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Thoughts From Abbott’s Inbox June 17th, 2022

Thoughts From My Inbox

June 17th, 2022

First Light, AI, and Finals

Got some big news yesterday, as for the third year in a row, Ashton has made Channel Futures’ list of the top 501 managed services providers, globally.  We hit the list this year at #142, which gives us a little room to move up the ladder next year! Congrats to everybody here on the Ashton team, and thank you to all of our clients for helping us get to this point (music plays as camera cuts away to a commercial).


Something About…


Internet Explorer
Hopefully, you’re not trying to view all of the links in this newsletter via Internet Explorer… Windows 10 no longer supports the old (27 years old) browser, as of this past Wednesday.


Auto Insurance
The only insurance ever mentioned here has been of the cyber liability type… until now.  In the most ridiculous finding I’ve ever heard in an auto insurance claim (I worked for Progressive for nine years, albeit on the marketing and analytics side), a Missouri appeals court ruled that GEICO has to pay a woman $5.2M after she contracted an STD in one of their insured vehicles.  Had this happened at the Motel 6, would they have been liable?


Real Estate
I’m not a fan of ranch houses, and I definitely can’t stand the New York Yankees, but the wiffleball diamond and batting cage make this place a $2M winner! (and that’s a lot of subway tile in the kitchen)
Airtag Murders

If you’re going to use a tracking device to help in a murder, you might not let the prospective victim know that you know where they are.  Or leave the packaging for said tracking device (an Apple AirTag) in your car.  The same car that you used to run over your target.

Final Exams

Evidently, the inability to access Google Classroom and email means that it’s too difficult for high school students to take final exams.  A New Jersey school district was recently hit by ransomware, and while they were forced to go back to paper and pencil (oh, the humanity), the district decided to cancel all finals for high school students.  Wow.

Real Estate

If I had $37M, I guess I could deal with living in NYC if it were a place like this (although the kitchen is a little outdated).  Or I could get a place in Saskatchewan for less than $5K.  Now that’s a steal!

Outsider Access

A hospital in Japan was hit by ransomware attack back in October, and had to suspend operations for two months. It seems that a third party software provider turned off the hospital’s security solutions (anti-virus and security patching), for fear that they would negatively effect the performance of the software.  Why a third party had that type of access is anybody’s guess, and it should NEVER happen that way.    (Aside;  a client of ours informed us last week that they turned off the tamper protection solutions that we implement on all networks.  This week, they’re no longer a client.)

Artificial Intelligence
A Google engineer claims that an AI system has become sentient and wants to be recognized as an employee.  OK.  The suspended engineer is concerned about the system’s “soul and rights”.  Maybe the ‘vacation’ will help him.   Kind of reminds me of these robots and the remark in the comments about it being a wonderful time to be alive, ” when the robots are still docile and controllable.”

Your Data, Online

Say your former employer was hacked and your social, date of birth, and other personally identifiable info was posted online.  Would you attempt to get your former employer to pay the ransom to have the data removed?  A ransomware gang recently hacked an Oregon hotel, posted all the data online, and let the former employees know that their data is available for purchase.

First Light

Operation First Light recently seized $50M and arrested 2000 people involved in social engineering scams around the world.  There were over 1,700 raids over the two months of the operation, with much of the losses stemming from a Chinese citizen who scammed 24,000 victims.  The name of the operation reminded me of my favorite local reggae band from the mid-90s.

Trying to wrap these things up as always the most difficult part of the week.  Nothing particular in mind, today.  Indians are playing good baseball (albeit against bad competition), Stanley Cup game 2 is tomorrow night (go Avs), and Sunday is Father’s Day.  I hope that all of you who are celebrating enjoy the day. We’re having brunch with friends, and then I’m dragging my wife to the Interrupters/Flogging Molly show at Jacobs Pavilion.  She’s not a fan of the music, but it’s still a great place to see a show.


Have a great weekend.



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