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Thoughts From Abbott’s Inbox July 1st, 2022

Thoughts From My Inbox

July 1st, 2022

Deepfake Interviews, Flying Ships, and Quickbooks Scams

Thought I’d get this week’s edition out a little early, what with it being a holiday weekend.  I know everybody is looking to get out of the office early this afternoon, so why wait for Thoughts From My Inbox???

While it’s not the oldest trophy in sports, it’s probably the most recognizable. And I laughed out loud when watching the team photo being taken on Sunday night after the Avs won the Stanley Cup; as Nicolas Aube-Kubel rushed to get into the pic, he caught an edge and tripped. By itself, no big deal, but he happened to be carrying the Cup. First thing to hit the ice was Stanley, and while the video showed concern on players’ faces, the photo is priceless! This dent isn’t the first (nor will it be the last), and I’m sure it won’t take much work to pound it out.


Something About…


Deepfake Job Interviews
The FBI has suggested that hackers are using deepfake technology to get remote-work jobs in the technology field. They steal individuals’ personally identifiable information (PII) and then using deepfake audio and video capabilities, go on remote job interviews.  The goal of landing a job is to gain access to user data held by the company that just hired them.   What will they think of, next?


Flying Cruise Ships
Plenty of people rave about cruise ships, but I feel like I’d be stuck on a floating hotel.  Last week I had a link to a 3D animation of a stadium that could seat one million people.  Now, it’s a flying hotel that holds 5,000 people and can stay in the air for years.  Hard pass.


Data Loss Prevention

Data loss prevention solutions can be set up so that nobody is able to download data to an external drive (USB, CD, etc.), or just to track any data that’s downloaded onto those devices.  In the case of a Japanese city employee, he probably would’ve been better off if he’d not been allowed to download anything.  It seems he downloaded personal info for the 465,000 residents of the city for which he works, and then lost the flash drive when he passed out, drunk.  Oops.  (late update:  It seems the missing flash drive has been found!)

Quickbooks Scams

Hackers are now using Quickbooks to get personal info and credit card info from users;  they’re sending emails from a valid Quickbooks account, claiming to be regarding payments. Recipients call a number and provide their credit card info to cancel the transaction, and now the hackers have the data they want.

Ransomware Marketing
This one has been sitting in my inbox for a few weeks, and I’m just now getting to it.  Interesting to read that Ransomware As A Service organizations are now using marketing and PR teams to get the word out about their various tools and successful attacks. The article goes on to mention research showing how quickly various ransomwares can encrypt their targets’ data;  the quickest is under three minutes!  As mentioned, nobody can defend that speed, so your best bet is endpoint detection and response (EDR) software.  All Ashton clients have Sophos XDR (Extended Detection and Response) as part of their security solution.
Blockchain Hackers
I honestly don’t pay much attention to the blockchain and cryptocurrencies, but it does seem that I get pretty frequent updates regarding their epic fails and losses.  Here’s one in which a blockchain company just lost $80M. Wow.
LinkedIn Scams

The FBI is now stating that fraud on LinkedIn is a ‘significant threat’.  Honestly, I’m not sure who out there gets a LinkedIn message saying something to the extent of “you don’t know me, but you should invest in crypto currency, and then move your money to my management”, but it’s happening.  I guess the Fresh Prince of Nigeria failed to target these people so this is all new to them.

Conflicting Data

This article concludes with the mention of conflicting data as it relates to data breaches; one report claims that unpatched vulnerabilities account for 82% of successful cyber attacks, while a second shows that 60% of cases stemmed from phishing.  Different sample groups will always have different results, especially when it comes to cyber attacks as so many people and businesses are still leery of admitting to the fact they’ve been hit.  Regardless of the data and the sources, it’s still a good reminder that you have to patch regularly and consistently, you need to implement multifactor authentication (MFA), and that your employees are still your first line of defense.



By the time I finished compiling this week’s edition, news had come out that not only had the Stanley Cup been dropped and dented, it’s been fixed and then it was also delivered to the wrong house.  


I would also be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge that today begins the 2022 Tour de France.  Ashton President Jim Millican is the biggest cyclist and racing fan I know, so I had to throw him a bone and share this video of this year’s course, which starts (for the first time) in Copenhagen.


Hope you have a great long weekend and happy Independence Day.  Don’t forget to fly your flag and wear your best red, white, and blue!



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