RUSH: I got something wrong when I told you earlier today, when I started the program, that I paid no attention, to anything that happened last week while I was away. I was literally away.
I did not keep up with the news purposely. I mean, I didn’t avoid it. I just didn’t go there, and then I had to cram yesterday. There was one thing I did hear about, and that was because I puttered around tech blogs, and that was all these celebrities and their nude photos supposedly hacked and put all over Reddit. I watched the uproar over that.
I must say, I know it’s going to sound smug, but I watched that with a little amusement because people were saying all kinds of things they knew nothing about in describing how it happened and why it happened and what needs to happen to make sure it doesn’t happen again. There was one alarming thing that bothered me. Now, I don’t mean to say that when I heard it, I got alarmed and the day was ruined and that I ran around, “Oh, my God!”
It was nothing like that. I heard people say, “Well, what do these celebrities expect? That’s what you get for putting nude photos of yourself on the Cloud and on a phone.” No. That’s not the right way to look at this, tempting though it may be. I mean, there are a lot of people with a lot of schadenfreude. “Oh, yeah! Celebrity? Oh, yeah, love to see these people get comeuppance,” and this kind of thing, but the problem here lies with these hackers, people who are out there trying to invade everybody else’s privacy.
Now, there’s a bit of a conflict going on because, as is well documented, people in great numbers have thrown off all pretense in privacy. You know as well as I do that people are populating these social websites and literally vomiting everything there is to know about them, because they’re so desperate for fame. They don’t need to be hacked. They’re just putting it out there. But these particular celebrities…
Okay, so they’re taking nude photos. Well, that may not be the coolest thing to do, but it still doesn’t give anybody the right to see them. It doesn’t give anybody a right to go hack their accounts and invade their privacy. It just doesn’t. I don’t care what they’re doing. They certainly weren’t breaking any laws doing it. Now, you can say, “Well, if they hadn’t done it, then there would have been no interest and nobody would have published their pictures.”
Well, we don’t know that, number one.
But number two, do you really want to go through your life not doing this, not doing that in case somebody might hack your account? Or would you rather focus on finding out how the hell it was done and preventing it? I think there’s something missing here. I’m going to get a lot of grief for this but I fully expect it. It’s my job to get grief. In this day and age, hard cold truth and reality is simply not wanted, and it certainly isn’t appreciated.
But I think… Let me say it this way. I am astounded at the high level of ignorance there is on the part of people using these devices. I am astounded at the lack of curiosity to learn how they work, what can be done with them, and more than that, how to protect what’s on them. I can’t tell you how many people that I’ve run into.
Now, admittedly, some of them are of a certain age group to which technology is a new thing and it’s scary. And I understand all that. But there isn’t anything scary about it. There’s nothing scary at all. All it is is a wonderful new world of possibility, innovation, mind expansion. It’s just… It’s one of the greatest things going, and I don’t understand the fear of it. But there’s a lot of it.
I’ve told you the story that has happened three times to people who got an iPhone. It’s the greatest thing in the world. They used to have a flip phone, like a Motorola flip phone and they made phone calls and that was it. They get an iPhone and they discover it’s a camera and they start taking pictures of everything, and soon they’re using it as their own camera, but they don’t have the slightest idea of the concept of backing it up.
Nobody has ever explained it to them.
They went out and bought the phone, and they don’t know a thing about connecting it iTunes and either backing it up there. Last week I asked people that I know, “Are you backed up to iCloud?” “I don’t know. What’s iCloud?” My mind boggles. How in the world can you use one of these and not know what iCloud is? But they don’t, and when I start to explain how these things work, I’m looked at — because I understand it — like I’m an idiot, like my degree of interest is skewed.
“You care about this? You know how this works?”
They start laughing, making fun of me. Honest to God they do. They make fun of me for knowing how these things work. They ask me what to do how to fix it but they make fun of me for knowing how it works. To me it’s only natural to know what these devices can do. “Okay, you can take pictures with it? Fine. How to you get them off? How do you save them? How do you transfer them to something else?”
Does nobody ever think of it?
It boggles my mind. The whole concept of protecting it…
People put locks on their desks. People put look locks on their doors. Why people are intimidated to find out how to secure their devices and the data that’s on them is mind boggling to me. I’m not trying to sound uppity or pretentious here. Don’t misunderstand. But I think if you are going to put nude photos of yourself on your phone, you better damn well understand how to protect them instead of getting all ticked off if somebody hacks in and gets them.
To me, it’s your ultimate responsibility, because there are steps you can take.
There are measures you can take to protect that data. Now, the best hackers can get through anything. There’s no question. If you’re a celebrity, I would think even more so. Get a phone that’s not in your name! Get a phone that’s not on your account, that’s in somebody else’s name or whatever. It boggles the mind. I can’t tell you the number of people I run into that are afraid of this stuff. You know, I’ll try to teach somebody just the simplest of things you can do.
“No, no! No, no. I don’t want learn. No, no. Just show me where to take the picture.”
“Okay. Well, do you know that you can take an HDR picture? Do you know you can take slo-motion pictures?”
“I don’t want to take slow-mo. I just want to take a picture.”
“Okay, okay. Do you know how to fix things? If you mistype, do you know how to edit and correct it?”
“I don’t want to know how to correct it it! I just want to send the email.”
“Ooookay. Well, do you know that your phone can…?”
“I don’t care what it can do. I don’t care! No, I don’t want to know.”
“Do you know your phone is 4 years old and there’s a bunch of new…”
“No, I don’t care. I don’t want a new phone!”
It’s amazing. Sometimes I feel like I’m on an island with this stuff. I would think that you would want to learn everything you could about protecting it. (interruption) What are you laughing at in there? Do you think I’m stepping into it here? (interruption) Oh. Brian is laughing because I’m describing somebody he knows. To me, it’s just fascinating stuff. That’s just me, and I don’t understand why it’s not fascinating to everybody.
Some people think global warming is fascinating. I think it’s a hoax. Some people think Obama is fascinating. I think he’s a joke. But this stuff is fascinating. It keeps you young; it expands your mind. Staying ahead of the curve is a challenge. Staying with the curve is a challenge. Look, a place I went last week, I could not get my computer on the Internet. Now, there used to be a day I had to call somebody.
“Hey, you know what? My computer won’t hook up. What do I do?” I don’t have to do that anymore. I figured out a way to get it to work. Lousy internet, stupid password protection. I found that, got the password. It still wasn’t working for a whole host of reasons. I figured out how to do it because it matters to me. I’m interested in it. I want to be connected to the Internet so I’ve learned how to make it happen when it doesn’t happen automatically.
That’s just me. That makes me a nerd and an oddball and a kook to a lot of my friends. But this stuff that happened? iCloud was not hacked. That is not what happened. You know what happened? This is the scary part. Law enforcement has an app (which, in a way, makes sense) that allows them, if they can get your password and ID. Let’s talk iCloud for a second since that’s what I’m familiar with.
But same with Google Play or Google Drive or anything else. If they can get your user ID and password and in some cases the law will command that you provide it if you’re under indictment or whatever, what they can to do with this app is download your backup. I’ve discovered a lot of people to not even know that their devices are backing up automatically when they plug them in to recharge. That’s what when it happens.
They don’t even know that. Some people don’t even know that they’re being backed up, which is a good thing that they’re being backed up but they don’t even know it. But the cops have a app that back up. All they have to do is take that backup file and get it translated and they have access to everything that’s on your phone. So the key is, one of the efforts is to make sure nobody gets your password.
Well, there are any number of ways that you can do that. There’s all kinds of ways to create strong passwords you don’t have to remember. There are apps that do it or you don’t want to use the same password for every website or thing that you go to. My point is, the onus is on the user in a lot of these instances, and the user is never held responsible. The user always ends up being the victim because obviously the user does get victimized in situations like this, but there are things users can do.
Hackers are always going to find the less protected, the least protected accounts and go there. There’s another thing. A lot of people don’t know what fishing is. Phishing. P-h-i-s-h. I almost get fooled by this stuff. The hacker will create an email that looks identical in a lot of ways to a service you already use, and the email always comes with a sense of urgency or emergency.
There’s a problem on your account and you’ve got to do this right away to make sure there’s no interruption. Well, people don’t want interruptions. They click on it, and all that does is provide their log-on information to the phisher because it’s legitimate. So until you learn a phishing attempt… It’s another thing that makes people vulnerable. But even at that, I just really am surprised at how much people do not even try to understand about these devices that they are buying and using.
By the same token, let me be fair, I will also admit that the providers, the companies and so forth, don’t do a very good job themselves of explaining what all is possible with their devices unless you read third-party people who are in love with these devices and just have blogs that do nothing but explain what all you can do with an iPhone or an iPad. So it’s amazing what these devices are capable of and they’re only going to improve and become capable of doing even more.
A lot of people using them don’t have the slightest idea of the power that they’re holding in one hand with one of these devices and what all can be done with it. I’m talking about good, for them! You know, enjoyable things. But they also, because they’re easy to use, you end up putting all kinds of important things on them, and if somebody… That cop app, by the way, is now out there. Some in law enforcement…
This is all it took. One person in law enforcement to give that app to somebody outside law enforcement, and then the app got copied and spread around and now these hackers have it. iCloud, per se, was not hacked. In that sense, it wasn’t cracked. What happened was that these celebrities’ log-in information was ascertained, and there are all kinds of clever ways they have of getting that, without asking you.
There’s clever ways of getting it. The dreaded password reset is one of the most commonly used techniques by hackers. They can reset your password if they know the answer to your security questions and your birthday, for example. Some companies only required those two pieces of information to reset your password. So a hacker, if you’re a celebrity, they can find your birthday. If you’re a celebrity, they can probably find out the first school you went to or your grandmother’s maiden name or what have you.
And by trial and error they’ll eventually be able to answer your security question and then they reset your password and that locks you out. They have control over your account and who knows what they’re doing with it? Any number of things like this can happen, but you can protect yourself against it if you know how. But the bottom line here: The users are not at fault. Jennifer Lawrence and these people, whoever got hacked, their nudies, they’re not at fault here. The hackers always are. The criminal, the lawbreaker to me is always responsible for this.
RUSH: I don’t want to be misunderstood. There’s no foolproof magic bullet to that you can do to make sure you’re not going to get hacked. Some of the most accomplished, educated, computer-type people have been hacked and have written long articles about the six months it took. One guy got hacked via his Amazon account. I think his name was Mat Honan. Wired Magazine or Wired.com.
Everybody is subject to it, and if somebody targets you, it depends. That’s what these celebrities learned. If you advertise yourself as a juicy target, like they did with nude photos… Criminals are criminals, and practical jokers are practical jokers. And everybody has different ways of getting their jollies, and hackers, some of them are white hat.
Some of them hack to find out how things can be broken so they can advise people how to fix the vulnerability. Others are black hat hackers and they’re out there strictly to cause mayhem and havoc. One of the best things you can do is to never become known. That way you’re not a target. Stay anonymous. But of course, nobody is doing that. Everybody is just practically broadcasting everything they can about themselves in the quest for a reality show.
Everybody wants a reality show. Everybody wants to be a judge on TV. Everybody wants to be a radio talk show host. Everybody wants to be on Real Housewives. Everybody wants to be Duck Dynasty 2 or whatever it is or be on the Jerry Springer Show. You name it. In the process, you make yourself a target.
Look, we’ve got only a brief half-hour of our busy broadcast remaining. I’m going to get back to some more phone calls when we get back. Let’s see… Oh, yeah. Michelle Obama’s school menu is being tossed out by the kids all over the country, too. That’s uplifting.
RUSH: Here is Robin in Cody, Wyoming, as we head back to the phones. Great to have you on the program. Hello.
CALLER: Well, greetings from Buffalo Bill country, Rush. We love you up here.
RUSH: Thank you, thank you very much.
CALLER: Listen, your comment earlier about technology being so far advanced. Technology has surpassed the general society and there’s so few people out there who know how to use what we have. Our education system is so far below the rest of the world. You know, we need to be teaching kids how things work, not just handing them the toy to play with. And that’s kind of what I feel like we’re doing with computers and iPads and telephones and — I mean, we are fast approaching that society that Ann Rand wrote about in Atlas Shrugged. Your example of the camera phone earlier, “I just want to know how to shoot a picture. I just want to know how to shoot a picture.”
CALLER: Think about the terrorists who now are in possession of US military equipment overseas. They just want to know how to shoot people.
CALLER: It’s a really scary thing.
RUSH: Well, with that perspective and that context, yeah. You’re right. It is.
CALLER: I’m glad that maybe the technology is beyond, you know, the average person. But what’s scary is you’re putting it in the hands of a child, basically. And they’re going to point it at people they don’t intend to point it to or — I just see devastation happening.
RUSH: Okay, but you are referring specifically to, I guess, military-grade technology?
CALLER: Well, military, but the new cars scare the devil out of me. If I’m driving on a freeway in Wyoming and a tumbleweed is flowing before me, is my car going to lock up its brakes to save me from the tumbleweed? All that technology that we have —
RUSH: Oh, that kind.
CALLER: — to protect us from ourselves. I mean, everything. I just see horrible things. We are so far beyond. We don’t have a clue what we’re dealing with with our technology. We really don’t.
RUSH: There’s no question. (crosstalk)
CALLER: — put it in the hands of people that can actually do harm to one another.
RUSH: Well, certain technology, yeah. Now, are you worried about the technology that’s in a smart phone being able to be turned on people? Aside from hacking.
CALLER: I have friends who have been in the business of developing those smart cards, you know, the smart credit cards that you can wave over something and it will bill your account. Well, that’s nice. But when you think about that little chip in that card is going up to a satellite and they can locate you, you know, you talk about the smart bombs going out in and assassinating people. Well, when you have things like that on you, we know where you are, what you’re doing, and where you’ve been, where you’re traveling. Those little smart credit cards can trigger all the way down a freeway. Your car is embedded with these smart chips as well. I mean, I’m afraid to go to the doctor and get a vaccination because now you got robots that, you know, if you’re required to get a vaccination, they may start implanting these things so they can locate you.
CALLER: I mean, you know, people say, “Oh that’s a conspiracy theory.” No, it’s not. It’s fact. That’s our science today. We can do that. And the good things about it are nice. The bad things about it are worse. Because when the bad guys get in control of that technology, they’re going to wreck havoc on people.
RUSH: Well, some would think the bad guys already are.
CALLER: Well, yeah, lots of us have that opinion.
RUSH: Well, I know. Location technology, GPS and that kind of thing, that’s been around a lot longer than people think it has. The ability to be tracked, I can’t tell you the number of people, for example, who say, “No, no, man, I don’t have my location services turned on, no way.” I’m sorry to tell you that your phone pings a cell tower even when it’s off. If somebody wants to find you, they can.
RUSH: Whether you’ve got your location services turned off or not. You may as well turn them on.
CALLER: If you go down to Vegas and you go to the techie guys when they have their great convention all the time, they’re always telling us what’s around the corner, what’s being used right now. You can have your phone off and people can turn on a listening device on your smart phone and record your conversation.
RUSH: Law enforcement can, yes.
CALLER: No! (snickers) Not law enforcement. My hacker friends can do that. So you know, yeah, law enforcement can legally, I guess, if they have a court order from some judge. But there’s a lot of hackers out there and they know how to do all that stuff. Who do you think taught law enforcement?
RUSH: Uh, true.
RUSH: But the thing is, there’s no stopping it.
CALLER: Yes, there is. You don’t carry a smart phone. You get an old car. You don’t get a new car. You know, I’m looking for the oldest car I can find that’s still running because I can keep it runnin’, you know?
RUSH: Well, of course. All right.
RUSH: Of course there’s a way. You can try to not have stuff that’s made in the modern era.
CALLER: Well, you can get away it from it, I think, you know? Like you can get in the middle of Yellowstone Park and you don’t have cell service and your GPS doesn’t work and your cute little app maps don’t work, and if you don’t know where you’re going you have to fly by the seat of your pants — and, you know, it’s fun to do that sometimes in your life.
RUSH: But somehow the rescue people always find you. How do they know where you are if you don’t?
CALLER: Well, sometimes they don’t.
CALLER: We still have a couple of folks missing. I hate to say, but they kind of bring it on themselves when they go tubing down the waterfalls and stuff like that. When you’re in Yellowstone National Park, you’re the lowest thing on the food chain, and you’re still the slowest thing running. So if a bear is running after you, I don’t care what app you have on your phone. It’s not going to pull you out of that one.
RUSH: No, no! You just have to turn around and tell the bear that you are for global warming and it will stop and hug you. I saw that in a TV commercial. A polar bear tracked down a guy driving an electric car to give him a hug for not destroying the planet. Didn’t you see that? No, there’s no reason to fear animals as long as they can you’re looking out for them.