Ransomware: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver – Transcript

In this week's episode of "Last Week Tonight," John Oliver takes a look at ransomware, why it's on the rise, and what, if anything, can be done about it.
Ransomware Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
Season 8 Episode 21
Aired on August 15, 2021

Main segment: Ransomware
Other segments: Delta variant spreading wildly around the country,

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♪ ♪ ♪ ♪

John: Hi, there! Welcome to the show. Our second to last one incidentally taking place in this blank void.

Hey, everybody.

John: Hey.

Hey, John. I have been thinking a lot about, you know, you and I in the last few weeks, and I, you know, I am a void. Sometimes I can be cantankerous if you know what that means. But I do want to say, I actually will miss you when you’re gone.

John: Wait, really?

No! [Laughs] not at all!

John: Right.

Totally joking!

John: Yep.

Bye, I hate you. Get out!

John: I figured.

What a fucking idiot.

John: Moving on! It’s been a busy week in Afghanistan. The Taliban now controls half of the country’s provincial capitals. In New York, Andrew Cuomo resigned in disgrace or as Chris Cuomo might say… But I want to talk about the coronavirus. Because sadly, our hot vax summer seems to be giving way to dipshit autumn as the delta variant is spreading wildly around the country, particularly among the unvaccinated, with the U.S. averaging around 100,000 new infections a day. And alarmingly, roughly 15% of new cases our children, with over 250 kids being newly hospitalized each day. And all of this means that many hospitals are yet again being stretched to the breaking point, particularly in certain parts of the country, with Florida and Texas alone accounting for 40% of new hospitalizations and the response of Florida’s governor has been underwhelming.

Today, Florida’s governor conceded things may look bad.

We are seeing people testing positive in higher numbers than I think most people anticipated.

But his message: deal with it.

It’s airborne. It’s aerosolized. And so we just have to understand that when that’s happening, these waves are something that you have to deal with.

John: Wow, the world changes so quickly, doesn’t it? If you had told me just a few years ago that Florida’s republican governor would respond to a deadly threat with “these waves are something you just have to deal with,” I’d have assumed they were talking about Miami sinking into a warming ocean, not a completely different, totally self-induced crisis. And it’s pretty tough to hear this cut-rate coach Taylor saying, “just deal with it” when he seems to be very much not doing that. Just a few weeks ago, Desantis issued an order banning school mask mandates — making Florida one of at least seven states now prohibiting schools from imposing them. And school board meetings around the country have seen fiery exchanges about this issue. In North Carolina, representative Madison Cawthorn showed up to one, to do whatever this is.

Madison Cawthorn: The greatest threat to our children today does not come from covid-19. It comes from woke, liberal government officials like you who think they are all knowing and all wise. [Cheers and applause] I’m a direct descendant of Abraham Kuykendall, one of the first men to settle this county. He knew hardship firsthand. He did not endure that hardship just so a woke school board can begin to systematically strip the responsibility from the hands of parents and guardians o to determine what to happens with their children.

John: Okay. So Madison Cawthorn thinks the biggest threat to children is school board members who think they’re omniscient. I’d say I was surprised, but this is a man who once posted this video of himself beating up a tree. So he clearly loves to pick useless fights against imaginary opponents where he comes out looking like a complete asshole. Also, a quick side note about him bragging about being a descendant of Abraham Kuykendall. Not only does that last name sound like the Swedish translation for bratz dolls, for the record, Abraham Kirkendall — which is how it’s actually pronounced — was one of the earliest slave owners in the county. So next time you’re trying to prove a point about how parents should decide what’s best for their kids, maybe don’t use a guy who decided the best thing for other people’s kids was for him to own them. And that was by no means the only wildly inappropriate historical reference during a debate this week.

Just after the fox chapel school board voted for students to wear masks as the new school year begins, people at the meeting started arguing with the board, before this person appears to flash a Nazi salute at the board.

The holocaust center of Pittsburgh says there is no comparison between the holocaust and masking children in schools.

John: Okay, I appreciate the effort, but you really did not need to ask the holocaust center to fact check that for you. For the same reason you don’t need to contact an African studies center to ask if the Rwandan genocide was as bad as getting a popcorn kernel stuck in your teeth. If you don’t already know the answer, you don’t understand either of the things you’re comparing. And look, when tempers are this high, it can be hard to sort things through in a nuanced way, but let’s try. Because first, we can agree: for most kids, in-person schooling is vastly preferable to the online kind. The question is, how to do it safely. And those opposed to mask mandates argue that, since Covid cases in children have tended to be mild — which is, thankfully, true — the downsides of them wearing masks outweigh the benefits. But that is a big swing. There is still so much we don’t know about how long-term Covid, and the delta variant, affect kids. And what we do know is that Covid is significantly more deadly for adults, and in many communities, for some fucking reason, there are a lot of unvaccinated adults to whom kids could transmit the virus. But it doesn’t feel like any of that nuance is being factored into this discussion, especially when you see scenes like people being harassed outside this Tennessee school board meeting, with a man who spoke in favor of mask requirements being confronted like this:

Everybody’s taking notes, buddy! Keep that little smile.

We know who you are! You can leave freely but we will find you and we know who you are. We know who you are.

John: Holy shit. It’s genuinely hard to imagine a five-word phrase less welcome than “we know who you are,” aside from, obviously, “New “Jeopardy” host Mike Richards.” And look, I’m not saying masks, in and of themselves, are a perfect shield against transmission. They’re not! Experts argue they should be part of a layered approach — like ensuring proper ventilation in schools, maintaining social distancing, and requiring that everyone in a school who can get a vaccine does. The problem is, it’s not like some of these states are saying, “okay, we’ll take every reasonable precaution, except for masks.” Because in Texas, they’re doing this.

The Texas education agency released new guidance regarding Covid-19 and schools. Under the new guidelines, schools are not required to inform parents of a positive case, schools do not have to conduct contact tracing, and if a school does contact trace, parents can still send their child to school if they are a close contact of an infected student.

John: What the fuck are you doing? The phrase, “everything’s bigger in Texas” is supposed to refer to meat, trucks, and belt buckles, not “the market for child-sized ventilators.” Look, and I know some kids literally can’t wear a mask all day. But that’s all the more reason that, until transmission is in check, anyone who can, does. And both the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics — representing nearly 70,000 doctors — are arguing for universal indoor masking for kids. And the thing is, you can’t help thinking that some of the fuss over masks is more about parents than it is about their kids. In fact, just watch as one basically admits that.

Well, I mean, honestly, it’s just crazy. I mean, last time I checked, this is America, and you can’t make anybody do anything. I mean, I thought that’s what people died for, our freedom. Last year, he did have to wear a mask, and you know, honestly, he thinks it’s cool. I’m gonna just — I’m not gonna lie, you know, he thinks he’s a ninja. And I say, “son, don’t — don’t say that, when they — when they ask you if you like to wear a mask.” But, you know. It doesn’t really affect him, I guess, right now, but, you know, he doesn’t know what’s going on.

John: Oh, come on! If your kid happens to like wearing a mask, let them fucking wear it! Do you realize how rare it is for a child to voluntarily do something that’s a net positive for public health? Kids are normally just moving snot dispensaries that run around coughing on door knobs, and sneezing directly into people’s mouths. Look, the key thing to remember is that the absolute best thing we can do to keep Covid from spreading in schools isn’t simply putting masks on children. It’s for the whole community surrounding that school to be vaccinated. It is no coincidence that the first large wave of Covid cases in children is hitting low-vaccination states. So you really want to protect the health of children and the community they live in? Here’s your fucking answer: we are only fighting about masks in schools right now because there are a bunch of foolish adults that have decided not to get the vaccine. And to all of them, I can only say — to quote a bunch of upsettingly loud idiots — “we know who you are” and you’re the fucking problem. And now, this. ♪ ♪

* * *

Announcer: and now… Pete Nelson from “Tree House Masters” really, really likes trees.

♪ ♪

Boy, this is a great looking tree, these maples. A poplar. A lot of pine. Oak trees. Eastern hemlocks. [Laughs] Look at this beautiful tunnel of love. Look at the size of this gorgeous, big oak! I would rather be in a tree that is in its adolescent years, if you will. Having just said that, if there is a big, beautiful mature oak that has clearly been around a long time, you get so attracted to those too that you can’t help yourself.

There was a little communication right there between me and the big guy that was like, let’s do this.

It is asking for it. It wants us to be here. I saw them earlier but I didn’t want to jump her bones right away. These are regal.

It’s the king of the forest.

We have had this thing going for about seven years. I think it senses that now is the time.

My tree juices are pumping.

I am feeling something really good right in here.

I am buzzing right now.

Feels really good.

This feels great.

This is fantastic.

Oh!

* * *

John: Moving on. Our main story tonight concerns the internet. It is a horrible place that everyone hates, which is a little weird, as it’s given us almost everything that we were promised in this nearly prescient ad from 1993.

Have you ever borrowed a book from thousands of miles away? Crossed the country without stopping for directions? Or sent someone a fax from the beach? You will. And the company that’ll bring it to you: AT&T.

John: Wow, that was two-thirds of the way to shockingly accurate. Ebooks? Check. GPS? Check. Beach fax? Not in this or any other lifetime. Although I will say, if there was one company that would go all in on a doomed technology like sand-faxing, it would be AT&T. Specifically, I want to talk about one of the more damaging things the internet has enabled, and that’s ransomware attacks — basically, incidents where hackers get into a computer, lock up the data, and then force the owners to pay a ransom in order to unlock it. You may have heard a lot about them recently. Back in may, a ransomware attack shut down a top U.S. gas pipeline — the Colonial Pipeline, a major artery for fuel along the east coast. And while the company stressed there was still plenty of gas available, just the very idea that there might be a shortage led to chaos.

The lines for gas getting longer, from the Carolinas, down to Florida, panicked drivers overwhelming gas stations. Across the southeast, demand is up 40%. Prices at the pump inching up too.

I’ll spend that extra few bucks. That’s the way it is.

I just kinda heard there was gonna be a run on gas and we figured I better get it now.

John: Yeah, that makes sense! “There won’t be a run on gas unless everyone is an idiot, which means there’s definitely going to be a run on gas, so I might as well be a faster idiot.” He’s not wrong, but it’s people like that guy that make everything completely impossible all of the time. So thanks, “that guy.” Life just wouldn’t be the same without you, and I really wish life weren’t always the same. The scale of the colonial hack was truly remarkable. And then in July, the I.T. software company Kaseya got hit with an even bigger hack. And since its job was to push software to other companies, that meant that hundreds of Kaseya’s clients, and clients’ clients, like a grocery store chain, a public broadcaster, schools, and a national railway system were also compromised. And if you’re thinking, “is it just me, or did there not used to be a massive ransomware attack every two months?” You’re actually right. Over the past few years, it’s gone from a trickle to a absolute flood. The estimated total ransoms paid quadrupled to $350 million last year. And that is definitely an undercount, because companies often don’t publicly disclose ransomware attacks, for fear of negative press or lawsuits. And it’s not just companies involved here. Everyone is vulnerable to ransomware, even this woman.

Inna Simone is retired. She’s a mother and grandmother from Russia who now lives outside of Boston. In the fall of 2014, her home computer started acting strangely. Inna saw dozens of these messages. They were all the same. They read, “your files are encrypted. To get the key to decrypt them, you have to pay $500.” All her files were locked, tax returns, financial papers, letters, even the precious photos of her granddaughter Zoe. Tuesday afternoon, the full ransom was sent to the hackers’ account. Inna inserted one short message to the criminals with her payment.

I wrote, “I wish you all will drop dead.”

John: Yeah. You almost forgot that woman was going to be Russian for a moment, didn’t you? And then she’s really Russian. She is enjoying herself. You can tell this isn’t the first time she’s wished death on someone, and also, that this wouldn’t be the first time her wish came true. So if it’s so pervasive, it’s affecting pipelines and grandmothers, we thought tonight, we’d take a look at ransomware, why it’s on the rise, and what, if anything, can be done about it. And let’s start with some history. The first ransomware attack actually occurred back in 1989, when a man named Joseph Popp mailed 20,000 floppy disks to public health researchers that he claimed contained AIDS research. But when they inserted the disk, their computers were infected with malware, their files were locked up, and the program demanded they mail $189 to a P.O. box in Panama. That’s right: this is a cybercrime so old, it used to require a bunch of floppy disks and two physical mailmen. Oh, and fun fact: after being arrested, Popp claimed in court that he had planned to donate that ransom money to AIDS research, which is weird because he had stolen that money from AIDS researchers in the first place. He’s like robin hood, if robin hood had gone around taking money from the poor and promising the poor he’d give it back later. But obviously, ransomware doesn’t come in via floppy disk any more. Instead, it gets into your system through the internet, with a message like this.

[CNBC] This is what it looks like when you get attacked. It says, your network has been infected, right there in big red type. Your documents have been encrypted. And now to get them back, you have to pay, is what this ransom note is telling you. There’s a countdown clock there letting you know you have just limited time here to take action and pay these hackers or else the price is going to go up and you might not get your data back.

John: Yeah, that’s not a message you want to see on your screen. And while they’re scary enough in that form, some attacks can be cartoonishly terrifying. Here’s one featuring the Annabelle doll. Here’s one with the puppet from “saw.” Nobody wants to see that! And here’s one with Thomas the Tank Engine screaming “fuck you” and saying the only way to unlock your computer is to send him at least ten nudes, which I’m pretty sure is a reference to the unaired final episode of “Thomas and Friends” where they introduced Thomas to the concept of pornography, and he became so crazed by it, he had to be forcibly disassembled. They say if you wander the Sodor scrapyards at night, you can hear the wailing of a thousand scattered pistons, still alive and howling for dick pics. So that’s what ransomware looks like. But how much harm can it do? Well, depending on the target, a lot. Ransomware has caused chaos in city governments like Baltimore and New Orleans. And hackers have also hit school districts, police departments, and even hospital systems.

[NBC News] Last month, a cyberattack targeting the hospital chain universal health services caused a major computer failure, with some of its hospitals forced to use pen and paper to file patient information.

So this is a perfect storm hitting the hospitals, and there’s actually never been a better time, if you’re a ransomware syndicate and you want a fast payout, this would be the time to strike.

John: Hey, Theresa, can I talk to you for a second? Look, I’m no stranger to inadvertently giving unscrupulous people new ways to prey on the vulnerable. This season alone, we’ve done stories on predatory nursing homes, pace loan scams, and basically told you how to set up a fake religious health insurance company. This show could easily be called “Getting Rich for Sociopaths” with John Oliver. But I will say, at least I’ve never look dead into camera and told hackers it’s a great time to take down a hospital. Until, I guess, just now. What have you gotten me into, Theresa? And to be fair, hackers don’t need much encouragement. Last year, over 500 healthcare facilities were hit by ransomware attacks in the U.S. alone. One of which was in Vermont, where clinicians were forced to turn away hundreds of cancer patients who needed treatment after they lost access to medical records. And the thing is, hackers don’t necessarily have to work too hard to do this. About 85% of hospitals don’t have a single qualified cybersecurity person on staff, which does feel like it’s just asking for trouble. In fact, lax security is a problem across all industries. The Colonial Pipeline was compromised because an employee had used the same password across multiple services, and the company didn’t use multi-factor authentication. So when that password was breached in an attack elsewhere, there was a direct way in. And when pressed on exactly what happened, colonial’s CEO wasn’t particularly reassuring.

In the case of this particular legacy VPN, it did only have single-factor authentication, it was a complicated password, so I want to be clear on that, it was not a “colonial123”-type password.

John: Well, hold on. No one said it was! I don’t know whose expectations you think you’re meeting with that answer. The only people I’d even suspect of using “colonial123” as a password are the staff at Colonial Williamsburg, and that’s only because aggressively sucking at cybersecurity would at least be historically accurate. And here’s the thing, even organizations that are scrupulous about backing up data so it can be easily recovered can still be vulnerable. Because hackers are now not just encrypting data, they’re also threatening to release files or personal information publicly. This happened to the D.C. Police recently when hackers released the personal information of 22 officers. And a few years ago, HBO was hit, too, with hackers demanding around $6 million or they’d leak unaired episodes of “Game of Thrones.” Which, to be honest, is a pretty weak threat. If HBO’s going to be publicly humiliated, it will be by releasing the last season of “Game of Thrones” on its own terms, thank you very much. And if having your data locked or leaked weren’t scary enough, it actually gets worse. Because we’re increasingly hooking physical objects in our lives up to the internet — things like TVs, refrigerators, and ovens. And they can be vulnerable to ransomware, too. Back in 2016, hackers made the first-ever ransomware for smart thermostats, cranking the temperature to 99 degrees until the owner paid up. And last year, researchers found a vulnerability in an internet-enabled chastity cage — basically a high-tech penis prison — that could be cock-locked until the person in junk jail paid up. And interestingly, the researchers who discovered that felt compelled to go public with it because of the next product that company was about to release.

Hi there! We’re introducing you to pear flower anal plug. Compatible to various teals and leash. You need to select to be “keymaster” or “wearer.” Wearer can add friends in the app, and invite friends to be keymaster. This invited keymaster has right to give permission to wearer for unlocking. Wearer cannot unlock without permission from keymaster.

John: Yeah, that product could essentially give the internet control over your anus, which doesn’t seem great. Assholes are like opinions: letting the internet be in charge of yours is a really bad idea. Now, incredibly at this point, I legally have to tell you at this point: that butt plug does come with a physical key for emergencies. Which I am not sure is completely reassuring. Keys do get lost, don’t they? Just picture the last time you searched for your keys around your house and now raise the stakes significantly. The point here is, the costs of ransomware keep getting higher and higher, even as, crucially, the barrier to entry has gotten much lower. Because the explosion in ransomware has basically been the result of three major developments. The first one is the emergence of something called “ransomware as a service.” Basically, hackers will develop a ransomware program, and then sell it to anyone who might want to launch an attack and split the profits. What this means is, basically anyone can launch an attack, even if they’re not particularly tech-savvy — in fact, just watch as a cybersecurity expert walks through the features offered by one ransomware vendor.

They actually provide you with basically a chat room, where you can ask questions to the people who maintain this architecture for you.

Frequently asked questions for criminals.

Exactly.

Tom pace logged onto the site and used it to encrypt a network of his own.

So all of the files that are on this system have now been successfully encrypted.

So this took you just slightly over five minutes, and you didn’t write a single line of code?

Correct.

Off the shelf.

Off the shelf. Ready to go.

John: That is alarmingly easy! Ideally, no one would launch ransomware attacks. But my next preference would be that launching one should require significantly more work than simply clicking “add ransomware to cart.” If it’s beginning to seem like ransomware is just a typical business, but staffed by criminals, you’re not entirely wrong. This can be a very professional enterprise, with customer care for both the criminal who bought the ransomware product, and the victim on the receiving end of it. One expert even said, “honestly, I wish my internet service provider had customer service the way these guys do.” Which seems a little unfair, since ransomware hackers are criminals and internet service providers are fucking monsters. You can’t hold them to the same standards. And for a sense of the customer service they offer for victims, remember that grandmother? The people that hacked her were happy to help guide her through the process of payment.

In their ransom note, the hackers wanted to be paid in bitcoin, the largely untraceable digital currency, and have it put into their anonymous account. Inna had never heard of bitcoin, but the hackers, in one of their many touches of what you might call customer service, provided all sorts of helpful facts and links and how-to guides about bitcoin.

John: It’s true! They had to teach Inna how to use bitcoin. That is genuinely way more impressive than carrying out a ransomware attack. Click think about it, if you had to teach your grandma to use cryptocurrency in order to make $500, are you confident you would walk out of there with $500? Let’s say you had infinite time and infinite grandmas. You have to understand bitcoin, and then you have to teach a grandma, any grandma, to use it. Are you seriously getting $500 out of that situation? Deep down, I think you know the answer to that. But the bitcoin part of that story actually brings us to the second major driver of ransomware, and that’s the rise of cryptocurrencies. They’ve made it much easier to make money from ransomware, and much more difficult for law enforcement to recover payments. Because if ransoms were paid in wire transfers, companies could find a way to claw that money back. But with cryptocurrencies, it’s nearly impossible to undo. And while the federal government actually did manage to recover some of the bitcoin used in the Colonial Pipeline Ransom, there are other cryptocurrencies designed to be even more anonymous. Take Monero, which in its ads, seems to be aware of just how attractive it is to criminals.

[Monero ad] There’s no safe place to conduct private transactions. Well, there wasn’t one, until now. Meet Monero. Monero is a secure, private, untraceable currency. With Monero, you are your own bank. Only you control and are responsible for your funds. Monero is private.
This means businesses can keep their suppliers in secret, as well as citizens escape government repressions, and nosy neighbors or crooks.

John: Oh, come on. There’s a pretty clear subtext to what they’re selling there. It’s like seeing a cheerful ad for “plastic tubs the size and shape of a human body.” This isn’t for anything in particular! There’s all sorts of human body-sized things you could put into one of these sturdy tubs! Also, they’re scream proof! “No matter how much sound something makes inside, you’ll never hear it!” We’re not telling you what to do with our product, though — we’re simply leading you to a very specific conclusion. Although, interestingly, despite the fact hackers now have the ability to make their financial transactions in secret, it’s not always that hard to figure out where, exactly, the money is going.

[CNBC] This shows an alleged member of a Russian cyber gang known as Evil Corp, showing off an expensive Lamborghini in a parking garage. This is video of Evil Corp members allegedly doing donuts and obstructing traffic in downtown Moscow.

[CBSEvening News] Videos and photographs released by investigators show the alleged hackers living large, posing with arms full of cash, and showing off a pet lion cub.

[BBC World News] This is 32-year-old Maksim Yakubets with his Lamborghini Huracan and his personalized number plates, which in Russian reads “thief.”

John: wow. These guys are douches. It’s bad enough sitting in a traffic jam watching some asshole do donuts in the middle of the street without having to wonder if there’s a lion cub throwing up in the car. C’mon, guys. Leave lions out of this. If you absolutely have to have a weird animal, get a big snake. I could give two shits about a big snake’s quality of life. And you can tell any big snake I said that. But there’s actually a reason those hackers feel so comfortable driving around with license plates that are basically an admission of guilt, and that’s brings us to the final factor increasing ransomware attacks, and that’s countries providing safe havens. Because multiple governments — and Russia, in particular — will look the other way for hackers so long as they do their work outside of their borders. Cybersecurity experts say the “don’t work in .ru” stricture has become an unwritten rule in the Russian-speaking hacking community, to avoid entanglements with Russian law enforcement. Basically, Russian hackers know, as long as they don’t make trouble at home, they won’t be punished for what they do abroad. And when you put all of this together, with cybercriminals able to buy ransomware off the shelf, get paid in untraceable currency, and work free from state interference, is it any wonder we have such a massive problem on our hands? Which brings us to the key question — what can we do about this? Well, here’s a terrible idea.

We ought to pass a law immediately that makes it — this kind of hacking subject to a death penalty, and the law should include a provision that the president, through a judicial process, should be able to order the killing of anybody overseas who is doing this.

John: Wow. That’s both incredibly harsh and also endearingly naïve. Because I hate to break it to newt, but America doesn’t exactly concern itself with “a judicial process” to kill people overseas. We very much take the Santa Claus approach: see them when they’re sleeping, know when they’re awake, make a list of who’s been bad or good, and then kill some bad ones, and whichever good ones happen to be around them. You know, for goodness’ sake. So that is one extreme way to handle this. The current administration, however, has so far taken a different tack. In the wake of the colonial hack, this was the message they were publicly sending.

[C-SPAN] We recognize that victims of cyberattacks often face a very difficult situation, and they have to just balance, often, the cost-benefit when they have no choice with regard to paying a ransom. Colonial is a private company, and we’ll defer information regarding their decision on paying a ransom to them.

John: okay, so you’d like them to pay the ransom. You’d like the gas back, and the easiest way to get the gas back is to pay the ransom, so you’d like them to pay the ransom. It’s a pretty strong hint, and you get the feeling that if the hint doesn’t work, Joe Biden is going to take their computer and pay for them. If that Russian grandma can figure out how to use bitcoin, there’s a 30% chance joe can too. But there has to be a middle ground between “just kill them” and “just pay them.” Because most punishments — and this is true — fall somewhere between “death sentence” and “a cash reward.” And the problem is, the more we pay, the more these kinds of attacks will be encouraged, and the more well-funded they end up being. So much more needs to be done here — and I will say, on the government level, there are some encouraging signs. The Justice Department recently called a tax forced to curtail the proliferation of ransomware attacks, does feel a little late to be forming a task force but it is definitely better than never. Also the infrastructure bill a billion dollars for improving the cybersecurity of local governments. But the thing is, it’s not just up to the government to take cybersecurity a lot more seriously. Companies and private individuals have to step up, too. And there are some basic things that we should all absolutely be doing. First, set up multi-factor authentication — seriously, do it right now! Second, keep your computers up to date, and also, don’t click on suspicious emails. And I know that those measures sound small when we’re facing something so terrifying. But in a world where most people’s doors are unlocked and wide open, just locking your door might be a deterrent. The fact is, it’s in everyone’s interest to get this under control, because right now, it really, really isn’t. To the point that it may well be time for a new ad campaign to drill home just how vulnerable all of us are.

♪ ♪

Have you ever lost access to your medical records?

What the fuck?

How to work out to make a bitcoin transfer just so you can see photos of your grandchildren again? Or send a fax from the beach? Like, want to do some kind  of beach business? Have you ever open your laptop to see a clown’s face demanding $300,000?

You know what, all right. What the fuck is going on? What is happening?

Or have butt plug and excitedly taken over by Ukrainian hackers.

You will.

Oh, no, not that.

Unless we lost our taking the issue of ransomware a lot more seriously. So please, use two-factor authentication to secure all your medical records, emails, and butt plugs.

Hi, tech support?

Especially the butt plugs.

It is happening again.

If you think you can ignore this problem and will never be the victim of ransomware, trust us…

You will.

Oh, yeah, you definitely will.

♪ ♪

John: That’s our show. Thanks so much for watching. We will see you next week. Good night.

♪ ♪

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