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Thoughts From Abbott’s Inbox March 3rd, 2023

Thoughts from my inbox

March 3rd, 2023

You’re reading this on Friday, but I compiled and wrote it on Tuesday.  Winter at home this year has been miserable, so I hope Sun Valley, ID looks in real life as it does in the picture below.  We came out on Wednesday, having never been here before.  Hoping for good snow and cold weather! (And no, you shouldn’t view this as an opportunity if you’re a criminal.  Our housesitter is a 29 year old former college offensive lineman, and he has our 200 pounds of dogs to back him up!) 

 

In the meantime, I have cheating, hacking, and wakeboarding on the menu for you.  Enjoy!

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U.S. Marshals

The U.S. Marshals announced they were hacked and hit by ransomware, earlier in the week.  The claim at the moment is that those in the witness protection program have not been effected by this, and that the system hit was a “stand-alone”.  I doubt they’ll acknowledge the full extent of the breach…

Frozen Lake Wakeboarding

This is amazing.  And I hope that the one reader who I know is a wakeboarder happens to catch this event from a frozen lake north of Stockholm. Wow! Watch the video and then read how it was all done.  

College Cheating

Yes, ChatGPT is mentioned in this article (I think that makes four weeks in a row), but the bigger picture is students and professors who don’t want to do the work required of them.  All these people talking about students cheating because they have unlimited time to take a 90 minute final, or can take said final from anywhere they want.  I think the simple answer would be to tell students to put their butts in a seat in the classroom and show an ID to do so.  

2FA Apps

Two (or multi-) factor authentication, aka 2FA or MFA is an extremely important step in protecting your network and data.  I’m not much of a Twitter person, but it seems that Twitter will now be requiring an app (rather than text messages) for those users who secure their profiles with 2FA (maybe famous people who claim their accounts were hacked when they post stupid things should listen up). In any case, this Twitter development brings up the idea of poor quality and/or malicious 2FA apps that are available through Apple/Google.  Another reminder to always be careful when downloading a new app. 

Ashton News

One item, two links, so as not to overwhelm you with Ashton things; It was recently announced that for the second year in a row, Ashton Solutions has been included on the CRN 500 list of the top managed IT services providers in the world.  The rankings are based on financial results, organizational maturity, and strength of service and solutions offerings, and we fall under the “Pioneer 250” category of providers focused on the SMB market.    Secondly, we’ve finally released our new video with our updated brand, removing the word ‘technology’ from the logo.  While we’re still a technology company, it’s more about the wide variety of solutions that we offer.  

Thanks to Mike and Gene at Big Strategic, and Paul, Ryan, and Jeff at North Water Productions (and their corresponding teams) for taking my idea and making it happen.  

Red Teams

Red Teams are groups that try to attack networks to test their security stance or lack thereof.  The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency has published a report on a Red Team attack against a critical infrastructure organization (think communications, dams, defense, emergency response, and even stadiums/arenas), and while it is somewhat technical, it’s interesting to see how attacks happen and where vulnerabilities lie. In this case, it started with spearphishing, moved to misconfigured servers, and included the use of both forged credentials and social engineering. And it’s also noted that MFA defeated at least one segment of the attack. 

If you’re among those who consider TikTok your primary source for news, you might want to start making other plans.  Federal devices must be scrubbed of the app within 30 days, and  that could be just the start of banning the app in total.  In other news, the official Ted Lasso season three trailer is out, with episode one dropping on March 15th. 

 

Have a great weekend!

 

Abbey

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