Chris Rock is a Cyber Mercenary who has worked in the Middle East, the US, and Asia for the last 30 years working for both government and private organizations. He is the Chief Information Security Officer and co-founder of SIEMonster.
Chris has presented three times at the largest hacking conference in the world, DEFCON in Las Vegas on controversial vulnerabilities including.
How hackers could create fake people and kill them using vulnerabilities in the Birth and Death Registration systems around the world.
How cyber mercenaries can overthrow a government working with coup mercenary Simon Mann.
How cyber mercenaries can bypass modern-day Jammers using the earth as an antenna to trigger an IED at 2kHz.
[00:00:00] Chris Rock: That you, you talked about your, your wallet that protects your cards from skimmers. The technique, the technical range of the, I don't want to get too technical, but the technical range of these, and you use it when you go to the supermarket or when you pay for groceries, that distance of where that card is effective is one to five centimeters.
[00:00:17] And that's, that's a pretty small distance, so a skimmer would have to get really close to you. I bring this up because the technology that I used in that jammer protection was lengthening that distance from one to five to, back to what I was saying before, about seven miles in length. So can you imagine a skimmer that's essentially nine kilometers away or seven miles away? That you could actually then skim people from a distance, people in their homes and stuff like that. It's, so it's these flaws in the systems that we take for granted that it's a short distance, not necessarily so.
[00:00:53] Ed Watters: To overcome, you must educate. Educate not only yourself, but educate anyone seeking to learn. We are all Dead America, we can all learn something. To learn, we must challenge what we already understand. The way we do that is through conversation. Sometimes we have conversations with others, however, some of the best conversations happen with ourself. Reach out and challenge yourself; let's dive in and learn something right now.
[00:01:43] Today we're speaking with Chris Rock, he is a cyber mercenary. Also, he is the co founder of SIEMonster. He wrote a book, Baby Harvest. Chris, I can't wait to get into this. Could you please introduce yourself? Let people know just a little bit more about you, please.
[00:02:04] Chris Rock: Thanks for that, Ed. Uh, lovely to be here. So, um, you're spot on, I'm a cyber mercenary. I'm a professional hacker, I've been doing it my whole life. Um, I'm now 50 years of age. Uh, I'm also a co founder of a security company, um, which is essentially software to detect hackers and their networks. Uh, the two go hand in hand.
[00:02:25] Ed Watters: Yeah, it's very interesting when you came across the desk. It sort of scared the hell out of me, Chris. You know, I, I thought our world was a little bit safer than what you portray it to be. And with all of our technological advances, I really thought we had more of a control aspect on the security nature of this. But what are the vulnerability levels of our technological age that we should be aware of?
[00:02:59] Chris Rock: So the, it's actually made it worse, the way that technology has moved has made it, then people like myself can then take advantage of those systems. So to give you an example, I did a talk about eight years ago on how you could birth somebody and kill somebody that doesn't exist using flaws in the electronic birth and death records. Then the beauty for that of like, criminals, is you can, as I said, you can birth someone and then get a life insurance policy on them. Or get their, um, you know, social security number when they get older, um, working history, and then you've got, essentially got a virtual criminal to buy things like firearms and stuff like that. It's not on the, it's on the system, but it's not a real person behind it. So criminals can take advantage of that, kill that person off, and then, and then take their life insurance money and no one ever existed. That's just one example.
[00:03:48] Ed Watters: It's crazy how that was, yeah.
[00:03:50] Chris Rock: It's shocking, it's shocking. And, and I can understand how we got there. Essentially in America, you would have a doctor who would come to someone who's died and fill out a piece of paperwork. And then that would get handed to a funeral director and they would fill out the other half of that paperwork, and then you would then have somebody dead in the system. And you'd have two handwritten copies, one from the doctor, one from the funeral director.
[00:04:15] At that stage then, um, you had the two pieces of information the government needed to shut you down. But then that piece of paper was then at that registry office. So if you're in Ohio, that, that piece of paper was in Ohio. If that office burned down, there was no central record. So the government thought, you know what?
[00:04:32] Let's make a central death index. And so they bring them all centrally, electronically. And then to get, get around the whole doctor handwriting, funeral director handwriting, let's make it electronic. So instead of us getting faxes from these two parties, let's get them to put it online. But doctors are really smart at doing doctoring, but they're really terrible at technology.
[00:04:51] So let's make it easy. So they just have to put their registration number on, which is a, anyone can find online, that's a public record. And their office address. And then that's all I need to submit. And that was the flaw that I discovered in that system for both birth and death that people could take advantage of.
[00:05:09] Ed Watters: And you do this all the time, exploiting these, uh, vulnerabilities in the system. What are some of
[00:05:18] Chris Rock: Exactly.
[00:05:18] Ed Watters: the worse case scenarios that we've come across?
[00:05:23] Chris Rock: So that, that's just an example that I, I brought, that I discovered myself. But there's people in my industry who do this full time, that discover, uh, uh, issues with such as cars. And that came out in, uh, in 2015 as well, where you could take remote control of a car like a Jeep. And then you could then crash it off the road. Um, Some security researchers discovered that and worried why it made things, but that's just people doing it professionally, let alone the criminals that do it without publicizing their results.
[00:05:56] Ed Watters: Yeah, that's very alarming when we really stop and think about it. You know, we're switching into this technological age that really, it's helpful in so many ways but we're kind of oblivious to the security flaws that follow that. And I was watching some of your videos earlier today and you made it look so simple to go in, grab the stuff you need, and apply for certifications. That blows me away that we allow our federal governments and all of our banking system, everything is online now. And as you pointed out very clearly and well, that's a very bad area to be in. How do we change that?
[00:06:54] Chris Rock: Uh, it's, it's, it's, we're not going to change it quickly. Those deficiencies I told you about that I discovered eight years ago, nothing's changed since that discovery. So that's how seriously they take that information. So they don't take it seriously at all. They're caught behind, they're caught behind, uh, between a rock and a hard place. They're trying to bring things centrally, they're trying to make sure kids actually get registered for birth because some, in some societies within the US and Australia, for example, I'm Australian by the way, accent wise, um, you know, people aren't registering children at birth. The government wants to fix that, they want to get people registered. So, you know, they'll take a few hits from, you know, some hackers like myself.
[00:07:33] But they want a record of who's born and who's died, um, and to do that they need to make it as simple as possible. They don't want to make it hard for, for example, Aboriginal in my community, to make it, make it hard for them to register birth when they didn't do it at birth, but they're doing it when the kid hits five and needs to go to school.
[00:07:51] So they're trying to make it as easy as possible that a mother or father of a child can register them. So they're, they're caught between trying to bring society forward and the technical problems that come with it. And they will always be behind hackers. It's, it's, it's always been that way. And you ask, how can we change? Well, we can make small changes, but hackers will always look for flaws, um, in the system to, to take advantage of that.
[00:08:14] Ed Watters: Yeah. We often hear about these hackers, they attack institutions like Iran and their nuclear vulnerabilities. Those same vulnerabilities are here also. And it really makes me wonder how the Chinese, and Iranians, and God knows how many others are actually studying and going deep into these flaws in the system to exploit them.
[00:08:49] Chris Rock: You raise a good point. And to be honest, China takes it seriously. They take, you know, children
[00:08:55] Ed Watters: Yeah.
[00:08:55] Chris Rock: who are thirteen or eighteen years of age who have, you know, any inclination into what I do and they promote that. They don't let them go into the, you know, the commercial, commercial world. They take advantage of people like that.
[00:09:07] And they then set up what we call like cyber warfare divisions who will target that. They're not worried about the, you know, what we would consider the law where you have to follow certain laws. Their job is to get to gather secrets from countries like America, Australia, and England, for example. So they don't care on, you know, what damage they, they do.
[00:09:27] They've been in it for longer than us. And when I say they, the divisions, Army divisions that we have. Don't get me wrong, we have great skills in the US, and Australia, UK, for example. But they take it more seriously than we do with the firepower. And what I mean by firepower, it's just the mind power of these hackers just targeting Western targets nonstop and I mean nonstop. And they don't worry about getting caught because you're not getting, if you're a hacker in China, you're not getting caught. Um, you're protected by the
[00:09:57] Ed Watters: Yeah.
[00:09:57] Chris Rock: government.
[00:09:59] Ed Watters: That, that's [00:10:00] really alarming. Uh, you stated about an IED attack and how vulnerable we truly are to that because of some of these system flaws. Could you talk to us about that a little bit?
[00:10:17] Chris Rock: Yeah, so my research started when I saw Julian Assange in the, uh, Ecuadorian, um, embassy and he was trying to communicate out. But he was getting jammed by the, um, the UK government or divisions of the UK. And I, I got interested in how jammers work, what frequencies they work on, and then that led me down the garden path to jamming of the IED devices. How do jammers work? What frequencies do they work on? And flaws in jammer technology. So I spent the next four years working with electronic engineers and doing research with mathematicians on how you could actually get around this jammer technology.
[00:10:56] And I found out that jammers didn't jam under a certain frequency and that was about, uh, twenty-four kilohertz. And I couldn't understand like why they were not scanning it. And the reason for that, uh, and not to make it too technical, is if you're looking at jamming under a certain frequency, you need a really large antenna.
[00:11:15] So the government knows that if you had an IED with an antenna that was one kilometer tall, it's pretty obvious to anyone coming down the road that there's an IED, uh, with an antenna. And, um, you know, there's nothing you can do about it. Like it's, you can visually see it in the air. So I, I then looked at how can I create an antenna that doesn't have to be one kilometer straight up in the, in the sky?
[00:11:38] So I started looking at different technologies and using the earth as an antenna. And I spent, as I said, four years on how I could then, um, essentially get around jamming technology by operating in a really low frequency. And I'm talking about two to three, uh, kilohertz in, in, in terms of wavelength.
[00:11:56] Ed Watters: That blows me away. You know, that goes back into Nikola Tesla kind of studies and using the earth to, you know, send frequency waves. So it kind of works in that same fashion, I would assume
[00:12:15] Chris Rock: you're spot on. So I took the work of Tesla and why it stopped. So I looked at, you know, they were using ground wave antennas originally, and then I went to a normal radio frequency.
[00:12:27] And I thought, why did you stop? And I can understand because running things like earth antennas and stuff like that, you need a lot of power. And you, the signal, even my signal will only go eleven kilometers in, uh, what's that about seven miles in distance. So, if you're talking about a wireless transmission that only goes seven miles, it's got really limited
[00:12:48] use. And by going to like normal radio frequency in a higher spectrum, uh, you know, in the megahertz or gigahertz, you can transfer around the world. Um, so I can understand what, why that sort of technology was then dropped. But I then took up the baton and worked out how I could then use that to my own advantage. And in an, in an IED space where an ID goes off, that you need to spot up for that IED to go off, you know, within say one mile distance. To spot it when the convoy is going through, that's exactly the instance that I, that I, I focused in on. That was perfect for what I wanted to do.
[00:13:22] Ed Watters: That, that's just mind blowing. And, you know, a lot of people don't understand, a lot of our technology is made over in the foreign countries. And China, for instance, everything that we send to have them build for us, I'm sure they're reverse engineering this and they've got that same technology. And I was discussing this with an individual just a couple weeks ago and they were so confident that our electronics were so superior to, say, the Chinese. And I just couldn't agree with that. What is your thought on that?
[00:14:12] Chris Rock: Yeah, I think, and I don't want to get too political, but that's, that's sort of like grandstanding. It's like, uh, Melbourne's better than Sydney, New York's better than LA, there's no evidence behind that. But to say that China's, you know, security, or cyber, or whatever, or tech, or in your, in your case, you know, technology is, is worse than ours, that, that's, that's rubbish. Um, your, if your
[00:14:35] Ed Watters: Yeah.
[00:14:35] Chris Rock: budget is, if you, if you spend a lot of money and you have team support, then you
[00:14:40] Ed Watters: Yep.
[00:14:41] Chris Rock: will defeat, you will defeat your enemy. It's all about money and manpower and, uh, uh, America are great at a lot of things, but to then dismiss China because it makes you feel better, is incorrect.
[00:14:53] Ed Watters: Yeah, yeah. That, that alarmed me a lot that we're so complacent in our technologies, but at the same time, we're having these individuals build that technology for us and they're not stupid individuals. They are very bright. And like you say, they've got rooms filled with people and they're on it 24/ 7, 365.
[00:15:20] Chris Rock: That's, and that's the difference. And they're military trained, all of them are military trained. And they're disciplined.
[00:15:25] Ed Watters: Yeah.
[00:15:25] Chris Rock: And they're not, they're not operating as an individual, they're operating as one. I mean, I don't know if you recall, but if you saw the Olympic Games when it was done in China, And you saw the, you know, I don't know about the Olympic Games in the US, you'd have volunteers and you'd have trained volunteers.
[00:15:41] They had the army as the people running the Olympics. And so when you've got someone who's military trained, cyber trained, crowd control, you know, physical security, uh, and then running the show, it was a flawless show of what could happen when you're all operating on that, on that same wavelength. And, and again, focusing that on cyber, where we're talking about today,
[00:16:01] it's scary. Because they are more focused as a single one. Don't get me wrong, someone like me, professional hacker, I'll target something, but that's me, one person, or maybe three people, a group. Um, you've got, you've got thousands of people all after the same goal. You know, target America, target Australia, get that information, copy that information, improve on that information, whether it be patents or stuff like that. And then just take that extra further because they're essentially trying to make up for lost ground. And they will use the research we've done and then build on that.
[00:16:34] Ed Watters: Yeah, that's a good point right there too. So yeah, it's an interesting time that we're living in, but we crave this technology. But understanding the craving, I don't think we're too deep into that really. And I think we really should implement more understanding in our security of these technologies, it's, it's alarming. You know, I keep my credit cards in one of those cases that skimmers can't read and all of that.
[00:17:14] Chris Rock: That's smart, that's smart.
[00:17:16] Ed Watters: Yeah, I'm, I'm really trying to pay attention now because there are those vulnerabilities and it just blows me away that we're oblivious in our own minds to these little tiny things.
[00:17:30] Chris Rock: It's so spot on. Yeah,
[00:17:34] Ed Watters: Go ahead.
[00:17:34] Chris Rock: just to go back to that. You talked about your, your wallet that protects your cards from skimmers. The, the technique, the technical range of the, I don't want to get too technical, but the technical range of these, and you use it when you go to the supermarket or when you pay for groceries, that distance of where that card is effective is one to five centimeters.
[00:17:52] And that's a, that's a pretty small distance, so a skimmer would have to get really close to you. I bring this up because the technology that I used in that jammer protection was lengthening that distance from one to five to, back to what I was saying before, about seven miles in length. So can you imagine a skimmer that's essentially nine kilometers away or seven miles away? That you could actually then skim people from a distance, people in their homes and stuff like that? It says these flaws in the systems that we take for granted, that it's a short distance. Not necessarily so.
[00:18:24] Ed Watters: Yeah, that, that's amazing. So, are there ways that these individuals can use directional antennas, like what you're saying, and be miles away and aim it at your credit card?
[00:18:40] Chris Rock: So, so
[00:18:42] Ed Watters: And actually using it?
[00:18:43] Chris Rock: you raise the point. Yeah, so it's a good point. So when we talk about directional, as in like a fixed distance away and actually point to point, you know, like, um, let's say five hundred meters down the road or, um, uh, sorry to talk metric, but let's say you're a half a mile down the road. With the NFC technology, that near field that you're talking about for your cards, you don't have to be
[00:19:05] directional as in when it goes through the ground. So when you're using ground wave antenna, it essentially moves eleven kilometers north, eleven kilometers east, west, and south. So you don't even have to, you don't have to be directional at all, you can target people in a certain range.
[00:19:22] Ed Watters: With that being said, you know, within that whole radius distance, there's probably a hundred, two hundred of these credit card, you know, IDs blinking out, can you skim them all?
[00:19:39] Chris Rock: Yeah, well, this is technology beyond the research of what I did, because I was focusing on the idea. But you can think of an eleven kilometer area, we're talking about a city block. Where we're not talking about a couple of hundred houses, we're talking about a whole city. And the thing is, yeah, we talk about, um, if you have a look at the research, which I've done, and talks about, you know, length of distances between, um, [00:20:00] connections in the ground, like you could use two stop signs, two metal poles, in the city. A certain distance apart.
[00:20:06] Ed Watters: Yeah.
[00:20:06] Chris Rock: And that's what we're talking about, ground wave antenna. It doesn't have to be a steel picket in the ground. We already have steel pickets,
[00:20:11] Ed Watters: Interesting.
[00:20:12] Chris Rock: Car, car parking garages, fences, and stuff like that.
[00:20:18] Ed Watters: Wow. That, that blows me away. And, you know, it makes me really think about how many people are out there trying to exploit these technologies and advance. Because it's always a carousel, you know, people like you are trying to stop it. And as soon as you find a stop for the one vulnerability, it like comes in another form. So it seems like it's a never ending carousel. So how
[00:20:52] Chris Rock: Yeah. you're spot on with that.
[00:20:53] Ed Watters: do we get the funding to fight this?
[00:20:57] Chris Rock: Um, I can't, I can't answer the question about the funding. But it would, no matter what the funding is, people will get around it. It doesn't matter what you do. Uh, when I say you, as in governments, they can become not as a low hanging fruit as they currently are by spending money on this sort of thing. I mean, a simple doctor registration or funeral director registration where they have to put in their username, password, and a phone number, sorry, like a phone two factor authentication is just one step better than what they have now. Which will prevent a lot of attack.
[00:21:30] Like, the general person on the street can't then birth and kill people, and make it a little bit harder. But
[00:21:36] Ed Watters: That's right.
[00:21:36] Chris Rock: obviously hackers then will do, you know, uh, clone the phone number and then have that SMS go to them. So, but you're at least limiting the field. Um, if someone like me can do it, then a hundred thousand people in China can do it without a blink of an eye.
[00:21:50] Ed Watters: Yeah, that's, that's a good point too. You know, we, we often think, Oh, I'm on a private network, and I'm encrypted, and I use two factor authentication, but none of that really truly secures anybody. It does slow people trying to infiltrate down. But inevitably they're going to find the code, they're going to get in. So it's, it's one of those things, you're damned if you do and you're damned if you don't.
[00:22:31] So we, we got to weigh that and fortunately, it's moving forward. We're, we're going to use these technologies that simplify our life, but I don't know if we're going too fast or not. And if we should slow down and figure out some of the security issues. I don't know, what's your thought on that?
[00:22:59] Chris Rock: Yeah. And you're right, we are moving too fast. The thing with, and I'll use America, but Australia is in the same, same boat, we move commercially fast. And when you move commercially fast to get a product to market, or data mining or that sort of stuff, you then, security becomes second. It'll, because you commercially have to beat your competitive market. So that means the
[00:23:21] Ed Watters: Yeah.
[00:23:21] Chris Rock: product is great, it's out there. But at the same time, I can, your user credentials, your shopping habits, all that stuff is out there. And we have to accept that in our current society that as soon as you're watching something for free on YouTube or you're on a, on a website that all your stuff is out there. Your shopping habits, your demographics is just accessible
[00:23:43] Ed Watters: Yeah.
[00:23:43] Chris Rock: by not only corporate companies, but then you've got people like me who will then take that information as well and then use it for nefarious purposes.
[00:23:53] Ed Watters: We are data, that's for sure.
[00:23:56] Chris Rock: We are.
[00:23:57] Ed Watters: So,
[00:23:57] Chris Rock: We are data, yeah.
[00:24:00] Ed Watters: how do we actually start to communicate with, like, Russia? I hear that they took their offices kind of offline and went back to using typewriters. To me, I'm wondering if that's not a really smart idea, keeping, because even if you make a separate network, that's going to be vulnerable too. So there's always vulnerabilities.
[00:24:37] Chris Rock: There is. And to take that one step further, I actually applaud what they're doing. Because you get someone like me behind a keyboard and for me, that is just like a gun. I am now in front of a PC and the world is my oyster. Bank account details, personal details, whatever I want. If you are offline, you've just taken that ammo clip out of my belt. I am now useless if you are not online. So going to that typewriter, all of a sudden, I'm out of the picture now. I then have to fly to Russia, you know, I don't speak Russian, not a native, so then you need a local to then, you know, penetrate these new typewriter facilities. Someone has to grab the ribbon and go old school and to read what was typed up or,
[00:25:17] Ed Watters: Yeah.
[00:25:17] Chris Rock: you know, a copy. So you've just taken out all the cyber operatives. You've taken out a division, um, who's now useless to being online. People like myself and what you'd, like you said before about Iran, China, we've got enemies all over the place. And not just government, but criminals as well. Um, so
[00:25:35] Ed Watters: Yeah.
[00:25:35] Chris Rock: going offline is a good thing. Again, we talk about reducing exposure offline, even when there's a hell of a lot of exposure by going offline.
[00:25:44] Ed Watters: Yeah, I agree. So with that being said, our Western world, our culture is moving fast forward into this technological age. And a lot of it is AI, artificial intelligence, and, you know, machine learning. That's going to make your job easier, because it's
[00:26:09] Chris Rock: You are spot on.
[00:26:10] Ed Watters: going out and doing, so are we going to see an increase in attacks coming from like artificial bots?
[00:26:23] Chris Rock: And the simple answer is yes, and, and extremely increased. And what I mean by that, if I want to set up a fake bank, or a fake hedge fund, or a fake investment company to lure somebody in, it takes some work. I have to set up those details, I have to set up fake profiles and all that sort of stuff. Using AI, I can automate that process completely. So I can have a website, reviews, um, pictures of fake people, I can have interviews with, you know, fake investment directors. So all of a sudden you get the trust of people who want to invest money or hedge fund money and it's automatic.
[00:26:57] So I can essentially go, bang, I want a hundred banks, a hundred companies, a hundred people to answer the phone, a hundred chatbots for these divisions, and a hundred reviews. And I, and I stopped at hundred, but we can do it, make it a thousand. It doesn't matter what they are, you can just have it running in tandem and go bang.
[00:27:13] So someone like yourself who wants to invest money and you see a return of eleven percent and then you see, you know, 100 people say it's awesome. And you see interviews saying they've had eleven percent for the last 10 years, you throw your money in and, boom, that money is gone. Um, it's essentially, that's how bad it is with how AI will take it.
[00:27:31] And it will essentially, if you look at the way companies work like a franchise model, you start off with 100 staff and then your competitors or your customers ask you to cut costs, you then have to reduce staff. So then you have to then sort of like automate that function. And then, so you remove, say, out of that 100 staff, you've now got 90.
[00:27:49] With AI, you could probably reduce it to ten and have just the ninety people being automated. Before that step, we used to outsource that. We used to send those jobs to, you know, India, or China, or Bangladesh. But you can use AI to replace essentially that whole country and then you then just have your ten key staff members. So it'll affect not only the economy, but it'll also affect your, your experience and criminal activity as well.
[00:28:14] Ed Watters: Wow, you know, and you actually participate with government to help fight these things. Are there regular committees that are on top of these new technologies and bringing? There's not, really?
[00:28:35] Chris Rock: No, there's not. No, there's not. We, I don't know about what your listeners picture, but commercial rules the world. A commercial will get a think tank, get a think tank together, you get, you know, ten million dollar data scientists together to do, start doing ML on machine learning, or AI, or one thing we haven't talked about is quantum. That's the next step, grab quantum computing.
[00:28:57] Ed Watters: Yeah.
[00:28:57] Chris Rock: and then you then, they're then going bang. And then the, look at Bitcoin, for example, Bitcoin went crazy. And the government are just starting to crack down on it now, 20 years later. So you can think with AI, it's, commercial will always outbeat the government, um, yeah, by a long time. So they're two decades behind even thinking about doing something about it.
[00:29:21] Ed Watters: Yeah. You know, it's very alarming that's for sure. So taking down governments through cyber attack, and vulnerability exploitations, and just sheer overwhelming, we, we've seen a lot of attacks that shut down these websites. But like we talked earlier, that's attached to our power grid, our phones, our, you know, internet, everything is [00:30:00] internet based in our world. So should we actually have ourselves a redundant backup in case of grid go down situation? Because I, myself personally, I feel that that's coming just to show people, well, this can be done and your technology is not as great as you make it out to be. What's your thought on that?
[00:30:30] Chris Rock: You raise a great topic. I actually talked about this in detail in 2016, where I actually worked with a real mercenary called Simon Mann, who was an ex SAS soldier in the UK. Um, and we looked at the country of Kuwait on overthrowing the government in Kuwait. And we did an exercise together about exactly what you said, owning the power grid, owning the, the share market, owning the telecommunications. On what we could do as mercenaries to make, uh, overthrow the situation, overthrowing a government. We could move money around so it looked like bribes, we could shut power off, we could crash stock markets. Um, we went through that full exercise, uh, oil, gas, the whole works about how you could then remove government or shut a government down.
[00:31:20] Ed Watters: How successful was that experiment?
[00:31:25] Chris Rock: If you, if you go, and I know you'll have links on your, if you have a look at my website, you can actually see the talk, I actually did a public talk on this and you can actually see everything we took down.
[00:31:34] Ed Watters: It's Incredible.
[00:31:36] Chris Rock: In that case, in that case, the government was outed. It was, uh, essentially an, in a coup, and then that government was ousted. So the answer to your question, it was successful.
[00:31:49] Ed Watters: You know, and, and with our, you know, system the way it is, it is shocking and alarming. And we, we really need to put a little bit of thought into that. I'm glad there are people out there thinking about these things because I feel that we're just on the very tip of the iceberg on all of this. And what, what is coming with technology is something we've never seen before, I'm sure. You look at these, uh, ransomware attacks, that blows me away that somebody can actually lock something down like that. And, and there's some smart I. T. Individuals with security knowledge. It's not as safe as we really think it is, it's pretty bad.
[00:32:52] Chris Rock: Yeah. That's you, you've said it politely. Uh, we're screwed, as simple as that, Ed. We are completely screwed the way that it's heading. We're, we are at the tip of the iceberg and with AI and quantum, we are monumentally screwed.
[00:33:06] Ed Watters: Yeah.
[00:33:07] Chris Rock: I can't put a positive, I can't put a positive slant on it because it's gonna get worse and these ransomwares are gonna go off, off, off, they're going to go crazy, they're going to go crazy. They're already crazy now, they're going to get worse.
[00:33:21] Ed Watters: Well, you know,
[00:33:22] Chris Rock: It's AI bots doing it.
[00:33:26] Ed Watters: Can they, you know, if they can do that to a bank, hospital, uh, just a private company, they could do that to like our nuclear arsenals. And
[00:33:39] Chris Rock: Yes.
[00:33:42] Ed Watters: Wow. That is,
[00:33:45] Chris Rock: I mean, and they're not stupid either too. And what they'll do is they'll target
[00:33:49] Ed Watters: Yeah.
[00:33:49] Chris Rock: our systems, encrypt it so they get backed up. So when you have a system that gets encrypted with a virus so that even when you retrieve that information thirty days later cause you've got a backup after a ransomware hit, that gets infected straight away as well.
[00:34:06] Ed Watters: Yeah, we're screwed.
[00:34:08] Chris Rock: We are so screwed, we're so screwed. We, we had an Australian hospital that got a ransom, ransomware and, uh, the Australian government said, We're not going to pay a ransom. You either, you know, give us the, we're not going to pay that fine. So then the hackers just released all that public information out there. Now the Australian government stands as we do not. You know, we don't pay money to terrorists or in this case, um, hackers, um, but all that information is out there. Now, someone like myself, don't really care what's out there. I probably go to the doctor maybe once every thirty years, but there's people in the community that are very vulnerable. You know, people have had, you know, maybe abortions, or cancer, or stuff like that. They can't get insurance and they can't have this information out there. That was now public information.
[00:34:52] Ed Watters: Yeah. Well, last year, our local hospital had a ransomware attack and my, my personal information got out there and now I have to do this credit monitoring thing and all of this. It's really kind of a pain in the rear. I wish we could go back to the before computers and figure something else out. I like the tin can with the string aspect.
[00:35:23] Chris Rock: Oh, yeah.
[00:35:26] Ed Watters: Yeah, it's
[00:35:26] Chris Rock: Different times.
[00:35:26] Ed Watters: a world that we're, yeah, we're, we're living in strange times, you know. It's so interesting, but scary as hell. But you know, all we can do is live it and see what happens.
[00:35:44] Chris Rock: Yeah, I see a lot of Americans who are having that off the grid mentality where they actually set up, you know, something out in the middle of nowhere, I actually admire that. You know, as someone who I'd probably target these people online, I can't see them when they're offline. You know, it's a simpler life without this technology rubbish around them. They're not getting sold to. They need a new generator, they go out and buy one. But they don't need to search on Google what generator to buy and then have forty ads, uh, to tell you which one to buy. Um, and these ads, these reviews are all fake, you know, ain't like, they're not real. You're buying, you know, it's just rubbish. So it's, you know, they can go to the local shop and buy something from, you know, a local person. I admire that.
[00:36:26] Ed Watters: Yeah.
[00:36:27] Chris Rock: And that's my, and that's my living, tech is my living.
[00:36:30] Ed Watters: Yeah, I live fifty miles from the nearest big town. I, I live in a little under 200 people area and I, I find it very peaceful. But yet I have satellite internet out here, you know, I'm connected to the world. But our, our world is changing and if you're not changing with it, you're kind of in the dark. Maybe that's a good thing. I don't know, we'll have to wait and see.
[00:37:04] Chris Rock: Yeah. I think it's a good thing and I admire those people.
[00:37:08] Ed Watters: Yeah. So do you have a call to action for people? Our time is fleeting, I could talk to you forever on this subject.
[00:37:19] Chris Rock: Yes. So my call to action is use two factor authentication with your phone, no matter what you do. Don't trust, don't trust having anything without 2FA or 2 factor authentication. So when you're logging into a website, make sure you turn that on. That takes down ninety percent of hackers straight away because hackers like me will, will essentially troll for compromised, um, health information or databases online and see your username and password. You use it everywhere, um, so make sure you have two factor authentication. Second thing is use a storage, a password storing facility like 1Password.
[00:37:52] There's a couple of other products that are out there where you have one password that controls them all. The users will have, um, you'll have one complex password and in that you'll store all your banking, eBay, PayPal, all those different passwords in there, um, that keeps that system offline. And you just have one difficult password to access those.
[00:38:11] And, and you just essentially generate a thirty-two character password that you put in. Use VPNs wherever you are, whether it be at home or outside. So I have a default VPN. And what I mean by VPN is encrypt all your traffic. If you're at a coffee shop or you're at a hotel, um, use, uh, a VPN, they're cheap. There's like Surfshark or there's plenty of other
[00:38:31] products that are out there that at least encrypt your traffic. I'm not saying that this gives you 100 percent surety, but you're making yourself not the lowest hanging fruit. Uh, the other thing that I would suggest is if you're going overseas, don't bring your normal credit cards that you always bring. Bring a virtual credit card or a lower limit credit card.
[00:38:49] Don't bring the card that you need to live off because that will get compromised at the hotel. They will just take a second copy of that card, uh, or hackers on the other end will see that card get scanned and then use those details on the other end. So when you travel, um, use backup cards. Again, like physical security, if you're in a, if you're traveling a lot,
[00:39:06] have half the money on you and half the money in the safe. That way if the safe gets robbed, you still have half. If you get mugged on the street, you still have the other half. So, whether it's your listeners or the listeners kids going overseas, just, you know, practice those sort of things. Again, half the credit cards on you, half the credit cards in the safe.
[00:39:22] Um, a photo of your, um, passport so that you have at least a copy of those details if you need to go to the embassy. So, start thinking, it's a pain in the ass, security, but it's just one of those things that's going to happen to you, um, that you'll be glad you did it. Carry cash at multi denominations of wherever you are, so US dollars, Aussie dollars, and wherever you are visiting.
[00:39:42] Um, so you have cash and card because there's plenty of times you'll go to a gas station and then, you know, the systems will be down so you can have those sort of backups. So just think, uh, like that and then you're not, as I said, the low hanging fruit. And if your password, password get compromised on eBay, for [00:40:00] example, that's not the same password you use for PayPal, and banking, and stuff like that.
[00:40:06] Ed Watters: Those are good recommendations, Chris. The world is not what it appears at times. You know, for instance, when Chris Rock came across my desk, I was, Right on. I'm going to talk to Chris Rock.
[00:40:25] Chris Rock: And you know mate, a funny,
[00:40:27] Ed Watters: I had to throw that in there.
[00:40:30] Chris Rock: a funny story about that, um, Chris Rock's agent booked a flight from the U S to Europe for one of his trips. And his middle initial is J same as mine, Chris J rock. And I got all these frequent flyers from a, uh, uh, from a miscue. So every time he travels, I cross my fingers that I get frequent flyer points from his thing. But the security problem with that, I then had all his flight details. I knew where he was, where he was landing, I could have cancelled his flight, ordered him a wheelchair at his destination, ordered him a halal meal, just things to annoy him. But it just shows you the society we live in.
[00:41:05] Ed Watters: Yeah, that's, that's just my point right there. Chris, you are a fascinating individual and you've got some great things for people. How can people reach out, get in touch with you?
[00:41:19] Chris Rock: Yeah, so I've got a website, chrisrockhacker. com, just to differentiate from the comedian. So if you go to chrisrockhacker. com or go to Twitter, you'll find me pretty, pretty quickly. And, uh, yeah, if you've got any questions or if your audience has any questions, just, uh, fire them through. I'm happy to help.
[00:41:36] Ed Watters: Well, I'm so thankful that we got a chance to talk with you today and I want to say thank you for being part of the Dead America Podcast.
[00:41:46] Chris Rock: Thank you so much, man. It's lovely to be here.
[00:41:53] Ed Watters: Thank you for joining us today. If you found this podcast enlightening, entertaining, educational in any way, please share, like, subscribe and join us right back here next week for another great episode of Dead America Podcast. I'm Ed Watters, your host, enjoy your afternoon wherever you may be.