Networking

Wi-Fi routers, home servers, virtual private networks, and more.

Vault 7 Showing How CIA Hacks for Spying

Episode 1370

CIA

Wikileaks has announced Vault 7, a massive collection of documents that show how the CIA uses malware and other hacking techniques to spy online. Some of the techniques includes using smartTVs as a spying device since they use cameras and microphones built into the TVs. Samsung warned of this in their terms of service for their TVs last year. But Leo says that the CIA doesn't really have a switch to turn on all TVs, and if they did, the data they'd receive would be so massive and 99.9% of it would be useless. It could be used for targeted eavesdropping, though.

Why does my network drop when uploading?

Episode 1367

Brad from Bethlehem, PA
Google Photos uploader

Brad says every time he tries to upload his photos to Google Photos, his Wi-Fi fails. Leo says that turning his Wi-Fi off and on could help as it renews the "lease" on the router with a new IP address. Something inside the Mac's network settings could be messed up, and renewing the lease can fix it.

It could also mean that the computer has lost contact with the router. He should reset his AirPort and update the firmware. That chatroom says it may be Google Photos that's causing the issue as well.

How do I set up an internet TV studio like TWiT?

Episode 1366

Anne Marie from Orange, CA
TWiT Studio

Anne Marie and her husband have an internet TV channel called The Holy Spirit Broadcasting Network. Leo says it's great that they're harnessing the distribution power of the internet to reach the world. That's the democratization of the internet: it makes content available to anyone and everyone. Anne Marie wants to know if she should have a Roku app made so that people can stream to their TV. Leo says she'll have to be careful with who she has write the app.

Should I put ethernet cable in my new home?

Episode 1365

Mike from Los Angeles, CA
Cat6 cable

Mike is thinking of putting cable inside his house, but he's not sure what to wire it with. Leo recommends going the extra step and putting conduit in. That way he can rewire the house when the technology advances without yanking out the drywall again. These days, he'll want at least Cat6, maybe 6a for now. He shouldn't go for fiber now, though. It's pretty expensive.

How can I have a mobile copy of my database?

Bill from San Gabriel, CA

Episode 1356

Bill can't access files on an old XP machine unless he logs into an intranet and connects to it remotely. He can't see them if he logs onto the computer directly. Leo says if he has access to the machine remotely, he should be able to copy the files to another computer, or even a thumb drive. Any change he makes to the database will not populate to the shared version, though. He'd have to sync to them. It would be better to make them read only and not make changes until he updates the local copy of the old machine.

Why is my internet access so slow on my computer?

Episode 1356

Amy from Orange County, CA
HP Spectre

Amy is experiencing very slow access to internet and remote desktop, and sometimes it just times out. Leo suggests shutting down remote desktop to see if her browser works better, as it may be taking up resources. It's possible malware may be the culprit, but if she's not seeing anything with MalwareBytes, that's unlikely. It could be something simple like a bad network cable to her router. So she should start easy with swapping out the cable. Since her other computer works just fine, that eliminates the internet connection itself. So we know it's a problem with this particular computer.