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Thoughts From Abbott’s Inbox February 5th, 2021

Thoughts From My Inbox
February 5th, 2021


Kind of a quiet week on the news front, but I was excited that my mom found this newsletter (thanks to a friend sharing it with her) and actually added herself to the mailing list. We’ll see how long she lasts, seeing that she’s only slightly less tech savvy than I am (which isn’t saying much). 


Something About…


Free Coffee

No, we’re not giving away free coffee (well, we do love to meet our readers, so stop by the office some day and we’ll pour you a cup).  This is about a Dutch researcher who figured out how to hack prepaid vending machines.  This just goes to show that anything that can be hacked, will be hacked.



Slip On Shoes

It looks like I dropped a bowl of rainbow sherbet on these new Nikes, but that’s not the point of this piece. The shoe manufacturer has come out with a new design that allows those of us who don’t like to bend over to get shoes on and off to do so without breaking down the heel.



Long Term Phishing

Social Engineering. We’ve talked about it before and given examples that you may have seen first hand. One of the most common involves “your boss” emailing you at work, asking you to run out and grab $2,000 worth of iTunes or GooglePlay gift cards to give to clients.   You want to impress your “boss” with your quick response and ability to get things done in a timely fashion, so you run across the street, buy the gift cards, and then email all of the activation codes.  And there goes $2K out the door.  This piece however, looks at the long term play that many cyber criminals are using to get into networks, build relationships, and then abscond with the big bucks.




Two weeks ago, Sonicwall VPN devices were hit with a zero day attack.  Now, they’ve been hit again, this time with their remote access SMA100 units.  It seems as though a patch is being prepared for release, so if your organization is using SonicWall devices for remote work, you might want to confirm that you’re up to date and secure.  The CISA does a good job covering the issue, but plenty more insight is available by searching “Sonicwall SMA100 zero day”.




You might know the name Emotet as being one of the most well-known types of malware. It’s also one of the worst that you can get hit by.  Europol last week cracked down on the Emotet hackers with help from Germany, The U.S., The U.K., France, and more.  This piece has a high level (not overly technical) overview of Emotet, and links to numerous other articles for further, more detailed insight including protecting yourself from this strain of malware.  And as the article says, “…cybersecurity is a journey, not a destination.”



Data Breach Response

An attorney, a cybersecurity remediation specialist, an insurance broker, and a crisis management specialist walk into a conference room… This was a panel discussion ,a year or two back, on the topic of how to respond when (not if) you are faced with a data breach. During the Q&A, I questioned why nobody had bothered to mention proactive measures like endpoint security, email security, and firewalls.  They laughed, thinking I was the one telling the joke. I was beyond shocked that nobody realized or acknowledged that taking proper steps upfront can significantly reduce the risk.  That said, you should always have a plan in place- whether for disaster recovery (restoring your network and data), business continuity (what happens when your entire workforce has to work from home) or a data breach. This piece has some great ideas for handling a data breach (IF you’re not properly secured, in advance).



Game Stop

I had to include something about Game Stop (GME) because it seems that everybody is talking about their stock price and the market in general.  Then this piece from Rob McCreary showed up in my inbox, talking about what a fiasco this has been for all involved; the hedge funds, the retail brokerages, and the day traders.  Obviously, it’s just one man’s opinion but it’s a clear and concise piece, unlike many of the other GME stories I’ve read in the past few weeks!


That’s all for this week.  For those of you looking for sports items, there was nothing interesting enough to share this week.  The Super Bowl is on Sunday, and aside from the Chiefs team barber testing positive and scaring the entire team, there hasn’t been any interesting news from Tampa.  I’m pulling for the Buccaneers as I’m a Tom Brady/Rob Gronkowski fan.  And as always, I’m hoping for a few good ads, but not holding my breath on that one.


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