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Cybercrime

Date Tuesday - February 24, 2015
Host George Noory
Guests Marc GoodmanProf. Jim Bell

Marc Goodman, who has worked as the FBI's Futurist in Residence, an LAPD beat cop, and an Interpol and UN advisor in over 70 countries on cybercrime and cyberterrorism, discussed the history of cybercrime, and its future and current applications. Hacking starts with reconnaissance by bad guys looking at ways to access computer system through vulnerabilities in software, and sometimes even hardware, he explained. The number of real world bank robberies are down with the average theft around $4,000, while the average cyber heist is well over $1 million, he cited, adding that there's been an upsurge in low level criminals buying "crimeware" --software that they can use anywhere.

Cyber criminals are now laundering their profits through digital currency such as Bitcoin, and the use of "mules"-- people they hire to unwittingly move money for them, Goodman reported. One of the fastest growing cybercrimes is medical ID theft, in which a patient's record is compromised, and then the criminal sells the patient's medical account to uninsured people who use it for various services, procedures, and items-- costing an average of $20,000, he detailed. According to a recent study, the global cost of cybercrime on an annual basis is a staggering $400 billion.

One new tactic of organized criminals is to infiltrate or pose as construction teams or repair people in order to plant wiretaps, or USB drives in computers, at places like banks, Goodman revealed. Additionally, the so-called 'Internet of Things,' in which more and more household items have online capabilities, is making citizens more vulnerable to attacks. He also shed light on the "dark web," subterranean Internet content that's encrypted on a router, like the notorious Silk Road, which served as a black market for illegal drugs.

History of Voyager

First hour guest, Prof. Jim Bell , a planetary scientist who's been heavily involved in many NASA robotic space explorations, spoke about the history and discoveries of the Voyager spacecraft, as well as other missions. The two Voyager craft, launched in 1977, had among the first re-programmable computers, which helped save the mission a couple times, he noted. Each craft contained a gold phonograph record along with a needle that featured various music, greetings from world leaders, and photographs etched onto its surface. The Voyager craft, which have now left the solar system, are still expected to work for another decade. Their original mission, which they completed successfully, was to explore the outer solar system, including the planets Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.

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Bumper music from Tuesday February 24, 2015

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