my email list.

It's Craig


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